In Part I, we recapped four of seven roles cloud computing plays today or will play in the near future, as discussed by Indu Kodukula, CTO of SunGard Availability Services, in an interview with Sramana Mitra for Mitra’s blog series, “Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing.” Here we complete the discussion with the final three roles Kodukula foresees. – CM
Cloud as CPU and Storage Provider
We are also going to see independent computing components available on demand. That is, compute on demand, storage on demand and, hopefully soon, network on demand. Most likely, a relatively small number of providers will exist, and mid-size companies will use such services. This means their investment in infrastructure is definitely going to go down.
Enterprise Cloud as Services Provider for SaaS
SaaS vendors who run their cloud application on a commodity cloud will need more sophisticated capabilities for load balancing, monitoring, availability capabilities, etc., as the size and complexity of their businesses grow. We have a great deal of intellectual property in our services that other providers do not have. We see a time when SaaS vendors might manage their cloud applications on top of SunGard’s services in a commodity cloud.
That scenario would let SaaS vendors take advantage of both enterprise-grade cloud and the economies of a commodity cloud, if we do not happen to offer the lowest priced infrastructure. As a result, we could end up with many customers who use our services as part of an SaaS application without our being the cloud provider and, possibly, without the commodity cloud vender knowing—or caring.
Enterprise Cloud as Services Provider to Commodity Clouds
We see down the road that some commodity clouds will buy services from us to use with their clients. Just like SaaS vendors, as their size and complexity grows, they, too, may need the enterprise-class production services as their businesses grow.
In fact, one company using a commodity cloud has already arranged for recovery services to be delivered from our data center. Their application is set-up to replicate over to us, because of the sophisticated intellectual property we have in our availability services.
Similarly, one can easily see the entire recovery process—the setup of the replication on an ongoing basis, the migration of the application and the failover of the application—going from, say, Amazon over to our data center. Or, perhaps, all those availability services will be provided on Amazon’s infrastructure from someone like us—which would open up a price point that could be lower than what we offer today.
To summarize, the cloud is going to transform the industry. Some people think that is hype, but it is not for one simple reason: the utility model of cloud computing is amazingly compelling. It is not just about cost. The fundamental value of the utility model is you can tie the investment success to the business success. Beyond that, the cloud lets you combine the applications, the resource management services and the infrastructure in ways that not only minimize costs but also raise the level of expertise available to you.
What applications would you move to a production-ready cloud to lower costs and decrease distractions?
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