Roundtable: The cloud's silver lining

Roundtable: The cloud's silver lining

Cloud computing is the latest IT industry buzzword, but what does it really mean, and how will it effect customer procurement today and tomorrow? ARN recently brought together a panel of industry representatives to discuss the opportunities and challenges.

“Cloud is a buzzword – it’s just about how people enable that service. It’s service-oriented business delivery.” Shadi Haddad, Ethan Group

“Cloud is a buzzword – it’s just about how people enable that service. It’s service-oriented business delivery.” Shadi Haddad, Ethan Group

TB: If you take the analogy of the lawn mower: If you mow once a week, that machine is sitting there idle for six days out of seven. And if you did your own power – what would you do with the oversupply? We overprovision and under-utilise and we can’t free up what’s not being used for someone else to utilise. In the long run, that’s the major benefit out of cloud computing. We have a way to release that to the broader grid.

NC: Can we really achieve true on-demand computing?

SHa: I think we’ve already achieved that. It’s available. It’s a matter of adoption.

AK: It’s getting it all tied together, that’s the magic.

SHa: What the whole cloud idea is doing is making it easier, and giving people the tools to adopt it much easier than ever before. They can demand a service and get a response without having to speak to five people, or hire an engineer. Cloud hype is creating a window of opportunity for people to build the tools to make that whole process easier.

DMc: It’s a pretty valid, overarching term. Within that you have other acronyms like software-as-a-service which defines a service offering that fits into a cloud model. Part of the reason it’s hard to define is it’s a pretty overarching term.

AK: It’s personalised data technology.

LL: You just plug in and it’s there. And you don’t know what the limit is either.

AK: The number one thing on my list for this stuff to work is to take a business process, automate it and throw it on virtualised infrastructure. The reality is you have to virtualise, whether with us or the others, and once you embrace the technology, management comes in. Then it comes down to the ability phase – interoperability, scalability and automation. No one owns the management space – they claim they do, but no one will ever own it because there will always be different pieces of stuff customers will want to look at and those things need to talk to each other. From VMware’s perspective, getting into and out of architectures should be easy, and it should be low-cost. The end game is going to be the person who manages that architecture. Whoever does that very well will be running the show from a vendor point of view.

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