Thursday, January 29, 2009

State of the Union on Clouds

If you have a bit of time you should definitely read this comprehensive post (2000 words) from John Gerber which covers the Cloud Computing landscape. It's a kind of State of the Union on Clouds and a fantastic overview of the current environment.

John's summary:
In this post, I tried to address a few of the basic concepts behind cloud computing along with a few important issues and finish with some thoughts involving security. Cloud computing will bring with it advantages and disadvantages, especially in the world of security. This post has not even scratched the surface. In a two thousand word post, all I can do is to try and get you interested in the subject and then show you the way to a wealth of additional information. Like Dorthy and the yellow brick road, follow the links. They will take you to the experts that have been working with issues involving the cloud for quite awhile now.
For me, one of the most striking points in this was a quote from Anne Thomas Manes, a Research Director with the Burton Group:
“we should not be talking about an architectural concept that has no universally accepted definition and an indefensible value proposition. Instead we should be talking about concrete things (like services) and concrete architectural practices (like application portfolio management) that deliver real value to the business.”
I feel a lot of commentators on Cloud Computing are getting so caught up arguing over arcane technical points or what the difference is between SaaS and Clouds, that the overall power and point of Clouds gets lost. Manes is certainly moving along the right track.

There is a huge amount of content in Gerber's post but it is definitely worth spending the time to work through it.