The Cloud, Hadoop Marched Toward the Mainstream in Q3

[qi:gigaom_icon_cloud-computing] Love it or fear it, there is no denying the impact cloud computing is having on IT practices. Despite a summer full of high-profile outages, cloud computing spent the season continuing its march toward ubiquity, as our third-quarter wrap-up at GigaOM Pro showed (subscription required).

Public clouds, especially, received a vote of confidence with the launch of the U.S. government’s cloud-computing application and service storefront, As the quarter wrapped up, details also started to emerge about forthcoming public cloud offerings from IBM and EMC, two vendors that do not need to undertake the burdens and risks associated with becoming cloud providers, but chose to do so nonetheless.

The internal cloud market made big strides, too, with VMware putting meat on the bones of its vCloud strategy. The virtualization leader rolled out more tools to assist companies in building virtualized clouds within their own data centers, and numerous providers already have adopted its vCloud API, thus enabling the much-anticipated hybrid cloud. VMware also set the stage for a Java-based cloud platform with its acquisition of SpringSource.

Those aforementioned summer outages had some effect within the walls of the Googleplex. Acknowledging that its first-generation datastore and legendary Google File System were not designed to handle the types of service it now offers, Google laid out the major overhauls it undertook to improve them. Seeking to avoid Google’s woes, Facebook announced in September that it is seriously upping its infrastructure investment, and industry experts believe Twitter will have to spend a substantial portion of its latest $100 million on infrastructure, as well.

Meanwhile, Hadoop continued to be the star of the data-analysis world, finding its way into numerous commercial products. Cloudera’s Hadoop World NYC not only brought the world the Cloudera Desktop, but also Hadoop-centric products from IBM, Aster Data Systems and Karmasphere, while Amazon Web Services added support for additional Hadoop tools and distributions. The third quarter also brought news that Hadoop innovation at Yahoo, thought to be on the way out because of the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal, might actually be increasing.

These days, though, all eyes are searching for signs of economic recovery. While big companies made a handful of pricey acquisitions, the earnings announced during the third quarter were not so positive. A few companies shone financially and several showed respectable signs of improvement, but many continued to see revenues drop. The server market was particularly dire, with IDC estimating second-quarter sales at their lowest number since the firm began tracking the market in 1996. The good news is that 2009 might actually end on a positive note for the IT world, with early indications showing signs of improvement in the fourth quarter, but that ultimate determination will have to wait until January.

A more in-depth look at these trends and others is available in the latest Quarterly Wrap-ups in our five focus areas — NewNet, Mobile, Green IT, Connected Consumer, and Infrastructure. These quarterly reviews are available to GigaOM Pro subscribers, along with dozens of detailed research briefings and in-depth articles on specific topics in each of these areas. You can subscribe here.