March 10, 2008 -- (WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) -- Cloud computing does not meet the needs of large businesses, but remains to have definitive potential, says a report released by Forrester Research (forrester.com) on Monday.
Written by IT operations and infrastructure analyst James Staten, the report revealed that the services offered by a group of emerging hosting providers, such as Amazon Web Services, are helping to shape the direction of the overall hosting market.
In the report, Staten writes: "Cloud computing looks very much like the instantiation of many vendors' visions of the data center of the future; it's an abstracted, fabric-based infrastructure that enables dynamic movement, growth, and protection of services that is billed like a utility. It also has all the earmarks of a disruptive innovation: It is enterprise technology packaged to best fit the needs of small businesses and start-ups--not the enterprise."
The report highlights cloud computing's ability to accelerate the speed at which people can gain services, bypassing traditional IT departments altogether. And unlike other hosting services, services are based on consumption and the technology infrastructure is optimized for hosting several customers.
Forrester also pinpoints a range of companies as "cloud providers," including Amazon.com, Akamai Technologies, Joyent, Rackspace's Mosso software and Salesforce.com's Force.com development platform.
Meanwhile, Microsoft and Google are also speculated to be developing pay-per-drink computing services, such as hosted server processing and storage. Since these providers are optimized for large-scale hosts, they could potentially serve corporate customers, said Forrester.
Amazon Web Services suffered a major outage last month, affecting thousands of sites that rely on its S3 storage and EC2 cloud computing services. The outage led many customers to question the reliability of cloud computing and to have a backup plan in place in case another outage occurs.