Clouds Everywhere

(Ping! Zine Web Hosting Magazine) – Cloud computing has become one of the strongest buzzwords in the history of the Internet, especially in the hosting industry. Nowadays, cloud computing is everywhere. I can’t remember when cloud computing was coined the first time. The term was suddenly there, and like real clouds, the term appeared out of nowhere.

Cloud computing’s predecessor

Cloud computing’s predecessor, Software as a Service (SaaS) is still used as much as the term cloud computing. These industry terms summarize the (re)discovery that the Internet could be much more than just some text, movies, and pictures on a website. Cloud computing and SaaS can serve as an application platform. Where have we heard that before?

Remembering ASP

Rewind 10 years. At that time, industry experts were discussing Application Service Providers (ASP) everywhere. ASP was the future of IT. If you compare the arguments for ASP with today’s arguments for cloud computing, you will see a striking resemblance. This is also true for all arguments against both trends. We all know ASP failed, but that doesn’t mean that cloud computing will be facing the same destiny.

Cloud computing security and arguments

Most arguments surrounding the future of ASP, SaaS, and cloud computing discussions are figurative, then and now. I think it is hard to prove lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for cloud computing applications and it is mostly an after-the-fact rationalization for most decision makers to consume applications in the cloud. Also, I think most cloud applications are far more secure then on-premise applications. An alleged lack of security is one of strongest arguments against cloud computing in the enterprise market.

Cloud computing today

Today, the Internet has created mature and predictable industries with proven business models. ASP failed because its business model was broken. These business models are at the core of everything: cheaper storage, higher bandwidth, more application power, and mobile web. This is all possible because entrepreneurs are now making a decent living building applications using cloud computing.

Cloud computing market example

There’s a market segment within cloud computing that proves the success of the cloud in a very explicit way: online backup. As an innovation, early online backup services emerged prior to the existence of the Internet and needed the maturity of the Internet in both a technical and commercial sense. What was not right 10 years ago is working just fine right now. Today, the average online backup service is a reliable offering for a reasonable price.

In fact, cloud computing is probably the mature Internet. There’s nothing new to see here people, just the Internet growing up.

Article Author: Robbert van Geldrop

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