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Hybrid was yesterday, the future is Mesh Up

May 4, 2012

The Cloud Computing discussion is transforming. It is going from a technical discussion towards use case and the application of the possibilities enabled by it. I do favor this direction but do want to take a look one level deeper into how cloud computing changes behind the scenes. If you are a regular reader of this blog you do know that I do believe in segmentation as a right and first step towards the cloud. I have even called it the “silver bullet to cloud computing”. But the world is moving on and while segmentation and the usage of hybrid scenarios are absolutely valid the future of the cloud lies beyond that.

The future of the cloud is Mesh Ups

What is a Mesh Up in a cloud context you might ask? Here is my take on it. Where hybrid is separating clearly defined worlds, mesh ups combine different worlds. Where hybrid needs an upfront decision or a turn of a switch to move workloads, mesh ups do this dynamically and without human interaction.

It is about systems environments that combine on premise and cloud computing in an integrated way.

It is about applications that are created to work across these delivery boundaries rather than either or.

It is about enhancing the local capacity with cloud resources in a seamless way when it is needed.

Is this really new? It is not that nobody has yet thought in this direction but the barriers to these integrated and flexible environments have been high so far. You cannot take your on premises application and easily extend it to the cloud. This starts with the languages used through the APIs allowed and ends with questions of portability of applications between these two worlds. As a result the major direction today is hybrid, where applications either run in the cloud or on premises but not in a combined way.

So it will probably be a new generation of applications running as mesh ups while only very few old applications will be modified to run as a mesh up. It needs additional efforts on both sides, the cloud computing service provider as well as the application developer. But it will deliver real value. Do you remember one of the most famous cloud computing arguments that you do not need to run a system for 100% of the performance if you use only 60% of for 90% of the time?  This was brought forward to explain on demand and why the cloud is adding value. This is even truer in a mesh up environment. Rather than moving all of it to the cloud and losing the investment in the local data center / HW / operations, you can extend this local environment in a seamless way.

Software companies are stepping up to become cloud computing service providers. That is a huge step for most of them. The very next step is now two-fold.

1. Empower developers to build mesh ups by using non-proprietary made programming languages and interfaces.

2. Create new versions of the own software that are mesh up ready out of the box.

Especially the latter point will be interesting to watch. Even if a software vendor does not offer cloud services itself they need to be prepared to answer this challenge.

As always in the IT (and in the world) we will see a great mix of solutions. Mesh Ups will not replace hybrid environments in the same way cloud computing has not replaced on premise computing completely. But be assured that Mesh Ups will get a lot of visibility and will be one of the next hype topics in the cloud computing space.

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