There are two major events which have happened in the course of the last few weeks. These events have forced enterprises to get up from slumber and take notice of the changing technology dynamics.
First, Gartner released their 2010 Hype Cycle covering maturity of 1800 technologies. If you look at the report image, cloud computing as well as cloud/web platform are at the peak of inflated expectations, what this means is that soon enough it would enter the ‘trough of disillusionment’ as the technology would fail to live upto expectations. Though it sounds like a death valley, that is not the case. Most technologies go through the hype cycle and survivors get to the ‘slope of enlightenment’. The disillusionment phase is the perfect time to separate the men from the boys.
The expectations from cloud computing and cloud/web platforms are huge. This has forced many run of the mill software houses and data centers to get into the “me too” mode. There are several instances of big boxes of servers being passed as the next big cloud thing. Once there are many players running in the me-too mode, a consolidation is bound to happen. The key for the enterprises is not to sit on the sidelines but to approach the cloud with a business-case driven road-map and make an informed judgment about the cloud platform that they would like to be on and why.
If you would observe another interesting thing from the report, that would be, both cloud computing and cloud/web platforms have a 2 to 5 year period to be in mainstream adoption. What this means is that in 2-5 years from now, all the enterprise competitors would be chugging along the cloud bandwagon. There are no prizes for guessing who gets the early bird advantage.
Second interesting development which has made enterprises sit up and take notice has been the announcement of close collaboration between Google and Vmware. The first series of announcements came in May 2010 at the Google IO and now the reiterating announcements have come at the SpringOne 2GX 2010.
For one, Google has been promoting Google Apps and the App Engine for business since a long time. They have been pretty successful in the SME market too. Inphina runs all its applications and infrastructure on Google Apps.
Spring, VMware and Google have not been unknown entities in the enterprise. Most enterprise java applications today have something or the other to do with Spring. Imagine what happens when Google with its GAE platform ties hands with the robust Spring framework and makes a pitch to the enterprises. Enterprises now have the capability to move to the cloud in a more confident and prudent way. Spring is offering Spring Roo as their RAD tool to work with GWT, their STS includes the Google plugin and Spring Insight ties up with Google Speed Tracer. This not only cuts your development time and costs significantly but also gives you the reassurance of using enterprise class technologies which you have been using for a while now.
Summing it up, these two important factors seem to provide the necessary impetus to the enterprises sitting on the sidelines and waiting to take a call. The enterprise capabilities of Spring coupled with the trusted hosting of Google provide the necessary arsenal to take control of the rising IT costs and use the cloud to your advantage. If you are ready to take the next step, we are listening.
[Updated Oct 22] OK let us make it three interesting developments. The third interesting one happened just yesterday with Amazon announcing that developers and businesses will be able to take advantage of a new free usage tier for a full year. Beginning November 1, new AWS customers will be able to run a free Amazon EC2 instance for a year, while also leveraging a new free usage tier for Amazon S3, Amazon Elastic Block Store, Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, and AWS data transfer.
This pitches Amazon close to Google, which until now we called as the developers paradise. Probably Amazon realized that in order to keep the developer interest intact they had to offer a bait like this. This move not only supports the fact that now developers have a bigger playground but it would also help enterprises on the sidelines take a no-cost to a low-cost shot at evaluating the cloud.
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