There are some big names jumping into cloud computing in a big way. With announcements, rumors etc from IBM, Cisco, Sun, Microsoft, it's hard to ignore what's going on. The question to me is how much of this is hype designed to sell more hardware and software licenses and how much of it is really good stuff.
I think most of us remember the not to distance '90s. All of the above vendors made a killing selling stuff that turned out to be somewhat useful but not nearly as useful as the hype suggested (I worked for one them so no bias here :)). After the bubble crashed SOA sprang from the ashes like the proverbial phoenix. The promise of business agility and reusable software was the calling cry. And companies bit once again.
Here we are in 2009 and folks are finally starting to figure out that A word in SOA is not about what you can buy. Good news for the business, bad news for the software and hardware vendors. Alas we need something new to sell. What about white puffy things you see in the sky? Everyone likes white puffy things, I bet we can sell a lot. Okay I know I'm being a bit on the cynical side but I can see the vendors lining up to tell me how they can cloud enable my water fountain(It's already SOA enabled).
I do think there is promise in the clouds but I'm also a bit wary whenever vendors start generating buzz like this. When the vendors show up at your door just make sure to raise your right eyebrow. There is a lot of potential with cloud computing, there is not doubt about it. If you want some good coverage of cloud computing, check out Brenda Michelson's live blogging on the Cloud Computing Expo. Brenda has actually worked in the real world and provides pragmatic insight into this topic and others.
See you in the clouds.