BIGTABLE BIG DEAL? Or is it the cloud, stupid

I am sitting on a draft of a rambling missive about folks noticing then increasing relevance of storage service offerings focusing on document-centric type of operations feeling vindicated by the Notes development model are missing the point. The point being?  It’s not that the model is suddenly relevant now, it’s just that it engenders the type of massive scaling that large sites and cloud services require. I’m referring to CouchDB, BigTable, S3/SimpleDB, Hadoop, Cassandra. –these data layers are all the engineering rage because they scale…massively. Their data API’s are ancillary and, in some cases, crude compared to Notes. But they also federate well, support eventual-consistency philosophies and are reliable in ways that the Notes datastore –in its current iteration- cannot hope to match. Having said all that, the Opening General Session at this year’s Lotusphere yesterday precisely stole the thunder out of the conclusion I was reaching for: Building on the Notes APIs and rich ecosystem of tools and developers, IBM would be wise to produce a cloud offering that would enable a developer with a (free) copy of Designer to publish an app to a cloud. This masterstroke accomplishes a lot: It provides a deployment opportunity for those driving fresh copies of the free Designer wondering how and where to deploy their new apps, thus delivering on the server side corollary to the free Designer giveaway; and it provides a compelling case for being able to deploy rich services into the cloud or hybrid scenarios – a place where the competition hasn’t quite staked out so forcefully yet. Sigh. Alas my thunderbolt was preempted by the OGS announcement. Woe unto those whose dreams come true.