My little blurb from Cloud Connect 2010
Cloud Connect 2010 conference took place between March 15-18 2010 at Santa Clara, CA. I
had the opportunity to attend the Key Notes on March 16th and listen to what the industry
leaders are thinking. The event was well attended and there was a lot of enthusiasm and
excitement around the topic. What follows is an account of my takeaways from this conference.
It will be useful to cloud vendors trying to understand market expectations and for readers
interested in the tech industry who are trying to fathom what all this hype around cloud
computing really is about.
Vijay Bhagavath from Deutsche Bank provided a Wall Street perspective on Cloud Computing.
According to him, there will be more adoption of Private Clouds in Wall Street (and overall in
Key value props to Wall Street:
‐ It is the appearance of scale that Cloud Computing offers that is important than the
actual scale itself
‐ Cloud Computing offers dynamic deployment of resources which is very important
Cloud computing (and private cloud) is more of an architectural play than just pure cost savings
the technology promises to offer.
Based on TAM estimates for infrastructure in 2010, data center equipment expenditure is
expected to be around 89 to 90 billion dollars. The private cloud spend is expected to go up to
20 billion dollars by year 2012.
Most of the data center infrastructure is expected to be virtualized inside a private cloud. There
will be infrastructure management software playing a critical role at every level.
Sand Hill Group recently conducted a research on cloud computing with about 40 CIOs and 500
executives and the details of the survey are expected to be published on their website next
week. (http://www.sandhill.com/) So far a lot of questions that were raised seem to be very
similar to the ones that were originally raised when internet was gaining prominence in 1997.
The predominant choice of cloud based solution today is a SaaS-based solution but the growth
rate is high for PaaS and IaaS solutions.
25% of SMBs have deployed cloud-based solution in their enterprise whereas for large
enterprises it is around only 12%. SMBs get into the solution and adopt it right away whereas
large enterprises still are doing lot of pilots.
The major forms of cloud computing in practice today are public clouds, private clouds,
hybrid clouds and community clouds. A lot of data centers are getting converted into private
Community cloud is when several divisions of a large organization host a cloud together. For
example, there are supply chain clouds.
Out of enterprise’s total IT spending, less than 3% is being spent on cloud computing today. It is
expected to be around 7 to 30% of the IT budget in 3 years time.
Business agility is the most important reason for adoption of cloud computing by enterprises
than cost efficiency.
Few areas of debate are around – (a) Is Virtualization a cloud? (b) Is Private Cloud a cloud? (c)
Is a SaaS app a cloud?
Matt Thompson from Microsoft states that increasing complexity of enterprise IT is prompting
more adoption of cloud computing. 9 out of 10 startups in the Silicon Valley are focused on
delivering services/content to web/mobile. PaaS in the cloud will be a big play in the market.
Facebook’s success is testament to its successful adoption of a PaaS model in delivering its
Microsoft’s AppFabric that is expected to be released later this year will decompose your code
such that you can run part of your enterprise infrastructure on-premise and part of it in a public
cloud. This will be very important for government and health care companies who would never
part with certain data in a public cloud but at the same time would like to leverage the benefits of
cloud. Windows Azure allows even non-Microsoft technologies to harness the benefits of the
cloud. For example it allows Java, PHP, TomCat and Python execution. Microsoft is changing
the way it operates. Steve Ballmer recently made a statement which had ever since become
very popular in the industry – “We are all in” for cloud computing. What this translates to is that
Microsoft is going to be offering enterprises the option to host in the cloud as the first option and
on-premise server equipment only as a second option. The biggest ever infrastructure
investment made in the company’s history is in cloud computing and Microsoft now has data
centers spread across the globe for supporting enterprises in the cloud.
Microsoft’s BizSpark initiative now offers startups that are less than 3 years old and less than 1
million in capital, 6000 hours of Azure free for 8 months.
