Every few years or so, a new technology comes out that is supposed to revolutionize the industry and replace everything that has gone before it, and so it was with VPS, dedicated, managed and virtualized hosting. Now, the cloud has come along and once again pundits everywhere are crying out that it is the only answer that makes sense.
Not so, says Softlayer CEO Lance Crosby, not so.
In fact, Crosby argued at the recent Parallels summit that the technology that was going to win the virtual server war was not expected – all of them. That’s right. All of them. Why? Because consumers want what works best for them, not what they are told works best. While the cloud may offer some advantages over, for example, dedicated hosting, there are going to be companies that still prefer the dedicated method and with good reason – it works for them.
Crosby points to two telling factors. First, over 50% of the world’s population doesn’t have reliable Internet access. When they finally show up on the Internet, what we know is going to change. Second, technology is evolving at a stunning rate. The last five years have seen hosting service after hosting service and SaaS after SaaS created and replaced by a “better” version. As he notes, the most popular mobile phone on the market five years ago wasn’t even a Smartphone – technology moves quickly.
In order to make the most of the new market, Crosby argues that hosting companies need to transition from simply being hosts to being platforms for customers and provide them with solutions that are tailored to their needs rather than to the what the industry believes is the “next big thing.”