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Cloud Computing Is the One True Path

Observations from Cloud Expo in Santa Clara

Walking around Cloud Expo in Santa Clara yesterday, sitting in on various sessions, grabbing conversations with old friends and new acquaintances, I learned a few things:

  • The technologists are still ahead of the customers. Although AWS has been around since 2006, the impression here is that most enterprises are still migrating to the cloud very slowly. I take this as a good sign, as the best is yet to come. I wrote last year that it was still only Year One for the cloud; this may still be true.

  • I love PaaS and its potential, but this seems be a mystery still to many companies. I think it's because decades of legacy, stovepiped architecture, applications, and data have resulted in 80-90% of IT budgets and time to be spent on routine operations rather than innovation. This habit is hard to change, especially so since most people, to be honest, would rather focus on the routine rather than the innovative, because the innovative is hard.

  • Green continues to emerge. At Cloud Expo and what I've seen in the industry in general, it's taking a sensible, efficiency-oriented approach, rather than cast in apocalyptic global warming or nanny-state terms.

  • There's been a lot of consolidation in the industry lately. I'm seeing dozens more companies who seem to be staking their claim to a single area of superior core competence, and are waiting for someone to buy them out.

  • Great to see the Holland pavilion in full swing. Lots of fresh ideas in the areas of collaboration, cloud management, and real-time monitoring.

  • Cloud's inevitability is as strong as ever, even if most people's day-to-day routine may not pick up on this. But one speaker said the amount of data on the Internet continues to double every five years or so, and I'm starting to hear the word "yottabyte" thrown around. The disconnect is that grand, abstract visions don't help anyone get the milk delivered today. But we need to know that, even with a perpetual Moore's Law, data storage and transmission does have a price (eg, 18 cents a gigabyte for bandwidth delivered by Rackspace), and as we start to think in terms of billiions and trillions of gigabytes we simply must have the means to deal with this amount of data. Cloud computing is the one true path.

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Roger Strukhoff is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Studies, (@TauDir), with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is also a writer & editor for SYS-CON Media. He writes for Cloud Computing Journal & Computerworld Philippines. He is Conference Chair of WebRTC Summit and Things Expo. He has a BA from Knox College, Certificate in Tech Writing from UC-Berkeley, and MBA studies at CSU-East Bay. He serves on the board of the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies, and has served as Director, U.S. Coast Guard Aux Int'l Affairs.