Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Kevin Benedict, Arron Fu, Sandi Mappic, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Security, GovIT

Cloud Expo: Article

Industry Experts Discuss the State of Cloud Computing

By far the top driver is speed: speed to procure and provision infrastructure, platforms and applications

Cloud Computing Expo on Ulitzer

"With cloud computing, price to deploy applications goes through the floor while flexibility to scale those applications goes through the ceiling!" says WaveMaker CEO Chris Keene, in this lively round-up of CEO and CTO opinions to get a sense of The State of Cloud Computing compiled and published by Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. 4th International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo is taking place this week at the Santa Clara Convention Center (November 2-4, 2009).



Keene's take on what's driving Cloud Computing enterprise-wise is just one of several high-profile contributions. Those contributing to Geelan's impromptu survey include: RightScale CEO Michael Crandell; the Chairman & CEO of WaveMaker, Chris Keene; the CTO of GigaSpaces, Nati Shalom; Lew Cirne, Founder & CEO of New Relic; Mitchell Kertzman of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners; and the Chief Technology Officer of CSC, Bill Koff.

QUESTION #1: What in your view are the Top Two drivers of the adoption of Cloud Computing?

NATI SHALOM, GigaSpaces
1. Business agility – the ability to deploy new applications quickly
2. Efficiency – the ability to run application more effectively and reduce cost as a result of that (Note that I'm not referring on reducing cost at a machine level)

MICHAEL CRANDELL, RightScale
1. Business agility
2. Cost reduction.

BILL KOFF, CSC
1. Economics & Business Value
2. Speed

CHRIS KEENE, WaveMaker
The top drivers are price and flexibility. With cloud computing, price to deploy applications goes through the floor while flexibility to scale those applications goes through the ceiling!

LEW CIRNE, New Relic
1. By far the top driver is speed: speed to procure and provision infrastrcture, platforms and applications. We see business demanding IT solutions in days, and traditional IT often can't respond faster than in months. For example, an application development team in the business unit might need a server immediately to run a load test. The central IT team - burdened as they are with shrinking budgets and increased demands on their time - may respond with something like say "please fill out a form and we'll procure that server for you and provision it. It should be ready in 4-6 weeks." Unable to wait that long, the team gets a cloud-based instance running on EC2 in 10 minutes.

2. The second driver is financial. Enterprise IT organizations are tired of buying more hardware and software than they need with large cash outlays up front. The days of shelfware are almost over, and everybody benefits from that - except perhaps the shelfware vendor.

QUESTION #2: What is the biggest category of user currently using the Cloud?

BILL KOFF
Web email users

CHRIS KEENE
Consumer-facing web sites

MICHAEL CRANDELL
Wide variety from SMB to Enterprise today.  Biggest category is "forward thinking."

QUESTION #3: Which in your view are the Top Five Companies in the Cloud as at late Fall 2009?

NATI SHALOM
•    Amazon
•    VMware
•    GoGrid
•    Rackspace
•    Citrix


MICHAEL CRANDELL
•    Amazon
•    Rackspace
•    VMware
•    Eucalyptus
•    RightScale ;-)


CHRIS KEENE

There is more smoke than light in the cloud debate these days. My vote for the top 5 cloud companies includes the four companies that make up the IBM Cloud Quick Start Program - Amazon, IBM, RightScale WaveMaker - and Eucalyptus, which makes moves the private cloud from dream to reality.

LEWIS CIRNE
"I think the top players in cloud are those names you'd expect (Amazon, Rackspace, Salesforce, etc.) but the more interesting question is this: What are the top five companies that are having their world turned upside down because of the cloud? Historically, enterprise software companies have built out their business by taking heavyweight software 'solutions' to market with a large, expensive direct sales force.

This has been very expensive, and the customer has borne the burden of that cost. Now, enterprises are adopting cloud solutions because of their instant access and pay-only-for-what you use benefits, and this drives a totally different delivery model for the vendor. As the cloud totally changes go-to-market and deployment models for software vendors, the firms that are locked into the historical direct models will have significant challenges adapting to this new world order. So I think SAP, IBM Software Group, Oracle (despite Larry's rhetoric), HP and CA will all have a very tough time changing their business models to provide viable cloud solutions for their customers."

QUESTION #4: Who is NOT currently using the Cloud, who maybe ought to be?


BILL KOFF
Enterprise users

LEWIS CIRNE
Many financial services firms - while they are certainly looking at cloud and will no doubt adopt it in due course, are for good reason very concerned about the security questions related to adopting cloud infrastructure, especially public cloud infrastructure.  I think those security issues will get addressed over time, but there will be certain classes of applications that will always make sense to run on dedicated hardware in a private data center. 

