Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2013. Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.
Contributed article by Greg Arnette, CTO & founder of Sonian
Predicting Cloud Movements for 2013
Cloud Innovation Moves From IaaS to PaaS
The modern cloud era began in 2007 with Amazon Web Services and the
introduction of compute, storage and networking in the form of Infrastructure
as a Service (IaaS). Fast-forward five years later to present day and you'll
see that just around the corner is the next cloud innovation wave. The year
2013 will focus on Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings that provide
higher-level SaaS application building blocks. PaaS offerings include
relational database as a service, key value store as a service (NoSQL),
automated application deployment, automatic scaling, virtual networking /
secure computing and sending email as a service. PaaS is growing quickly and there
are no signs of stopping it-every six months there is a new offering.
Platform as a Service is getting more attention from leading edge
independent software vendors because PaaS allows for faster time-to-market for
new projects. It also allows existing projects to scale more quickly and has
proven to be more cost effective. PaaS represents the original premise for the cloud; focus on core competencies and lets
others supply the commodity building blocks. An application developer creating the
next hot mobile application should focus on the user experience and domain
expertise. If the application developer is distracted in creating an automatic
deployment system built on IaaS instead of "renting" the PaaS equivalent, then
it's considered a wasted effort and a distraction from the core mission.
Server-less Architectures Will Start to Emerge
Building upon the PaaS momentum is the next wave; server-less architectures.
This is the concept that future cloud applications will be built on the idea that
the cloud is a giant mainframe computer. Current cloud architectures are based
on replicating the design patterns from the pre-cloud co-location era, which
means dedicated or semi-dedicated virtual instances supporting application.
One of the cloud's best aspects is that it allows new concepts to be
explored, which has led to the increasing interest in creating applications
that are not server dependent, but rather can function within an application
virtual machine environment. This means there are no more specific servers, but
instead virtualized application framework runtimes. For example, the Java
Virtual Machine (JVM) runs Java programs. Imagine if there were a pool of JVM
resources an application could pull from and the application did not have to be
aware of specific compute instances...
Of course, behind the scenes there are real servers hosting the JVM
runtimes, but the application developer does not have to be concerned with
provisioning or managing the host operating systems and can focus on creating
the best Java application. It's exciting to think about the cloud evolving into
a large shared mainframe with superior cost and reliability baked into the
core. Everyone except for the legacy server vendors will benefit.
About the Author
Greg Arnette is the founder and CTO of cloud archiving company
Sonian. He has been a messaging, collaboration, Internet, and networking expert
for over 15 years and has founded two previous technology companies. You can
connect with him @gregarnette and read his blog for thoughts on
cloud computing, collaboration and startups at gregarnette.com.