As we all know, most “conferences” are tradeshows or events for vendors to reach out to end users. This week’s Cloud Leadership Forum was actually a pretty open, honest gathering of 400+ IT professionals (from CIOs to architects to other IT functions) and senior vendor executives from Microsoft, VMware, Cisco, Juniper, etc. As well as several of IDC’s top analyst VPs.
Ryan Nichols summarized this well in his Computerworld blog today.
The overall group (aside from a few vocal vendors) was quite retrospective in their views of cloud computing and their current/future plans for it.
Some of the more interesting dialogs I heard and captured were around interest (and trends, per IDC) in top use cases for public clouds (vs. private). They included:
- Collaboration apps (can you say “Exchange Online” or Webex?)
- Software dev test
- Backup and restore (espec. smaller to mid-size businesses)
- General “crapplications” (to quote IDC Chief Analyst Frank Gens)
While the discussion and several analysts/users stated that “most applications were eventual candidates to move to the (public) cloud,” legacy applications (Solaris, mainframe, etc) were called out as the obvious candidates for NOT moving to the cloud (unless the app is end of life and being replaced).
One interesting comment (maybe even a concern) during the closing session from one attendee was very simple, and probably resonates with many of us:
--> “After attending the last two days of sessions, it’s not clear to me exactly WHAT a private cloud is. And that is concerning…”
Follow on comments reinforced that vendors’ and IT users’ definition of private clouds – while no longer simply a synonym for “virtualized or VM dense data center” – were still very subjective and individualized, hardly a consistent Wikipedia definition or templated business application architecture.
While companies and IT teams are embracing the concept of cloud computing, internal (private) and external (public), we have have to remember we’re still in the first one or two outs at the top of the first inning, and it’s gonna be a long ball game before we look back and say “did you deploy that standard private cloud design?”.
What is your definition of a private cloud, circa mid 2010?