Tony Bain

Building products & teams that leverage data, analytics, AI & automation to do amazing things

When Clouds Evaporate your Data

October 11, 2008 | Tony Bain

An example of various cloud colorsImage via Wikipedia

My response to the following post from Billy Bosworth:

The surge to the cloud feels like a certainty (as much as anything can be a certainty in technology).  It reminds me of the momentum shifts felt when things were moving to client/server computing, and more recently around virtualization.  I think the media is largely in a frenzy precisely *because* it’s the newest thing we’ve had to talk about of “mass” interest since virtualization.  That frenzy feeds on itself (as evidenced even  by my own posts on the topic).

This highlights why I think it will be difficult for a startup or even a well established but small time player to launch a successful cloud data service.  I have posted my concerns about this in the past in relation to 10gen.  Building a key part of your business on top of a shaky or unproven foundation is a never a great idea, and this holds true regardless if you are a Web 2.0 application startup or a more traditional business.  How will you suffer if part of your stack disappears due to their infrastructure or process failures or they just run out of funding and turn everything off?  If this also takes all your data with it then you will be doubly screwed.  An off cloud, locally controlled backup in a non-proprietary format will go a long way to reduce such concerns.  But still if you have your data in hand it is going to take you at least a week or two to port to another provider.

So while I think Cloud data services will have a broad appeal and their acceptance will continue to grow and grow, I think we will see a natural attraction to the big and robust vendors, meaning overtime the vendors owning the market share of data services in the cloud will be largely the same as those owning the market share of data services in the enterprise (of course with a few key exceptions).