What Did We Learn at Cloud Expo in New York?
Performance, Efficiency, and Security Topped the Agenda
By: Roger Strukhoff
Apr. 26, 2010 05:28 AM
The two largest Cloud Computing events ever produced have now been produced: Cloud Expo in Santa Clara last fall, and the Fifth International Cloud Expo, completed in late April at the Javits Center in New York.
The Santa Clara event was noted for a large spillover from the main room for the opening keynote. A surprising walk-up attendance surge pushed the limits of the planned space for the event; you know you have a successful event when you're scrambling around for chairs.
The New York event didn't see this last-minute scramble, but it did fill every square inch of allocated space, in the keynote hall, conference rooms, and exhibition floor.
A year ago, most IT execs were looking into the "what" of Cloud Computing, as Cloud Expo speaker Dr. Hal Stern of Oracle noted. "But this year, people are here to talk about 'how.'" as he said during his session in New York. (Hal was so integral to Sun Microsystems for so long, it's odd to write or see the phrase "Dr. Hal Stern of Oracle." It's sort of like saying "Wayne Gretzky of the Los Angeles Kings," although we're not sure how hockey-fan Hal feels about being compared to The Great One.)
Cloud Expo in New York did have that "how" feel through and through, in a way that Santa Clara did not. The last-minute rush in Santa Clara reflected an extreme interest in Cloud; everyone showed up at once to see what all the hubbub was about. In New York, they showed up to see how to squeeze performance out of Cloud Computing, how to become more efficient with it, and how to make it secure.
In Santa Clara, we learned that old horse Unisys was up to the challenge of being modern and fresh, when it emerged as a major player in the Cloud. In New York, we saw a full-court press by Oracle (newly merged with Sun), which examined Cloud from several angles. We saw Microsoft and Amazon Web Services with a show of strength as well. We also saw key technologies from numerous sponsors and exhibitors who proved, again, that IT transformations are not just a product of two or three massive companies.
Despite the presence of big dogs at Cloud Expo and those who would, ah, "eat' with them, there's not much real "cool factor" with Cloud Computing, and that's the best possible thing to say about it. This is not a cool trend, a cool fad, or a new and cool technology.
Cloud Computing is, instead, the fruition of all the good ideas that have emerged within the past 10 or 15 years:
* a platform-independent "write once, run anywhere" programming technology (Java)
Cloud Computing focuses on economies of scale and a new era of dynamic, real-time monitoring to deliver what it promises.
And will it deliver what it promises? And what does it promise?
It can save money, for starters. The idea of being able to create an SLA based on real, real-time workload lies at the heart of the "pay as you go" promise. This won't happen unless IT execs really understand their workloads and how much they demand over the long run and in small increments of time. We're not at the stage where compute power is metered like electricity or water, and may never be, because, well, computing power is not electricity or water. But efficiency is there for those who work hard to seek it.
The money issue comes up with capital expenditure as well. The lack of capex should stimulate any number of SMBs, companies in developing countries, even large companies looking to add new services or deployments who are unable or unwilling to buy the iron and software needed to make their dreams come true. You pay a fare (and paid some taxes) to take the train to work in the morning, even though you probably still have a car at home as well.
The switchover of major IT expense from capex to ongoing operations will give your beancounters new thrills as well, and you can look forward to many new arguments about how monthly service expense versus amortization affects your company's results.
There is a "green" argument to be made with Cloud Computing as well. Leaving aside the big global issues and concentrating on your neck of the woods, the bottom line is you won't be consuming as many resources on-site.
The security argument is a facile one to pose, and a tough one to solve. Numerous sessions at Cloud Expo in New York addressed specific security concerns and schema. A broader consensus for standards needs to develop. But to me, the world is divided into people and organizations who dream of what they can do, and of people and organizations who worry abut what they can't do.
There will always be "valid" arguments made about security and the Cloud, and there will be front-page stories (or should I say, "home-page stories") about how a security lapse just endangered x-million databases records, etc. The serious IT professionals won't let fear drive their decisions, but will be very thorough in making sure their issues are addressed by their vendors; just as they do internally today.
The next Cloud Expos are in Prague June 21-22 and Santa Clara November 1-4; we should expect a lot more "how" as well as a lot of "why" as the Cloud Computing transformation continues.
A Rock Star Faculty, Top Keynotes, Sessions, and Top Delegates!
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 6,000 delegates from 48 countries and over 200 sponsors and exhibitors on a 120,000 sq ft show floor, larger than Cloud Expo 201 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 attending Cloud Expo."
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Cloud Expo, Cloud Expo East, Cloud Expo West, Cloud Expo Silicon Valley, Cloud Expo Europe, Cloud Expo Tokyo, Cloud Expo Prague, Cloud Expo Hong Kong, Cloud Expo Sao Paolo are trademarks and /or registered trademarks (USPTO serial number 85009040) of Cloud Expo, Inc.)
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