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    The Bungee Line was an audio podcast for web developers, covering web API's, software development, and the creation of richly interactive web applications.

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The Emergence of Cloud-based Computing

Discovery at the great Sutter’s Mill in the sky: the age of cloud-based computing has arrived, and new entrants are appearing in the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) space each week.

The founders of Bungee Labs and creators of Bungee Connect (whose developer network I now direct) had this insight a few years ago, and set about creating a platform especially well suited to this coming age. Salesforce also had their ear to the ground ahead of the curve, introducing Force.com last fall. Heroku also offers a very slick cloud-based platform based on Ruby-on-Rails.

Last week when Google announced App Engine. Although lacking several features of a true PaaS offering (its really more a Python hosting offering with some some supporting infrastructure components), the announcement did a lot to validate the seriousness of PaaS. Across the web, it seems that bloggers now herald the new model as an emerging reality rather than an inevitable future whose time has to be determined.

Now Intuit enters with a Flex-based offering, too.

This is shaping up to have all the characteristics of a technology gold rush. Surely, there will be more entrants. If the gold rush analogy applies, all claims get staked early, some claims will prove richer than others, an economy will rapidly grow upon the initial base, and even after it normalizes again, permanent institutions will remain long after.

It most certainly will be interesting to watch unfold.

4 Responses

  1. The use of the term “cloud” has been rather silly, but this paradigm will become an integral part of computing in the future.

  2. @Roy: The term fits pretty well for me. Over the years, “cloud” has been one of the more frequently-used metaphors for computer networks. So, it just sort of seems like a “best metaphor available,” I guess. There is something that smacks of cheesy marketing speak, but at the same time, what else would you use? –T

  3. PaaS changes the game for ISVs the way SaaS changes the game for consumers. Small ISVs can now compete with larger vendors, as they can rapidly deploy new applications, scale their application to millions of users — without having to spend on building and maintaining their own infrastructure.

  4. I sometimes think of its as “pools”.

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