MSFT-Amazon-GAE: and the future is?

2009-02-13 @ 22:04#

as i was working through several scenarios for cloud computing, it hit me. right now there are three serious players in the mix. and, IMO, only one actually 'gets it.'

Amazon = big iron in the cloud

Amazon offers 'instance-centered' cloud computing. you pick the OS, you fire up the instance, you config it just the way you like; whenever you like; as many as you like. it's all about the 'virtualization' of hardware. you can see this approach when you look at the various products offered by Amazon:

Microsoft Azure = enterprise software in the cloud

Microsoft Azure Services is all about the software and (in some form or another) multi-tenancy. to MSFT, the cloud holds all your code and data and gets it to wherever you are. who cares about the hardware; you want to control your software. you see that in the list of silos provided by MSFT;

Note that Microsoft lists two pure software plays (Sharepoint and dynamics CRM) as 'part of Azure.' a clear indication that this is about software; esp. enterprise-level stuff.

Google App Engine = the cloud

with GAE, it's simple. you get basically one thing - "The Engine." and it's implied that the 'engine' you are getting is the one the powers the Web. there's only one offering; one sign-up account; one programming environment; one data model; one thing - the cloud itself. when you sign up for your Google App Engine you get it all:

  • dynamic web serving, with full support for common web technologies
  • persistent storage with queries, sorting and transactions
  • automatic scaling and load balancing
  • APIs for authenticating users and sending email using Google Accounts
  • a fully featured local development environment that simulates Google App Engine on your computer

two of these models look like old wine in a new bottle.

one looks like a new way to think about applications.

i have a hunch i know which one of these three has a brighter future.