There was some irony in the fact that nearly every presentation by Autodesk executives at Autodesk University (AU) this year mentioned the company's migration of its software solutions to a cloud computing environment but its major sponsors were all hardware vendors. Lenovo, HP, Intel and Dell were the premier exhibitors at AU. Upon entering the exhibit floor you might have thought it was a throwback to the glamour days of the PC.
If the cloud was the buzz word at AU, there was not a netbook to be found. In fact, quite the opposite as many of the sponsors where demonstrating high-end deskside units with dual monitor configurations. "Big iron" is still in demand and much needed in the era of "big data." So, does this mean that the processing, storage and analytical speeds necessary for true IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS solutions is not quite ready for prime time?
Perhaps as we eventually have broadband for everyone that reaches from Barrow to Botswana that that will be the catalyst for other changes in the way we do computing today and usher is Cloud 2.0. But for now, even 3G can't be found everywhere in the U.S.
Linking the world with high speed wireless broadband will come. At that point, we'll see an even greater adoption of SaaS solutions. But until that time, give me a fast laptop with lots of memory and a big hard disc ... and throw in that 802.11 thing as well.
Editor's note: Autodesk partially supported travel to Autodesk Univeristy 2012.