The Next Step in Cloud Services Points to Applications

Last week’s Structure conference in San Francisco revealed many insights on the business and market dynamics of cloud-based services. In addition to vendor products and services, customers had private and public cloud options. In previous years, the “vaporware” seemed almost exclusively to form “storm clouds.”

An important change in the event this year was a shift in emphasis from virtual machines in 2009 to “workloads” in 2010 to a vigilant focus on applications. The importance of supporting application development, operating applications in the cloud, and integrating applications was not lost on anyone. It’s easy to see that applications are cloud royalty in 2011.

Applications will reign as the utmost important aspect for the foreseeable future, too. This is especially true, if cloud computing is approached as an operations model and not a technology. The strength of cloud-based services is in how these elements are delivered and operated. Cloud must be delivered on demand and in the appropriate scale.

Cloud can be seen as an application centric operations model; with IT shifting from a server-centric to application-centric operations model, an increasing number of the IT management and monitoring tasks will be changed to fit the application as opposed to the infrastructure. Examples of application-centric cloud tools include enStratus and RightScale.

It is easy to see that if the center of the cloud is applications, then many solutions in the cloud will examine the issues resolved from the viewpoint of the application. Designing a tool for virtual management in the cloud should be approached with caution and consideration of the importance of applications as the application may begin to mask the infrastructure supporting it.

So, how is an application-centric cloud operations model best achieved?

For more on application-centricity and the cloud, read the original CNET article here: