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Summary:

It seems like every year since 2008 has been dubbed the “Year of the Cloud,” but I think 2010 was it. There are legitimate trends that allow us to get past mere speculation and actually make informed predictions about what the future holds for cloud computing.

crystal ball

It seems like every year since 2008 has been dubbed the “Year of the Cloud,” but I think 2010 was the real deal. Cloud computing, as a delivery model, has matured to a point where we can really see where it’s headed and how it will shape up. There are legitimate trends that allow us to get past mere speculation and actually make informed predictions about what the future holds for cloud computing.

It’s in this light, in fact, that I wrote yesterday about Eucalyptus Systems being at a buy-or-get-bought moment. It’s not an indictment against the company by any means, but, rather, an opinion formed after analyzing a spate of large-vendor acquisitions.  CA has spent hundreds of millions, and isn’t done yet. Dell is building a cloud portfolio that takes it beyond just servers. Red Hat is starting its cloud M&A activity, after building an impressive foundation in-house. IBM has carried its perpetual acquisition strategy into the cloud, as well. As I predict in a feature at GigaOM Pro, however, more M&A is just one of the trends we can expect to advance in 2011 as the real cloud computing picture emerges.

Here are my five predictions for cloud in 2011, with a few links apiece to provide context. For the full analysis on what I think might happen in the coming months, and why, read the full post here:

1. More specialized clouds and cloud services.

2. Infrastructure startups will get bought.

3. The fusion of IaaS and PaaS will continue.

4. Low-power processors will have their day.

5. A cloud provider will end up in court.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Bitterjug.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

  1. With the leader of the SaaS space being the normal and obvious Salesforce reference, I cannot seem to figure out how all these tech writers I read overlook Qualys. Apparently they’ve been in the game since 1999, of which I’ve been using it personally since 2002.

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  2. [...] has a list of 2011 predictions for cloud [...]

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  3. [...] correct in his predictions for the next wave of M&A activity — some of which align with my overall predictions for the infrastructure market in 2011 — we should see many of this year’s movers and shakers getting active on the buy side, or [...]

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  4. [...] 2010 was a big year for cloud computing and infrastructure, in general, but if there’s one fundamental truth in this market, it’s that it doesn’t sit still for long. The same goes for the companies involved in it — they’re constantly making making moves (some small, some big) that ultimately could result in major market transformations. [...]

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