Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Adrian Bridgwater, Dana Gardner, Pat Romanski, Eric Aarrestad, Jason Bloomberg

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: 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
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect their organization.
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
Akana has released Envision, an enhanced API analytics platform that helps enterprises mine critical insights across their digital eco-systems, understand their customers and partners and offer value-added personalized services. “In today’s digital economy, data-driven insights are proving to be a key differentiator for businesses. Understanding the data that is being tunneled through their APIs and how it can be used to optimize their business and operations is of paramount importance,” said Alistair Farquharson, CTO of Akana.
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
The enterprise market will drive IoT device adoption over the next five years. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Greenough, an analyst at BI Intelligence, division of Business Insider, analyzed how companies will adopt IoT products and the associated cost of adopting those products. John Greenough is the lead analyst covering the Internet of Things for BI Intelligence- Business Insider’s paid research service. Numerous IoT companies have cited his analysis of the IoT. Prior to joining BI Intelligence, he worked analyzing bank technology for Corporate Insight and The Clearing House Payment...
"Optimal Design is a technology integration and product development firm that specializes in connecting devices to the cloud," stated Joe Wascow, Co-Founder & CMO of Optimal Design, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CommVault has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A singular vision – a belief in a better way to address current and future data management needs – guides CommVault in the development of Singular Information Management® solutions for high-performance data protection, universal availability and simplified management of data on complex storage networks. CommVault's exclusive single-platform architecture gives companies unp...
Electric Cloud and Arynga have announced a product integration partnership that will bring Continuous Delivery solutions to the automotive Internet-of-Things (IoT) market. The joint solution will help automotive manufacturers, OEMs and system integrators adopt DevOps automation and Continuous Delivery practices that reduce software build and release cycle times within the complex and specific parameters of embedded and IoT software systems.
"ciqada is a combined platform of hardware modules and server products that lets people take their existing devices or new devices and lets them be accessible over the Internet for their users," noted Geoff Engelstein of ciqada, a division of Mars International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.