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Greg O'Connor

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The Death of Cloud Computing the Birth of Dream Computing

Ability to scoop up and move existing apps to any of Dream Computing node and back again

Greg O'Connor's Session at Cloud Expo

I do dream in color, not always vivid color, but color just the same. Today, I was awakened by one of my 5 boys in the middle of a great dream about the future. In my dream, I was in a big white room just as a door was opening and someone was about to walk in. Who was that? That's when I was awakened.

Don't you hate dream interruption? Or Idruption? Quick note, I heard the iPad comes with an Idruption finisher, those guys at Apple are so innovative.

What I do recall from my dream was that it was the summer of 2012, and Jeff Bezos, Paul Sagan and I were celebrating the 2 year anniversary of the merger of our three companies. There was a lot of talk about how 50% of the Fortune 1000 had shut down their data centers and moved all their operations onto our Dream Cloud. So much for that Gartner prediction -"By 2012, 20 percent of businesses will own no IT assets."  The other thing that was clear from the conversation was that Dream Computing as a category had completely replaced the term Cloud Computing.

Akazon's (the combined company's name) market capitalization had just crossed the trillion dollar mark. We had over 10 million physical machines or 10 billion virtual instances all around the world thanks to the new Dream chip from Intamd. Close to 70% of the internet traffic was flowing through the Akazon Dream Cloud. The year had started with Paul convincing the board to turn down Eric's request for us to acquire Google. Paul's core argument was that Google's search and ad businesses were going to be replaced by our Dream fulfillment engine. The search-to-decision-to-Dream fulfillment evolution had taken hold. We had solved the issues in China and had a commanding share in this huge piece of the world market. Eric, Larry, and Sergey were not happy but it was clear they were becoming a legacy supplier, and we found a dream number even more magical than √2.

2011 was very busy for Jeff as we divested our online shopping division. I was really surprised Jeff took the lead on this and got such a great price from Larry at Oracle (he never really believed in Dream Computing or its predecessor Cloud Computing). By selling databases, applications and hardware direct in their new online store, Larry had replaced almost his entire sales force. It did do wonders for their margins and profitability.

2010 had been the year in which the Dream was defined. The public Dream, the private Dream, the hybrid Dream, and the enterprise Dream were now clear to the world. Where the environments are located, security concerns, how to move applications from the enterprise to the Dream and back again were completely nailed. The Dream economy was born and unemployment was under 5%. As a side note, national health care had not come to a final vote.

Yes, 2010 was the year Dream Computing was born. The market understood what Cloud Computing (infrastructure as a service, platform as a service) was. Amazon was leading the pack, delivering the self-service, pay-as-you-go, resources-on-demand, utility-in-the-sky. Topping the 1 million developers mark. The challenges to Cloud Computing adoption were surfacing for those in the business.

Secure distribution, and moving existing applications unchanged to the cloud were beginning to slow the paradigm shift down.

Akamai saw competition coming from the roll-it-yourself CDN developers using geographically-distributed clouds, and the world saw more and more content being part of everyday applications. Not as demanding as streaming a Victoria's Secret video, but delivering more content to the edge faster was a foundation of Dream Computing. It also occurred to Akamai that they had a ton of compute horsepower for serving up those images to millions of eyeballs focused on Heidi Klum and the Black Eyed Peas, which they could sell during the other 364 days and 21 hours. Talk about a spiky workload and over-provisioning. Why not just build out the data centers Akamai had around the world and extend them to have the capabilities like those in Amazon? With global real-time distribution, low latency, and the ability to limit network attacks as the next layer added on to that old concept of Cloud Computing, the transition was underway.

The last piece of the puzzle was the application containment and provisioning provided by Virtual Application Appliances (VAA) from AppZero. The ability to scoop up and move existing applications to any of the Dream Computing nodes, or across any node and back again, was the grease that finished off the legacy concept of Cloud Computing. Moving just an application, not the whole machine, and being able to determine what has changed from provision to provision, made utilizing the dream fabric in the ether easy. Separating and isolating the application or workload from the OS became a "duh." The death of installing applications and commingling them with OS had gone mainstream with dynamic provisioning replacing standard operations. VAA had become a movement that is now being taught in high schools today. Whoever came up with installing applications anyhow?

Dreaming about Dream Computing  - Now I remember how it ended. It was Paul Maritz at the door. He was there to get us to buy Zimbra from him. Funny how the pioneers and thought leaders of today become a distant legacy dream so quickly. I recall sending him over to see if he could sell Zimbra to Apple. It would be a good service for their iDream offering that we run and manage for Steve while Paul focused on the Bed Bath and Beyond business.

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Greg O'Connor is President & CEO of AppZero. Pioneering the Virtual Application Appliance approach to simplifying application-lifecycle management, he is responsible for translating Appzero's vision into strategic business objectives and financial results.

O'Connor has over 25 years of management and technical experience in the computer industry. He was founder and president of Sonic Software, acquired in 2005 by Progress Software (PRGS). There he grew the company from concept to over $40 million in revenue.

At Sonic, he evangelized and created the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) product category, which is generally accepted today as the foundation for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Follow him on Twitter @gregoryjoconnor.

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