Single-Purpose Clouds: Pro and Con

There are those who believe cloud computing will produce a handful of dominant providers, and others who see the evolution of a complex, multi-layered cloud computing ecosystem. This week there’s been some interesting discussion of the prospects for cloud providers that do one thing in a compelling fashion. Here’s a look:

  • Stacey at GigaOm writes about HP’s view of the cloud: “HP appears to see the benefits of cloud computing as a way for vendors to deliver a single service, kind of like having a single chef make the world’s supply of macaroni and cheese,” Stacey writes. “The providers behind these monolithic clouds could scale while still making a profit and offer service guarantees because they would control the infrastructure.”
  • Gartner’s Lydia Leong is skeptical: “I think that it’s highly-unlikely that we’ll see super-specialization in the cloud,” she writes. “There are, of course, software vendors today who make highly specialized components … But as software companies get more ambitious, the scope of their software tends to broaden, too. … I don’t think successful software companies will confine themselves to delivering single applications as a service.”    

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. An important topic. It is unlikely that anyone has a really good handle on the economics of "one infrastructure fits all" - will everyone optimize their code for one type of infrastructure. Unless software development itself changes radically, its pretty likely that we will have heterogeneous cloud infrastructures. On the question of specialization I defer to Duncan Hill's excellent post: