First, I will share a few observations of the overall event and the state of the cloud from my perspective. Second, I will highlight some of what Dell (my company) has been doing at the event.
Cloud Computing Is On the Edge of the “Chasm”
Over the past couple of years, I have observed a steady transition in the industry where customers have moved past the “what” and “why” questions around cloud. The questions are now increasingly around “how” and “when”. I was somewhat pleasantly surprised to see a whole lot of sessions–including a keynote–that focused on mission-critical applications in the cloud. Cloud computing is on the edge of that proverbial “chasm” as it is increasingly being embraced by companies of all sizes and shapes.The addition of Big Data to the event points to yet another major trend impacting our industry. I expect to see a convergence of cloud and big data, where Big Data solutions will take advantage of all the capabilities that cloud computing brings to the table.
Cloud Vendors Battling On All Fronts
On the supply side, vendors of cloud solutions have been accelerating their pace with acquisitions and new products coming out at a furious pace. In particular, Oracle–a company that has waxed and waned on cloud over the past couple of years–appears to have finally come out with a full suite of cloud applications following major acquisitions (of Righnow, VirTrue , Taleo etc).
I was a little surprised, though, that IBM and HP had very little presence at event this year.
While the big vendors- IBM, HP, Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle–are battling out for the cloud pie, there is a new war brewing around technology stacks to build clouds. On the one hand, VMware is the 800 pound gorilla with a solid grip of the virtualization and private cloud market. Open source upstarts like OpenStack, CloudStack, and Eucalyptus are beginning to make their presence felt with their value-proposition around no lock-in and open source flexibility.
CloudExpo Sub-Events: Bootcamp, ODCA, RightScale, DeployCon
Cloud Expo also had a few one-day sub-events that were highly popular from what I could see. I attended some sessions of the day-long Forecast2012 event hosted by Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA), which were very valuable from an enterprise perspective including discussion around use cases, security and regulatory compliance challenges, enterprise readiness etc. Forecast 2012 introduced two more usage models; the Alliance now has 14 usage models in total that address the top IT priorities that will drive widespread cloud adoption. The ODCA had a great party Tuesday night. The rain in NYC didn’t stop the jubiliant crowd.
The Cloud Computing Boot Camp was interesting – the level of discussions there were beyond newcomer stuff. They were talking about specific challenges and problems and how to solve them. Refreshing!
I didn’t attend the RightScale conference and the DeployCon event which focused on PaaS. I noticed both events were totally packed with lots of active attendance.
I was tweeting throughout the event as I attended sessions. Check out my twitter page for some of my takeaways: https://twitter.com/#!/kpemmaraju
Hybrid Clouds: Are We There Yet?
Conversations also centered a lot around “hybrid”. Although Hybrid means different things to different people, the most common usecase today is simply the use of “isolated multiple clouds” – i.e not much integration of services across those clouds. Companies like Rightscale, enStratus, ServiceMesh etc provide some level of orchestration at the application level across clouds so that companies can have their vaunted “single pane of glass” through which they can view and manage multiple applications and clouds. All that said, the so-called cloud bursting is not a very commonly found “hybrid”use case today.
Dell’s End-to-End Cloud Solutions
Dell’s booth highlighted several end-to-end cloud solutions include cloud Apps and integration (Boomi, SaaS offers), New Shiny Servers that are a great fit for cloud infrastructure environments (Power Edge C 6220 and Power Edge R 720), client computing solutions (vDaaS, DVS, Wyse) and Security (SecureWorks and SonicWall).
The new shiny servers attracted lot of people, who stopped by to look at the hardware and ask questions about how to use them for their cloud deployments.
Dell participated in several sessions to talk modular datacenters, hybrid clouds, and big data. We also had a keynote (delivered by Kevin Hanes) where he told the overall Dell Cloud story. Our sessions were all really well attended.
Checkout some videos from my youtube channel, with a few more to come. Our Data Center Solutions facebook page has more photos, videos etc: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Dell-Data-Center-Solutions/192196754150507
Dell’s OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution