The Current State of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is still developing. This isn’t just our thinking; Joe McKendrick’s recent article at Forbes.com – Cloud’s Full Impact’s About Three Years Away – showcases survey results that point to this conclusion. The tremendous buzz around cloud computing is largely fueled by intense analyst and media speculation. According to Gartner IT Hype Cycle, cloud computing is currently at the ‘Peak of Inflated Expectations’ just about to reach the ‘Trough of Disillusionment.’ That means it’s going to take another 5 years or so to get it right—a timeline we think is accurate.
At Forrester Research, it’s in the ‘survival phase,’ which suggests we should start considering the cloud. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is 10 years old and its only now in the ‘growth phase,’ which means it’s time to invest in the technology.
Cloud computing is not a panacea for IT management complexity or budget constraints—especially for organizations that either have large apps that don’t fit into a virtual machine, or performance-sensitive apps. For example, one customer might spin up multiple EC2 instances and test them for performance. This customer would then use the instance that offered the best results. Amazon won’t put your instances next to each other, which can often cause severe performance penalties.
Cloud computing is also non-advantageous in the case of close or tightly coupled clusters—in fact most clustering solutions don’t work in the cloud, including Oracle RAC, and also apps that call back to your datacenter.
The first thing you need to do as an organization when looking at cloud computing isn’t to look back at your current application infrastructure and figure how you can move it to the cloud. Instead, you should look at all future application computing requirements and ask if it’s even appropriate to move it to the cloud.
Earlier this year we wrote a blog – Cloud Computing Solutions Resources – that was a compilation of blogs we’ve written around choosing the right cloud option. It covered what questions to ask a provider, public versus private cloud deployments, a financial comparison of cloud computing solutions, and cloud security considerations. Take a moment to check it out prior to moving forward with a cloud solution so you’re armed with the information you need.