Of course one of cloud computing’s great selling points is its simplicity -- right? So why is Andre Yee blogging that “there's an issue with the adoption of cloud computing that no one is paying much attention to... until now. It's the issue of complexity.”
“Complexity?” Is this the same cloud lauded to the skies for how simple it makes IT for SMBs? Yes it is, but still, Yee has a point. “Could it be,” as he says, “that much of the problem with cloud computing adoption has to do with the fact that it's still too difficult and inaccessible to the average developer?”
There you go. Didn’t think of that one, did you? He mentions an Information Week article where Charles Babcock talks about an event at CloudConnect 2011 where Jinesh Varia, technical evangelist for Amazon EC2, “had problems guiding the audience through a hands-on session on how to deploy code on the cloud.”
And it wasn’t just a bollixed demo, heaven knows that’s happened to us all enough times: “When asked, no more than 10 percent of the crowd had previously deployed on EC2 successfully.” And as Babcock says in the article, “That untouched-by-cloud portion of the IT profession may be larger than many believe, given the trendiness of the term ‘cloud’ combined with the looseness of its definition.”
And don’t get us started on the grossly overinflated Twitter usage stats.
So what does this mean? Cloud computing isn't yet accessible to the majority of the developer population, as Yee throws out? Could be, rosy statistics to the contrary -- and Yee has a suspicion about those as well: “Much of the adoption metrics on general cloud computing products have to do with SaaS (News - Alert) applications which have been out for a decade and widely accepted.
SaaS is mainstream. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) aren't, as Yee says, and “making it simpler is an imperative.” And cloud suppliers aren’t the automatic answer. As Babcock says, yes they’re no doubt willing to solve each problem in their own way, “but that's part of the problem. They threaten to add a new layer of complexity and potential lock-in for users. A common way of getting systems in different clouds to work together or executing movements between clouds will be much more useful in the long run.”
Yee sees some movement in that direction, singling out VMWare and Cloud Foundry, which is built on open source technologies and intended to make it simpler to write and deploy code on the cloud.
Re-engineering existing on-premise apps for the cloud is another area of concern for Yee, one he doesn’t see much action in now, but one which has to be addressed if cloud computing is to fulfill its lofty expectations.David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Juliana Kenny