A New Decade For Cloud Computing?

Whenever a new year or a especially a new decade passes, you find people trying to make predictions of what hot new technology trends will come to pass. Of course, innovation cycles don't always follow calendar years. However, as the first few days of 2010 have come to show, I think it is safe to say we will see an increase in the use of so called cloud computing.

No, Sun did not announce any new Cloud Computing products since the start of the year, but companies as diverse as GM OnStar with it's new Volt app to Google with Nexus One did, with many more new announcements no doubt planned for the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES). For while many consumers may think of Google's Nexus One as a smartphone, and no matter how you compare it to the iPhone, one thing is for sure, both the Nexus One and the Chevy Volt will drive increased use of Cloud Computing, not only Google's own cloud, but many other clouds as well hosting some of the 1000's of Android apps.

So if you are one of the lucky ones to have gotten your hands on a Nexus One already, or are a die-hard iPhone user, you no doubt know to go to the Android Market or iTunes to find your apps. That's great for consumers, but where do you go if you are in the market for an enterprise application that runs on the cloud? A Google search for CRM Software returns millions of entries and while I'm sure any IT director thinking of cloud based CRM would no doubt first go to Oracle's CRMonDemand site, even a more specific search for something like farm management software returns over two million results. Is there an Android Market equivalent for enterprise cloud software?

Sensing a business opportunity, a Sun Startup Essentials community member has created GetApp.com. Quietly launched in December, GetApp is a B2B portal focused on enterprise cloud applications and already features over 2200 cloud-ready software applications in 300 categories, including SaaS offerings, cloud images, and virtual appliances. GetApp's objective is pretty simple, help enterprise buyers find cloud applications that fit their needs and generating qualified sales leads for application providers.

Full disclosure, I have no financial interest or other association in GetApp other than the fact that their co-founder, Manuel Jaffrin, used to work for me. I talked to Manuel over the holidays and he shared with me a bit on how their site was doing. First, as you might expect, their site runs totally on the cloud, GetApp doesn't own a single physical server and has zero IT capex expense. The site itself is a showcase for many of the promoted apps. For instance, GetApp uses Kampyle Feedback Analytics to collect, analyze, and manage feedback from customers who visit the site.

So if you didn't get that shiny new smartphone you wanted for the holidays, don't worry, there will be even better ones launched soon. As for a Chevy Volt, I'm afraid I can't help you there, my local dealer already has a long list of deposits each of which could buy you an unlocked Nexus One and an iPhone. On the other hand, if your not just using cloud computing but are a large enterprise or service provider building your own cloud, drop me a note, my team happens do know just a thing or two about building large mission critical data centers, be they for HPC or cloud data centers.

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