Monday, December 20, 2010

When clouds really will be cloudy

People are talking about clouds and SaaS as the future, and I really believe that they are, in fact I'd say they are the present reality for leading companies. However one of the questions is always "where does this go"? Now there is one world that says "everything on the cloud and delivered via HTML 5". This is an interesting view but it misses out a couple of key questions
  1. When does Moore's Law go away?
  2. When is it really a cloud
The first point is that I'm sitting here with an iPad, iPhone, MacBook Pro and AppleTV (I am a fanboi) with miles more processing at my disposal than commercial systems and websites I put live late in the last century. Clouds talk about dynamic deployment and portability... but normally within a specific data centre environment. When we think about services being consumed and co-ordinated and assume that this is being done over the internet then two questions raise themselves.
  1. What decides where a service is deployed?
  2. Why can't it be deployed to my phone?
What is the point of these questions? Well my son and I can play Need for Speed:Undercover with one of us "hosting" the game on the iPhone or iPad. This is therefore an example of a piece of Software being delivered "as a Service" from a mobile device to another device. Sure its a specific use case but its a very real one to scale up.

Why wouldn't the "Rich" interface still be deployed to the device but now as a client service? Why wouldn't the information cache and some clever software that proactively populates the cache be deployed to the local device?

Now folks like RightScale already do deployment and management across multiple cloud platforms and why wouldn't this be extended to ever more powerful mobile devices, laptops and other devices. Why couldn't my operating system be deployed as part of the cloud rather than just a consumer and the elements such as latency determine where the most effective deployment is for each service in a network? Think about all those apple iPhone apps running in the background on millions of devices... who needs more capacity than that and what latency problems when the app is actually spread across a few devices in the local area?

Now there are challenges to this but there are also big advantages, your data centres are cheap because you don't need them anymore, you just deploy to your clients devices.

This clearly isn't a solution for 2011 but it is something I firmly believe will happen and its driven by the power of devices. Sure HTML 5 is cool, sure Amazon AWS is neat and sure SaaS is wonderful.... but the day that clouds really become cloudy is when no-one can point at the great big data centre that it ultimately all connects to.

Technorati Tags: ,

No comments: