2011 is already meeting up to the various industry analysts’ forecasts: it sure is getting cloudy. That is evident with the amount of new architectures that I am designing for my prospective customers. From an architecture design perspective, I always believed that hosted solutions evolved directly from the datacenter-centric architectures which we systems engineers have been designing since early 2005. I always operated under the assumption that from a potential customer viewpoint, the primary reason why some customers are moving to Communications as a Software Service (CAAS) is due to the typical benefits they derived such as lower capital expenditure, hardware costs, savings in labor, etc. However, what I did not foresee was that the real reason for this trend is that CAAS and/or cloud computing directly support an organization’s overall “green initiatives.”
Recently I encountered a customer who stated the primary reason she is looking at our CAAS offering is that “cloud computing will do for data centers what virtualization did for standalone servers.” She was kind enough to let me know that she was paraphrasing from a blog by Vivek Kundra, White House CIO. I like his idea of Apps.gov, which is an online storefront for federal agencies to quickly browse and purchase cloud-based IT services. I like his analogy of equating hosted solutions like CAAS and cloud computing to utility consumptions like electricity or water. For such necessary resources, users or businesses pay for what they use and such usage can be scaled to meet future expansion or shrinkage across a wide spectrum of consumers. Similarly, hardened and proven datacenters would provide contact center and IP telephony services to our partners and customers while simultaneously supporting their green initiatives.
With that in mind, and with what I am experiencing on a daily basis with configurations/designs in which I am involved, and considering the upcoming federal incentives for deploying green technology, this humble geeky systems engineer would like to update the forecast for 2011. Not only will it be cloudy, but expect a strong chance of Green.