A panel of cloud computing experts and industry executives in San Francisco have shared their thoughts on the direction of the cloud market.
The panel discussed points of contention in the market, such as the true definition of cloud computing and the future of both web-based clouds and on-site "private cloud" systems in which the host system is owned and maintained by the client enterprise.
Panelist Joe Weinman, head of strategy and business development for AT &T Business Solutions, argued that the notion of a "private cloud" made about as much sense as a "personal hotel", but said that the underlying components of the idea, such as virtualisation and in-house management would remain vital to enterprise IT.
"A lot of people like to say that whatever the question is, the answer is always cloud computing," he said.
"We have to recognise that there is a lot of value to the hybrid solutions; the enterprise datacentre is not going away."
In other areas, however, the panel saw a very bright future for cloud computing. Panelists Timothy Chou of Ming Holdings and James Urquhart of Cisco both noted that hosted platforms were lowering the cost of development and allowing for the creation of specialised enterprise apps, benefiting smaller developers and start-ups.
"I hear the term 'boot straps' being thrown around in the start-up world now more than ever," said Urquhart.
"The thing that will drive the long tail is the fact that any two kids out of college can go out with a really good idea, crank out some code and have the capital and resources at a price range and cash flow model that really works for getting a business started."
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