CloudCamp St. Louis & Three Views of the Cloud

I attended a CloudCamp St. Louis this week at SAVVIS Corporate Headquarters.

Thanks to all of the sponsors and to Sam Charrington of Appistry, Benson Schliesser of Savvis, and Ken Owens of Savvis who drove the bulk of the effort.  And, finally, thanks Savvis for hosting the event in their fantastic headquarters.

The format was an “unconference” where the attendees to determine the content in real-time.  I thought it was interesting, however, I think it could have been more productive if even more of the content and presenters were better defined in advance.   Maybe a simple poll to the attendees ahead of time would allow the organizers to quickly prioritize the topics.

The CloudCamp sessions were informative.   I had the “business and management” icons on my badge,  but I found that the event was more technical in nature.  I also discovered there is still much debate on what Cloud really means.

The sessions that I attended revolved mostly around a Technical point of view of Cloud Computing where there was much discussion regarding the technical attributes of Cloud including: scale, elasticity, open API, opacity, multi-tenancy, packing, cost model, etc..

Ben Schliesser made a great point about cloud computing that struck me as being very important.  On one of  his Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) slides:

IaaS must align with [the existing] IT practices & architectures

I’m fairy certain that “defining the cloud” very much depends on your point view.   My definition, from a “Business” point of view:

Powered by Moore’s law of ever increasing power, Cloud computing is a framework built on open, internet-based technologies to deliver and manage business applications as a service (or utility.)

I posted briefly about my definition on my blog from a few months back.

Dave Ploch, CIO of Novus International, moderated a brief panel discussion on Enterprise Cloud Use Cases.  Dave’s biggest “use case” is deploying SAP however the conversation steered clear of that and went down, I believe, the technical path.

In addition to the Technical and Business points of view, the third view is from Marketers.  It was very evident that “cloud” continues to be a very hyped buzzword.  In fact, it seems that many, if not all, of the St. Louis Cloudcamp sponsors have recently re-branded their services under some type of “cloud” moniker.

More on the different “Views of the Cloud” in a future post.

I very much enjoyed meeting everyone and the conversations.  Again, thanks to the all the sponsors.

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One response to “CloudCamp St. Louis & Three Views of the Cloud

  1. Hello Bob,

    It’s been a couple of years since we last met in your offices and only just now I have come across your Twitter page by accident while looking into other things. While not an IT guy per se, I thought I would make a comment or two relative to what I see as the revenue threat as well as opportunity, at least on the surface, to your model relative to “cloud” computing. Between “cloud” and “virtualization” speak there appears to be much repurposing of some existing lexicon as you know. While customers likely salivate at the prospect of a new iteration of thin clients (I take liberties here)the reality may be that security and encryption, in whatever guise, will be a gating item. At any rate there are two thoughts that came to mind. The first is that communication, security and encryption may drive a more complex client depending on how it is presented to the customer resulting in a higher per-seat cost and more widespread use (the complication cycle then starts all over again as new apps/approaches are found, etc.). Another possibility are extensions of, say, regional control centers designed to not only monitor but also keep a major system failure somewhere from taking the entire system down. Second, which I know is no secret, is that the larger host installations now more often become closer to must-win situations perhaps than even before. This to not only capture the revenue from big single sales but maybe also to control the downstream. Examples, not necessarily directly apropos, that got me interested came from a newsletter I read this morning:

    http://www.fiercegovernmentit.com/story/ssa-rush-new-backup-center/2009-12-19

    http://www.fiercegovernmentit.com/story/dhs-plots-coud-strategy/2009-12-19

    As I said, I am not an IT expert (although “systems” are my thing) and these are just quick top-of-head thoughts. Taken together with tripping over your Twitter at nearly the same time indicated to me that the stars must be aligning somehow so I decided to send it along and hope it wasn’t too tiresome and obvious. Have a very blessed Christmas and best of luck in the new year.

    Larry D. Martin

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