Should We Move to Specialty Clouds or Stick With One-Size-Fits-All?

Structure-090625-1117-D71_4754 Is there a need for business specialty-focused clouds or should we stick with the current one-size-fits-all cloud model? GigaOM’s Stacey Higginbotham posited this question to a panel today, who unanimously supported the move towards specialized clouds, but agreed that some uniformity is needed among future models.

Microsoft’s (s msft) Yousef Khalidi argued that if we specialize every cloud, we’ll be left with a “bunch of templates.” Khalidi said, “You want some uniformity…because then we’re just doing custom networks.” Accenture’s (s acn) director of Cloud Computing, Joseph Tobolski, agreed that too much specialization could have its drawbacks, even though he’s “not in favor of the one-size-fits-all” model.

But RightScale CEO and founder Michael Crandell pointed out that some specialization has already happened in cloud computing and differentiated storage facilities are out there.

There’s room for smaller cloud computing vendors in the cloud world, too, even with titans like Amazon (s amzn) and Google (s goog) around. Sun Microsystems’ (s java) Lew Tucker said smaller vendors can leverage its services to targeted groups of clients — for instance, insurance companies — that require highly specific computing tasks. With the cloud computing model evolving, “we’re seeing a new kind of recreation of the ecosystem,” Tucker said.

Although many companies are still hesitant to make the move to cloud computing, Khalidi said businesses are taking more interest in it now than they did six months ago. But companies should gradually start making the move, Accenture’s Tobolski argued. He said, “There’s a lot of value leaning on the table, and we should start now.”

Video of the panel is here:

Photo by James Duncan Davidson.