Kicking of the new year (and a new decade) with a lively debate on a technological concept that is barely out of its infancy is always a good thing. Fred Cummins over at HP recently penned “Pursuit of the Intercloud is Premature” and caught the eye of several of us for whom Intercloud is near and dear and, I think, provided a great way to start off the year by declaring the concept of Intercloud “not yet worthy of concern”. 

blockquote If this elastic mesh is provided by a single cloud provider, then it is simply a different spin on cloud computing.  If it is a mesh of independent cloud providers, sharing workloads, then it is a vision that is not worth concern within the next decade. [emphasis added]

I’m going to have to disagree with Fred for two reasons. The first is based on the rate of change and innovation in technology in the last decade that certainly points to the next decade being just as disruptive. Consider that ten years ago, in the year 2000, most of the web as it exists today – Web 2.0, APIs, integration, collaboration, video, audio, user-generated content – didn’t exist. From a technology perspective virtualization wasn’t even a twinkle in a VC’s eye and in the infrastructure world, well, we were just beginning to explore the advantages of moving software-based solutions to hardware and hadn’t fully managed to integrate infrastructure solutions let alone anything else.

The rate of change in technology makes a “decade” in real time more like a century in technology-time, as far as innovation and use of new technology goes. So to say that the vision of Intercloud isn’t worth concern for the next decade isn’t realistic. It is imminently more practical to consider where we want to be in ten years and head in that direction than it is to stand pat and let our options essentially stagnate.

The second reason I’m going to disagree with Fred is on the basis that Intercloud is not an “exclusive or” concept. We are not “here” or “there”, but rather we’re going to be, for some time, “somewhere in between.” Intercloud is an evolution from where we are now to where we (think we) want to be – a customer defined mesh of independent cloud providers sharing workloads. As we move through this next decade we’re going to see the application of Intercloud concepts being applied in an evolutionary – not revolutionary – manner.