In the first post we looked at some common mistakes resulting in premature “Commoditization” declarations.
In this post we would look at IAAS and PAAS in more detail.
In software, it is rare to have Nobel-prize-worthy-discoveries. Still, it does not mean all inventions are trivial. At the high level, analyst point of view, Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 share the same technology. In the real world, there are many differences. In the real world, Vista was a complete failure although it was “a commodity operating system” and windows 7 was well accepted.
And these days we have people speaking about IAAS ( infrastructure as a service) as a “dying dinosaur” because PAAS (platform as a service) is the new king. They must be kidding. Lets reconsider the facts.
- Force.Com, the first PAAS, is not working out. I don’t know of any major company that built their entire successful new company on top it. The licensing, performance and “Governor rules” caused it to fail. What works nicely inside salesfroce.com did not work well for the rest of the world. Maybe that why they bought Heroku. Did any of their other acquisitions (DimDim\ManyMoon\Jigsaw\Etacts) run on Force.Com ?
- VMFORCE.COM does not exist yet, as far as I can tell. It is just a press release , at this stage. When I read through the hype, there is no cloud portability at all, and it still looks like running JAVA on a single server with no scaling or multi-tenant capabilities. The home page seems quite stale.
- AZURE is not much better off. At its current stage Azure is more similar to COM+ than it is to .NET . Microsoft has invested so much marketing money on Azure that people think it actually has something that can compete with EC2. In the real world, Microsoft has no solution to run Virtual Machines in the cloud for public access. Their PAAS solution can not run any of their applications – SharePoint,Exchange,Office, SQL Server Dynamics are all running on internal IAAS solution, not on Azure PAAS. Wait 3-7 years for this to happen.
- Did anyone hear of “Facebook” or “Twitter” using any PAAS platform ? Funny, but they are not keen to run their services on their biggest competitors platform. I wonder why.
- Even Amazon EC2, who is by far the market leader and innovator , has long, long road for to achieve the core feature set. Seriously. They added user management few weeks ago,only through the API, after four years in production. That’s probably the #1 feature any enterprise expects to find in any software service .
- No one has really solved the problem of WAN based storage replication (despite bandwidth being “a commodity” :) ). This is critical for IAAS success in the enterprise.
The most expensive and longest effort is rewriting existing software. There were trillions of dollars spent in coding existing applications. Why would anyone rewrite the same business logic in a new platform, if they don’t need the scale?
VMWARE succeeded because it has great economic benefits without requiring a rewrite. PAAS solution is probably the right way to go in the long run, but might stay marginal for quite long time, IMO. IAAS has a great start and would continue to evolve, but is far from being a commodity when looking beyond the hype.