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Gartner: Cloud computing's most over-hyped terms

Brandon Butler | Aug. 15, 2012
Cloud computing is a hyped-up term, a recent report from Gartner found.

Cloud computing is a hyped-up term, a recent report from Gartner found. But behind the hype there are significant benefits to some technologies in the cloud industry and some of the terms being floated around in the cloud are bigger buzzwords than others.

"The cloud" is a broad term that encompasses many different technologies, similar to the way the Web or the Internet have many different aspects to it, Gartner says. And many of the individual aspects of the cloud computing industry each have their own degree of hype surrounding them. Gartner attempts to put this all in perspective by using its Hype Cycle formula to evaluate more than three dozen specific technologies within cloud computing.

The lifecycle of a technology is broken down into five stages: First there is a trigger for a technology, or a reason it is needed. This then leads to the technology being hyped to the point of a peak of inflated expectations. Following that, there is a trough of disillusionment in which reality about the benefits of a technology are understood. For technologies that are truly meaningful, they stick around for a slope of enlightenment and finally to a plateau of productivity.

The overall cloud computing industry is past its peak of inflated expectations, Gartner says, but other aspects of the cloud computing industry are at various points of the lifecycle.


Some of the biggest buzzwords in cloud computing today are technologies that are at the peak of inflated expectations, Gartner found.

Big data: Big data in the cloud, Gartner says, is an emerging technology near the peak of its inflated expectations. The research firm is high on the potential for big data though, describing it as transformational. The ever increasing number of digital devices is creating an exponential increase in the amount of data volumes. The benefits that could be derived from big data will rapidly accelerate the technology's lifecycle through the trough of disillusionment and into mainstream adoption within two to five years. Some of these big data technologies represent a great leap forward in processing management, Gartner says. Through technologies such as MapReduce and Apache Hadoop, access to big data analytics tools are increasing in the market. Businesses that can leverage that data to their benefit will outperform their competitors, Gartner says.

PaaS: Cloud computing is broken down into three service models, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). Gartner says PaaS, by far, is the most hyped of these terms right now. Think of PaaS as middleware in the cloud, where customized applications can be built and hosted outside of an organization's own data center. Some of the biggest names in on-premise middleware offerings are pushing toward the cloud, including IBM, Oracle, Red Hat and Microsoft. Gartner says that push will only continue. "As leading software vendors adjust their long-term strategies to reflect the emerging importance of cloud computing to their customer and prospect bases, they are investing to establish a leadership position in the middle layer of PaaS," Gartner's report notes.


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