Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Jason Bloomberg, Glenn Rossman, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Cloud Expo

Cloud Expo: Article

Cloud Computing - The Jargon is Back!

The ASP is dead, long live the Cloud!

Brian de Haaff's Blog

Cloud computing, utility computing, SaaS, on-demand, grid computing, etc. The jargon is back. The acronyms, the vendor jockeying, the funny names, and yes, the confusion. But does it really matter any more than it did 10 years ago when you couldn’t grab a bite to eat at the local Silicon Valley deli without hearing those three special letters – ASP – that were at the forefront of our collective brain when we talked about applications running in the cloud. (They usually came right after the other three letters: IPO, but let’s not go there.)

I remember well because I was in the vortex of the last cloud revolution. In fact, for better or worse I coined the category Application Infrastructure Provider (AIP) in 1999 while working at Concentric Network, responsible for marketing for the hosting product line and data center services. We were responding to perceived customer demand and media attention for ASPs (Application Service Providers). We had bandwidth, we had space, and we had servers—put it together and you get Infrastructure and the name. We productized the service and Network World named it Product of the Year. It was not our best seller.

So what’s changed in 10 years? Will the outcome be any different when we talk about businesses running software (or storing data) offsite and accessing it via Web browsers? Will they actually do it en masse? The pundits say, “Yes!”, but will it really happen this time?

I do think we’ll succeed this time because things are different.

There’s still lots of hype—note a recent June Deutsche Bank report that states “We expect SaaS revenues to grow to $56.5B in 2015 (nearly 70% of the overall market in just 8 years time).” But, I think that things have changed for cloud-based on-demand services in five major ways that will alter our collective computing future:

1. ASPs (and AIPs) were single tenant driven, which means that you were responsible for piecing together your own infrastructure (whether you provisioned your own or rented it from the provider) and also for creating or buying the software that ran on it. This was akin to moving your own data center to a third party facility. You still had almost all of the same IT headaches. Today, cloud-based, on-demand services are multi-tenant. Vendors pull together infrastructure and resources, and automatically allocate and balance them so many users can simultaneously use them.

2. Because the platforms are multi-tenant, the vendors can cost-effectively take on more responsibility for the underlying technology. Businesses now take advantage of the scale and efficiency that comes through the vendor’s ability to serve multiple companies on the same computing platforms. This is a fundamental shift because businesses are no longer responsible for maintaining the infrastructure themselves, no matter what type of on-demand service they choose.

3. Salesforce.com. Enough said.

4. Ubiquitous broadband. Enough said.

5. Every established software company is making significant investments in moving their offerings to an on-demand, pay-as-you-go business model (not to mention the heavy hitters like Amazon and Google that are already offering their own on-demand services).

In addition, to the fundamental changes that have taken place, the benefits of on-demand services for businesses and their end users are clearer. The advantages include instant access to the software that businesses need to improve their operations, cost efficiency of pooling their software and computing needs with other companies, reduced risk of failed software implementations and tapping strained internal IT resources, and flexibility in terms of being able to change providers. This all comes with the tradeoff of relinquishing some control, but it appears to be well worth it to most companies.

So, it appears that on-demand services are really happening this time, so let’s try to agree on a framework for talking about the various offerings. And let’s start with a diagram to simplify the discussion:

When you boil it down, on-demand services are all cloud computing based. And there are really only three types of them:

1. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is really where this wave started and it makes up the largest bucket. These vendors typically provide a single application or a cluster of small applications targeted at a general business task (e.g. CRM, billing, HR, etc.). Examples include Salesforce.com for front-office activity, Netsuite for back-office activity, and Paglo to manage IT and operations. They are “application specific” meaning that the business uses the functionality that the vendor provides rather than building their own. The vendor builds out and manages both the infrastructure and the software and the customer only needs to input or manage their data in the applications.

2. Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings get slightly more complicated. Here the vendor provides the infrastructure, software stack, and typically a data source. This is an emerging cross-over area that successful SaaS and online vendors are now promoting. This is often where the SaaS provider opens up their platform to third party applications (whether built by a business to serve its own needs or developers to sell to the businesses that are already using the core SaaS offering). So while this expands the application functionality of the SaaS provider, the applications are still related to the core offering. For example, Salesforce.com’s Force platform is designed mostly for customer-relationship oriented applications that leverage the data in a Salesforce.com customer’s account and Facebook’s F8 platform is ideally suited for additional applications that tie to the user’s social network. We would also put Google’s App Engine into this category (despite the fact that they do not provide a data feed).

3. Pure cloud computing platforms provide the server infrastructure and the business is responsible for their own software stack and ultimately the application that runs on it. The business can run just about any software that it wants as they are “application agnostic.” The main force (and a good example) in this market is Amazon Web Services

Here’s one way to compare the application flexibility and level of responsibility that the business takes on with each option:

It’s true, ASPs are dead, but they set us on the path to get on-demand services right. Advancements in technology and service delivery have improved the value for businesses to adopt these services. Now, let’s just start being clearer about what’s happening, so businesses can best choose the services that will help them succeed.

We are well on our way – long live the cloud!


[This article appeared originally here and is republished in full with the kind permission of the author.]

 

More Stories By Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff is the CEO of Paglo, the world's first search engine for IT. The company helps make IT administrators heroes by enabling them to discover all of their IT data and quickly solve computer, network, and user problems. The service is offered as SaaS and enables users to benefit from the community and the contributions of their peers through Paglo share-its.

Comments (3) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
The Subversive 07/16/08 01:30:59 PM EDT

Profitable 'cloud computing' companies – Salesforce.com (subscription), Digg (text based payloads), Google (text based payload). Unprofitable cloud computing companies – Gmail (text, pictures, video), YouTube (video), Flickr (photos), Hotmail (text, pictures, video), Plaxo (contacts). You get the picture. While always-available consumer and corporate data and content services are incredibly popular for a range of scenarios, they're incredibly expensive to host and maintain.

