Some people say that it is a trait of the British media to build up the latest phenomenon and then knock it down. Thanks to the internet, we can see that in fact this is a global trait of the media generally – and the latest victim is cloud computing.
Cloud computing has had a big build-up of momentum over the last few months as journalists have queued up to predict that this is the most important IT trend since, well, you name it: client/server, Ethernet, the internet itself, relational databases. Delete as appropriate or create your own suggestion, but let’s agree that the model of IT being managed over the internet could well be a big deal.
It has helped that suppliers have put a bit of meat on the bone recently. The Amazon.com S3 service is up and running with named customers while Microsoft, IBM, HP (video), Intel, Yahoo and Google have all announced services and infrastructure plans.
With the upside reported it was time for the media to move on to giving the whole concept a righteous kicking -- and once again suppliers obliged with Apple’s MobileMe widely declared buggy and rubbish, Amazon’s S3 suffering an outage and Google’s Gmail following suit.
Google did itself a favour by issuing an instant mea culpa but it was never going to be enough to block a wave of I-told-you-so articles, suggesting that these problems have proven how wonky and unreliable the notion of cloud computing is. Well, that’s showbiz.
Of course, client/server computing generated the same headlines getting on for 20 years ago, as did Unix before it, and yet a great many of the world’s mission-critical systems run on such platforms. These are early days for cloud computing and even in the current media world where stories age within minutes of being posted it might be wise to mute a few headlines. After all, and thanks to the cloud, the world will be able to read predictions of doom into posterity.