Cloud enablement

6 More Truths About Cloud Computing

NEW YORK -- Carrier Cloud Forum -- This week, Light Reading held its second Carrier Cloud Forum, five months after its first. (See 7 Truths About Cloud Computing.)

Why so soon? Because the cloud world is changing that quickly. Here's what's we've learned since May, as explained by panelists and keynoters:

1. Cloud isn't one thing -- and it's not the only thing
That was the thesis of Matt Laslie's morning keynote. As technical director of network technologies for Savvis (Nasdaq: SVVS) (now owned by CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL)), he's been supporting a hybrid approach -- not referring to public plus private clouds, but to the mixing of cloud services with whatever else an enterprise uses, including applications that (gasp!) aren't in the cloud.

"If you're an enterprise, it's fine to mix and match and work with your service provider to build a solution that is not necessarily 100 percent cloud," Laslie said.

For Savvis and some other service providers, cloud services aren't much different from other hosted and managed services. So, with some legwork, Savvis mixes all the elements -- connecting a private data center to Savvis-based cloud services via Savvis's MPLS network, for instance.

2. Enterprises are going to be really hard to serve
Small and medium businesses (SMB) have been the easy targets for cloud services: They don't want to own infrastructure and have no IT staff resisting the move to cloud. Now, cloud providers have to figure out how to attract enterprises -- beyond the occasional rogue enterprise division that taps Amazon Web Services Inc. .

"The thing that slows the enterprise adoption of cloud the most is [the thought of] somehow having to change the network configurations or the security policies they have in place," said Ellen Rubin, vice president of cloud products at Verizon Terremark , now part of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).

How to get around that? Scott Bils, partner with The Everest Group, suggested tackling a specific business use case for an enterprise, rather than trying to sell "The Cloud." Bils cited one CIO who has ordered his staff to stop talking to vendors about "cloud" altogether, a sign that the hype has reached the eye-rolling stage.

Similarly, Scott Cain, BT Global Services 's chief architect and CTO, explained that his company's sales strategy involves not just targeting vertical markets, but finding specific use cases in those markets.

Another possibility is that service providers start helping enterprises adjust to the cloud. "We definitely see some service providers moving into the IT consulting realm," said David Frattura, senior director of cloud strategy at Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU).

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asykley999 12/5/2012 | 4:50:53 PM
re: 6 More Truths About Cloud Computing

The common theme to the "myths" of cloud computing is lack of tools to transition and migrate one's IT assets - applications and data - safely and conveniently to a cloud infrastructure in a way that overcomes of crosses over or around each of these concerns. Specific concerns such as standards and security, remain so, but different enterprises prioritize these issues differently. But enterprises are not blocked by a lack of a common API standard, or by a common solution to security isssues. They feel they don't have tools to make the transition.  Probably what will happen is vendors of these  enterprise applications and database systems will perhaps one day provide cloud-versions of their products running on the VM ware equivalent of their chosen operating system(s).  And if they think about it well enough, the apps and db vendors  will come up with the needed consulting and migration strategies and tools to help their customers move seamlessely to and from the in-house IT infrastructure and  the cloud, or as the Stave says, experiment with some mix between the two. I emphasize that "back and forth" is important. Enterprises should have tools to move selected portions of their IT to a cloud, and back out of it, as business needs change.  It should  be no more different than a decision such choosing to run on one type of operating system or database, or running on a mix of operating systems and databases and experimenting with different mix of consolidations and re-distributions among different types of platform. Such decisions have always been based in part in technical grounds that drive simplification and standardization, and business concerns based on cost and taking advantage of competing platform vendor offers. A clound vendor is  pone of those competing platform offers. Server vendors won't stand still and will offer competitive alteratives to the cloud vendors too, we must be sure of that. Meanwhile, if any specific enterprise has an immediate need to move to a cloud, they can perhaps look to start ups  such as Rivermeadow Networks to work immediate migrations to the cloud if they need to.

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