With all the bombardment of news about Cloud Computing, no real agreed upon standard definition of what the Cloud is, practically every company launching some sort of Cloud service daily, and some predicting the death of shared hosting because of the Cloud, I thought I’d do a post on the topic of hype and the Cloud.
When discussing hype, most analysts will refer to the Gartner Hype Cycle as shown below.
The first phase is the Technology Trigger. It’s the breakthrough of a new technology or product or product mix that creates interest and buzz. The visibility of the technology increases as the buzz increases, leading to the second phase called the Peak of Inflated Expectations. Here, the surrounding enthusiasm over the technology has created unrealistic expectations. Then the trajectory heads downward toward the third phase, the Trough of Disillusionment, due to the failure of the technology meeting its promise. The fourth phase is the Slope of Enlightenment, where those companies who persevere and continue to experiment come to understand the true benefit and practical uses of the technology. Then in the fifth phase, we have the Plateau of Productivity where the benefits of the technology has become widely known and accepted. At this point the technology has matured and/or has become stable.
Even though critics may bring up the fact that this is really a curve and not a true cycle, I think the hype cycle curve is a good visual tool. All technologies go through these phases and many of them fail as a product.
So now that you understand this hype cycle curve, where does Cloud Computing reside on it?
Well, according to Gartner, in their 2008 Hype Cycle report, Cloud Computing was in the upper part of the uptick toward the peak:
And the 2009 Gartner Hype Cycle report shows that Cloud computing has reached the top of the Peak of Inflated Expectations:
I’ll be discussing more stuff on hype in some other posts. Here, I wanted to just provide some background on the Gartner Hype Cycle and give some examples of what the analysts at the Gartner research group are thinking.
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