MICHAEL CRANDELL
Anyone who has not begun an effort to move the 40% of apps that are "low hanging fruit" -- i.e. not highly security sensitive, transient demand, could benefit from quick deployment.

NATI SHALOM
Deploying mission critical application, Deploying performance or latency sensitive applications, Deploying Complex applications (with lots of ties to the organization)

QUESTION #5: In which sector of IT do you think Cloud Computing will make its impact most noticeably in 2010?

MICHAEL CRANDELL
Enterprise

BILL KOFF
Infrastructure: Storage

CHRIS KEENE
Bringing web development and deployment to the masses through visual, easy-to use cloud development platforms.

LEWIS CIRNE

We see a lot of interest in government agencies for private clouds to dramatically reduce their IT infrastructure costs and improve agility. (When's the last time you heard "Government" and "Agility" in the same sentence?)

QUESTION #6: What is the killer app for cloud computing?

CHRIS KEENE
Ecosystem is the killer app for cloud computing. Integrating solutions from multiple vendors to create a best of breed solution is what the cloud does best. In the cloud, ecosystems are easier to create, both from a business and technical point of view. They are also much more transparent, as the results of their efforts are available for the whole world to see. Two good examples include the Cloud Quick Start program with IBM, Amazon, RightScale and WaveMaker, as well as the ecosystem for cloud business intelligence launched a little over a month ago featuring Jaspersoft, RightScale, Talend and Vertica.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
dyoungg2ix 10/13/09 03:27:00 PM EDT

Jill, I couldn't agree with you more. Moreover, I think that cloud computing will create opportunities where IT will no longer be simply a necessary expense, but an actual revenue center for the enterprise as well.

