Hype cycles

I’ve recently contributed to a couple of our hype cycles.

Gartner’s very first Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing features a whole array of cloud-related technologies and services. One of the most interesting things about this hype cycle, I think, is the sheer number of concepts that we believe will hit the plateau of productivity in just two to five years. For a nascent technology, that’s pretty significant — we’re talking about a significant fundamental shift in the way that IT is delivered, in a very short time frame. However, a lot of the concepts in this hype cycle haven’t yet hit the peak of inflated expectations — you can expect plenty more hype to be coming your way. There’s a good chance that for the IaaS elements that I focus on, the crash down into the trough of disillusionment will be fairly brief and shallow, but I don’t think it can be avoided. Indeed, I can already tell you tales of clients who got caught up in the overhype and got themselves into trouble. But the “try it and see” aspect of cloud IaaS means that expectations and reality can get a much faster re-alignment than it can if you’re, say, spending a year deploying a new technology in your data center. With the cloud, you’re never far from actually being able to try something and see if it fits your needs.

My hype cycle profile for CDNs appears on our Media Industry Content hype cycle, as well as our brand-new TV-focused (digital distribution and monetization of video) Media Broadcasting hype cycle. Due to the deep volume discounts media companies receive from CDNs, the value proposition is and will remain highly compelling, although I do hear plenty of rumblings about both the desire to use excess origin capacity as well as the possibilities that the cloud offers for both delivery and media archival.

I was involved in, but am not a profile author on, the Hype Cycle for Data Center Power and Cooling Technologies. If you are a data center engineering geek, you’ll probably find it to be quite interesting. Ironically, in the midst of all this new technology, a lot of data center architecture and engineering companies still want to build data centers the way they always have — known designs, known costs, little risk to them… only you lose when that happens. (Colocation companies, who have to own and operate these data centers for the long haul, may be more innovative, but not always, especially since many of them don’t design and build themselves, relying on outside expertise for that.)

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Posted on August 24, 2009, in Infrastructure and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. It seems that the analysis of the hype of something is based on something that one has to pay for. Are we not doing some recursive hype.

    All the same, afer doing time (23y) at IBM where I had access to and contributed to their hype (and non-hype) I now feel somewhat concerned that the hype (and non-hype) on cloud which is, for the most part, based on open source is being recursively hyped in a close model.

    All the same, I agree with some of what you said.

    At the same time, I think we should ensure that those analysts actually dabble in things (I believe you do) before they hype about things.

    I myself have ridden many a gartner hype curve thru out my career starting with tcp/ip back when I worked on rolling the nsfnet with IBM pc/rt routers. I believe, I will ride the cloud too since ultimately it will plateau.


  2. I think that there’s significant use of open source in the cloud (Xen + Linux, often Xen + LAMP stack), but I don’t think this is an open source movement per se. Indeed, for commercial adoption, VMware is an influential and significant player.

    Quite a few Gartner analysts are doing direct experimentation with the cloud. My colleague Ray Valdes is doing a lot of serious projects on his weekends.


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