Over a year and a half ago, I mentioned that there were four key aspects to cloud computing: scalability, leverage, speed, and reach.  All of these still hold true today.  In particular, the one area that was underdeveloped was the notion of using clouds for global reach.

As you know, since then quite a bit has changed.  Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud crossed the Atlantic to Europe, EC2 opened up a U.S. West Coast presence, AWS also recently pre-announced their Asian expansion, and a number of other clouds sprung up across the globe, including a very strong new Australian entrant, Cloud Central.[1]

All of this goes to show that my prediction around the importance of reach in cloud computing is coming true.  One of the examples that brings this home that I enjoy talking about is Friendster.

For those of you new to social networking, Friendster was one of the very first social networks.  They were a true first mover in the space, but due to some strategic and tactical errors, they quickly fell behind sites like MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Except in the AsiaPacific region!

Friendster is one of the largest social networking sites still within that geographic region. You can see how they have re-tooled their business to be friendly to the AsiaPac region by providing localization in many Asian languages.

Now here’s the kicker: Friendster’s initial infrastructure was all in the United States.  What happens when your market changes underneath you?  How do you respond?  What tools are there to adapt?

As cloud computing goes global, it’s very nature provides a whole new opportunity in how businesses think about responding to market shifts.  Now you can follow-the-sun, follow-the-moon, follow-the-law, and up and move your entire application to a new country with much less effort than ever before … and, it will get even easier over time.

Cloud computing is going global and it’s going to change the way we think about service delivery models completely.

[1] DISCLOSURE: Cloud Central is a Cloudscaling customer. They are currently in private BETA and looking for folks to provide feedback. Please take a look if you have a moment!