A couple of days ago while presenting at one of our workshops, we had an attendee ask us, “What do you see happening with cloud in 10 years?” The folks on the stage didn’t seem to have a really great answer, and it got me thinking of what my own answer would be. The general answer on the stage was, “Man that’s a hard call because the horizon is so far out”, and they’re right. That IS far out. Just think about it. 10 Years ago was 2010, back then I was just barely starting to consider AWS for one of my client’s data backup, but NOBODY was really taking that option seriously. My client’s reaction was, “that wouldn’t be secure”. Back then, Hadoop was just starting its meteoric rise up the hype cycle.
Despite the utter ineptitude of making such a prediction, I’ve come to value predictions because they help you test your perception of reality and allow you to correct your views. So to that end, I spent some time thinking about what the cloud might become and codified it into something I’m sure I’ll regret reading later.
As I was thinking of parallels to the current landscape of cloud vendors, I happened on the thought that Grids, Networks, and otherwise Multi-Tenant Services might have similar lifecycles. For example, back when AC and DC power was being introduced to the masses, Edison and Westinghouse were fiercely competing for the same landscape of customers. Part of that strategy was togo deep into the value chain providing products that could run on their electricity. This was part of the motivation that drove Thomas Edison to develop the light bulb and other such inventions. The more solutions the competing inventors had, the more compelling the service was. However, over time, more and more products came to market that could use the AC power standard, and over time General Electric's products were in the minority of products that could plug into that grid. Think today about all the products you have in your home, how many are GE? Do you even think of the power source when you plug something into the wall? No…
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