Is mass acceptance of cloud computing inevitable, given that most major IT vendors are shouting it from the rooftops and IBM even talks about the cloud in a TV commercial? The debate rages on. For software developers, however, it has become clear that cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Windows Azure are expanding options for their application deployments.
With computing in public clouds, applications are deployed on third-party servers and accessed over the Internet, saving enterprises infrastructure costs but raising concerns in areas such as security and control.
In a recent survey on cloud development, Evans Data found 61 per cent of developers report at least some of their IT resources will move to a public cloud within the next year. Forrester recently recommended application developers embrace cloud platforms in 2010 because it will speed delivery of custom applications and is well suited for Web applications.
But Evans also found that more than 87 per cent of developers say only half or less than half of their resources will make the move to the cloud. Instead, the hybrid cloud – which offers a gateway to a cloud while not committing all resources to a cloud – will dominate, Evans said.
REASONS TO EMBRACE THE CLOUD
Many developers who’ve moved to the cloud are pleased. “A lot of [the benefi ts] really revolve around the total cost of ownership [TCO] and the relative simplicity,” president of Libertas Technologies, David Hatter, said. “I love the fact that I don’t have to touch hundreds of desktops” to upgrade software, he said.
Libertas has built Web-based business and mobile applications. “Virtually everything we do is really cloud-based at this point. We don’t do any kind of client-server stuff,” Hatter said. Libertas has been using Amazon Web Services and, as a
.Net-oriented shop, Windows Azure. .Net programmer, Dennis Salguero, also praised cloud TCO. “All of a sudden, you’re given a window into all these resources that are out there as far as computing power at a relatively reasonable cost,” he said.
At WBP Systems, company owner and developer, Ben Smith, cited economic benefits of cloud computing for smaller companies. The key is IT systems can be replicated over a huge number of machines. The company has built the Heap CRM and Torch Project Management cloud applications, which compete with Salesforce.com, also a cloud-based application.