It looks like 2009 is going to be the year when cloud computing delivers on the promise of commodity computing power that is utility like, as opposed to the less friendly platforms that exist now. Sun tried to deliver with their utility computing platform, but recently closed it (or are in the process of closing it). Cloud computing goes beyond the simple commodity of compute power, with the likes of SalesForce.com occupying the other end of the spectrum with a complete platform (platform as a service) layered on a robust compute cloud. Users do not need to worry about computers, software, architecture, security – none of it. Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is succeeding in the utility computing space that Sun failed. EC2 is providing the foundation for many other cloud computing offerings.
Things are moving fast. CogHead was a platform offering that was new in 2008 and now when you visit their website you find that:
Farewell. As of February 18, 2009, Coghead has discontinued its service and SAP has purchased Coghead’s intellectual property assets. We would like to thank all of our customers and partners who contributed to turning Coghead from vision to reality.
So, what is out there now?
Amazon Web Services
Google App Engine
IBM Blue Cloud
Sun Utility Computing
Keep watching – I bet half of these companies will be gone (eaten by larger firms) before year’s end – and there will be four times as many small firms on the list by 2010.