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Author Interview: Toby Velte

Toby Velte is the author of the book Cloud Computing, A Practical Approach. Toby spoke to us about his book and his vision on cloud computing.

theCloudTutorial: Tell us about your book on cloud computing?

Toby Velte: We felt that Cloud Computing represent a fundamental change in how technology is used to store, compute, and deliver information. The impact of this will affect all of us whether we know it or not. This is why we knew we had to write this book. Unlike other volumes we didn't want to talk about generalities, so we included tons of specific information to get organizations started in cloud computing. For example, after we explain the fundamentals of developing applications for the cloud and the benefits to you and your users, we show you the major players and how to get started on your first cloud-based application.

theCloudTutorial: Which trends do you see in this decade for cloud computing?

Toby Velte: We see a continuous maturation of service offerings and adoption. Starting out will be the low-value utility solutions such as hosting email, storage, and simple compute in the cloud. Next we'll see more advanced value-added services that might serve a particular purpose for a specific vertical such as price optimization services for retailers. A retailer might use this cloud-based service because it doesn't give them a differentiation in the marketplace if they do it in house. Then we'll see companies form aggregated services in the cloud and offer them to organizations. They might not even generate the initial data, but they aggregate it add value via analytics and then deliver it as a service to their consumers.

theCloudTutorial: Which cloud computing vendors are going to grow exponentially in the next couple of years?

Toby Velte: I think at first we'll see an explosion of the major players including Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and IBM. They'll grab all the low value added service and gain market share based on their low cost to serve. How can any private organization compete with the global reach and scale of these titans? Then as the services or utilities in the cloud become more sophisticated, we'll see new entrants gaining market share as well as some well-known and trusted firms today that decide to reinvent their services for the cloud.

theCloudTutorial: Any cloud computing products that you use yourself?

Toby Velte: Like most early adopters I am out there doing collaboration and social interaction in the cloud today: simple social web sites, file sharing and communication services. Of course, there's services we've been using for years that have effectively been cloud based such as all of the Live offerings from Microsoft. If you've ever joined an Xbox Live game, you've probably used the cloud. We also see many applications that you'd never know are in the cloud but run there today. For example, just the other day I ordered a pizza from Domino's on their online web site. We all watched the progress of our pizza online from the initial preparation until it showed up at our door. The next day I found out that that whole system runs in the cloud.

theCloudTutorial: Is the hype around cloud computing justified?

Toby Velte: There is a tremendous of hype around Cloud Computing to be sure. I think there is very little messaging to give people about why Cloud Computing is so important so it seems like hype without the substance to back it up. In short, Cloud Computing can deliver ubiquitous information services across the globe across any platform. It can be elastic in its demands on the infrastructure while the infrastructure and maintenance of it can be invisible to the consumer and the organization. It is supplied like a low-cost utility to the payers for a 'pay for what you use' model. Lastly, this allow organizations to focus on their business not on the IT business.