From Zero to 900 MPH – Cloud Computing Grabs Attention and Headlines

Just 18 months ago the concept of cloud computing was still an abstract to most in the IT and data center community. In fact, those who had even heard of cloud computing were a tiny minority of IT professionals.

This morning, 17 July 2009, Google listed 177 news stories with the topic or subject of cloud computing posted within the past 24 hours. Whether you believe the cloud computing story is real or not, hype or reality, a larvae of technical reality, you cannot escape the excitement cloud computing is bringing to the technical community.

Even the Wall Street Journal is now devoting a fair amount of space to the topic, with recent stories highlighting projects including Microsoft initiatives, Larry Ellison (Oracle), Google, and HP. It seems that every company that has any vision or feels they need some quick PR is launching a story or press release on cloud computing. The past 24 hours present a roll call of cloud talk (from a query on Google News) including:

  • Dell
  • HP
  • BMC
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Cisco
  • Sun
  • IBM
  • Altera
  • Rackspace
  • Terremark
  • And the list goes on,…and on,… and on…..

Add Gartner’s release of this year’s Web Hosting and Cloud Magic Quadrant report, and the competition for press release ratings and standings further intensifies. It appears that if you are not currently releasing a story on how your company is moving ahead with cloud initiatives, the market will begin wondering “why?”

What is Driving Cloud?

Every company in the world has been affected by the economy, the need for developing green IT infrastructure, and the ever increasing need for compute and applications power. We are living in a global social and economic, highly interactive world. Telecommunications, applications, and the need to share enormous amounts of data are driving need for both power and efficiency in our personal and professional information and communications (ICT) tools.

Cloud computing shares the burden of compute capacity requirements among many users, whether within an enterprise, a closed community of interest, or content facing the general public. The peak processing loads of most individuals and companies are far higher than average processing requirements, and the reality is we are finding it difficult to continue buying hardware and software when we only average a few percentage points of resource usage.

Cloud computing, even in its 18 month old infancy, promises this will change with the development of virtualization models and on-demand use of shared resources. In the long term, as we continue to solve security issues, latency, capacity, and billing models, individuals and organizations will benefit from the consolidation of compute capacity.

The Media Hype and Effect

While there may be a lot of bandwagon appeal occurring in the cloud vendor community and media, it does serve the purpose of quickly establishing cloud computing as a concept that is getting into the eyes, ears, and minds of most IT and financial professionals. Without a concentrated media focus on a concept like cloud, the lead time for making this an accepted technology would greatly extend into the future.

The media is forcing us to at least consider the concepts of cloud computing technology, and start to ask the questions needed to make decisions on whether or not this will be an acceptable technology, and if we need to include cloud discussions and strategies in our current and future business plans.

And with more media exposure, more stories, and more thought leadership available on the topic, we will certainly have more intellectual tools to use in making our own informed decisions.


John Savageau, Long Beach

About johnsavageau
Another telecom junkie who has been bouncing around the international communications community for most of the past 35 years.

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