I recently attended the Canadian Cloud Council’s first national conference – A Call to Action, Awakening Canada’s Cloud Agenda. During the conference, I heard many analogies, as presenters and attendees attempted to classify cloud and learn how it fits within Canada’s business agenda.
Some compared cloud to the dot.com boom. Other analogies likened cloud to ASP and the buzz that followed its marketing. However, somewhere in the middle seemed more right to me.
Jean Cheng, Solutions Executive – Public Sector Cloud Programs at Microsoft, gave what I thought was the most interesting analogy. He explained the adage that if three blind men were to stand at various points around an elephant – one at the trunk, one at a leg and the last at the tail – and were then asked to describe what they felt through only touch, the results would be wildly different. This was indicative of the wide-ranging viewpoints of the conference’s 30 or so presenters.
The analogy of the elephant made me realize that what cloud meant to the individual depended entirely on where within an organization he or she works.
From the telecommunications perspective, where I spend my days, I believe that cloud is here in the nick of time. The adoption of virtualization in the IT world has redefined the landscape for compute requirements. Cloud, a natural extension of virtualization, has enabled many economies of scale, including:
- The reduction of capital dollars required to build out a new app
- The natural built-in redundancy at the infrastructure level
- The portability and resiliency of the application
- The reduced cycles to get to production
Cloud has also opened the door to pundits who seek to poke holes in the technology as it pertains to information privacy and data security. To me, this is the blind man standing under the elephant’s tail. In my opinion, there is merit to this perspective, and rigorous testing during adoption is needed to provide strong ROI for compute resources in a virtual environment.
What does cloud mean to you? Feel free to share your comments below.