Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The obvious dangers of the cloud ...

We've had numerous instances of downtime, changes in TOCs and services disappearing in the cloud computing world. To this list of shenanigans can now be added Nings unilateral closing of WidgetLaboratory.

I'm not going to go on a rant about the need for open sourced standards to protect the interest of businesses built upon such services, because both James Urquhart and those smart guys at Reasonably Smart have already said what needs to be said.

It seems that Reasonably Smart are also planning to raise further investment. If you're looking at getting into the cloud computing space, I'd strongly recommend you talk to them. To be open in my dealings, I know James Duncan very well but I have no vested interest in the company; I just happen to strongly agree with what they are doing.

I want to clearly emphasise one important point. The value of large scale utility computing provider of a JavaScript based application platform can be measured in the tens of millions. By following an open source route, the value of the technology is in effect zero. However, the potential value of a marketplace of utility computing providers based upon an open sourced standard (with revenues from utility sales, switching services, maintenance contracts, brokerages and exchanges) can be measured in the tens of billions.

If I had the cash I'd invest in the company myself, unfortunately I don't. They have a reasonably good chance, with a little bit of luck and support, in hitting the big time.

Finally, I'm overjoyed to see this post by Tony Lucas (the guy behind FlexiScale) on the importance of Interoperability and Portability in the cloud computing world. I couldn't agree more, and I believe that FlexiScale (at the infrastructure layer of the software stack) and (at the platform or framework layer of the software stack) have the potential to be real game changers in this service world.

To James Duncan and Tony Lucas, fortune favours the brave ... I'm cheering for you both.