There is an extensive discussion on what the “cloud” definition and standards should be, benefits and risks, etc. Probably a distraction of really critical issues:

  1. How the industry players will collaborate en deliver the software services is a complex discussion. We can expect hosters to get vertical expertise, and create alliances with distributors and resellers to increase software services sales capacity. 
  2. How wull application frameworks enable the creation of a “new age era” of solutions?
    • Most software organizations can simply leverage virtualization technology on “existing solutions” by partnering with EC2 to deliver them. This has clear advantages but the “brute force” approach will never achieve the same levels that are possible of “cloud native” applications.
    • It’s very difficult to think that only with virtualization we’ll see Amazon performance levels: Software application frameworks can provide additional abstraction layers and the automatic systems management functionality on it’s inside. It’s not necessary to re-architect for multitenancy because the platform inherits elements to leverage the datacenter. Microsoft Azure is an example of this category.
    • The expectations for new solutions is that they can run on any of three “clouds”: Internet, Partner hosted or internally hosted. In fact, a key benefit of the cloud is moving the complex stack easily between those. Users can access using the three primary screens: PC/Mac, smartphone and TV. Later also secundary screens including Kiosks, Surface PCs and Videowalls.
  3. I was amazed at the level of negative reactions on the McKinsey report “Clearing the air on cloud computing”… but the reality is that some organization will be able to run many software services internally at lower costs than those on the market.

 

Summary

Today 2/3 of the total IT Investment do not result on real differentiation. Depending on the value of each IT services, we’ll see a migration of those to any of the three clouds. IT will finally become transparent.


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Note: Six months after the “Windows Azure Launch”.

There is a false perception that Microsoft Azure might not be ready for production use BUT in fact several partners are already charging for solutions built on top of it... SLAs are required but we are a lot closer than what it seems.

Pricing will be announced: we should consider the present  a “free period”. Functionality and reliability will only improve. NOW It’s the time to build the “new era of solutions”.