Last week Santa Clara Convention Center was buzzing with people attending Cloud Connect 2011 event. Compared to last year’s event, this one was big with more participation from all sides of the equation. In fact, they had to use many overflow rooms for the keynotes. The enthusiasm for cloud computing was high and, like the previous year, there were some flareups too. Bernard Golden of CIO.com has written a detailed post on Cloud Connect and I will use this post to list out some of the takeaways from my point of view.
The key takeaways are:
- Thankfully, the discussion moved from the definition of cloud computing to other topics. While talking to both buyers and vendors attending the conference, I am quite convinced that everyone has recognized the fact that cloud computing has moved beyond the hype phase into serious consideration by large enterprises.
- The flareup this year was around public and private clouds. We could see people arguing on both extremes. While public cloud advocates dismiss the concept of private clouds itself, the private cloud idea is being strongly pushed by the cloud platform vendors and some with business interests in traditional IT. Some of the private cloud advocates claim that the path to private cloud is through public clouds. These extreme positions may be good for posturing but it doesn’t help buyers make rational buying decisions.
- Another important theme highlight by conference chair, Alistair Croll, and many others was the idea of virtual instances giving way to everything as a service. This is not something new but Alistair has talked about it in the past and I have also called upon developers to think beyond the finite chunks called servers and virtual machines and start thinking in terms of seemingly infinite “platform compute resources”. However, it is not going to happen anytime soon. We will see newer applications being architected for cloud platforms without modeling around virtual instances but it will be a long time before we see the virtual instances go away completely. But the point was loud and clear.
- Cloud Security, regulations, compliance was a hot theme this year. The event was preceded by a workshop by Chris Hoff where they discussed how users can decipher various cloud offerings and make well informed decisions about where and when they could tap into cloud computing. The conference itself had tracks on cloud security, culture, risks and governance etc., educating the attendees on these topics.
- Another hot topic is design patterns which talked about application design patterns that are scalable and with emphasis on design patterns that are best for large data, high reliability, fast performance, etc.. As Alistair pointed out on Twitter, these discussions are important because they are crucial to drive performance, availability, compliance, etc..
- In the keynotes, Amazon came out talking about the importance of ecosystem to any cloud provider while Rackspace was putting emphasis on services on top of cloud infrastructure and highlighting the role of both public and private cloud for enterprises. As expected, these companies were pushing their agenda on the audience but Alistair had nicely mixed up buyers and practitioners along with the vendors.
- I was on a panel on the last day where we talked about cloud computing at a global level. We spoke about how we should take into account cultural and political issues along with regulatory issues while discussing the global adoption of cloud computing. It was a fun panel with panelists drawn from many different countries including the Federal CIO of Mexican government.
Cloud Connect 2011 didn’t disappoint the attendees as they got a good mixture of vendors, evangelists, analysts, practitioners, buyers, business leaders, etc.. This is clearly growing up to become one of the important conferences in the cloud computing space. I am already looking forward to next year’s conference.
- Cloud Connect Conference to Stream Keynotes, March 8-9, 2011 (insidehpc.com)
- Attend 6-hour AWS Workshop at Cloud Connect (aws.typepad.com)
- OpenLogic Wins First Launch Pad Competition at UBM TechWeb’s Sold Out Cloud Connect (prnewswire.com)