Cloud Computing’s Three-Horse Race

horseraceCloud Computing has hit the main stage, solidly capturing the minds of both the technology and business communities. But while three distinct deployment models have emerged, it’s far from certain which of them will go on to prosper. The three models are:

1. Renting raw hardware: compute processing, data storage and networking bandwidth.
2. Leveraging an integrated application development engine.
3. Ordering an application.

So in order to get a better sense of the prospects of each approach, let’s take a closer look at key companies promoting them and the market forces shaping them. Read More about Cloud Computing’s Three-Horse Race

RightScale Makes Multiple Clouds Work

As corporate giants get more interested in managing clouds, startups already in the sector are defending their turf and trying to make cloud computing more enterprise friendly. RightScale, a one-year-old startup that offers a management platform for Amazon’s Web Services said today that it now can offer the same management for clouds provided by GoGrid and FlexiScale. It also says it’s working with Rackspace to integrate information from the Mosso and F5 clouds.

For enterprise customers that want to operate their software on multiple operating systems or on multiple platforms the news could be compelling. Essentially, RightScale is offering customers a one-stop-shop for managing and provisioning different types of clouds. With such an offering it’s as easy to run applications in Windows-based clouds offered by GoGrid as in Linux-based clouds as offered by Amazon.

This will help with the problems of ensuring reliability and the pain of dealing with platform specific clouds, issues I wrote about a few months ago in why enterprises are not ready to trust the cloud.

Forrester Defines the Cloud, But We Beg to Differ

A new report out from Forrester takes a chart-filled look at cloud computing, offering the analyst firm’s own definition of the cloud and attempting to dispel three myths they have noticed. Since we at GigaOM buy pretty heavily into two of these so-called myths — namely that a cloud is comprised of a scalable virtualized server environment and that it’s a low-margin business — I was eager to see where we had been led astray.

But I don’t think we have been. The report takes a big tent approach to clouds, applying the cloud moniker to both the end user market and to a class of goods it calls infrastructure-as-a-service. That’s far above the hardware level where Amazon, Mosso and GoGrid sit, and includes software-as-a-service and even consumer web applications like Zillow or Flickr. Such a broad definition doesn’t really help clear any of the fog for the industry, and would likely only serve to make the term “cloud” even more of a marketing tool than it already is. Read More about Forrester Defines the Cloud, But We Beg to Differ