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2/9/2012
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Cloud Success Stories In Spotlight At Coud Connect

This year, implementing cloud computing will take precedence over defining it at the annual Santa Clara show that helped define cloud architecture.

10 Important Cloud Apps For SMBs
10 Important Cloud Apps For SMBs
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Businesses and other organizations face tough challenges when trying to find the right way to build cloud applications and handle big data. Those issues, and in-depth discussions of advanced cloud use cases, will be features at the 2012 Cloud Connect conference and expo in Santa Clara, Calif., Feb. 13-16.

Phillip Easter, director of mobile applications at America Airlines, will be one of the featured speakers during the Wednesday 9-11 a.m. keynotes. He plans to address how legacy mainframe data can be integrated with real-time flight data in Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud, according to Steve Wylie, Cloud Connect general manager. Easter's session is titled, "Azure Delivers On-Time Data: How American Airlines has Turbo Charged Flight Status in its Windows Phone App."

"Up until this year, the show has tended to be about defining what the cloud is. This year's event is about doing it," said Wylie.

Lew Tucker, CTO of Cloud Computing at Cisco Systems, will give one of Cloud Connect's to the point, 15-minute keynotes during the Tuesday 9-11 a.m. keynote session. He will examine "Your Data Center In The Cloud" and explain what has to change in enterprise data centers to give business users access to virtual, multi-tenant data center services. Networking, for example, needs to be an individualized service for the user in the form of a virtual, isolated subnet on the main network, he said in an interview.

Among other things, he plans to ask, and provide Cisco's answer to, the question: "What do we mean by virtual data centers? How can we provide the isolation needed for each tenant" in a multi-tenant setting?

Tucker will also examine the alternative world of open source code and explain how Cisco is trying to bring some of its virtual networking concepts to the OpenStack open source project for cloud software.

Chris Pick, chief marketing officer of Apptio, will address, "Understanding Cloud Economics: From Best Practices to Hidden Costs," in a session at 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Tuesday. Pick said that cloud users may believe that cloud computing is cheaper without really having the means to do a cost comparison. Whether it is less expensive than their existing infrastructure can only be determined once IT has established baseline costs for its own IT operations, a task Apptio assists with its IT Service Costing application and other IT expense modeling software.

"One reason we exist is cloud computing," he said in an interview. "We can draw up a bill of IT … the fully burdened cost to provide IT services to the business, including outside contractors and cloud services," he said.

With such a bill in hand, IT managers can confront the business users who view IT as non-competitive in meeting their needs. The business users may be right, and it is cheaper to go around IT into the cloud. On the other hand, they may not have understood the real costs of adding another application and support.

A company that's grown through acquisition often ends up with multiple copies of CRM systems. That firm needs to assess how to rationalize its applications, establish the cost of a single, consolidated application, if that option is pursued, and compare it to adopting a Salesforce.com subscription for each user.

"We see a lot of people making decisions on how to build a virtual private cloud. They can go Vblocks (from VMware, EMC, and Cisco systems spin-off, Virtual Computer Environment) or they can go Eucalyptus (private cloud software), two extremely different choices," he said.

[ Want to learn more about one of the industry's best kept secrets, Vblocks? See Vblocks' Secret Sauce: Simplicity. ]

Other speakers include: Jan Jackman, VP of global cloud services for IBM's Global Technology Services; Peter Magnusson, director of engineering at Google; Allan Leinwand, CTO of infrastructure at Zynga; Geva Perry, author of the popular cloud blog, "Thinking Out Cloud."

LinkedIn data scientists Mathieu Bastian and Sal Uryasev will discuss "LinkedIn Maps: Building A Large Scale Visualization Product In The Cloud" during the Tuesday 9-11 a.m. sequence of short keynotes.

HP, IBM, Nimbula, Uptime Software, and other cloud computing vendors will be making news announcements during the show Feb. 13-16 show.

Register here for Cloud Connect 2012.

IT's jumping into cloud services with too much custom code and too little planning, our annual State of Cloud Computing Survey finds. The new Leap Of Cloud Faith issue of InformationWeek shows you what to be aware of when using the cloud. Also in this issue: Cloud success stories from Six Flags and Yelp, and how to write a SAN RFI. (Free registration required.)

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