Damon Young

Cloud Expo Breaking News
APIs came about to help companies create and manage their digital ecosystem, enabling them not only to reach more customers through more devices, but also create a large supporting ecosystem of developers and partners. While Facebook, Twitter and Netflix were the early adopters of APIs, large enterprises have been quick to embrace the concept of APIs and have been leveraging APIs as a connective tissue that powers all interactions between their customers, partners and employees. As enterprises embrace APIs, some very specific Enterprise API Adoption patterns and best practices have started emerging. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Sachin Agarwal, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at SOA Software, will talk about the most common enterprise API patterns and will discuss how enterprises can successfully launch an API program.
The social media expansion has shown just how people are eager to share their experiences with the rest of the world. Cloud technology is the perfect platform to satisfy this need given its great flexibility and readiness. At Cynny, we aim to revolutionize how people share and organize their digital life through a brand new cloud service, starting from infrastructure to the users’ interface. A revolution that began from inventing and designing our very own infrastructure: we have created the first server network powered solely by ARM CPU. The microservers have “organism-like” features, differentiating them from any of the current technologies. Benefits include low consumption of energy, making Cynny the ecologically friendly alternative for storage as well as cheaper infrastructure, lower running costs, etc.
Next-Gen Cloud. Whatever you call it, there’s a higher calling for cloud computing that requires providers to change their spots and move from a commodity mindset to a premium one. Businesses can no longer maintain the status quo that today’s service providers offer. Yes, the continuity, speed, mobility, data access and connectivity are staples of the cloud and always will be. But cloud providers that plan to not only exist tomorrow – but to lead – know that security must be the top priority for the cloud and are delivering it now. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Kurt Hagerman, Chief Information Security Officer at FireHost, will detail why and how you can have both infrastructure performance and enterprise-grade security – and what tomorrow's cloud provider will look like.
Today, developers and business units are leading the charge to cloud computing. The primary driver: faster access to computing resources by using the cloud's automated infrastructure provisioning. However, fast access to infrastructure exposes the next friction point: creating, delivering, and operating applications much faster. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Bernard Golden, VP of Strategy at ActiveState, will discuss why solving the next friction point is critical for true cloud computing success and how developers and business units can leverage service catalogs, frameworks, and DevOps to achieve the true goal of IT: delivering increased business value through applications.
MapDB is an Apache-licensed open source database specifically designed for Java developers. The library uses the standard Java Collections API, making it totally natural for Java developers to use and adopt, while scaling database size from GBs to TBs. MapDB is very fast and supports an agile approach to data, allowing developers to construct flexible schemas to exactly match application needs and tune performance, durability and caching for specific requirements.
Web conferencing in a public cloud has the same risks as any other cloud service. If you have ever had concerns over the types of data being shared in your employees’ web conferences, such as IP, financials or customer data, then it’s time to look at web conferencing in a private cloud. In her session at 14th Cloud Expo, Courtney Behrens, Senior Marketing Manager at Brother International, will discuss how issues that had previously been out of your control, like performance, advanced administration and compliance, can now be put back behind your firewall.
More and more enterprises today are doing business by opening up their data and applications through APIs. Though forward-thinking and strategic, exposing APIs also increases the surface area for potential attack by hackers. To benefit from APIs while staying secure, enterprises and security architects need to continue to develop a deep understanding about API security and how it differs from traditional web application security or mobile application security. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Sachin Agarwal, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at SOA Software, will walk you through the various aspects of how an API could be potentially exploited. He will discuss the necessary best practices to secure your data and enterprise applications while continue continuing to support your business’s digital initiatives.
The revolution that happened in the server universe over the past 15 years has resulted in an eco-system that is more open, more democratically innovative and produced better results in technically challenging dimensions like scale. The underpinnings of the revolution were common hardware, standards based APIs (ex. POSIX) and a strict adherence to layering and isolation between applications, daemons and kernel drivers/modules which allowed multiple types of development happen in parallel without hindering others. Put simply, today's server model is built on a consistent x86 platform with few surprises in its core components. A kernel abstracts away the platform, so that applications and daemons are decoupled from the hardware. In contrast, networking equipment is still stuck in the mainframe era. Today, networking equipment is a single appliance, including hardware, OS, applications and user interface come as a monolithic entity from a single vendor. Switching between different vendor'...
Cloud backup and recovery services are critical to safeguarding an organization’s data and ensuring business continuity when technical failures and outages occur. With so many choices, how do you find the right provider for your specific needs? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Daniel Jacobson, Technology Manager at BUMI, will outline the key factors including backup configurations, proactive monitoring, data restoration, disaster recovery drills, security, compliance and data center resources. Aside from the technical considerations, the secret sauce in identifying the best vendor is the level of focus, expertise and specialization of their engineering team and support group, and how they monitor your day-to-day backups, provide recommendations, and guide you through restores when necessary.
Cloud scalability and performance should be at the heart of every successful Internet venture. The infrastructure needs to be resilient, flexible, and fast – it’s best not to get caught thinking about architecture until the middle of an emergency, when it's too late. In his interactive, no-holds-barred session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will dive into how to design and build-out the right cloud infrastructure.
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. What about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver on new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for application developers and slow performance for end users. Further, as data sizes grow into the Big Data realm, this problem is exacerbated and becomes even more difficult to address. A seemingly simple schema change can take hours (or more) to perform, and as requirements evolve the disconnect between existing data structures and actual needs diverge.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SherWeb, a long-time leading provider of cloud services and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. A worldwide hosted services leader ranking in the prestigious North American Deloitte Technology Fast 500TM, and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, SherWeb provides competitive cloud solutions to businesses and partners around the world. Founded in 1998, SherWeb is a privately owned company headquartered in Quebec, Canada. Its service portfolio includes Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Dynamics CRM and more.
The world of cloud and application development is not just for the hardened developer these days. In their session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will pull back the curtain of the architecture of a fun demo application purpose-built for the cloud. They will focus on demonstrating how they leveraged compute, storage, messaging, and other cloud elements hosted at SoftLayer to lower the effort and difficulty of putting together a useful application. This will be an active demonstration and review of simple command-line tools and resources, so don’t be afraid if you are not a seasoned developer.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BUMI, a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Manhattan-based BUMI (Backup My Info!) is a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery. Founded in 2002, the company’s Here, There and Everywhere data backup and recovery solutions are utilized by more than 500 businesses. BUMI clients include professional service organizations such as banking, financial, insurance, accounting, hedge funds and law firms. The company is known for its relentless passion for customer service and support, and has won numerous awards, including Customer Service Provider of the Year and 10 Best Companies to Work For.
Chief Security Officers (CSO), CIOs and IT Directors are all concerned with providing a secure environment from which their business can innovate and customers can safely consume without the fear of Distributed Denial of Service attacks. To be successful in today's hyper-connected world, the enterprise needs to leverage the capabilities of the web and be ready to innovate without fear of DDoS attacks, concerns about application security and other threats. Organizations face great risk from increasingly frequent and sophisticated attempts to render web properties unavailable, and steal intellectual property or personally identifiable information. Layered security best practices extend security beyond the data center, delivering DDoS protection and maintaining site performance in the face of fast-changing threats.