Last week was cloudy in Silicon Valley and more so around the Santa Clara Convention center with Cloud Connect 2010. By the end of the conference anyone who had clouded thoughts should have walked way with the notion that this “Cloud Thing” is real and is here to stay. Yours truly had a front seat to be in conference as a media person – thanks to my blog.
The 4 day event was kicked off with the Business Summit. Bruce Richardson, the newly minted Chief Strategy Officer and rapidly becoming the face of Infor, kicked things off with the Keynote. Bruce had interesting observations as he looked at the Cloud Computing landscape and saw that the fragmentation today with hundreds (if not thousands) of me-too offerings will eventually consolidate to industry dictum – “Every market comes down to 3 vendors.” In the end the Business Summit turned out to be the best part of the event.
Sandhill.com presented the results from the survey they conducted on what was behind the stupendous success of Cloud Computing and what do executives in companies see in future. As you can imagine and we have been saying “Cost was not the key driver” for the success of Cloud. It was in-fact the agility it gives companies in adapting to business changes. Cost did show up in the list but was a distant third. The companies also so Software-as-a-Service(SaaS) as something that has already made its mark while Platform-as-a-Service(PaaS) represents the big opportunity and Infrastructure-as-a-Service(IaaS) as a given.
Two topics that were oft heard in any cloud computing meetings around the world – Private Cloud and Virtualization – were also clear cut favorites to dominate the discussions. Private Cloud definitely did but Virtualization not so much. Maybe Infrastructure-as-a-Service not making a lot of noise in the conference might have something to do with it.
Private/Hybrid cloud was by far the most heard topic in the CloudConnect with its Yay and Naysayers convincing the other side of their reasoning. If you followed the twitter stream of CloudConnect (#ccevent) you would have seen that lot of keynotes just turned out to be a vendor pitches – with the usual suspects – Microsoft, Oracle turning in their version and interpretation of Cloud. Notable absentees from the conference were Salesforce.com, Google, Cisco, VMWare – the ones you would have thought would be dominating the whole conference with banners, booth, uniformed booth personnel etc. Sans a couple of sessions by some middle management executives from those companies there was not much fanfare from any of those horses of Cloud Computing – Surprising eh?
Virtualization, surprisingly I might add, grabbed substantially less attention. From the people I talked it seemed like (and I concur) – virtualization is something you do with or without cloud computing. For a SaaS vendor with its own data center or colo, virtualization does provide a way to optimize hosting multiple customers without having to go the Multi-tenancy route.
There were some good (and funny) presentations around the vicious (and smart) BOTnets and how that could serve as a design pattern for true cloud computing. So were some other initiatives in the Government space.
There were some really good sessions around Moving to the Cloud, Building Applications in Cloud (particularly the ones by Amazon.com), Handling Large Data, Privacy, Security, Governance.
The Expo was a little bit of a downer as there was not much interesting out there. But then again, it did not matter, I guess, since it was compensated by a lot of great sessions.