Cloud Control: Politics, Power and Revenue from the Cloud

The current trend to move to virtualization was very evident at the Cloud Control Conference held last week in Boston that CloudTimes was sponsoring as a media partner. IT managers have different views and foresee different problems plus their probable solutions. However, there is one area that they all agreed, and that is the certainty of the swift movement towards the cloud for everyone. Although this will take many years to finally be realized to completion, the swift move is imminent.

Most businesses whether small, medium or large scale see the potential in cloud based infrastructure. This is because cloud computing specifically revolves around vital management and daily operations, which are important elements for a business to succeed.

Ray O’Brien, CTO of the NASA Ames Research Center, spearheaded NASA’s internal cloud infrastructure, Nebula. OpenStack was awarded the management for its data storage platform.  O’Brien said that NASA agreed to move to the private cloud for the company so that they can have a clear view of what is actually happening inside their system. O’Brien said ”We have to account to the Office of Management and Budget for everything.”

The problem with NASA, however, was that “NASA is a very decentralized place on development.” O’Brien said. This is why even with the huge amount of budget spent; they failed to get a picture of what really happened within the organization.

James Cuff, director of research computing at Harvard University, agreed with O’Brien’s analysis. Cuff reiterated that power over the organization’s resources was not fully controlled by their IT staff. This scenario is also true within the academia, like that of Amazon Web Services (AWS). The problem was that end users were not motivated towards it and are in fact avoiding IT infrastructure.

Talking about the enterprise, Brian Butte PriceWaterhouseCoopers Director of Cloud Computing stated that the launch of Software as a Service (SaaS) and how it has been useful into strategic parts of the enterprise clearly depicted what the cloud infrastructure will be like in the future.

Butte said that cloud-based services and infrastructure clearly presented a recognizable trend for people and businesses in the future. IT infrastructure has just realized that they can effectively operate by acquiring fee for service cloud platforms. It is very much similar with the principle of long term business lease of buildings and even furniture, which is a lot cheaper that owning the entire property.

Butte said that cloud is not simply an IT problem nor is an answer to just technology infrastructure, but it is the whole organization with every process included in the entire re-imaging. It is a vital element for the Human Resources, finance, operations and everything else. Butte said “Everything is going to be touched by cloud.” It is however wrong to think that all will happen overnight; instead it is a transition in progress that needs to be achieved in small but sure steps on a daily basis.

Butte said, “Cloud is not something you do on a weekend. You’re not going to be cloud-enabled in one project, or a dozen projects. It is a transition of many, many years.”

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