Your Thoughts: How mature are cloud computing services?

Your Thoughts: How mature are cloud computing services?

Summary: Enterprise IT infrastructure & operations professionals have many cloud computing technologies to choose from today, and new solutions seem to appear all the time. What are all these technologies?

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Enterprise IT infrastructure & operations professionals have many cloud computing technologies to choose from today, and new solutions seem to appear all the time. What are all these technologies? How do you categorize them? Which are mature and which need a lot of work?

Forrester is kicking off a TechRadar on the topic and wants your input. A Forrester TechRadar attempts to provide clarity about the types of technologies in a given category and plot their maturity today and the pace at which it is improving, as well as the level of business value this type of technology will bring to enterprise IT.

Forrester defines cloud computing as: a standardized IT capability (services, software, or infrastructure) delivered via the Internet in a pay-per-use and self-service way. As a starting point, we have excluded Software as a Service (as Liz Herbert did a great TechRadar on SaaS already) and have carved up the rest of the cloud services into the technology categories below. Do we have them right? Are we missing any? If you have experience with any of the products in these categories (or others we didn’t mention) we want to hear your thoughts about them. How ready do you think these services are for enterprise consumption? Are they maturing quickly or is this area a wait and see?

Drop us a comment below or contact me directly at jstaten@forrester.com or on Twitter at Staten7. And thanks for your contributions to Forrester research.

Cloud computing technologies to be included in this report are:

Technology category Subcategory Examples (not exhaustive)
1. Infrastructure-as-a-Service platforms   Amazon Web Services EC2, The Rackspace Cloud, GoGrid
2. Software Platform-as-a-Service   Windows Azure, Google App Engine, Force.com
3. Cloud Infrastructure Services   Infrastructure IT services delivered from the cloud
  3a. Storage-as-a-Service Nirvanix, Amazon S3
  3b. Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service SunGard Virtual Server Replication
  3c. Backup-as-a-Service Iron Mountain LiveVault, i365 Evault, IBM Business Continuity and Resiliency Services
4. Cloud Application Services   Application services delivered from the cloud
  4a. Database-as-a-Service Google BigTable, Amazon SimpleDB, MS SQL Data Services
  4b. Cloud billing services Google Payment, Amazon DevPay, Zuora Zcommerce
  4c. Integration-as-a-Service Amazon Simple Queuing Service, Boomi, CastIron, Informatica, Linxster, Online MQ, OpSource Connect, Pervasive
  4d. Business Process Management-as-a-Service Appian Anywhere, Intensil, Skemma
5. Cloud Management Software   Appistry, CloudSwitch, Elastra, RightScale
6. Cloud Labs   Citrix C3 Lab, Electric Cloud, SkyTap, Surgient Cloud 
7. Desktop-as-a-Service   Desktone, MokaFive, Simtone

Topics: Amazon, Cloud, Hardware, Virtualization

James Staten

About James Staten

James Staten is a Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, serving Infrastructure and Operations professionals.

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5 comments
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  • low end cloud computing


    If you want to build your own low cost cloud computing you can try software such as ThinServer

    http://www.aikotech.com/thinserver.htm
    ThinkFairer
  • RE: Your Thoughts: How mature are cloud computing services?

    Not really mature. There isn't wide spread user adoption. There aren't any real standards. None of the major challenges of cloud adoption have been handled.
    mr1972
  • Sorry...wouldn't use it on a bet.

    Just too many horror stories out there of folks who had data stored remotely, only to have the company hosting it go belly up...and lose ALL of THEIR data.
    IT_Guy_z
  • RE: Your Thoughts: How mature are cloud computing services?

    I think that the next big wave will be around PaaS as it will be the way to make cloud computing simple and help users to avoid lock-in to a certain cloud provider.

    Google App Engine is going in the right direction however it fits the low-end part of the market. Amazon provide high quality infrastructure but is still complex to use. The ideal world would be to combine the flexibility of Amazon and Simplicity of Google for Enterprise applications.

    We just recently launched an Enterprise PaaS on top of Amazon AWS www.gigaspaces.com/mycloud that does just that. See more details <a href="http://natishalom.typepad.com/nati_shaloms_blog/2009/06/gigaspaces-launches-a-new-version-of-its-cloud-computing-framework.html">here: </a>

    Nati S.

    natis
  • RE: Your Thoughts: How mature are cloud computing services?

    James, I find the current categorizations a bit confusing.

    I think it's easier to think of the three layers - infrastructure, platform and applications as the primary layers.
    1) Physical infrastructure as a service: there's compute (EC2), storage (S3), hosting (Rackspace or GoGrid), value-added services (backup, disaster recovery, etc.)
    2) Application infrastructure as a service: database (simpleDB, Big Table), integration as a service and BPM as a service
    3) Platform as a service: Full application platforms that abstract out the underlying hardware, e.g., Force.com, AppEngine
    4) Software as a service: end-user apps like Salesforce or SaaS-enablers like Zuora

    Appirio has worked with over 2500 enterprises to help them adopt cloud platforms/apps like Salesforce and Google, including companies like Qualcomm(Salesforce), Avago(Google) and Japan Post(Salesforce) and it's clear that large enterprises are not only ready but are actively adopting cloud computing. Happy to discuss more if you have questions.
    BNara