Saturday, October 18, 2008

Google not a Cloud Computing leader?

This blogger's assumption that Google was a CC leader is not at all incorrect, its just an early-muse. Right now, Amazon is the CC leader and probably the only one who is stacking up:
- Apps Space (SimpleDB to Oracle Apps)
- Utility Billing Model
- Security
- Reliability

So what do we really understand about the Cloud Computing and what do I think that Google understands about it?

Go and read that other blog post of mine.

Some of the core requirements for a CC provider. Many other Telco's too will come close to getting there. I do agree that Google is building it's business case around Cloud Computing, but given that they are still busy with their internal academic exercise talking about the diverse areas from Android to AppEngine to asking Universities to use its AppPack.

I am a heavy Google Cloud Services user and do enjoy the benefits of several core requirements (or the lack of it) from my gmail account. I am not being billed, I am apparently secure (they may probably know everything I am mailing about, but someone always knows that, right? Do you really think that the minute you plug into your browser, no one knows?), I haven't suffered from outages as of yet and obviously I am still yet to be convinced of its AppPack Suite. I do use tools but need more of a dashboard that fits my needs).

So coming back to the original discussion, Google's amateurish approach to tackle Cloud Computing might be simply that it's not really focusing on that arena. Maybe its seeing some convergence and patterns that most of us are seeing from a lot low-level and scattered altitude. Obviously the billions of pages of indexing is oozing data that is definitely filling some really cool trends and analysis, a much richer interface than the ones you get to see at the accessible online Google labs.

So while Cloud Computing may still seem or may be perceived as an "alternative" to the enterprise industry, Google is discovering the true value of an increasingly flattening mass consumership*, economies of scale that we are yet to understand about the Real-Life Web era that we are about to enter.

So while Google may not show signs of being a Cloud leader, it is definitely on a much parallel track.

Here's Derrick's opinion:

Where Google is undoubtedly a provider of cloud computing is with its App Engine service. Here, we're talking about Google actually carving off a piece of its leading-edge infrastructure, adding and subtracting features where it deems necessary, and offering a computing resources to users. App Engine certainly is a step or two beyond the average consumer, but still -- in its alpha offering, at least -- falls well short of anything enterprises would seriously consider adopting.

Why? Because enterprises want SLAs, they want security, they want flexibility, they want support, they want enterprise-class virtual infrastructures, and they want familiarity. Depending on your definitions, SLAs and support are not too common in the cloud world yet, so hammering Google on this front seems uncessary. Even still, the inflexibility might be a bigger issue anyhow. Python might be great for certain Web apps, but I'm not aware of any serious enterprise applications written in that language. The same with BigTable: it's ideal for Web needs, but most enterprises require a more robust database. A few might use App Engine for testing or developing some specific Web apps, but the reality is that pretty much any other cloud computing offering that seems more enterprise-friendly by comparison.


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