What will the Cloud do?

I was pointed at the Eucalyptus project, an open-source software infrastructure for implementing "cloud computing" on clusters, by a colleague and decided I needed to check out Amazon first. Several colleagues have given me this advice but have the University really written an open source grid platform conforming to Amazon's EC2 APIs.

If so its a fascinating example of the speed of commoditisation. It raises the question of where's the value in building clouds? If you can't innovate above the system components where can you innovate? Its obviously pointless to copy what Google did 10 years ago and if the assembly is available in Open Source you should probably use it. The space left by Amazon for a competitive threat is that they major on Infrastructure as a Service, although of ocurse given the operating systems available you can quickly turn it into a platform. I have just checked Amazon's EC2 Page, and they now offer a database query interface to their storage solution. The space left is to offer higher levels of abstraction, specifically by offering Java, Python or Ruby space to customers, and this is what Sun's Project Caroline does. Sun also innovates at the system, silicon and software layers. IT Systems are not really commodities and sedimentation means they will continue to change, the industry still needs innovators. IT isn't done yet.

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