The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

The Cloud Power Surge

Access to infinite compute power is one of cloud computing’s more outlandish and yet most impactful visions. After three years in the Cloud, are we any closer to infinite compute power? Probably not! But some recent developments seem to suggest that real progress is being made in expanding the compute capacity of the Cloud.

Today, there are very few cloud applications that require more then a few servers at any given time. Which explains why there’s been only a minimal amount of discussion about existing cloud capacity. That said, there are a few very popular cloud-based applications that have clearly pushed the envelope of the existing cloud server supply. Companies such as Animoto, Google, Twitter and SOASTA have all stretched the existing fabric of cloud capacity. Their applications require (at times) thousands of cloud servers to handle sudden or unpredictable spikes in web traffic, or in SOASTA’s case, that they create for testing purposes — always bending but not breaking the existing cloud capacity. This should all change in 2010 when demand for cloud servers is expected to explode — leaving all to wonder — will we eventually discover the limits of the cloud’s capacity?

Thankfully, help is on the way. In the next few months there will be a virtual “power surge” in new cloud capacity with at least 8-10 new, on-demand cloud data centers opening up around the world as Amazon, IBM, Microsoft and Rackspace (as well as a few yet to be announced vendors) enter and expand into the existing Cloud market. In doing so they will add a much needed power boost to a very fast growing Cloud marketplace. A market that, in the past three years, has been largely defined by the technology and business innovation of a single vendor — Amazon (AWS) — whose impact can never be underestimated. However, for this marketplace to be viable and flourish, there must be more then one dominant player. The continued emergence of new vendors marks a critical milestone in cloud computing’s short history.

The Cloud is about to grow up.

Tom Lounibos

About the Author

Tom Lounibos

As CEO of SOASTA, Tom brings more than 30 years of experience building early stage software companies, leading two companies to successful IPOs. Tom is a regular speaker at both cloud and testing events, and has become a leading advocate in using the cloud to empower individuals and accelerate changes in how applications are built, tested and deployed. Most recently, Tom served as President and CEO of Kenamea. Prior to Kenamea, he was CEO of Dorado Corp., a financial services software provider. Previous to Dorado, he was EVP of Sagent Technology through its 1999 IPO, entrepreneur-in-residence at Crosspoint Venture Partners, and held executive positions at Digitalk Corp., Knowledgeware (KWI) and Encore Financial Services. Tom also serves on several boards in the Silicon Valley.