Image via CrunchBase
Peter Hedges is Asia/Pacific Sales leader for Systemx/BladeTechnology from IBM, he presented at todays IBM Insight Forum 2009 around the emergence of new business models based on cloud computing. He presented a keynote first given by Jinzy Zhu, executive of IBM cloud labs for the AsiaPac region.
His presentation was an introduction (from an IBM perspective) into what cloud computing means for the industry, and how we design, build and implement it.
Hedges gave a historical perspective of the development of cloud computing, starting with grid computing in the 1980’s, moving on to utility computing in the 90’s through to Software as a Service in the early 2000’s (although it has to be said that he used SaaS and ASP interchangeable, many of us in the SaaS evangelist space would argue that point) culminating in true cloud computing as we’ve known it in the past few years.
Cloud computing, in Hedges (and IBMs) view can drive multiple benefits;
- New intelligence
- Smart work
- Dynamic infrastructure
- Greening IT
At an individual level cloud computing brings new ways to use hardware and software (and by extension the common point where they meet)and give them enterprise level service at a lower price point.
For enterprise cloud computing can deliver accelerated business innovation, service orientated datacenters and cost effectiveness while for Government it can bring services transformation and green computing.
Cloud Computing Characteristics
- Elasticity – both up and down, paying only for the computing capacity we need at any one time
- Rapid dynamic provisioning
- Flexible pricing
- Advanced virtualization
Three co-existing delivery models says Hedges – traditional enterprise IT, private clouds and public clouds. He also detailed a hybrid approach with bulk processing occurring on private clouds and burst processing on public clouds. He detailed various on-ramps to cloud computing services;
- IaaS for enterprise IT provision
- PaaS as a development platform
- SaaS for end user application needs
Cost savings with cloud computing will come from;
- Low utilization versus full utilization
- Manual operations versus embedded service management
- Lengthy approval process versus automated self service
Hedges detailed an internal study IBM had performed over an internal IT project where moving to a cloud based delivery method gave them decreased cost and decreased time to market. The numbers he was talking about where impressive, but as always they are specific to a particular use case and context.
Hedges articulated an interesting axiom;
Without a strategy cloud computing can be a threat to the CIO and IT team. With a strategy, cloud computing is a huge opportunity for the CIO
A five part process to move to cloud based services
- Look at the IT roadmap
- Look at the architecture
- Look at the IT portfolio and value assessment
- Decide on a private/public/hybrid mix
IBM has nine cloud labs around the world – in Ireland, China, South Africa, Vietnam, USA, India, Korea, Brazil and Japan and is pushing hard focusing on developing IP in the cloud computing space.
Personally it’s interesting to see big blue investing heavily in the cloud, I’m keen to see them introduce new products and services that leverage what is, if us evangelists are right, the way of the future.