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Cloud Factors: Cost, Complexity, and Compliance

An exclusive Q&A with SAS 70 Solutions Douglas Barbin

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"I think that with conferences like this [Cloud Expo] vendors are coming out with real service offerings with pricing and contracts (vs. pie-in-the-sky concepts that were being thrown around a year ago)," so noted Douglas Barbin , Director at SAS 70 Solutions, in this post-show Q&A with Cloud Expo Chair Jeremy Geelan.

Barbin also noted that cloud computing is experiencing an evolution, not a revolution, as companies are now saying their "‘enterprise uses an IaaS provider or Software-as-a-Service, etc.'"

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Cloud Computing Journal: A very general question first, about Cloud Computing itself: Surely we've heard all of this before in various forms and guises - grid computing / utility computing, etc.? What is different this time - why is everyone so convinced it will now work?

Douglas Barbin: I think that with conferences like this [Cloud Expo] vendors are coming out with real service offerings with pricing and contracts (vs. pie-in-the-sky concepts that were being thrown around a year ago).

Cloud Computing Journal: What are the three main factors driving CIOs toward the Cloud?

Barbin: (1) Cost; (2) complexity (not being able to manage the systems/applications in-house) - related to cost; and (3) compliance/security. I know this is contrary to what the security experts will tell you, but a down-to-earth enterprise CIO will know that with his/her limited resources, he/she can only do so much to protect the systems and data and, like it or not, needs to leverage his outsourced providers. (It also gives him/her someone (else) to blame if things go wrong...)

Cloud Computing Journal: And what are the three main barriers preventing some CIOs from moving some of the on-premise computing to the Cloud?

Barbin: (1) Security/compliance - the vast majority of writing out there tells CIOs to fear the cloud. A lot of this is FUD and most can be handled through good due diligence (selecting the right firm, confirming that they have the necessary controls in place, etc.). (2) Plain cultural - "We don't outsource" and "no one can do it better" are still messages that come down from many CEOs.

Cloud Computing Journal: How does your own company's offering/s assist CIOs and organizations/companies?

Barbin: We are the auditors that come into a cloud provider and assess their IT and operations so they can provide an independent report to their customers that they are doing what they say they are doing.

Cloud Computing Journal: Are there other players in the Cloud ecosystem offering the same - or is your company unique? Why?

Barbin: There are to an extent. The big CPA firms offer service provider audits (called a SAS 70 / SSAE 16 audits). The security consulting and product companies offer Payment Card Industry (PCI) security assessments. We are one of a very few that offer both. More important, we don't offer all of the other services and products from tax to antivirus software, making us arguably one of the most focused providers of cloud assessments in the market.

Cloud Computing Journal: We hear talk of a Cloud Revolution and also of a Cloud "evolution" - either way, what kind of time span are we talking about, do you think. In other words, for how long is Cloud Computing going to exert its pull on the minds, hearts, and budgets of all involved in modern-day Enterprise IT?

Barbin: I vote for evolution. I think it will capture the most this year and (hopefully) continue to evolve into something more real in the coming years. The evidence of this is the mere fact that people aren't saying "we outsource to the cloud"; they're saying "our enterprise uses an IaaS provider or Software-as-a-Service, etc. The mere fact that we're getting more specific is evolution IMO.

A Rock Star Faculty, Top Keynotes, Sessions, and Top Delegates!
Cloud Expo 2010 West, November 1-4, Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, California will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.

The growth and success of Cloud Computing will be on display at the upcoming Cloud Expo conferences and exhibitions in Prague June 21-22 and Santa Clara November 1-4.

The recent Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City was the largest Cloud Computing conference ever produced, more sponsors, exhibitors and delegates than all other Cloud events of the year combined!

The four-day Santa Clara event will attract more than 5,000 delegates from 48 countries and over 150 sponsors and exhibitors on a 120,000 sq ft show floor, larger than Cloud Expo 2010 East, New York City event!

All main layers of the Cloud ecosystem will be represented in the6th and 7th International Cloud Expo - the infrastructure players, the platform providers, and those offering applications, and they'll all be here to speak, sponsor, exhibit and network.

"Cloud Expo was announced on February 24, 2007, the day the term ‘cloud computing' was coined," said Fuat Kircaali, founder and chairman of SYS-CON Events, Inc. "Cloud has become synonymous with ‘computing' and ‘software' in two short years, and this event has become the new PC Expo, Comdex, and InternetWorld of our decade. By 2012, more than 50,000 delegates per year will be attending Cloud Expo."

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Cloud Expo 2010 Europe and Cloud Expo 2010 West "show prospectus" have shipped. Sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities can be obtained from Carmen Gonzalez by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802 3021.

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Cloud Expo delegates can pre-register for the Cloud Expo Europe with €550+ savings here and for Cloud Expo West with $800+ savings here.

About SYS-CON Media & Events
SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com) has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream at www.sys-con.com - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events. The company's internationally recognized brands include among others Cloud Computing Expo (www.CloudComputingExpo.com), Virtualization Conference & Expo (www.VirtualizationConference.com), Government IT Conference & Expo (www.GovITExpo.com), Cloud Computing Bootcamp (www.CloudComputingBootcamp.com), and UlitzerLive! New Media Conference & Expo (http://events.sys-con.com).

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