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Earlier this week Yahoo Finance ran an article on the 10 most hated jobs (based on a survey asking hundreds of thousands of employees at a major career site). What amazed me most - apart from the large number of IT jobs, including the top one,  making the list – was that I personally was employed in no less than five of these . Now you may think: “What a miserable career that must have been!”, but to be honest, it never felt like that.  Sure I can relate to some of dissatisfiers that people listed, such as a lack of direction from upper management (actually described for one of these jobs - guess which one - as “employers are unable to communicate coherently, and lack an understanding of the technology”). But overall I had good fun doing most of my five. In fact, some of my other jobs – although fun at the time - would have been more logical to make the list. As a s... (more)

Notes From the Cloud Academy

We have been running the Cloud Academy roundtables in several European countries. I’d like to share some of the more interesting questions, debates and insights around a number of topics, starting today with RAIC—Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Cloud Services. Other topics will include: A TV industry analogy: Competition for the IT department Cloud Shortcuts: Can the Cloud make( internal) IT more agile Service Level Management and the Cloud Cloud R&R - Retained responsibilities for IT Elastic Services: Everybody wants to be a manager Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Cloud services Today’s post discusses whether we can ensure performance and availability of public cloud services. I’m not sure we can. Public cloud services are a bit like the weather: we are lucky if we can predict what it is going to be like, but cannot manage or change it as we don’t control the underl... (more)

VMworld 2010: Two Trends and How They Converge

You may have missed it in the flurry of news from Apple, but VMware recently had their annual get-together at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. On stage VMware shared two key insights: successful virtualization is becoming more about orchestration and automation than about hypervisors.  And, private clouds will rapidly develop into hybrid clouds. I agree on both but believe the combination of these two trends has some distinct consequences that did not get picked up by the media. Let me start with a disclaimer and some disclosure. I followed the event not on-site but through the California blogosphere reporting on the event, and I work for CA Technologies. A third trend, by the way, was that more and more vendors (like VMware last week and CA Technologies back in May) resort to using a professional comedian to introduce the concept of cloud computing at their ann... (more)

Is Your Cloud Strategy 3D-Ready?

While the TV and consumer industry is getting ready for its next wave of innovation called 3D, the IT industry has been going through a similar three dimensional transformation. Let’s have a closer look at this 3D journey of IT and how a good cloud strategy should support all three dimensions. And don’t worry, you won’t need to wear funny 3D glasses to read this blog. Cloud computing is not the first innovation to hit IT – although the amount of hype and blogs seem to indicate otherwise - ever since the first computer got carried into the building all the way to the latest generation of tablets, the way we use IT, the things we use IT for and IT itself has been changing profoundly. We can classify these changes along three dimensions: Extending IT’s reach to new users and into new functional areas, Abstracting problems so they can be managed at new conceptual levels a... (more)

Cloud Predictions Beyond 2011 - Part 1: Consumer Services Rule

In the past weeks we launched directly from the season of cloud events into what SYS-CON calls the Annual Predictions Bonanza. Gartner released its predictions on December 1 leading with "critical infrastructure will be disrupted by online sabotage."  At CIO magazine Bernard Golden gave two  interesting points of view, one for vendors and one for users, and even CA Technologies offered insights into the changes we expect in 2011, including how "security will shift from being perceived as a cloud inhibitor to becoming a cloud enabler." So, what happens after 2011?  In a few upcoming blogs I will highlight some "megatrends" that I believe are happening - or need to happen - in the decade about to start. (Now, you may argue that the decade started a year ago, but starting to count at zero is very "old school IT" and "old school IT" is definitely not what we are going t... (more)

Cloud Predictions Beyond 2011-12: The Need for a Cloud Abstraction Model

If the cloud is to fulfill on its promise we need to start thinking of it as a cloud, not as an aggregation of its components (such as VMs etc.) As mentioned in a previous post I‘ll use some of my upcoming posts to highlight some cloud computing "megatrends" that I believe are happening - or need to happen – beyond 2011. One of these would be the creation of an “abstraction model” that can be used to think about (and eventually manage) the cloud.  A nice setup to this was done by Jen-Pierre Garbani of Forrester, who in a recent post at Computerworld UK talks about the need to Consider the Cloud as a solution not a problem.   In this is he uses the example of the T-ford -which was originally designed to use the exact same axle with as roman horse carriages, until someone come up with the idea of paving the roads - to argue that cu... (more)

