The Leap from Hosted to Cloud Computing

cloud computingBefore it was Cloud Computing

In the late 1990’s, AdminiTrack co-founder, Don Draper, and I began working on AdminiTrack.com, focusing on the hosted Internet application model, which was a hot concept at the time. Many businesses were excited about the potential for utilizing applications on the Internet with good reason. The promise of Internet-based applications represented the opportunity for an organization to avoid large startup costs, increase the speed of deployment, and enjoy virtually pain-free upgrades and maintenance. The concept enabled companies to focus on their core competence, instead of diverting resources to develop, manage, and support an in-house system.

When AdminiTrack.com came out of beta in mid-2001, Application Service Provider (ASP) was the buzzword of choice for the hosted application. At that time, ASP’s were divided into two main categories: companies that provided industry-focused applications, like AdminiTrack’s issue tracking application; and companies that provided remote access to standard desktop or server applications.

As the Application Service Provider industry grew, a number of consortiums sprang up to support the ASP movement. After a few years, everything seemed to change; and the new buzzwords quickly became “on-demand” and “Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)”. The concept was basically the same as the ASP model, but also expanded to include web-accessible functionality though web services, XML, and the like. Fast forward a few more years, and now the current buzzword-compliant term is “cloud computing“.

One of the most fundamental challenges I see with cloud computing is its definition and scope. From a high level, it is a fusion of technologies and terminology such as virtualization, Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, service-oriented architecture, and more, depending on who is providing the description. While the underlying concept of providing cost-effective, outsourced, remotely accessible, Internet-based services and functionality remains, the names and arrangements of specific components may differ.

What is Cloud Computing?

Following are a few links to other experts who give their definitions of cloud computing:

Cloud Computing Journal

http://cloudcomputing.sys-con.com/node/612375

The Cloud View

http://thecloudview.com/cloud-computing-defined/

Daryl C. Plummer from Gartner

http://blogs.gartner.com/daryl_plummer/2009/01/27/experts-define-cloud-computing-can-we-get-a-little-definition-in-our-definitions/

In the late 1990’s, AdminiTrack co-founder, Don Draper, and I began working on AdminiTrack.com, focusing on the hosted Internet application model, which was a hot concept at the time.  Many businesses were excited about the potential for utilizing applications on the Internet with good reason.  The promise of Internet-based applications represented the opportunity for an organization to avoid large startup costs, increase the speed of deployment, and enjoy virtually pain-free upgrades and maintenance. The concept enabled companies to focus on their core competence, instead of diverting resources to develop, manage, and support an in-house system.

When AdminiTrack.com came out of beta in mid-2001, Application Service Provider (ASP) was the buzzword of choice for the hosted application.  At that time, ASP’s were divided into two main categories: companies that provided industry-focused applications, like AdminiTrack’s issue tracking application; and companies that provided remote access to standard desktop or server applications.

As the Application Service Provider industry grew, a number of consortiums sprang up to support the ASP movement.  After a few years, everything seemed to change; and the new buzzwords quickly became “on-demand” and “Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)”.  The concept was basically the same as the ASP model, but also expanded to include web-accessible functionality though web services, XML, and the like.  Fast forward a few more years, and now the current buzzword-compliant term is “cloud computing”.

One of the most fundamental challenges I see with cloud computing is  its definition and scope.  From a high level, it is a fusion of technologies and terminology such as virtualization, Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, service-oriented architecture, and more, depending on who is providing the description. While the underlying concept of providing cost-effective, outsourced, remotely accessible, Internet-based services and functionality remains, the names and arrangements of specific components may differ.

Following are a few links to other experts who give their definitions of cloud computing:

Cloud Computing Journal
http://cloudcomputing.sys-con.com/node/612375

The Cloud View
http://thecloudview.com/cloud-computing-defined/

Daryl C. Plummer from Gartner
http://blogs.gartner.com/daryl_plummer/2009/01/27/experts-define-cloud-computing-can-we-get-a-little-definition-in-our-definitions/

Please leave a comment and let me know what your thoughts are on cloud computing?

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One Response to “The Leap from Hosted to Cloud Computing”

  1. Rick Austin February 11 at 7:21 am #

    If we ignore the buzzword factory our industry supports, I think the greatest impact of cloud computing is how it dramatically lowers the barrier of entry for providing software capabilities to customers. In most cases, early ASP providers not only had the investment of creating those applications but a substantial investment in building a hosting infrastructure. Even if that infrastructure was purchased it required a potentially large outlay and commitment early on.

    Flash forward and with the cloud capabilities offered by Amazon, Google, and others almost anyone can “turn on” a hosting platform with minimal investment. No need to spend large sums of money to create a scalable environment. If you need more horsepower just reach for the credit card.

    All of these changes make it even more important for us to keep our focus on our customers and continue to provide forward thinking solutions. If you look behind you, there is probably some passionate group of people out there dreaming up a better way to solve a problem and they have few barriers for providing that solution to a wide range of potential customers.

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