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Mission-Critical Features and the Public Cloud

Enterprise cloud security features are finding their way into existing public cloud computing stacks

Google announced last week the end of the "experimental" availability of its high-replication data store; it's now a "real" part of the Google App Engine SDK. This is part of a key 2012 trend: Cloud providers will rush to address cloud computing concerns from enterprise IT -- including security, performance, and availability -- through the addition of features taken from existing private enterprise computing environments.

In the past, many cloud providers dismissed requests that features be added to replicate what existed in enterprise data centers. Typically, they referred to traditional enterprise computing methods as overly complex, convoluted, and costly. Indeed, many even gave this criticism a name: "enterprisey."

Now, Google App Engine can replicate data across multiple data centers, and thus work around availability issues in the case of maintenance and outages that affect a single instance. This offering is a result of businesses demanding such features before they move to the public cloud.

Enterprise cloud security features are also finding their way into existing public cloud computing stacks. Some now provide complex but effective security, typically on the check lists of enterprises about to adopt public clouds. The same goes for management and governance features.

Many enterprise IT organizations are putting up roadblocks to the adoption of cloud computing by listing features that they assert are mission-critical, knowing full well that the cloud providers do not yet provide such features. Now, cloud providers are calling the IT bluff (or addressing these mission-critical requirements, depending on your point of view) by adding these features to their road maps. Also, by doing this, the cloud providers are able to increase revenues -- seems logical.

The problem I have with this process is that much of what's valuable in the world of cloud computing is the simplicity and cost advantage -- which is quickly going away as cloud providers pile on features. The good news is that enterprises won't have an excuse not to move to cloud computing, and adoption will accelerate in 2012 and 2013. However, as cloud offerings appear to be more and more like enterprise software, the core cost advantage of cloud computing could be eroding.

This article, "Public clouds call IT's bluff," 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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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.

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