In the end very few companies will be able to do this profitably, because it will be a tripartite equation: audience size, data payload size and egress/ingress rates and payment model. Anyone who fails to balance the three in a sort of perfect triple point will fail at it.

Morph eXchange 07/16/08 01:19:33 PM EDT

We are a SaaS enabler based in Asia, initially harvesting on the power of EC2.

Jargoneer 07/16/08 01:09:48 PM EDT

"Persistence as a Service" is another new one - anyone heard that one yet?

@ThingsExpo Stories
The WebRTC Summit 2014 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
GENBAND has announced that SageNet is leveraging the Nuvia platform to deliver Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to its large base of retail and enterprise customers. Nuvia’s cloud-based solution provides SageNet’s customers with a full suite of business communications and collaboration tools. Two large national SageNet retail customers have recently signed up to deploy the Nuvia platform and the company will continue to sell the service to new and existing customers. Nuvia’s capabilities include HD voice, video, multimedia messaging, mobility, conferencing, Web collaboration, deskt...
The Open Compute Project is a collective effort by Facebook and a number of players in the datacenter industry to bring lessons learned from the social media giant's giant IT deployment to the rest of the world. Datacenters account for 3% of global electricity consumption – about the same as all of Switzerland or the Czech Republic -- according to people I met at the recent Open Compute Summit in San Jose. With increasing mobility at the edge of the cloud and vast new dataflows being predicted with the growth of the Internet of Things (and The Coming Age of Many Zettabytes) in the near...
Wearable technology was dominant at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) , and MWC was no exception to this trend. New versions of favorites, such as the Samsung Gear (three new products were released: the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit), shared the limelight with new wearables like Pebble Time Steel (the new premium version of the company’s previously released smartwatch) and the LG Watch Urbane. The most dramatic difference at MWC was an emphasis on presenting wearables as fashion accessories and moving away from the original clunky technology associated with t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cisco makes amazing things happen by connecting the unconnected. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by becoming the worldwide leader in transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Cisco and our partners are building the platform for the Internet of Everything by connecting the...
15th Cloud Expo, which took place Nov. 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, expanded the conference content of @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit to include two developer events. IBM held a Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held a Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo floor. The Bluemix Developer Playground, for developers of all levels, highlighted the ease of use of Bluemix, its services and functionality and provide short-term introductory projects that developers can complete between sessions.
Temasys has announced senior management additions to its team. Joining are David Holloway as Vice President of Commercial and Nadine Yap as Vice President of Product. Over the past 12 months Temasys has doubled in size as it adds new customers and expands the development of its Skylink platform. Skylink leads the charge to move WebRTC, traditionally seen as a desktop, browser based technology, to become a ubiquitous web communications technology on web and mobile, as well as Internet of Things compatible devices.
SYS-CON Events announced today that robomq.io will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. robomq.io is an interoperable and composable platform that connects any device to any application. It helps systems integrators and the solution providers build new and innovative products and service for industries requiring monitoring or intelligence from devices and sensors.
The list of ‘new paradigm’ technologies that now surrounds us appears to be at an all time high. From cloud computing and Big Data analytics to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT), today we have to deal with what the industry likes to call ‘paradigm shifts’ at every level of IT. This is disruption; of course, we understand that – change is almost always disruptive.
WebRTC is an up-and-coming standard that enables real-time voice and video to be directly embedded into browsers making the browser a primary user interface for communications and collaboration. WebRTC runs in a number of browsers today and is currently supported in over a billion installed browsers globally, across a range of platform OS and devices. Today, organizations that choose to deploy WebRTC applications and use a host machine that supports audio through USB or Bluetooth can use Plantronics products to connect and transit or receive the audio associated with the WebRTC session.
Docker is an excellent platform for organizations interested in running microservices. It offers portability and consistency between development and production environments, quick provisioning times, and a simple way to isolate services. In his session at DevOps Summit at 16th Cloud Expo, Shannon Williams, co-founder of Rancher Labs, will walk through these and other benefits of using Docker to run microservices, and provide an overview of RancherOS, a minimalist distribution of Linux designed expressly to run Docker. He will also discuss Rancher, an orchestration and service discovery platf...
Sonus Networks introduced the Sonus WebRTC Services Solution, a virtualized Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) offer, purpose-built for the Cloud. The WebRTC Services Solution provides signaling from WebRTC-to-WebRTC applications and interworking from WebRTC-to-Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), delivering advanced real-time communications capabilities on mobile applications and on websites, which are accessible via a browser.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the leading innovator in recurring revenue, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Proven by the world’s most demanding enterprises, including AAA NCNU, Constant Contact, Falck, Hootsuite, Pitney Bowes, Telekom Denmark, and VMware, Aria helps enterprises grow their recurring revenue businesses. With Aria’s end-to-end active monetization platform, global brands can get to market faster with a wider variety of products and services, while maximizin...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® and DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo® and DevOps Summit 2015 Silicon Valley, which will take place November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes for use cases across the industrial, enterprise, and consumer segments.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional Social, Mobile and Cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Liaison Technologies, a leading provider of data management and integration cloud services and solutions, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Liaison Technologies is a recognized market leader in providing cloud-enabled data integration and data management solutions to break down complex information barriers, enabling enterprises to make smarter decisions, faster.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Akana, formerly SOA Software, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Akana’s comprehensive suite of API Management, API Security, Integrated SOA Governance, and Cloud Integration solutions helps businesses accelerate digital transformation by securely extending their reach across multiple channels – mobile, cloud and Internet of Things. Akana enables enterprises to share data as APIs, connect and integrate applications, drive part...