Cloudy IT

I was just catching up on my RSS feeds and ended up reading an old article about cloud computer by Dion Hinchcliffe over on ZDNet.   It’s quite a good article, but one bit caught my eye:

Like so many aspects of Web 2.0, the industry is moving a lot faster than most businesses are currently able to keep up with.

Being a customer looking at cloud services, that was news to me – I’d argue that the opposite is true, at least for some enterprises.

Whilst there are some maturing cloud services out there, many of the big players that Enterprises will traditionally deal with just aren’t quite there yet.  Whilst they’ll talk a good game, when you dig into the details and try and actually buy this stuff you soon find out that the grass isn’t quite as green as you’ve been lead to believe. 

It soon becomes clear that whilst many of the big players aspire to providing cloudy ‘service effect’ style solutions very few are able to deliver them at the moment.  And those that do have solutions are often both limited in scope and more expensive than doing it yourself.

I’ve found that billing models aren’t developed, when you look for the simplistic £-per-user, £-per-GB, £-per-CPU/hour models you’ll find them strangely absent. 

What’s worse is that one of cloud computing’s big selling points – reduced capital investment and cost of entry –  is also quite often AWOL.  Many of big players are still reluctant to take on the cost and risk of owning the hardware layer, preferring the more traditional hosting and support style agreements.

Unless you’re specifically looking at apps that you can move to solutions like EC2 or App Engine, there are very few options available right now for delivering applications and services from the cloud.

So in my experience the appetite of enterprises for cloud services currently exceeds the markets ability to deliver them.   Or at least deliver them against the promises it’s already made.

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