I just followed a long Twitter channel and some press and blog reports from a panel on Cloud Computing held at the South by Southwest festival in Austin Texas. (How cloud computing can find its way into what has traditionally been an indie music festival shows just how amorphous a concept cloud really is.)
The standout participant in my opinion was Microsoft’s Yousef Khalidi – a distinguished engineer at the software giant.
Khalidi’s strongest point comes when he notes that some large firms will want to take a hybrid approach to the cloud – hosting some data or apps internally but delivered via the web to users, with other, less critical apps and data hosted outside the firewall. This is the promise of the truly open cloud – a huge variety of flavors of application deployment and development – NOT a single, vertical stack of “take it or leave it” apps and platforms by a few providers.
Overall the panel notes that while opportunity abounds in the cloud, there is still a lot of things that need to be done to educate tech consumers, as well as some process and policy standardization that could help promote a more ubiquitous cloud experience for everyone.