This Forbes article by Dan Woods brings up some interesting points about the increasingly elastic definition of cloud computing.
First, it continues to drive the notion that private clouds are going to be a large portion of cloud-based deployments. However, Woods argues that some private clouds may be appliance-based. This goes against some definitions around the open cloud – which would have web-based applications housed in a data center and pushed to users via the web and integrating with other data sources and apps using the web as a platform. Woods sees a potential private cloud appliance as a locked-box: managed by vendors and almost inaccessible by end user organizations. The open source proponent in me can’t see this as a good thing.
Second, as Woods questions the cloud-readiness of Oracle, he seems to forget that a lot of the acquired assets of Oracle’s application portfolio do have some web architecture. Woods makes a good point when he says he doesn’t “believe that multi-tenancy is required” to create a cloud environment. We have long seen zero-footprint web architectures in the apps world, but in the new cloud-centered universe – these are private cloud and SaaS models that are viable – they just pre-dated the era of the cloud as a buzzword.
I think there are a lot more private cloud options out there – for vendors and end users alike. My hope is that more tenants of the open cloud thinking are prevalent in these new models, to insure success for end users and drive more innovative application deployment and development models for all of us.