Originally posted on Gigaom:
Cloud-based servers simple enough to be at the beck and call of every Joe Schmo off the street are a compelling vision, but presently not a realistic one. At this point, in fact, one could argue that the holy grail of the consumer cloud has already been realized. In the business world, it’s called software as a service, but the rest of the world just knows it as “the cloud.”
In a blog post on Thursday, Anil Dash laid out a vision that pretty much boils down to this quote: “[W]e need a consumer cloud offering. An app store for EC2 or a marketplace for Rackspace (s rax). The same one-click stores that offer us easy apps on our own local devices should let us purchase consumer-friendly apps that run on our own individual cloud servers.” It reads well, but until cloud computing prices drop far enough that individual servers cost next to nothing, the vision seems infeasible. That’s why multitenant cloud services, what Dash calls “centralized services,” are proving so popular.
Although Dash dismisses the idea of centralized services as being primarily the realm of profit-hungry platform companies such as Google (s goog) and Facebook (s fb), and archaic compared with the type of edge innovation that mobile apps enable, that’s not entirely the case. The truth is that there’s a whole slew of entrepreneurs building consumer-friendly services atop cloud platforms — like almost every popular web and mobile app you can think of, including Instagram, Draw Something (s znga), Tumblr, Wordnik, Foursquare, you name it.