10 Cloud Computing Predictions For 2010

By many accounts, 2010 will be the year that cloud computing officially takes hold. Organizations large and small will realize the cost, space and management benefits that moving applications to the cloud will deliver.

While the cloud is still seen by many as a relatively immature technology, industry watchers and experts are predicting 2010 will be cloud computing's year. With that in mind, here are 10 cloud computing predictions for 2010 from the VARs, vendors, analysts and experts who are on the front lines of the cloud computing revolution each and every day.

Cloud storage adoption will continue to broaden as service providers implement technologies that further reduce latency and overhead. While costs are attractive, the biggest inhibitors to adoption of cloud storage have been IO latency, overhead, and security. For many users, the security concerns have been reasonably addressed (although there are some segments where putting data in the cloud may never be acceptable) through encryption and other techniques. However, the problems of latency and the cumulative costs of redundancy for protection have held back broader adoption. Cloud services providers have been refining techniques to reduce latency and protect data more efficiently meaning that their offerings will become more attractive to more users.

-- James Demoulakis, CTO, GlassHouse Technologies Inc., a Framingham, Mass. solution provider

More and more cloud service providers will offer a "hybrid cloud" approach to meet real customer demands. Despite the growth of internet access, many times an end-user simply doesn't have internet access. Thus, cloud services will continue to develop "off-line" working modes to complement their "always on" approach (e.g. Gmail "offline mode").

-- Jimmy Tan, general manager for storage vendor PEER Software

2010 is really the year of Platform-as-a-Service. It's the year people try to push beyond the infrastructure and take advantage of the cloud at the application level. Organizations will look at how they take advantage of cloud platforms and push it beyond just requests for virtual machines here and there.

-- Samuel Charrington, vice president of product management and marketing for cloud platform vendor Appistry

The cloud will continue the demise of the yellow pages. More and more business is going to be done electronically online and companies are going to have to embrace the new ways of word of mouth advertising through social media. More and more companies are going to have to manage their reputations online. The Internet and social media will make or break you pretty quickly. Cloud computing will give you the tools and tell you what to look for.

-- Stuart Crawford, senior advisor and partner, Ulistic, a Calgary-based cloud computing and Internet consulting firm

2009 gave us the terms public cloud and private cloud, as well as X-as-a-service. All these terms denote where applications/services/resources are located and how they are delivered. In 2010, we'll START to move away from these terms as the importance of how apps/services/resources are delivered and/or from where, becomes less relevant to end users and the market overall. The goal eventually will be to deliver these depending on where the user is located; The network will be able to identify location and automatically configure where resources should be coming from (cloud or on-prem) and deliver them to end user, with the necessary policies and management in place.

-- Vanessa Alvarez, industry analyst, information, communications & technologies, Frost & Sullivan

2010 will be the year of planning for the cloud. During this time everyone, customers, vendors, resellers and integrators will need to stop thinking about how we have done things in the past and begin to think about how we can do things differently with the resources that are being made available to us. The biggest risk we see in the adoption of the cloud is people continuing to rebuild or recreate what they do today in the cloud, vs. changing the way we do things to adopt new ways of processing data.

-- John Ross, CTO, GreenPages, a Kittery, Maine-based solution provider

2010 will be the year that the best cloud platforms will be accepted as enablers of mission critical enterprise applications in need of high availability, dependable SLAs and world class disaster recovery.

-- Barry Lynn, chairman and CEO, 3Tera, an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based cloud platform vendor

I believe clients will start considering using the "cloud" as another choice when developing a disaster recovery plan. At Champion Cloud Services we recently debuted a highly flexible, affordable "cloud continuity" disaster recovery service offering. This virtualized cloud service removes many of the conventional barriers to traditional disaster recovery. [Clients] pay only for services you need, at the time you need them.

-- Chris Pyle, president and CEO of Champion Solutions Group, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based solution provider which recently launched the Champion Cloud Services division

My favorite prediction -- though it's more of a wish/goal for me -- is [commentator and analyst] Phil Wainewright's classic tweet: "... My considered prediction for 2010? Private clouds will be discredited by year end." I believe that "private cloud" is consuming a lot of bandwidth for legacy solutions from incumbent vendors that will fail to live up to the promise.

Another prediction -- or perhaps more accurately wish/goal -- for me is that the Open Intercloud becomes a reality thanks to standards like the Open Cloud Computing Interface (OCCI) that myself and others are currently developing.

I also believe/hope that the Open Source and cloud computing communities will reconcile their differences as people realize that the fight for freedom and openness has moved to a new battleground; Open Cloud is more about open formats and open interfaces than the mechanics of software licensing.

Finally, I believe that critics like Larry Ellison will quiet down as the case for cloud computing is proven by way of successful case studies as we move from early adopters to the mainstream.

-- Sam Johnston, strategic consultant focusing on cloud computing and Secretary at the Open Cloud Computing Interface Working Group (OCCI-WG) at The Open Grid Forum (OGF)

As cloud-based services become more prevalent, whether private or public, the provision of an end-to-end software solution for virtualized WAN optimization from the data center, to the branch office and mobile users will be paramount. Management, visibility and monitoring of the WAN and its traffic will be critical here. For example, QoS in and out of the cloud; mobile clients for remote cloud users; VDI/SBC support for DaaS (Desktop-as-a-Service) and for the support WOaaS (WAN Optimization-as-a-Service) will all be critical considerations.

Only a wholly virtual WAN optimization offering will enable the cloud infrastructure, both private and public, to be deployed and managed from any location. This enables organizations to deploy into their hosted cloud offering over the wire as well as allowing managed service organizations to host WAN optimization-as-a-service in its own right or as part of a service they sell when providing their cloud offerings, be it just cloud or managed storage, applications, desktops, etc.

-- Adam Davison, corporate vice president of sales and marketing for vendor Expand Networks