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Internet Future: Part 2 - Cloud Computing and Investments

written by: Daniel Barros•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 2/25/2009

In this, our second article about cloud computing, we'll be talking about the investment opportunities related to this new software and hardware service. Find out whether or not it's worth your money and effort inside.

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    Seeking New Investment

    Cloud computing is most assuredly the new wave of the Internet. If you're listening to bloggers, any computer whiz, and the Internet in general, you'll be sure to hear these exact words about how cloud computing will change the way we view and "consume" the Internet. The reality of the situation is that the cloud computing revolution is now (and it will not be televised). Why are companies so shy about advertising these interesting statistics and information about the new "cloud" that the data exists on? The answer is, as usual, a two for one deal - it's to not only protect investors, but to prevent an outbreak of Internet neophytes whining about their data not being "secure" on the cloud.

    For investors in particular, the cloud computing phenomenon is an excellent opportunity to pump some money in and get some quick money out. Similar to the dot com boom (and hopefully not the consequent bust), some smart investors seemed to be jumping at the opportunity to invest in this futuristic technology, which is almost the equivalent of investing in a stable utility company. The role of the investor is to make sure that the data centers such as the ones powered by Google continue to increase in disk size exponentially over the next few years. As the disk space increases, the same amount of processing power can be used to power the cloud computing of several different client companies all renting under the same utilities standard. As far as "quick investments" go, the cloud computing industry was booming a year or two ago.

    However, in the current economic climate, specifically in the US, investments have become even more difficult to obtain. As far as larger companies like Google go, investors shouldn't look to them for a stable investment. The larger companies like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft all have a business that sustains them and they run the cloud computation on the side. As far as that becoming the primary business is concerned, it seems unlikely for these giants, but even then, the advertising dollars from their respective search engines should be enough to keep powering the data centers that have become so pivotal to cloud computing.

    So, what should investors look to invest in? New self-sustained data centers seem to be the future of the IT revolution - with a company chartering a data center to serve as their own sort of "cloud" in a self-contained apparatus, typically a shipping container, like those found on boats carrying large cargo containers. Using these "deployable" data centers, clouds could be created within a business infrastructure, giving greater versatility to the company's IT department in storing massive quantities of information in the cloud environment, which is ideal for VPN clients that "push" data already from dedicated servers. A dedicated VPN over a cloud would prove invaluable in decreasing load times for clients who require their work information not only at their jobs, but also at home.

    As far as new data centers are concerned, there are a few popping up here and there, but not enough to justify an investment other than an "angel" investment. With websites relying ever heavily on platforms like AJAX, the Java interface of websites like FaceBook that constantly "push" new data from the cloud, the Internet is poised for an investment in not only the basic infrastructure that makes this possible, but also an investment for the future in terms of laws and regulation of these massive data centers.