What will the cloud look like in 2011?

By EMC Marketing CTO – Clive Gold

I wonder at what stage ancient man looked up at the sky and instead of just seeing ‘clouds’, distinguished them as storm, rain, or snow clouds? I think 2011 will be the year we look inside the Clouds and understand what they are going to deliver. Why this weird thought, well last week I attended a Data Scientist conference, that was attached to EMC World, and one of the speakers made a comment that “I’m glad Big Data is no longer called Cloud!” Now big data, most of which is Cloud Data, is being recognised as a separate discipline.

Now we can say it’s been an interesting few weeks for the world of cloud computing. Amazon’s elastic cloud service’s hiccup, has given people a new perspective on what is a true cloud service. NIST’s definition of cloud computing, (here),  states the characteristics as:

– On-demand self-service
– Broad network access
– Resource pooling
– Rapid elasticity

Notice none of the traditional IT metrics are mentioned, such as reliability, availability, and performance. EMC, since the start of this conversation, (and kudos to Chuck Hollis who from the start has been posting on the subject, check numerous posts on his blog), has stated that there is a need to bring these two sets of requirements together to create the new computing model.

What has become apparent is that some cloud services are nothing more than a system being run over the wire rather than on-premise. One example that I’m battling with right now, is that EMC uses a ‘cloud’ based expense processing system, which has been unavailable for a week! Does that mean that EMC made the wrong decision, absolutely not. The system provides a more efficient and most cost effective way to process expenses, but we now understand that it will suffer the same issues as any other IT system.

Now on the other end of the scale, has anyone got an unavailability message, when trying to do a Google search? I’ve never met anyone who has, and most of the people I know are nerds like me… so it’s not for lack of use!
My prediction is that 2011 is the year the cloud is ‘de-mystified’. We will see adoption leap to the next level, as people will know what they are going to get and will be able to decide on the risk and reward levels that they are comfortable with. There will be in-expensive services that might go down every now and then, there will be fault tolerant systems which cost more, but are out of the reach of the people who will use them.

So if you are interested in getting an update on where Cloud Computing is today and some idea of where it is going, be at EMC Inform!


2 responses to “What will the cloud look like in 2011?

  1. There’s a really interesting article here Clive that elaborates a little further about the connection between Cloud and Big Data!

  2. Two words you will hear more and more in 2011: Organizational Mapping. CIOs moving from a commoditized to an elasticized infrastructure, whether private/hybrid/or public cloud, need a granular, proactive view of their costs down to the individual user level. This is called organizational mapping. They can determine workloads in real time through proactive alerts and ensure that all work from a project, to a business unit is aligned with the company’s strategic direction.

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