Cloud Computing: Real or Fad!

While there are several unanswered questions about the viability, risks, and advantages of Cloud Computing, there are a growing number of signs that this emerging paradigm of computing is not a new technological fad. Rather its real and has been based on mature and successful technologies such as virtualization, Grid Computing, and Utility Computing.
Apart from all well known vendors’ large scale initiatives to harness cloud computing and IDC’s forecast of Cloud computing attracting up to 55 Billion US dollar by 2014, yet another clear signal to indicate the promising future of Cloud computing came from Microsoft last week when the software giant unveiled its plans for the Windows Azure cloud computing platform. Company’s CEO, Steve Ballmer announced that Microsoft intends to make Windows Azure a comprehensive platform offering development tools, services, and management systems in order to enable the developers using Microsoft Azure as PaaS within 12-18 months. More details about this news can be found here.
This news also vouches my own belief about the future of Cloud Computing. Last week, I gave a talk on this topic to a small gathering of colleagues who came to attend FIRST Research School‘s lunch meeting. You may find the slides of this talk interesting. The title of this talk was: Is Cloud Computing a new technological fad? The abstract of the talk can be found here:

Cloud computing has emerged as an attractive area of research and practice over the last few years. The main promise of Cloud computing is to enable organizations to scale up or scale down their consumption of information technology infrastructures without committing huge upfront investment. A large number of public and private enterprises have started exploiting Cloud-enabled infrastructures and services and hundreds of others are considering entering in this foray. However, there is still quite a lot of confusion about different aspects of Cloud Computing and whether or not it’s a new technological fad. This presentation will begin by briefly discussing different models and types of Cloud computing and their potential benefits, and technical and socio-organizational challenges. Then it will raise a few points that need to be considered in order to decide when and how Cloud computing can be useful and the risks involved? The talk will conclude by describing a few of our initiatives aimed at building a body of knowledge to help organizations and individuals to gain a good understanding of the challenges involved and potential strategies for building and deploying Cloud based software services.

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