Predictions for 2011 in Cloud: Chips, Lawsuits and Acquisitions

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 (s ca) has spent hundreds of millions, and isn’t done yet. Dell (s dell) is building a cloud portfolio that takes it beyond just servers. Red Hat (s rhat) is starting its cloud M&A activity, after building an impressive foundation in-house. IBM (s 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.

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