Happy New Year. 2009 appears to be a busy year for clouds. Virtualization has added several players since VMware momentum appeared a few years ago. One can now select from an array of hypervisors, both of the bare metal and hosted variety. While VMware still remains the incumbent, healthy competition is now front and center for this business. The added competition will only stimulate the innovation even more as products strive to differentiate. Price will become more elastic as equality among base product capability matures. In fact open sourced hypervisor offerings may become a tipping point, especially in the current worldwide economy. Desktop hypervisors are almost a required application these days for developers. Here is to healthy competition continuing in this space.
The internet cloud is the next frontier where competition is popping up all over the place. While Amazon’s EC2 and Google’s clouds have been around for a while with success, they have certainly invited competition. Microsoft, IBM, Dell, EMC and Sun are each combining their technologies and extending that of the virtual nature to the cloud. Cloud computing is the next order of magnitude of virtulization. The cloud will become the place where physical becomes virtual (like memory) and the application is hosted somewhere out there. Clients to the cloud are no longer desktops but rather devices. Devices which include the hand held kind (intelligent phones, Nintendo DS, etc.). Advantage goes to the cloud who has the technology and assembles computes, storage, interconnect, developer tools, systems management, applications, services, choice, price, flexibility, support, etc… the best. Open sourced software will provide an advantage here. Stability of the hardware and software will make a difference. Cloud lock-in will eventually be a barrier that will go away. Broadband and mobile utilities have no lock in other than service agreements. Applications will be required to be portable to work across hosted environments. 2009 will be an exciting area for the cloud to watch as well as participate. I’m excited. Utility computing has really started to evolve, morph and accelerate.