GoGrid and GigaOM Structure 2011 Recap – Thought-Leadership in the Cloud

June 29th, 2011 by - 3,527 views

Last week, the 4th annual GigaOM Structure conference was held in Northern California and GoGrid was part of the show in many ways not only as a sponsor but also active in a variety of panels. This was our 4th Structure conference that we attended and 3rd that we have sponsored…so I guess you can say that we have been there from the start and support the efforts of the GigaOM team. Structure is GigaOM’s “flagship conference on Cloud Computing and Internet Infrastructure” and we have seen the conference grow from a single day to this year’s two day sold-out conference.

What struck me and my colleagues most about this show is the professional and technical level of the attendees. This was not a show of cloud or IaaS “tire kickers”, these were people and businesses who knew their stuff about cloud computing and who were bringing value to the cloud (not diluting the term “cloud” like we are seeing in the mainstream media, in TV commercials and elsewhere). This was a partnership-making event. You could just feel the deals being drafted out in the hallways between sessions.

(image source: GigaOM)

But Structure 2011 was also an educational event, with carefully chosen speakers and panels providing thought-leadership ideas and commentary to a captive audience. I’m not going to discuss each and every session in this article, simply because GigaOM already has that covered. However, because GoGrid was an active in the event, I did want to provide a brief recap of two sessions that we were part of:

  • “Dedicated, In More Ways Than One: The IaaS Panel”
  • “The What, How and Why of Secure SaaS Delivery – GoGrid and Orange Business Services Discuss the Hosted Private Cloud as the Enabler”

The IaaS Panel was hosted by Paul Miller, Founder of Cloud of Data. On the panel with Paul was our very on John Keagy, Executive Chair and Founder of GoGrid; Chris Pinkham, Co-Founder and CEO of Nimbula; and Duke Skarda, CTO of SoftLayer. You can watch the full panel discussion in the video below.

More businesses are demanding dedicated infrastructure (not sharing hardware with other tenants) on the grounds that it is more secure and offers better performance. The panel discusses the merits of this reasoning and highlight the fact that you aren’t getting the true benefits of cloud computing using solely dedicated hardware. While public clouds, as multi-tenant environments, may make more sense financially, it’s still met with trepidation from “hardware huggers”. The speakers all believe that dedicated infrastructure will grow over the next 5 years, but will ultimately serve as a gateway to public and private cloud infrastructures.

The panel also talks about the mentality towards applications. For so long, developers were adamant about which hardware and operating systems they built their applications on. Now the types of cloud and OS aren’t as important as they used to be. The experts claim that cloud computing users should focus on the application and need to find solutions that best meet the needs of that application.

Finally, the video highlights and discusses the current trend away from virtualization – John Keagy even declares that, “The party is over for virtualization,” essentially, that cloud computing is not virtualization alone. As John states, the type of virtualization software that is used by a cloud provider usually doesn’t matter (unless it is costly to the vendor and that mark-up is passed on to the end-user – my side note) when the customer is shopping for a cloud and it will matter even less in the future. (For those interested, GoGrid uses opensource Xen and a proprietary management layer.)

The GoGrid and Orange Business Services Workshop was a question and answer panel moderated by Paul Miller. Panelists were: Lee Cardona – Director, Orange Business Services, Michael Mascia – Director, Technology Partners, Platform Engineering and Development, Orange Business Services, Mario Olivarez – VP of Products, GoGrid and Jeffrey Samuels – CMO, GoGrid. GoGrid and Orange recently implemented a private cloud using GoGrid’s Hosted Private Cloud service. Soon, GoGrid will be releasing the Orange Case Study which goes into more details of the reasoning behind Orange choosing GoGrid as their solution provider.

Did you attend or watch the livestream or recorded videos of Structure 2011? I would love to know what you thought of the event, the content, the speakers, the sessions and what you gained from it.

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Michael Sheehan

Michael Sheehan, formerly the Technology Evangelist for GoGrid, is a recognized technology, social media, and cloud computing pundit and blogger who writes regularly about technology news and trends.

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