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Bernard Golden, April 14, 2014
When I first began working with cloud computing, I had the same gobsmacked reaction as my initial encounter with open source software: “Now that this is available, who’s going to stick with the old way of doing things?”
My reaction to cloud computing was, I believe, entirely appropriate. Its on-demand, highly scalable, pay-as-you-go resource access is entirely in tune with the next generation of applications that are transforming the technology industry. Or, if you will, fulfilling Mark Andreessen’s prophecy that “Software is eating the world.”
The bottom line is that cloud computing reduces the cost and friction of accessing computing resources in the service of creating and deploying applications. Inevitably, the effect of this reduced cost and friction, as noted in the well-established Jevon’s paradox, is that demand for computing resources will skyrocket. And, just as inevitably, this means that demand for applications, as a complementary good to cloud infrastructure, will skyrocket as well.
However, there’s a problem with this: for most application developers, dealing with the plumbing of IaaS in order to make applications agile, highly elastic, and continuously integrated and deployed is just too difficult. In effect, the IT bottleneck has moved from infrastructure availability to application flexibility.
And that’s what led me to ActiveState and its Stackato product. Cloud Foundry shields developers from the details of deployment plumbing and allows them to focus their efforts and energy on creating application functionality. It promises to smash the second cloud computing bottleneck and enable the vast explosion of applications that will result when little stands between application development and deployment.
I particularly like the fact that ActiveState combines two passions of mine: cloud computing and open source. The innovation fostered by both of these building blocks means that there is enormous potential for the company, and I’m pleased they asked me to be part of it.
The next five years will see just as large a revolution in application design and deployment as the last five has seen in infrastructure cost and availability. It’s going to be a wild ride and I look forward to every minute of it.