There has been talk of cloud computing for some time, but 2008 saw the clouds get more clear as vendors, especially storage vendors, discussed their strategies.
The leadership in the cloud computing push for now comes from the storage market. The past two years saw a flurry of acquisitions by storage vendors of companies that developed online storage technologies, but 2008 saw those vendors turn them into real products.
Seagate this year unveiled a new wholly owned business, i365, based on four acquisitions including EVault. EMC turned its Mozy acquisition into its first managed service. HP almost didn't go online with its acquisition of an Australian technology that burped when it was first introduced with the HP name. IBM made the online storage technology it got with the Arsenal Digital acquisition available. And Symantec brought the SwapDrive technology it acquired this year to its channels.
For many of these companies, online storage has become more than just a product offering. They are turning the technology into a platform on which the vendors can hang other online and managed services. For instance, Symantec and EMC both plan to offer security-as-a-service on top of their online backup platforms.