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The Efficiency of Cloud Computing

An exclusive Q&A with Dale Wang, Senior Product Manager at XO Communications

"The industry has already achieved significant headway on lowering costs for cloud-based services in 2012," said Dale Wang, Senior Product Manager at XO Communications, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. "However," Wang noted, "trust is probably an area that will require further work as we continue to hear in the news about outages and data breaches."

Cloud Computing Journal: The move to cloud isn't about saving money, it is about saving time. - Agree or disagree?

Dale Wang: Agree.

Cloud Computing Journal: How should organizations tackle their regulatory and compliance concerns in the cloud? Who should they be asking / trusting for advice?

Wang: Customers need to first have a clear understanding of what categories of regulatory compliances they fall under, i.e., if their systems handle credit card data, then PCI applies, or if they have medical patient data, then HIPAA compliance applies. Then, they should look for updates from the Payment Card Industry (PCI) or other regulatory bodies since regulations have been changing as a result of the wide adoption of cloud computing. As for whom they should seek advice from on regulatory and compliance concerns, I would recommend independent third-party auditors who currently provide security and compliance audit services to cloud service providers as a starting point.

Cloud Computing Journal: What does the emergence of Open Source clouds mean for the cloud ecosystem? How does the existence of OpenStack, CloudStack, OpenNebula, Eucalyptus and so on affect your own company?

Wang: This is a significant development in cloud computing, and should drive standardization and interoperability across the numerous cloud services providers in the industry. We will be monitoring progress in Open Source projects such as OpenStack, Openflow, Project Daylight, etc., very closely going forward, and do expect some level of engagement, or even participation in the future.

Cloud Computing Journal: With SMBs, the two primary challenges they face moving to the cloud are always stated as being cost and trust: where is the industry on satisfying SMBs on both points simultaneously - further along than in 2011-12, or...?

Wang: The industry has already achieved significant headway on lowering costs for cloud-based services in 2012; however, trust is probably an area that will require further work as we continue to hear in the news about outages and data breaches.

Cloud Computing Journal: 2013 seems to be turning into a breakthrough year for Big Data. How much does the success of cloud computing have to do with that?

Wang: It is quite significant since without cloud computing, it would be quite expensive and difficult for many companies to leverage Big Data to gain insight into customers, or supply chain, or many other facets of their business.

Cloud Computing Journal: What about the role of social: aside from the acronym itself SMAC (for Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) are you seeing and/or anticipating major traction in this area?

Wang: Yes, the cloud is already playing a major role as the foundation that supports applications in Social, Mobile, and Analytics.

Cloud Computing Journal: To finish, just as real estate is always said to be about "location, location, location", what one word, repeated three times, would you say Cloud Computing is all about?

Wang: Efficiency, Efficiency, Efficiency.

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