Ever since I got my first job in IT in the mid-1990’s, everyone has used a cloud in some form. Whether they referred to it as outsourcing, virtualization, central IT, or in some other way, the cloud existed and grew but it did little to stem the adoption of distributed computing. Yet at some point over the past few years, the parallel growth of these two technologies stopped and the cloud forged ahead. This shift indicates that companies have now fully embraced the cloud but remain unclear about how best and how soon to transition their IT infrastructure to the cloud and then manage it once it is there.
Facebook is turning to a disaggregated racks strategy to create a next gen cloud computing data center infrastructure
The role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is evolving as enterprises worldwide attempt to navigate their way through the fundamental changes required to keep pace with the explosion of Cloud Computing, Social Media, Big Data and Mobile Computing. Information Governance, Compliance, eDiscovery, Data Security and Business Intelligence are now more important than ever. If the CIO can’t keep pace, the fate of the entire enterprise may be at stake.
“Nirvanix was about a year ahead of everyone else in terms of what it could offer for enterprise cloud storage services.” Making this claim is Fred Rodi, the CEO of DRFortress, who over the last year had to look ahead to determine which storage provider could best position DRFortress and it customers for the future of cloud storage. So when it came time for DRFortress to make the choice, Nirvanix was the hands down winner.
Right now many organizations are debating about who to select as their preferred cloud storage provider. But for organizations like USC that already manage petabytes of unstructured data, the decision is not about which provider to choose. Rather it is about deciding on the right technology that can transform it into both a private cloud storage user and a public cloud storage provider.
Last week the DCIG team attended the Fall 2011 Storage Networking World (SNW) show in Orlando, FL. While there were a lot of cool storage companies, only two meetings left any kind of impression on me: one with IBM and another with SNIA.
Anyone who still doubts that Nirvanix is poised to deliver the same type of solution for cloud storage that VMware already delivers for cloud computing got a serious wake-up call this past week. Announcements that both Cerner and IBM entered into strategic relationships with Nirvanix are more than just validations of Nirvanix’s cloud storage technology. They signal that Nirvanix is poised to become how enterprises of all size will eventually implement cloud storage.
I realize VMworld 2011 ended over a week ago and everyone is by now probably looking ahead to the next big thing. But before we leave VMworld 2011 behind in the annals of history, I wanted to take one final look at how VMware went about promoting cloud ownership. Because rather than telling users they should own “VMware’s cloud” or “NetApp’s Cloud” or “EMC’s Cloud” or even some cloud service provider’s cloud, it touted “Own Your Cloud.”
This past Thursday I became aware of David Linthicum’s Cloud Computing blog over at InfoWorld for the first time as a result of an email that was promoting a blog entry he wrote earlier this week. In that particular blog entry he warns why a shortage of cloud architects will soon lead to “bad clouds.” That’s interesting because I did not realize that the industry had really settled on what defines a “good” or a “bad” cloud.
Recently an individual brought to my attention that I had created a perception that some people thought I was “anti-cloud” and that I believe the cloud is “bad” or “evil.” I am not exactly sure how that perception got created or how that conclusion was reached. But whether or not that perception is accurate, he does raise two valid points. What is my opinion of “the cloud” and how do I think organizations should proceed with it?
VMware shared a pretty astounding statistic this past Tuesday when it rolled out vSphere 5. It stated that 50% of application workloads will be virtualized by the end of 2011 with that ratio continuing to grow at a rate of 10% per year for the next few years. That’s pretty remarkable considering ten years ago when I proposed starting to virtualize my prior company’s infrastructure that I was scoffed at by many of my peers.
Independence Day on July 4th in the United States is only a few days away but as it approaches storage companies are cautiously celebrating their independence. As they do they are either looking to survive or aggressively looking to be acquired to avoid becoming a footnote in the annals of history with Pillar Data Systems becoming the latest storage company to join the ranks of the acquired that now pledges its allegiance to a new master.
There seems to be this almost naïve assumption out there that once “the cloud” is built everything in the computing world will be better. While I certainly agree with that to a point – cloud computing and cloud storage technologies stand to solve some very thorny problems within IT – there is one question that companies seem to be turning a blind eye to: “Who owns the cloud?”
The start of every decade new trends emerge that do more than influence opinions and behavior for a few months or years. Instead they are megatrends that fundamentally shape and mold an industry for the entire decade and influence innovation that will come in the decades to follow. Right now four such megatrends are emerging that are reshaping datacenters as a whole and are changing how hardware and software are being delivered to them.
Lately I have spent quite a bit of time talking about and defining different cloud terms. But the last few weeks have provided me with some additional perspective in terms of what people are looking for from “the Cloud.” They don’t just want “the Cloud” – they want the ability to manage the cloud and be in control of the data they put there and that inability to do so is what still gives users pause about “the Cloud.”
EMC World is always a crazy, energetic, bop-till-you-drop type event and this year’s EMC World was no exception. Highlighted by keynotes from EMC’s CEO Joe Tucci, VMware’s CEO Paul Maritz and a closing night customer appreciation event that featured the wildest hats I have ever seen and a performance by The Fray, EMC World 2011 was both fun and informative. But now that the dust has begun to settle, I had a chance to reflect on what I had seen and heard to consider what my top three takeaways from EMC World were.
Back in 2003 hardly anyone had heard of a small but rapidly growing technology company called VMware. But since that time VMware literally exploded to become the dominant player in enterprise server virtualization. Now the same forces that propelled VMware to the top of the server virtualization heap are at work again.
As part of his opening remarks during his keynote on Tuesday morning, Symantec’s CEO Enrique Salem shared a comment that was made to him by a Symantec user, “We are in the middle of a time of profound meaningful change.” Truer words were never spoken as enterprises of all sizes are facing a broad spectrum of technology changes that are unequaled in this modern era of computing.
Cloud. Cloud! Cloud!! That’s all I hear these days. Cloud computing. Cloud storage. Private Cloud. Private Storage Cloud. Public Cloud. Public storage cloud. Hybrid cloud. Hybrid storage cloud. Enterprise cloud. Consumer cloud. Cloud archive. Cloud backup. You name it, there is a cloud term to go with it. Further, no matter which vendor you talk to, everyone has a cloud solution even if the product looks just like it did five years ago before the cloud craze began. So it begs the question, what do these cloud terms mean???
The recent outage at Amazon Web Services coupled with the news that Iron Mountain is exiting some of its storage cloud lines of business has created quite a stir in the storage industry. But many of the conversations in which I have been involved have centered on how some users have been – consciously or unconsciously – applying enterprise expectations to the services that existing cloud storage providers offer. So the questions becomes, “Who is responsible for creating these unrealisticly high expectations – cloud service providers, users or some combination of both?”