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New Architectures in a Cloudy World

Cloud computing is a victim of its own success. For one thing, cloud advocates have promised so much—worry-free, turnkey IT that just works— that the reality is bound to disappoint. Worse, clouds seem immune to tough economic times, so nearly every technology company is wrapping itself in a cloud mantle, and every dynamic website is claiming it’s a cloud. We don’t want to get bogged down in definitions, but any discussion of clouds requires a clear understanding of three things: Cloud technology versus a cloud business model. Infrastructure-, platform-, and software-as-a-service... Continued

The Road to SaaS

Since the dawn of computing, there has always been a tension between centralized computing and computing at the edge. Mainframes were centrally managed, but as processing became cheaper; they gave way to minicomputers and servers.  One reason for this was the high cost of bandwidth—as Microsoft’s Jim Gray once remarked, “compared to the cost of moving bits around, everything else is free.” So companies ran those servers near end users. This proximity came at a cost, however. The companies bought packaged software, which they tailored to their own needs and ran themselves. That caused... Continued