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Blog Bytes: Cloud Computing's Billion-Dollar Week

The cloud got significantly more crowded this week.

Microsoft announced a new partnership with Toyota that would link the automaker's in-car technologies to its customers via Windows Azure. IBM launched a duo of products, SmartCloud and Workload Deployer, to enhance its public and private cloud offerings. And Dell capped off the cloud rush by announcing its plan to invest $1 billion in cloud computing, including the build-out of 22 new datacenters around the world.

These moves come just a few weeks after Hewlett-Packard's own announcement of a public cloud service in the works.

Why the rush? As ZDNet's Between the Lines blog put it:

Why are all these hardware giants starting to sound like Amazon Web Services? They are all facing a stark reality years from now: No one wants to build their own data centers. Data centers are meant to be outsourced to some other company or taken to the cloud.

As for each company's individual announcements, AllThingsD's New Enterprise blog had this to say about IBM's product rollout:

In this case IBM is doing what it does best, taking the new technologies and whipping them into shape so that they're secure enough, stay online enough, and are flexible enough that large enterprises can feel comfortable with them. If it works, IBM hopes to generate $7 billion in revenues from cloud services by 2015. If that turns out to be the case, by then IBM would control about half the cloud services market.

On Dell's $1 billion cloud gambit, Forbes' At Your Servers blog clarifies what's at stake for the company:

It was a lot to digest, amounting to this: Dell's survival, like any large computer company's, depends on finding a healthy place in the world of big data centers. The role it sees is being the critical hardware provider, adding value to what is likely to be a commodity business by getting into software that bridges the old and new worlds, and services around a few key industries, most likely healthcare and retail.

As for Microsoft's deal with Toyota, it's an opportunity for other Redmond services besides Azure, according to Wired's Autopia blog:

The venture also could provide a new market for Microsoft Hohm, a home-energy-efficiency Web app. According to CNET, Microsoft believes the software could be used to manage charging and battery use in plug-in hybrids and EVs.

Overall, the glut of cloud computing headlines underscores the contention in Forbes' Invested Interest blog -- that cloud computing is just the logical next step in technological evolution:

Tech guru George Gilder sees cloud computing as the next frontier in technology, and a logical extension of Bell's law. Bell's law, named after Gordon Bell, states that every ten years, computing capabilities will improve 100-fold.

"This enables and requires a fundamental change in computer architectures," Gilder told Steve Forbes. "And we're seeing it today in the rise of cloud computing."

Keep tabs on the latest cloud computing headlines -- and there have been plenty -- at RCPmag.com's cloud computing section.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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