The rise of home clouds will boost cloud usage in business

With the forthcoming release of iCloud, there's finally a cloud for every home -- and to help enterprise adoption

By now we've all heard about the Apple's iCloud service: iCloud provides the ability to share applications, videos, music, data, and other resources among Apple devices. I suspect Apple will have a good run with iCloud, considering it solves a problem many Apple users -- including me -- have and pricing it right.

However, what's most important about the appearance of iCloud is not the service itself, but the fact it signifies the move of IaaS clouds into homes. I call these home clouds.

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We've had clouds at home for some time now, such as the use of SaaS services like those provided by Google. However, iCloud is certainly an IaaS-oriented service, and the ability to use a mass-marketed IaaS cloud is new.

Although Apple gets most of the ink, the reality is that providers such as DropBox, Box.net, and Google already provide file-sharing and storage services. iCloud simply provides many of the same file-sharing services with tight integration into Apple software such as iTunes, iWork, iOS, and Mac OS X.

At the same time, many of the newer network storage devices, such as those from Iomega, not only let you use clouds for tiered and/or redundant storage, but actually let you become a cloud as well. This "personal cloud" service is free with the Iomega NAS device.

What's important here is that most people got SaaS when they used SaaS in their personal lives, such as Yahoo Mail and Gmail. Now, the same can be said about IaaS with the emergence of iCloud and other file-sharing and storage services that focus on the home market. Thus, I won't need to have as many long whiteboard conversations as I try to explain the benefits of leveraging storage and compute infrastructure you don't actually own. I can now say, "It's like iCloud." And the lights suddenly come on.

With the acceptance of the home cloud, more acceptance of the enterprise clouds will naturally follow. Thanks, Apple -- I think.

This article, "The rise of home clouds will boost cloud usage in business," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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