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IDC on Cloud Computing

I came across an article published in December 2009 where EMC interviews Frank Gens, IDC’s senior vice president and chief analyst, on trends and directions in virtualization and private clouds. It has some sense with a portion of non-sense.

The idea of private clouds is exciting: to bring the efficiency, simplicity, and adoption speed benefits of public clouds into datacenters, and yet IT still maintains control.

I dare to think that Frank Gens is getting it wrong. Why to maintain control? Putting security issues aside, this just defeats the purpose (at least partially) of cloud computing to cut costs as business would need to spend money on hardware and its maintenance. I am not saying that if you use a public cloud (or private cloud in the way I understand it), you do not pay for maintenance of hardware it uses. Yes, you do, but you do not have to keep engineers in house to do that. You just consume a service and pay for it as much as you use it.

But, like I said, putting security issues aside, when you take security into account, you may start thinking the way Frank Gens does, but this problem can be solved if you have proper agreements with your service providers listing SLAs, availability, and disaster recovery requirements (this is to answer Frank’s concerns on performance and availability) and you connect via a VPN. It is working in enterprise environments, I have seen this. Speaking of permissions, there are some solutions, but they are not perfect yet, but standards are there, it just has to be straighten out a bit and put to use in enterprises.

In general, I think private clouds in the sense IDC understands them are similar to slavery. But private clouds the way I see them are similar to freedom; yet, they offer better return and agility.

I totally agree with Frank Gens that cloud computing is better positioned for IT to “adapt quickly to changing business requirements, including new business applications, support for mergers and acquisitions, integrating new development and distribution partners, and supporting new business configurations (e.g., outsourcing/offshoring)”. The way business operates may change along with moving into the cloud.

  1. Alexander Glazkov
    March 25, 2010 at 09:02
  2. pjcody
    March 29, 2010 at 16:04

    Alex, I agree with you, once data integrity and security issues have been resolved, clouds have a lot of potential. What I don’t understand is how moving a data center to a cloud will be cost effective.( beyond the savings of not having a physical datacenter) I really think that to realize any savings a new way of building and using cloud services need to be considered. Justing moving my servers and storage to a cloud seems to me to be expensive. When I am done with the move all I have is a virtualized datacenter on top of my old datacenter architecture. Maybe implementing and using services and SaaS in new Service Architecture?f And I guess if my data center already supports services and SaaS then savings could be realized if there is a need for expanding processing capabilities.

  3. Alexander Glazkov
    March 29, 2010 at 16:50

    I’m not saying that data centers should be moved into the cloud. The point is companies that are not in the IT business should not have data centers and staff that manages them. Data centers will not disappear, but they will support services offered in the cloud. The cost of storage will go down eventually and there are reasons for that. SMBs should benefit from this and based on recent reports, Microsoft’s primary reason of moving their productivity suite into the cloud is SMBs. Basically, this should equalize large and small companies in terms of capabilities. In essence, what we are observing here is slow division of labor on a large scale.

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