It is pretty clear that TechRepublic members are divided on the cloud, evident by my posts on Gmail being attractive and my opinion that the cloud will prevail. So, now I'm going to play the critic. I'm convinced solid cloud solutions can be successful only where there are clear, technically defined solutions and a cost benefit. Further, I feel that only "big" players will be legitimate contenders for the larger organization's business.
Beyond the Google Apps messaging service, I've been poking around some of the other players in the space. I am a details person, so I find myself looking at individual technologies to be components of cloud computing solutions. Google has Web technologies down, and I think the Google Apps messaging service will be successful. Including Google, I feel the cloud potential is great. Some other technologies include virtualization, robust file systems, flexible security models, and presentation technologies. To get a good picture of a comprehensive infrastructure of what cloud computing looks like, check out this Sun white paper on cloud computing. This document does a good job of identifying the underlying technologies, but it doesn't give a specific cloud solution. This is somewhat contrary, as many cloud providers at this point are a little light on their details.
Part of the division of TechRepublic members is the fact that we are for the most part working with hype only. Once we have specific solutions on the table, are they going to be worth it? I believe in the concept of cloud computing, but we have to have a good handle on the underlying technologies. Share your comments below on where you see the cloud going.
Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.