Guy Rosen an Israeli blogger (http://www.jackofallclouds.com) mesmerized us with his
mathematical prowess. He set out with the task of measuring the adoption of cloud. His
inspiration came from the German Tank problem. During the Second World War, Allies wanted
to understand their enemy’s strength. They wanted to find the number of tankers Germans had
as it was one of their most powerful weaponry. Initially they were guessing it to be around 1400
and it was not making them very comfortable. They gave the task of determining the number to
their strategists and mathematicians. With the sort of flair and rigorous discipline Germans had
for all aspects of engineering, Allies concluded that to keep track of their fleet Germans must be
maintaining some sort of sequence and if we could uncover that sequence we will find out their
exact fleet strength. After further analysis they determined that German tanks had a unique
serial number associated with them. Through the serial numbers Allies were able to determine
the actual fleet strength which ended up being only 255. Applying a similar logic, Guy tried to
interpret the number of Amazon servers on the cloud based on Amazon’s EC2 resource Id. But
it was not very straight forward. An EC2 id would be like ic4f615ad and this is not exactly a
straight forward number to interpret but after studying a number of patterns and some
calculations, he was able to successfully interpret this number as 415, 149. Once he did that he
was able to look back into lot of historical data and with RightScale’s (rightscale.com) help he
came out with the following information:
23,192,900 Amazon servers have been launched so far. The average number of servers
launched per day has increased tremendously over the last year and it stands at around 83,152
for Amazon. For Rackspace it is around 488 and for GoGrid it comes up to about 181. However,
this is just the number of servers started and it could be that a lot of them were brought down
later on. A lot more details on how he arrived at these numbers can be found on his blog.
Scott Chasin, CTO of McAfee, spoke about the evolution of cloud. It is important to address
cloud security before cloud’s eventual ubiquity. 87.5% of customers still mention “security
concerns” as a challenge to adopt cloud. Cloud risks include nefarious use of the service,
insecure APIs, malicious insiders and shared tech vulnerabilities.
McAfee’s cloud vision is three-fold. It is to delivery security:
(i) From the Cloud – McAfee SaaS
(ii) In the Cloud – McAfee’s Global Threat Intelligence (Proactive threat protection
instead of reactive)
(iii) For the Cloud – McAfee Cloud Secure Program
McAfee Cloud Secure Program in the industry’s first and most comprehensive ceritification and
security automation program. Security Certification is annual and handles SAS70 and ISO
27001 (popular in Europe but does not address cloud architecture like multi-tenancy). McAfee
Cloud Secure will run every day to verify compliance and monitor for latest threats.
Omnetics, a company that partners Google and Salesforce, mentioned agility and ease of use
as the most important reasons driving adoption of cloud computing followed by the scalability of
the solution. Taser International has created a secure private cloud that it calls the “CopCloud”
for US law enforcement market. There are several pilot programs currently running with different
state police departments. Oracle’s Mark Prichard spoke about creating private PaaS for
enterprises as a big market while former CTO of CIA mentioned about government’s increasing
adoption of cloud computing across all area. Federal CIO Vivek Kundra is adamant about
leveraging the benefits of cloud for government IT initiatives. DropBox’s Adam Gross reiterated
that cloud vendors should realize the “Consumerization” of IT.
Yahoo App Servers J2EE/.Net
Websites (Amazon) SaaS Salesforce
Today we are targeting the “IT Consumer” with same products regardless of enterprise or
Gmail (Personal) Gmail (Enterprise)
iPhone (Personal) iPhone (Enterprise)
He pointed out data that Oracle’s “20 of the top 20 insurers” today have adopted cloud solutions
such as Gmail and DropBox. The final speaker from Conviva emphasized increasing online
video demand (particularly during major events such as Olympics) as another major trend
accelerating adoption of cloud.
There are several game changing solutions that cloud computing has made possible. The expo
at Cloud Connect featured most of the companies already mentioned in this article. As such
there were no new path-breaking solutions on the exhibit which makes me wonder if the best
cloud offerings are still under cover waiting to unleash themselves!