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Cloud Moves From Talk To Walk

CA and Nebula's cloud announcements this week reflect the reality that enterprises have moved past the theoretical to the practical.

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You can debate a new technology model only for so long. This year, more enterprises are moving beyond the theoretical and into the practical stage of using cloud technologies and services. As virtualization did in certain ways, cloud helps IT change from being the "no" people to the "yes" people. I say that has an even stronger appeal than the cost savings, because it brings IT closer to the holy grail--helping the business innovate, quickly. As you stop talking cloud and start walking, two key questions are how fast will you move, and which vendors will be key to your plans?

Will it be the old guard management software vendors, like CA, which this week released 10 new or upgraded cloud-related products, after a two-year acquisition spree? CA's pitch emphasizes pragmatism, addressing pain points such as performance monitoring, as's Charles Babcock reports. But CA faces a host of rivals including a slew of startups.

The young guns promise to help you move fast. Don’t miss Babcock's interview with Chris Kemp, former NASA CTO, whose startup company, Nebula, will supply an appliance that manages sets of commodity servers as a private cloud.

"One of our appliances can power up to 24 Dell or HP commodity servers," Kemp tells Babcock. "The customer can decide which low-cost servers he puts in the cabinet. The moment you connect the appliance's Ethernet port to a server, the server will power on and become a compute node in a massively scaleable, elastic compute cloud. It will be provided with a lot of links. It will be compatible with standard APIs, from Amazon or Rackspace [public clouds]."

As Forrester Research analyst James Staten tweeted about Nebula's plans Thursday, "OpenStack cloud-in-a-box should be popular."

Nebula's appliance will work with old guard management tools, by the way, including CA's Unicenter.

But let's leave the cloud and get down to earth for a minute. Before you start commuting your way to the weekend, take a moment to review your cell phone manners.'s Eric Zeman shares the 5 cell phone etiquette offenses that bug people most. Hint: Keep those Angry Birds to yourself.

Laurianne McLaughlin is editor-in-chief for Follow her on Twitter at @lmclaughlin.

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