On Friday, during our cloud computing event, Whose Cloud Is It Anyway?, Charles River Ventures partner George Zachary noted, “The cloud is the new dotcom.” He was one of the judges for the demo startups, and for good or for bad, he might be right. Cloud computing as a term is broad enough to encompass most internet startups and already is in danger of being latched onto as the next catch-all category. Yet there is also obviously something there. Amazon, Salesforce, Google, Microsoft, and even Facebook all want to become the cloud platform of choice for startups and developers to build their Web apps on.
And we are already seeing some impressive cloud-based apps that would have been much more difficult to build without these platforms. During the demos, for instance, Veodia showed an app for recording video in the cloud straight from a laptop’s camera—no uploading required. FathomDB is putting a relational database in the cloud (on Amazon’s EC2), and Diomede Storage is offering its own cloud service with a twist: online storage where you can monitor the power consumption of each file and act accordingly.
Below are four video highlights from the roundtable that followed the demos. In the first video, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff argues that “we are on the threshold of fundamentally a new paradigm of computing.” He defines cloud computing both as as software-as-a-service and as platform-as-a-service (and judging by how many cloud platforms were represented at the event, it seems like everyone wants to be the latter).
In the second video, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels explains why Amazon is in the cloud computing business in the first place, and says that overall for cloud computing in general: “This is still Day One.” We talked a lot about how enterprise apps are starting to look more and more like consumer Web apps, partly because they are both being built on similar back-end cloud architectures. But in the third video, Google’s Vic Gundotra takes exception to the idea that enterprise apps mimicking consumer apps is anything new.
And in the final video, Ning CEO Gina Bianchini talks about the importance of video in the cloud and FriendFeed co-founder Paul Buchheit talks about how consumers don’t care where all the data and applications are stored, but that applications on different cloud platforms nevertheless have to be able to seamlessly interact with each other. (As a side note, the reason I am on a video screen in some of these clips is because I joined the event remotely).
To watch the video highlights, just click through the playlist below. For those interested in watching more, you can watch the entire three hours of the event here.