Cloud Connect 2011 - The Defining Event in Cloud Cloud Connect billed itself as the “Defining Event” in cloud computing this year and I have to say that it seemed to largely prove itself in this regard.  It’s one of the highest value cloud computing conferences out there to date.  A lot of this success at delivering great content can be laid at the feet of Alistair Croll (twitter), of Bitcurrent (website).

Alistair has been consistent in managing two conflicting imperatives:

  1. Get large enterprise vendors to sponsor the event

  2. Avoid the event feeling like a sales pitch

You can’t have a conference without sponsors of some kind.  Simultaneously, sponsors can be their own worst enemy as most have an agenda in sponsoring the event: sell their vision and products.  Unfortunately, if every sponsor is left to their own devices an event can become a clamor of sales pitches.

What Cloud Connect has managed to do is to thread the needle of providing high value content, while allowing everyone to participate fairly equally: sponsors, independent vendors, startups, customers, bloggers, and the greater cloud ecosystem.

The result has been a terrific event that doubled in size this year.  I just went through the evaluation results from attendees and it was clear that most everyone got a tremendous amount of value from this conference.  My guess is that it will double again next year, so be prepared.

The Cloudscaling Keynote Cloudscaling was well represented at the conference as many of our regular readers know. One of the most impactful contributions we had was to set the tone of the conversation on the first full conference day (Tuesday) with our keynote.  I followed Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, and Lew Tucker, CTO - Cloud Computing of Cisco.

The nut of the presentation was that I argued against the notion of ‘enterprise clouds.’ The presentation was extremely well received (better than expected, really), but unfortunately, one point of confusion is the term “enterprise cloud.”  With only 10 minutes to present, some times nuance can be lost.  Before you watch the video of the keynote (below), I’d like to explain what I mean by ‘enterprise clouds.’

So, what is an “enterprise cloud?”  When some people hear that term, they think ‘private cloud’ or a ‘cloud for enterprises’.  What I mean is an infrastructure cloud built using ‘enterprise computing’, not ‘cloud computing’ techniques.

Here is a way you can test if an infrastructure cloud, public/private or internal/external, is built using enterprise computing instead of cloud computing:

  • It has more than 2 ‘brand name’ enterprise vendor’s products

  • Allows for complex networks and routing topologies

  • Focuses on allowing migration of unchanged (‘legacy’) applications from existing enterprise datacenters (e.g. features like hypervisor compatibility, live migration, complex networks, VPN access, etc.)

  • Has an expensive price tag

  • Doesn’t take credit cards, instead requiring contracts and monthly invoices

  • Provides you an arbitrary ‘pool’ of ‘resources’ (i.e. clock cycles, RAM, storage) to carve up any way you want

If more than half of these are true, you are probably looking at an enterprise cloud. Examples, obviously, include some of the more prominent public clouds billed as enterprise clouds and some of the more prominent private cloud technologies coming from the largest enterprise vendors (no need to name names here).

So, as you watch my keynote, keep in mind I’m basically arguing that these ‘enterprise clouds’, regardless of whether they are public or private, are currently losing against the non-enterprise clouds.  I provide some great real-world data points about why this is. ;)

Here’s the video of the keynote:

Randy Bias - Keynote at Cloud Connect 2011 from Randy Bias on Vimeo.

Here’s the slides if you want to follow along with the video (original on slideshare)[1]:

Enterprise Cloud Myth(s)

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[1] CAGR is Compound Annual Growth Rate.