One of the most interesting things we encounter when my consulting company works with clients is their reaction to the infrastructure architectures of cloud providers. When we explain that they achieve robustness by keeping multiple copies of data on commodity hardware, rather than the traditional model of investing in expensive hardware to improve device robustness, we observe a visceral shudder in people.
Stories by Bernard Golden
This week I saw two articles that captured the two visions of IT that will dominate the future. Both were interviews with senior IT leaders, one a CIO of a major technology company, the other a senior executive with a leading system integrator. One article depicted a vision of IT as a future of standardized, commodity offerings, while the other portrayed IT as a critical part of every company's business offerings. Two visions of ITs role in stark contrast to one another. Each seems to obviate the other. But is that really true? My take is that both views are true, and the CIO of the future has to push one to make room to achieve the other.
My recent post, The Internet of Things and the Cloud CIO of the Future garnered a lot of attention and comments. One tweet by @abbielundberg said "agree w priorities but there's more to CIO role." Abbie, by the way, is former Editor-in-Chief of CIO Magazine, so she definitely knows whereof she speaks.
One of the issues we focus on in conversations with companies evaluating moving to cloud computing is the importance -- and challenge -- of capacity planning in a cloud environment. The bottom line is that cloud computing is going to make capacity planning much more difficult for CIOs who intend to maintain all or most of their company's computing in internal data centers. Moreover, utilization becomes a highly risk-associated topic as utilization risk is shifted onto the cloud operator.
It's been an incredibly interesting, exciting, and tumultuous year for cloud computing. But, as the saying goes, "you ain't seen nothin' yet." Next year will be one in which the pedal hits the metal, resulting in enormous acceleration for cloud computing. One way to look at it is that next year will see the coming to fruition of a number of trends and initiatives that were launched this year.
Don't look now, but the recently moribund server market rebounded sharply this year. According to Ben Worthen's recent blog on WSJ.com, server shipments jumped 15 per cent during Q3. This increase continues the year's higher shipment rates, and reverses the previous declines of 2009. Of course, some of this growth reflects the economic improvement vis a vis the investment clampdown resulting from the global recession of 2008-2009.
This week has brought two fascinating and contradictory perspectives about how large IT organizations view cloud computing -- and how they're responding to the messy muddle that is today's cloud computing environment.
If you want to understand the key driver of the cloud computing revolution, you owe it to yourself to read Microsoft's new white paper "The Economics of the Cloud." In it, authors Rolf Harms and Michael Yamartino lay out an analysis of the economics that underlie cloud computing, and demonstrate in a convincing fashion why the shift to this new technology platform is inevitable. A copy of the paper is available as a download from the blog posting by the authors, located here.
One of the most controversial issues in cloud computing is chargeback: pricing consumed resources on a granular basis. Amazon posts its prices publicly for all to see -- so much for compute, so much per gigabyte sent over the network, etc. Chargeback in the cloud computing arena is the same kind of highly granular pricing associated with use of internal resources.
I'm in Korea this week to keynote at the IDG "Virtualisation in Action" conference, and I observed a fascinating disconnect while here.
The most interesting cloud computing I saw this week was the announcement that the General Services Administration (GSA) has awarded 11 companies the opportunity to participate in the apps.gov portal, offering IaaS services.
One of the most interesting areas in technology these days is telephony, with all its flavors: voice, video, and video conferencing. And, as far as we've come, we're about to see another wave of innovation in the space.
I continue to encounter an interesting phenomenon regarding cloud computing as I speak at conferences, present to IT groups, and talk to businesspeople interested in the subject. Most people recognize the importance of cloud computing, acknowledge the relevance to their environments, and describe their initiatives.
I've written extensively on the disruption that cloud computing presents to IT organizations; I've focused much less on the disruption it poses for the entire IT supply chain -- from vendors through to system integrators and on to outsourcing companies. Make no mistake, though, cloud computing will disrupt every part of IT. No sector of it will come through unscathed.
With a tag line of "Virtual Roads. Actual Clouds," it's easy to understand that this year's US VMworld was wall-to-wall cloud computing. Nevertheless, it was striking how cloud-centric the expo floor at VMworld was. Based on my meetings, chance discussions, and floor wandering, here is my admittedly impressionistic take on the event: