Cloud Computing Lock-In and Portability

As vendors discuss and fight over private & public clouds, I was thinking about AppDrop. This allows you to run Google AppEngine applications in Amazon’s EC2. This code is currently a proof of concept, and probably not production-ready, but it’s open source, so feel free to poke around. I realized that this is an excellent example of a new service/application to offer in the cloud computing sector.

For simplicity’s sake, I’ll define cloud computing as a 3 tier system offering

  1. Software as a Service (GMail)
  2. Platform as a Service (Azure, Google App Engine)
  3. Infrastructure as a Service (EC2, S3)

AppDrop allows you to move down this stack, (from PaaS to IaaS). Of course as you do this, you have to recreate some of the things that were available out of the box at the higher level. We would expect to see this as you are moving down the value chain.

This type of migration keeps you from being dependent on any one vendor. I think trying to create your own private cloud is going to miss the mark for all but the largest enterprises, and even then, I don’t think it’s in their core competencies to do so. I’ll be doing some posts next week on Windows Azure and moving from an internally hosted application to Windows Azure (from IaaS to PaaS).

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