3 Hacks For Building A Successful Hybrid Cloud

Enterprise architecture is increasingly reliant on the hybrid cloud.  For some companies, this may mean leveraging the convenience and cost effectiveness of the public cloud but regulatory demands demand inclusion of a private cloud. Hybrid solutions can carry nuances lacking in public or private cloud system alone. Businesses need to consider several things carefully to…

Top CIO Trends for 2011

Early each year we post a “Top Ten” list of critical technologies or trends on the minds of CIOs.  For this post, we leverage Gartner survey results done late in 2010, as a starting point.  Last month, Gartner delineated its top 10 technologies for 2011 that will give technology execs the most bang for their buck. In this list, there are items that we’d expect to see on a 2011 Top Ten list, some that are a surprise, and some notable omissions.

Let’s get right to it:

VM and IT Services

Our regular readers will understand that we do not routinely report on vendor-specific industry events, but because of the increasing presence of virtualization as a foundational component in enterprise IT architecture, this week’s VMWorld in San Francisco is hard to ignore.

In a press release, VMware revealed a roadmap that is focused on IT services in support of Business. ¬†As expected, there is a lot of focus on the Cloud in this strategy. ¬†Earlier posts in this forum highlight how foundational the Cloud has become in enterprise IT roadmaps. ¬†What is more interesting in this announcement is the focus on IT as a service. ¬†In this post, we are focusing only on the content of VMware’s press release because of its statements about product strategy. ¬†It is recognized that additional color and content apply from the conference more broadly.

Cloud Computing Panel at the ATP

By Bob Landstrom

This month I had the pleasure of moderating a panel discussion at the monthly meeting of the Association of Telecom Professionals (ATP). ¬†The event was titled, “Atlanta: Global Network Gateway to the Cloud.” ¬†The ATP did a wonderful job of assembling thought leaders from nearly all dimensions of the Cloud Ecosystem.

Representing the ranks of cloud service providers were Matthew Elkourie, CTO of ColoCube (an IaaS provider) and Steve Mannel, Global Industry Executive with Salesforce.com (a PaaS and SaaS provider).  The network layer was represented by Paul Savill, VP of Product Management at Level3.  Rounding out the panel was the enterprise user perspective, chaired by Intercontinental Hotel Group VP of Global Technology, Mr. Gustaaf Schrils.

Cloud Cloudiness

Confusion Persists

Through several posts on this blog, we discussed the many aspects of confusion around the term, “Cloud Computing.”¬† After attending this year’s Cloud Expo in New York City and seeing the same three-layer stack (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) slide in fifty half of the presentations, I have to conclude that confusion still exists in the minds of the IT community trying to come to terms with the ongoing commotion over “Cloud.”¬† In this writer’s humble opinion, there is very little new food for thought that’s emerged from the Cloud conversation over the past year.*¬† ¬†The proliferation of genuine commercially available cloud services, and the proliferation of conferences and articles on cloud computing seemingly have not improved the understanding of those who are confused about what is and what isn’t cloud computing.¬† ¬†In this article, we will touch upon those old misunderstandings and some of the new ones.

Data Privacy in the Cloud

We’ve just wrapped up day-one of this year’s Cloud Expo at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.¬† You know, it’s been nearly a year since I attended Cloud World in San Francisco, and over that period of time it surprises me how little new anyone is saying about cloud computing.¬† It borders on raining sophistry here at the cloud show, and definitions (and redefinitions) of IaaS, Paas, and SaaS are still being drilled into attendee’s heads.¬† Maybe the abundance of attendance is to be attributed to the possibility that the IT community is still sorting out architectural rationalization of cloud computing, but in my humble opinion it’s high time to move on to meatier food for thought.

It is notable to observe the number of businesses emerging to capitalize on the nuts and bolts issues that arise when an enterprise takes those first steps into a formal cloud computing scenario.¬† In that regard, one of the few “wow, now that’s cool” moments for me in the conference so far was an introduction to a company called Perspecsys.

Physical Security for Cloud Data Centers

As I’ve watched the momentum of the Cloud, it’s caused me to reflect upon earlier discussions about data center physical security.  It’s long been my opinion that physical security will soon emerge (or re-emerge) as a top issue in data center planning, since businesses and consumers alike are increasingly reliant on the data and transaction processing being concentrated into these facilities.

In the late ‚ 1990’s, I was in the UK prospecting for data center space for an initial European footprint for E*Trade.  During that prospecting trip, I toured an old AT&T data center in a remote area North of London.  This facility was surrounded by earthen berms at least eight feet high, as well as a very sturdy barbed wire fence.  Why all this for a facility in the middle of the country side?

Cloud World: Recap on the August event in San Francisco

This year’s Cloud World conference was a mashup of three industry conferences-¬† Open Source World, Next Generation Data Center (NGDC), and Cloud World.¬† Even with the combining of three (formerly) major industry events, the attendance volume still only merited the West wing of the Moscone Center.

It’s easy to blame the low attendance on the economy, but the low attendance could also have been the rather trite content of the conference sessions.¬† While I of course did not attend all the sessions, those that I did attend left me reminiscing about earlier conferences where there was thought provoking and informative presentations.¬† It’s not that the presenters were not informative.¬† It’s just that there was very little that seemed new or thought provoking.¬† Many of the NGDC sessions, while sporting different titles, were actually covering very similar and overlapping subject matter.

My real mission at the conference was to target those in attendance who are genuinely interested in acquiring Cloud resources, are in the process of building Cloud-based services, or who have been spending time analyzing the Cloud marketplace.  Of those that I spoke to, the following is a summary of their opinions and points of view: