I recently attended a seminar sponsored by Bisnow called “Entrepreneurs in the Clouds,” describing recent trends in the use of “cloud” computing.
All the panelists agree that, whether it’s called “cloud” or some other new buzzword, this type of computing will be the mainstream for at least the next few years. It’s estimated that, by 2015, the cloud computing market will represent somewhere between $35B (at the low end) and $225B (at the high end) in annual revenue.
How is cloud computing defined? One panelist defined it as “computing services outside your own internally-controlled environment.” However, as the discussion progressed, some panelists defined “private cloud” computing in which the resources could be within your internally-controlled environment, but making heavy use of the technologies developed for the “public cloud” which allows massively scalable computing resources using cheap technology.
Cloud users who have regulatory or security restrictions, such as the government, financial services, and health care, trend toward private clouds. Other organizations without these constraints, particularly smaller organizations and consumer-oriented organizations, trend toward public clouds, which are currently less expensive. These are more mature. In fact, some combinations of application and storage, such as Google Gmail and Facebook, have been available for years. Because of the differences, some enterprise users of private clouds wonder why the cloud can be costly when Facebook can offer it for free.
As noted, cloud computing can provide access to storage, as well as access to applications. The concepts are not new. In the old mainframe days, many users shared central resources. Other iterations, such as Application Service Providers (ASPs) and Software as a Service (SaaS) have come – and in some cases – gone.
I’ll continue describing what I learned at the Bisnow seminar in another blog article.