Gartner has recenty predicted that by 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no-internet” policy is today. CIOs will increasingly leverage a multitude of cloud computing providers across the entire IT stack to enable a huge variety of use cases and meet the requirements of their business unit peers. Indeed, the tides are shifting toward a “cloud-first” or even “cloud-only” policy... 

Marc Wilczek

Where The Cloud Will Grow in 2012: Look Back at 2011

Where The Cloud Will Grow in 2012: Look Back at 2011

2012 is still newborn. But the year holds much promise for cloud computing’s ascendancy in the public’s regard and in the business world’s harnessing of its assets. Looking back at 2011 sheds light on three areas where progress might be made this year: open source platforms, the cloud as a force in popular electronics, and government interest in cloud computing.

The first landmark event of last year arguably took place in May, when IaaS platform Project Olympus was mounted by mobile business cloud company Citrix. Designed to serve as Citrix’s stab at distributing an open source platform, Project Olympus was made available for IT consumers eager to furnish their own spaces in the cloud, either public or private. Olympus functions by harnessing the code from flagship operating system OpenStack, which had been in development since summer 2010 — a collaboration between NASA and Rackspace. Project Olympus, however, stands out as the very first commercialized distribution of OpenStack’s ample resource aimed squarely at large enterprises.

The summer of 2011 was set ablaze by the unveiling of Apple’s iCloud in June. The late Steve Jobs revolutionized consumer electronics by marrying artful craftsmanship with technological brilliance; the iCloud promised to do the same for cloud computing, improving its palatability with a still somewhat distrustful public. iCloud essentially coordinates a user’s experience in every Apple product or software, from the iPad to the iPod, creating a unified harmony between each device the user owns. Delivering his keynote address at the Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference, Steve Jobs further piqued the crowd’s interest with a strong proclamation: “the iCloud will demote the PC and Mac to being a device.”

The government began to wade into the cloud noticeably as well last year. Its biggest stride yet occurred last August, when Amazon WebServices announced its release of GovCloud, a private cloud service for governmental agencies. The move surprised many, as few believed that the government would put up with the less-than-watertight security potential that the cloud had been known for. Amazon allayed Capitol Hill’s fears with an upgrade in how rigorously GovCloud would maintain informational security. The cloud service was designed to adhere to meticulous regulatory mandates, such as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and PCI DSS Level One. GovCloud’s progress with Washington’s agencies was seen as a case study for other daring cloud endeavors in the public sector.

How exactly will the cloud shape 2012, from consumer products to Capitol Hlll? Look to CloudTweaks all year long to keep you in the know, first and best.

By Jeff Norman

Jeff Norman

Jeff Norman is a freelance writer currently based in New York City. He's moved into writing about cloud computing from substantial work in culture and the arts. He earned his undergraduate degree in English at Stanford and has studied at Oxford and Cambridge.