Cloud computing roars into 2012

The consumer cloud, OpenStack, and more cloud outages all figure into our future

I've already voiced my take on the key trends shaping the future of cloud computing. But what should you expect in the near term? Here's what I think will happen in cloud computing next year.

Rapid rise of data living in the cloud. I've called 2013 the year of data in the cloud, and I stand behind that. What about 2012? Consider the data problems faced by most enterprises, as well as the availability of newer technology such as Hadoop and cloud-based relational database systems. We will see this space explode next year, and the momentum will hit in 2013.

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The rise of the "consumer cloud." Also called "retail clouds," offerings such as iCloud,, Dropbox, Office 365, and Google Apps will dominate much of the spending in 2012 as the at-home market finds that cloud computing is both convenient and cheap.

OpenStack becomes more confusing. It's an open source platform, it's a product, it's a service engagement. What is it? I have high hopes for the OpenStack technology next year. Numerous new products will be based upon OpenStack, and companies will embrace OpenStack as their cloud platform of choice. However, OpenStack will leave many people confused. By 2013, the technology will be better understood.

A few more big outages, but nobody will care. I predicted a few cloud outages this year, and they did indeed occur, with Amazon Web Services taking several well-publicized naps. However, cloud computing grew and continues to grow, with revenue hitting $1 billion. I suspect we'll have more big outages this coming year. The press will go nuts, but data and processes will remain in the cloud and the growth will proceed.

This article, "Cloud computing roars into 2012," originally appeared at Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.


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