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4/28/2009
07:51 PM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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Microsoft, HP-EDS, Google Push Their Cloud Computing Agendas

First off, Microsoft has cut a deal with Hewlett-Packard's EDS outsourcing unit to deliver up to $3 billion in cloud computing services. Meanwhile, Google is taking issue with the whole idea of private, or internal clouds. Bottom line, cloud computing continues to gather strength even as skeptics try to puncture the hype.

First off, Microsoft has cut a deal with Hewlett-Packard's EDS outsourcing unit to deliver up to $3 billion in cloud computing services. Meanwhile, Google is taking issue with the whole idea of private, or internal clouds. Bottom line, cloud computing continues to gather strength even as skeptics try to puncture the hype.According to Paul McDougall at InformationWeek, "EDS will act as a primary reseller for Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite, which includes Internet versions of Exchange, Office, SharePoint, and Live Meeting. EDS will integrate the products into its Workplace Services portfolio, and will offer complementary consulting, implementation, and integration services." And Microsoft has also Microsoft struck cloud services deals with Accenture and Avanade to help businesses migrate applications from the desktop to the cloud. This should all help boost Microsoft's software-plus-services approach as a major player in the cloud.

Not to be outdone, Google has challenged the recent McKinsey report championing virtualization over cloud computing, which said that while the cloud may be good for SMBs, it's not ready for enterprise use. According to Rajen Sheth, Senior Product Manager, Google Apps, the real cloud lets companies "leverage hardware infrastructure, distributed software infrastructure, and applications that are built for the cloud, and let us run it for them. This offers them much lower cost applications, and removes the IT maintenance burden that can cripple many organizations today. It also allows customers to deliver innovation to their end users much more rapidly."

Sheth says that McKinsey's conclusion that cloud computing was more expensive than running your own data center "only considered the hardware cost savings of the cloud" and left out the benefits of lower cost applications, removing the IT maintenance burden, and speeding innovation.

InformationWeek's Charles Babcock recently defended the concept of the private cloud, but I'm not sure I agree. I have no issue with the concept or the technology, but the name bugs me. If you ask me, when you're talking about something that's private or internal, it may still have value, but it's not really a cloud.

As the enterprise world battles back and forth over the technology, the business benefits, and the semantics of cloud computing, small and midsize businesses can take heart in the notion that almost every objection to cloud computing has less applicabiltiy to them.

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