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)
Many hypes in IT are just the same old idea, launched again, but with better
technology and under a new name. Who remembers Larry’s original network
computer? And who is just about to buy one, but now based on Android or iOS4?
Similarly, we could say for the datacenter: “The Datacenter is dead, long
live the Virtual Datacenter”. The danger of this approach is that we treat
the Virtual Datacenter just like any new type of infrastructure and simply
rehost our existing applications by moving them from physical to virtual
machines (P2V). Just as we rehosted our applications from mainframes to
minicomputers in the days of downsizing.
But if we only “rehost”, we will miss out big time on the potential
benefits of virtualization: just cost and energy reductions, but also
business and IT agility, management efficiency, market responsiveness and
service improvements. And th... (more)
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
A hilarious misunderstanding was that the official government delegation kept
referring to cloud computing as a new in... (more)
The term fabric computing is gaining rapid popularity, but currently mostly
within the hardware community. In fact, according to a recent report, over
50% of attendees at the recent Datacenter Summit had implemented, or are in
the process of implementing, fabric computing. Time to take a look at what
fabric computing means for software and for (cloud) computing as a whole.
Depending on which dictionary you choose, you can find anywhere between two
and seven meanings for "fabric." Etymology-wise, it comes from the French
fabrique and the Latin fabricare, and the Dutch Fabriek actually means
factory. But in an IT context, fabric has little to do with our often used
manufacturing or supply chain analogies; instead it actually relates much
closer to fabric in its meaning of cloth, a material produced (fabricated) by
If we check our handy Wikipedia for fab... (more)
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)
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
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)
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 www.cio.gov) includes a description of the possible benefits of
cloud computing, several cases, metrics and management recommendations. A
short review of the document wa... (more)
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)
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
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)
In every cloud survey, security consistently comes out as an inhibitor to
cloud adoption. Even though this has been the case for several years, many
feel that it is a temporary barrier which will be resolved once cloud
offerings get more secure, mature, certified, and thus accepted. But is this
indeed the case or do we need another approach to overcome this barrier?
During a recent cloud event, two speakers from a large accounting and EDP
auditing firm took the stage to discuss the risks of cloud computing. While
one speaker dissected the risks for both consumers and providers of cloud
services, the second speaker discussed the various certifications and audit
schemes that are available in each area. They acknowledged that with the
currently available certifications, not all risks were covered, but their
envisioned remedy was even more comprehensive certification... (more)
In 1943 former IBM president Thomas J. Watson (pictured below) allegedly
said: “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers". Will
cloud computing prove Watson to be right after all?
Anyone who visited a computer-, internet- or mobile-conference in recent
years, is likely to have been privy to someone quoting a statement former IBM
president Thomas J. Watson allegedly *1 made in 1943: “I think there is a
world market for maybe five computers". Most often it is used to show how
predicting the future is a risky endeavor. But is it? Maybe cloud computing
will prove Watson to be right after all, he was just a bit early?
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting there will be less digital
devices in the future. In fact there will be more than we can imagine
(phones, ipads, smart cars and likely several things implanted into our
bodies). But the big data ch... (more)