This article originally appeared in the August issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY
I have to admit, I have been skeptical about the cloud since we first started hearing about it. Wasn’t that back in the last century? Perhaps it’s because I grew up in the mainframe era and saw how quickly computing power at the hands of users, through the emergence of the PC, changed computing forever – and, I thought, also killed centralization, at the same time. Well, maybe I was wrong. And if the improvement in the level conversation about cloud is any indication, I was really wrong.
The level of conversation about cloud computing has matured significantly over just the past few months. At both ITEXPO (News - Alert) in Miami, and Enterprise Connect in Orlando, I was singularly unimpressed by many of the conversations about cloud because they seemed to start with, “cloud will save you money” and end with “and cloud will save you money” with little substance in between. In just a few short months, at Interop (News - Alert), the conversations have matured to real discussions about what cloud can deliver, in terms of speeding deployments, outsourcing server deployments and support (both hardware and software), providing disaster recovery strategies, handling variable workloads, and several other useful capabilities – often without even mentioning the payment/financing methodology or if perceived/actual price declines or even increases.
So, what does this stepped-up level of conversation and engagement by vendors mean? First, it means that we have to use these as our first few questions, when a vendor starts talking about cloud: When you say cloud, what do you mean? Are you talking private cloud (in my data centers) or in a public cloud (in somebody else’s data center, either on a dedicated or shared basis)? And, what do you see as the benefits? ow is networking handled? And, because I’m somewhat UC-focused, do you support SIP and how?
I’m truly surprised that I’ve moved this far in my thinking about cloud this quickly. Thinking about it and talking and researching I know why. It’sbecause the major technical and financial barriers have truly come down – networking speed and costs, processor capacities (Moore’s Law), and even issues like security and recovery are being addressed often with what I view as cloud’s brother (or sister, depending on your preference): virtualization. But that will be the topic for our next discussion.
David Yedwab, a technology marketing industry veteran with more than 25 years experience providing business strategy advice to major tech firms, writes the Thinking It Through column for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi