A Surf Around the Cloud

Web application developers seem to be moving toward keeping their applications in the clouds. By what is a cloud? Alex Iskold at Read/Write Web:

The idea behind cloud computing is simple – scale your application by deploying it on a large grid of commodity hardware boxes. Each box has exactly the same system installed and behaves like all other boxes. The load balancer forwards a request to any one box and it is processed in a stateless manner; meaning the request is followed by an immediate response and no state is held by the system.

Alex contrasts cloud computing with the LAMP stack on which web applications “traditionally” run. He concludes that we are at the start of “a fundamental shift in our ability to compute.”

Fred Wilson agrees, but with an interesting qualification.

I think Alex is directionally correct. We are going to see more and more companies build and host their web apps on someone else’s infrastructure. It’s not going to happen overnight because I’ve never met a more control oriented group than software engineers.

Rackspace just announced its own cloud-like service, to add to its more traditional hosting services. Erick at TechCrunch remarks that Mosso bills itself as a Web app hosting service, and contrasts Mosso with Amazon Web Services.

Mosso isn’t as purely cloudy as AWS. As such, it may be a good first step toward a walk in the clouds for those control oriented software engineers.