Shedding Light on Cloud Computing - A Free Primer

Cloud Computing is the most discussed IT innovation of recent times. This Primer provides a structured overview of what Cloud Computing is and what the potential benefits and risks are. In addition it explores how Cloud Computing will impact IT management and IT's role in the organization as a service provider. It also looks at the risks of Cloud Computing. Risk is consistently cited by CIOs and CFOs as the largest obstacle of cloud computing for their organizations. In this primer we consider the risks in areas such as availability, privacy and regulatory compliance. The booklet explores some of the reasons why organizations want to implement Cloud Computing, to name just a few: cost-savings, increased speed and flexibility and higher performance. It looks at how the Cloud delivers against these expectations and debates its long term viability. The Cloud Computin... (more)

Vivek Kundra’s Decision Framework for Cloud Computing Migration

In my last blog, a cloud of two speeds, I mentioned Vivek Kundra's very readable cloud strategy and the industry stimulus effect this approach can have on the emerging cloud industry. By presenting his strategy not simply as a way to cut costs and reduce budgets, but as a way to get more value from existing IT investments, he enlisted IT as an ally to his plans, instead of a potential opponent. Section two of the strategy - summarised below - is a pragmatic 3 step approach and check-list for migrating services to the cloud, which can also be valuable for organizations outside the governement and outside North America. The full Federal cloud computing strategy (43 pages and available for download at includes a description of the possible benefits of cloud computing, several cases, metrics and management recommendations. A short review of the document wa... (more)

A Cloud of Two Speeds: Europe vs. America

Cloud computing is gaining rapid acceptance, but not everywhere. Governments across Europe – in what many call “the old countries” -  are still remarkably conservative or even reluctant to embrace cloud computing.   This week President Obama organized a dinner with the CEO’s of 12 high-tech and cloud companies to stimulate job creation in North America, meanwhile - over in Europe - the Dutch Minister of the Interior replied to questions of parliament about the use of cloud computing by governments.The fact that this particular minister had to be invited three times by Dutch Employers Association to switch from his pre-war model cast iron bike to a more modern bicycle with gears and suspension, says something about the tone of this debate. A hilarious misunderstanding was that the official government delegation kept referring to cloud computing as a new in... (more)

Can the Real Cloud Market Size Please Stand Up?

It seems like every week another sizing of the cloud market is published, and – maybe as to be expected - none of them seem to agree. Let’s have a look at who is saying what, and whether we are comparing apples to apples, or apples and oranges. We will start by looking at SaaS. The most recent numbers from IDC claim that SaaS revenue will grow 5 times faster than traditional packaged software. This would mean little if traditional packaged software is expected to no longer grow (five times zero would still be zero). Joe McKendrick at ZDNet took IDC’s numbers and extrapolated from them that “very soon, a third of all software will be delivered via cloud.” This seems to directly contradict Gartner numbers from just a month earlier. In June Gartner released a report stating that “Software as a service (SaaS) will have a role in the future of IT, but not the dominant future... (more)

Vendor Lock-in and Cloud Computing

IT vendor lock-in is as old as the IT industry itself. Some may even argue that lock-in is unavoidable when using any IT solution, regardless of whether we use it “on premise” or “as a service”. To determine whether this is the case, we examine traditional lock-in and the to-be-expected impact of cloud computing. Vendor lock-in is seen as one of the potential drawbacks of cloud computing. One of Gartner’s research analysts recently published a scenario where lock-in and standards even surpass security as the biggest objection to cloud computing. Despite efforts like Open Systems and Java, we have managed to get ourselves locked-in with every technology generation so far. Will the cloud be different or is lock-in just a fact of live we need to live with? Wikipedia defines vendor lock-in as: In economics, vendor lock-in, also known as proprietary lock-in, or customer ... (more)