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Another Cloudy Day in the Cloud-o-Sphere

By John | July 2, 2008

Stacey Higginbotham over at GigaOM wrote a great though provoking article about the Enterprise and Clouds called “10 Reasons Enterprises Aren’t Ready to Trust the Cloud“.  However, some of her arguments, IMO, were a bit cloudy,  As with most thought provoking  blog articles the comments section usally yeild some of the bet disucssions.  Here are my comments to the post:

1) It’s not secure.

Cloud computing is not an all or nothing game. Enterprises have been sharing data outside the firewall for many years. The “Big Switch” concept is not how enterprises will migrate to the cloud. They will choose parts of their IT to run behind the firewall and others to run outside the firewall. I have talked to quite a few vendors and enterprise customers who are already using the cloud for non sensitive data. The biggest issue with the “Enterprise” and the cloud is that most global 5000 companies don’t want to disclose that they are using a public cloud. As far as compliance and regulation goes, I have talked to at least one huge financial institution that told me (off the record) that they do a cost analysis on the fine vs. the cost of the regulatory implementation. In some cases they opt for the potential fine instead of implementation costs associated with the regulation. Cloud computing costs will have some impact on those type of decisions. In the early 1990′s the Gartner’s of the world were convinced Linux would never play in the enterprise due to security concerns. Also not all cloud computing is public. Vendors such as 3Tera, Cassatt, and IBM provide public cloud infrastructures.

3) It’s not platform agnostic.

Neither is AIX, HP, or Sun. Also, AWS is not strictly built on the LAMP stack it just happens to be one of the most wildly used stacks. There are successful businesses using Java stacks on Amazon. I am not really buying into the “Lock-in” argument on Amazon. There are plenty of vendors today proving Ruby-on-rails EC2 clouds and is an application running on one of those engines considered a lock-in? At the core of EC2 it is just Linux images. Also, how is managing clouds for an enterprise any more difficult than managing AIX vs. Dell server farms. However, I agree, today, Google App Engine is a lock in.

4) Reliability is still an issue.

If you are implying that enterprises that do geographic fail over are more reliable than public clouds than I agree wit you. However, IMO, at the application level it is a wash and entirely based on the design of the application.

5) Portability isn’t seamless.

Here again if the argument is that moving an application from one cloud to another isn’t seamless than I agree. However, I don’t see that being more complicated than moving an application from AIX to Sun or even worse AIX to Windows. If your argument is that getting data from one cloud to another then I say ditto on the aforementioned application design comment.

6) It’s not environmentally sustainable.

That is absolutely not true with private clouds. Take at look at IBM iDataPlex and Cassatt for great examples of managing power requirements. Also, I suspect the cost of running the famous NY Times TIFF2PDF migration would have yielded a much higher electric bill than $240 dollars.

7) Cloud computing still has to exist on physical servers.

I totally agree with you on this one. However, this should just create a larger ecosystem of regionally based cloud vendors. .

8) The need for speed still reigns at some firms.

Versus the need for cost savings? Here again not all applications will be a good fit for enterprise cloud solutions.

9) Large companies already have an internal cloud.

I believe you are stretching the term “cloud” on this one. Very few large IT shops that I have worked with (around 100 a year for the last 10 years) do not have “cloud” in the way of IBM Blue Cloud, 3Tera, or Cassatt. A lot have huge virtualized pools and some autonomic provisioning however, those are the exception and not the rule. Many of the large financial institutions have been running Grids for many years but here again I am not sure I would consider them the same as what are today calling a “cloud”.

10) Bureaucracy will cause the transition to take longer than building replacement housing in New Orleans.

Agreed most large organizations are riddled with bureaucracy, however, there are bleeding edger’s out there. Enterprise IT leaders that see IT infrastructure as a completive advantage will, IMHO, force the use of clouds. I always say, that when the Mad Money guy on MSNBC starts pointing out IT costs line items for his stock picks the clouds will start rolling in.

Topics: cloud computing | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Another Cloudy Day in the Cloud-o-Sphere”

  1. Links List 7.3.08 | IT's About Uptime - The StackSafe Blog Says:
    July 3rd, 2008 at 10:27 am

    [...] enterprises ready for the cloud? Here are ten reasons why enterprises are not ready to trust the cloud. Popularity: 1% [...]