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Cloud Computing: It's the Future of Enterprise IT

Every enterprise will have one or more "clouds" into which they deploy applications

Sam Charrington's "In the Loop" Blog

We're still relatively early in the cloud computing hype cycle but I strongly believe that in the future, most if not all server-side software applications will be deployed in a cloud-computing-like manner. That is not to say that all applications will be run in one of exactly five global clouds. On the contrary, every enterprise will have one or more 'clouds' into which they deploy applications.

James Urquhart recently posed a question that had been on my mind as well:

  • If "grid computing" is about running job-based tasks in a MPP model (e.g. HPC)...
  • If "utility computing" is a business model for providing computing on an as-needed, bill-for-what-you-use basis...
  • If "cloud computing" is a market model describing services provided over the Internet...
  • If "virtualization" describes providing software layers in the execution stack...
  • Then, what do we call the systems/infrastructure model where resources are pooled together, and used for a variety of workloads, including both job-based and "always running" tasks (such as web applications, management and monitoring applications, security applications, etc.)?

[SBC: Edited for length and emphasis]


To which I responded:

"It's my belief that the future model for providing IT infrastructure and services in large organizations will very much resemble what you describe and what many call cloud computing, but will occur behind the firewall. I've got a talk on just this topic at the Next Generation Data Center conference in August.

I've used the term "application fabric" for the resource pooling model you describe. One of the things I like about it is that it connotes the flexibility of the model relative to traditional siloed approaches.
That said,I've used other terms as well. Gartner has coined a term "grid-based application platform" that I like, but I think it speaks more to the upper end of the stack (e.g. distributed app platform/server) moreso than the entire model.

I tend not to like the "utility..." terms as much, because I think they highlight a 3rd party or Internet-delivered aspect which is orthogonal to what we want to focus on here. I understand that it doesn't have to be that way--the organization providing the utility service can be within the same company--but I find that the Public Utility metaphor is too powerful to be easily overcome."


Cloud computing: the future of enterprise IT

We're still relatively early in the cloud computing hype cycle but, as mentioned above, I strongly believe that in the future, most if not all server-side software applications will be deployed in a cloud-computing-like manner.

That is not to say that all applications will be run in one of exactly five global clouds. (That was Sun's idea, which they called Redshift, discussed on Bob Lozano's blog here, here, and here.) On the contrary, every enterprise will have one or more "clouds" into which they deploy applications.

So, what do we call it?

So, what do we call cloud computing within the enterprise? While it may not be the most important question that needs to be addressed, it's certainly an interesting and worthwhile one. And, in some cases amusing:

So it's a cloud, but instead of being far away it's near? Isn't that Fog? :-)
--Ray Nugent


One idea I've tossed out is Intra-Cloud, but I'm not betting on that one. (Neither is Bob; he immediately and violently puked all over it. ;-)

I'm interested in hearing what you think... Any ideas?

More Stories By Samuel Charrington

Samuel Charrington is VP of Product Management & Marketing at Appistry. Formerly, he was an early employee at Plumtree Software, where he made pivotal contributions in a variety of sales and marketing roles as the company grew from pre-revenue to over $80 million in annual income. Most recently, as Director of Business Development, he was responsible for defining and executing the company's technology partnering strategy. Previously, Charrington held sales and marketing positions in AT&T's Business Multimedia Systems organization.

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Most Recent Comments
Sujay Ghosh 07/15/08 04:51:06 AM EDT

I dont think that the entire enterprise computing shall move to it. Cloud computing is good in some respects as it opens up a plethora of opportunities for those who have the required infrastructure.
Let me give a small example... there are various geographies where internet has not reached to every corner, and people still work there on PC's. If all the softwares move to the cloud , those people wont be in a position to use this softwares further.
While SaaS still looms large ; various other models are revolving around it. S+S for sticks to "on premises software" (i.e desktop software) and how it shall collaborate with software in the cloud.

DaveNiem 06/13/08 11:12:56 AM EDT

+1 vote for PeterNic's suggestion. I like "private cloud" because it has privacy baked into the name, making it easy to explain to non-IT folks and it describes exactly what it is in simple terms.

PeterNic 06/12/08 01:00:32 AM EDT

Two ideas: *private cloud* (it may be near you or it may be in the corp DC in another continent); and *internal utility* - similar to some large manufacturing plants that produce their own power. What is important, IMHO is that the infrastructure delivery (or application delivery, if you prefer) are done in *the same way for the public and for the private cloud*, allowing enterprises, and indeed anyone, to mix and match, burst and shrink as needed.

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