As is customary with the passing of an old year and the exciting entrance into a new one, people try to make their best predictions as to what the future holds within their area of expertise. For GoGrid, this is obviously around Cloud Computing. This year, instead of making my own prediction list (as I have done in the past), I thought it would be important to get some other expert voices from the GoGrid and cloud community to do this task.
The important thing to always remember here, especially when dealing with the cloud, is that it changes quickly. It’s similar to buying the latest technology, the moment you buy it (or make the prediction, in this case), it’s instantly outdated. But still, the process is fun if not, educational.
Below is a compilation of 2012 cloud computing predictions from a variety of subject matter experts and thought-leaders in the field of cloud infrastructure, security and services. The contributors are:
Warren Heffelfinger (CEO – GoGrid)
James Urquhart (Cloud Writer – GigaOm/VP of Product Strategies – enStratus/GoGrid Partner)
Larry Warnock (CEO – Gazzang/GoGrid Partner)
John Keagy (Chairman & Founder – GoGrid)
Carson Sweet (CEO – CloudPassage/GoGrid Partner)
Antonio Piraino (CTO – ScienceLogic/GoGrid Customer)
Because of the wealth of knowledge coming from this group, I have actually broken this article out into a series of 2 posts. Without further ado, onto the first set of predictions!
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.
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.
I came across an interesting article in the CNN Tech section of CNN titled “A trip into the secret, online ‘cloud’” written by John Sutter. The article itself, takes a unique approach as the author “searches” for his data in the “cloud.” As Stacey Higginbotham of GigaOmpoints out, the goal of the article is to “explain cloud computing to the masses” however, she continues by saying that the premise behind the CNN article is not quite on target. The example that is given in the article is that of uploading a picture to an image sharing site like Flickr or Picasa, and that once you do that, you just “started using Cloud Computing.”
The problem that I have been having with mainstream media is that now putting stuff “into the cloud” seems to be synonymous with “using Cloud Computing.” It is not. Simply uploading data or files to a service that stores it is just that, storing data on someone’s server. Cloud Computing is much more, especially when you factor in the different types of Cloud Computing layers (Infrastructure – like GoGrid or AWS, Platform – like Google App Engine or Force.com, or Software – like SalesForce). Some would say, myself included, that Gmail is a type of Cloud Application, however I’m starting to view SaaS or Cloud Applications almost in a class of their own since the boundaries or somewhat blurred and the characteristics of Cloud Computing (on-demand, scalable, utility billing, elastic, self-service and even virtualized) might not be fully present with the SaaS space. That is a different topic entirely.
While the author, John Sutter, of the CNN article brings up some good points, he is obviously frustrated by the lack of visibility within the cloud and of the vendors that provide Cloud Services of one sort or another. I personally extend an open invitation to John to visit the GoGrid offices where he can fully explore our offering (yes, we too will have to put some things under NDA or “off the record” but we are always fairly forthcoming on our direction and thought-leadership in the Cloud Computing space).
Back to the title of this article. John’s story on the CNN site opens with the following video called “Cloud Computing Explained” and discusses, in a friendly format, how his picture travels into the Cloud. Its a somewhat good attempt at explaining how “the cloud” works, but misses much of the true benefits and features of Cloud Computing. Watch it below and read on.
Over a year ago, I conceived and scripted a video ALSO called “Cloud Computing Explained.” It was produced in-house with our web development team and simply uploaded to YouTube without any real hype. As of this writing, it has over 100,000 views, a 5-star rating (almost 300 ratings) and over 150 (mainly positive) comments about it. Of course, we took the approach of explaining the Cloud Infrastructure layer, because that is what GoGrid provides, Cloud Infrastructure Hosting as a Service.
15-year-old Daniel Brusilovsky spent some time with me at GigaOM’s Structure ’08. Below is an interview that I did with Daniel where we discussed GoGrid and Cloud Computing.
Daniel is the founder and CEO of TeensinTech.com, an organization working to create “a community for teenagers who want to start podcasting, blogging, video-casting and producting all types of new media.” See an interview with Daniel here.