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All About the Cloud...

All About the Cloud...

May 31, 2011 0 Comments

Last week I spent 3 days at the 'All About The Cloud' conference in San Francisco, an event that is primarily targeted at ISV's, and where for the first time Progress had a booth in the vendor Expo.  Let's just review that, Progress had a booth at a Cloud conference, to many that may come as a bit of a surprise, a welcome one I hope! So what does Progress have to offer with regards to Cloud?  More than you may realize.

If you read my last Blog post you will know about Progress Arcade, our initiative to simplify the task of getting to the Cloud for our customers & partners. In addition to Progress Arcade, there is also the work that the DataDirect folks have been doing around connectivity with the DataDirect XE for JDBC, Salesforce.com driver that enables Java based SQL to connect directly to Salesforce.com using JDBC,  making it easier and faster to query and modify data in Salesforce.com  from custom-developed and commercial Java-based applications.  Last, but certainly not least, there is the Cloud Ecosystem vision that was delivered by Progress CTO John Bates at the recent Analyst Day in New York, which envisions the concept of Vertically specialized ecosystems utilizing Solution Accelerators running in the Cloud, all heady stuff!

The general theme of the conference was around the concepts of Cloud, and its perceived value and adoption, with each speaker having some strong numbers to back things up:

  • Bill McNee from Saugatuck Research asserted that 'By 2015, 50% of new IT spend will be based upon some element of Cloud'
  • Kara Swisher of the Wall Street Journal - 'Every Business will be in the Cloud in the next 10 years, it's just one of those inevitable things'
  • Matt Thompson of Microsoft - 'By 2014, Greater than 80% of all new software will be deployed in the Cloud, with 33% of all business applications being consumed via SaaS'

It was also interesting to hear from Matt Thompson that the investment being made by Microsoft into Cloud is the single biggest investment in Microsoft's history, period, and by an order of magnitude.

In addition to the booth, Progress also had a breakout session where our very own Colleen Smith, along with the CEO of RightScale, and the ISV Manager for Amazon Web Services, discussed the topic of Successfully Partnering in the Cloud, and how through building Progress Arcade we have partnered to have a solution that is a win-win for all parties involved. Maybe that should be a win-win-win...:-) Talking of Arcade there is a great article by Martin Banks 'Progress aims to open Cloud by abstracting it' that discusses the potential of opening up the Cloud to the non-tech-savvy brand masters via Progress Arcade!

One cautionary note in a keynote speech by Treb Ryan, CEO of OpSource, and also a guy who sold a company for $1.4b, yes, that's a b, was the issue of Cloud vendor lock-in, The concern that once an application is deployed with one vendor, how easy is it to move to a different vendor, especially in light of the recent Amazon outage.  Ryan's longer term vision was that of peer Clouds, which just as with peer networks, are transparent to the application and it's users, but the application can be seamlessly moved from one Cloud to another.  It's an interesting concept and will be something to watch, but he also stated that the only viable solution to achieve this today was by utilizing RightScale.  Remember them, the company that we at Progress are partnering with for our win-win-win!

Overall it was a great conference, well attended, we had some good discussions at the booth, and some cool feedback following the presentation by Colleen & co.  But it's also good to see Progress is at the vanguard of what's happening, as Jim Whitehurst, CEO of RedHat said in his keynote, "Cloud is a fundamental paradigm shift, like the move from mainframe to client server', and I couldn't agree more!

Thanks for reading


Mike Ormerod

View all posts from Mike Ormerod on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.

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