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September 19, 2008

An Easier Cloud is a Better Cloud

Derrick Harris

I’ll keep it brief: RightScale’s announcement from Wednesday is some very cool news. In case you missed it, the company will soon support GoGrid, FlexiScale, and, apparently, Mosso and CloudFS with its cloud management infrastructure. It turns out VMworld wasn’t the only place churning out cloud innovations.

To me, the RightScale news proves that even for all the talk about it being overhyped, the industry is growing noticeably. It’s not just Amazon providing infrastructure as a service, but various smaller offerings like the three aforementioned options. What’s more, RightScale is offering the kinds of services and options that might even make these types of offerings appealing to enterprise customers — services like flat-rate monthly billing, dashboards, customer service, and even consulting and development.

The various sweet spots of the new cloud offerings don’t hurt either, such as GoGrid and its ability to run Windows Server 2008 — a must for many enterprises. FlexiScale is located in the United Kingdom, which has to be a draw for European customers worried about compliance issues.

The easier and more feature-rich the cloud experience gets, the closer it gets to living up to the hype. And if this news melds with the week’s other big cloud news — namely the hybrid aspirations of VMware’s vCloud and Citrix’s Cloud Center — the value prop could prove irresistible.