Cloud // Infrastructure as a Service
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11/9/2011
11:56 AM
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Cloud Myth 101: Cloud Is A Place

You don't get to simply load your old enterprise IT problems on a truck and arrive at a new abode. But you do get to decide what kind of IT shop to become.

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A security expert whom I follow on Twitter recently took issue with journalists' continued insistence on writing headlines about moving to the cloud, racing to the cloud, and traveling to the cloud. He's absolutely right. You don't move to the cloud. The cloud is not a place, when we speak of it in computing terms. It is an operational model (with many variations) that you adopt--and then continue to adapt.

You change your IT staff, your IT operations, and some of the tools in use, in order to accommodate this model. But you don't get to simply load your old enterprise IT problems on a truck and arrive at a new place.

To put place aside and use a different analogy, cloud computing is more like a marriage. Once you get married, the hard work of making the marriage successful for both people really begins. Once you transition to a cloud model, you and your team will be working at it for years.

This cloud move terminology is a headline-writing habit that I have vowed to break, so we will try hard not to move to the cloud anymore here on InformationWeek.com.

We will, however, be closely watching that cloud model evolve, and examining what makes it work for enterprises. Case in point: InformationWeek's Charles Babcock recently sat down with Cloud Technology Partners execs to talk to them about the framework that they use with customers preparing for private cloud projects. Consider their advice in 6 Big Questions For Private Cloud Projects.

You must start with the very practical--exactly what is getting done in legacy applications, for example--but move on to the visionary: What kind of IT shop do you want to become? Does the cloud model mean, for you, that you'll get rid of lots of hardware? Chop IT delivery times in half? Have a nimble group of in-house developers using open source tools, or stick with trusted vendors who now speak SaaS? Moving to a mythical, offsite place "in the cloud" would be a lot easier.

For most enterprises, private vs. public cloud, still a favorite debate among cloud industry types, is not an either/or question, or a question of which cloud is "true cloud". It's a question of mix. What stays private for now, and what moves to public, and when.

My UBM colleague Greg MacSweeney of Wall St. & Technology had an interesting interview with Adam Selipsky, vice president of Amazon Web Services. AWS says even financial services customers--who of course face some of the toughest security and compliance hurdles--are re-examining their attitudes toward cloud security.

Though Selipsky declined to share how many financial services customers AWS has now, he shared some interesting examples of banking and related customers edging into some tasks being done using the public cloud model. (See, no moving to the cloud.)

"We've not found that the size of the bank is a big factor in determining the rate of adoption," Selipsky told MacSweeney. "AWS has financial institutions of all sizes leveraging the services. For example, Bankinter, one of Spain's five largest banks, has adopted AWS for their credit risk simulations. Bankinter uses HPC on AWS to run credit risk simulations to evaluate the financial health of their clients. By incorporating AWS into their IT environment, Bankinter has managed to take their average time for running simulations from 23 hours to 20 minutes."

That's not a place. That's a smashing process success.

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

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Guest,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/10/2011 | 11:29:45 AM
re: Cloud Myth 101: Cloud Is A Place
A very interesting article on what we call the cloud and how the myths surrounding the "cloud" platform form a haze around what it actually is, an easy to use , cost efficient platform with the added advantages of portability and interoperability.Just watched an excellent video presentation on cloud computing,Technology benefits , providing insight into cost savings and operational efficiencies and strategies for adoption@http://bit.ly/pY4d6k
parkercloud
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parkercloud,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/9/2011 | 10:04:15 PM
re: Cloud Myth 101: Cloud Is A Place
Perfect timing, see #5 Public Cloud services have add margin for profit.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jo...
parkercloud
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parkercloud,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/9/2011 | 9:17:39 PM
re: Cloud Myth 101: Cloud Is A Place
Please help solve the definition problem by referring to the NIST Cloud definition. I see this getting referenced more and more and becoming the standard definition but it does not provide any designs
parkercloud
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parkercloud,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/9/2011 | 8:46:39 PM
re: Cloud Myth 101: Cloud Is A Place
My biggest interest is cost as less cost is the primary false opinion people have of Public Cloud services (vs. Private cloud). There isn't a standard Private cloud design (or at least I have never heard of one, anybody knows of one please reply) and I don't think I have ever seen a detailed Private cloud design used to compare against Public Cloud cost. How can Public Cloud be compared to Private when Private is unknown quantity (or done badly). Think about this for a second, there is a major technology (Private / Hybrid Cloud) that promises orders of magnitude less cost, more reliable, more scalable, more efficient then legacy IT practice but there isn't a known standard or definition. There are some Private cloud solutions being sold as such but they are missing major components or badly designed / overpriced.
jrapoza
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jrapoza,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/9/2011 | 8:45:11 PM
re: Cloud Myth 101: Cloud Is A Place
One of the problems is how, like many emerging technologies, the term "cloud" has been hijacked to mean things that don't match with the original meaning. Nowadays anything that is Internet-based makes a cloud claim.
When Microsoft runs ads saying "go to the cloud" it's understandable that people think of it as a place.

Jim Rapoza is an InformationWeek Contributing Editor
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
11/9/2011 | 8:05:51 PM
re: Cloud Myth 101: Cloud Is A Place
There are plenty of cloud myths out there, true. We'll tackle more of them soon. The one you mention, public cloud cost, was a hot topic at Interop NY recently. Which ones are you most interested in--cost/ROI? management? security?
parkercloud
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parkercloud,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/9/2011 | 6:06:22 PM
re: Cloud Myth 101: Cloud Is A Place
A more accurate myth is "the cloud" itself. There is no "the cloud" single entity but many Public Cloud services with a wide variety of features and cost. It would be much more helpful to specifically state the Public Cloud service in context of the comment. The biggest myth is Public Cloud services are always less expensive, brought to you by Public cloud service Marketing and legacy IT. The proof of this is Facebook has their own datacenters, they do not use Amazon
Multicloud Infrastructure & Application Management
Multicloud Infrastructure & Application Management
Enterprise cloud adoption has evolved to the point where hybrid public/private cloud designs and use of multiple providers is common. Who among us has mastered provisioning resources in different clouds; allocating the right resources to each application; assigning applications to the "best" cloud provider based on performance or reliability requirements.
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