Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Stefan Bernbo, Yeshim Deniz, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Is Nick Carr Right About Cloud Computing?

Will traditional corporate IT really move dramatically to the cloud, as Carr predicts?

Chris Fleck's Blog

There is a lot of hype and reality in the world of Cloud computing today. On the hype side there are numerous data points; VC investments, M&A, data centers under construction, new conferences and events. On the other hand there are now many examples of reality as well. SaaS offerings like Salesforce.com and many HR applications plus web site hosting have established themselves as a legitimate part of the IT portfolio of many corporations large and small.

Adding fuel to the fire is extensive press, analyst and blog coverage (like this!) plus books like Nicholas Carr's book The Big Switch. It definitely feels like we are in the Hype cycle.

Will traditional corporate IT really move dramatically to the cloud as Carr predicts?

I think a lot of the answer comes down to control and customization .... or lack of it. SaaS Cloud offerings can work great if the application offered aligns with the business requirement without significant customization or integration. If IT is comfortable without the hands-on control they may even manage and support the project because it's good example of doing more with less. However in most cases there are too many custom requirements and perhaps regulatory controls that make premise based solutions the norm and leave SaaS offerings relegated to specific point solutions.


As business requirements continue to grow, premised-based solutions grow accordingly and sometimes disproportionately when centralizing into limited data centers. A resulting problem that most IT shops now face is a lack of space and/or power. Once the local premise is at capacity a typical next step is to move some or even all the equipment to a dedicated Co-location facility. For many companies this is more of an incremental step because they have already centralized their Application Delivery Infrastructure and may already be using Co-Lo's for back up and Disaster Recovery operations. The definition of "premise" gets blurry, but IT remains in control. The facility is likely owned and operated by a service provider, but everything inside the " cage " is owned and operated remotely by corporate IT.

For companies that have taken this step of moving some or all of their infrastructure to the "Cage" the transition seems to have worked well. Co-Lo Data Centers typically have great bandwidth, power, and room to grow. Plus the high cost of specialized facilities are spread across many Co-Lo tenants often lowering the cost compared to providing company managed dedicated Data Centers. IT is remotely managing the infrastructure with perhaps some on site assistance or occasional trips to the Co-Lo. As long as the App Delivery Infrastructure is robust users don't know or care were the servers are, management is happy because it reduces Real Estate dependencies and facility upgrades like added power, AC and generators.

So, if IT is satisfied remotely managing their infrastructure ( except the trips to the cage... ) new applications get implemented, security is enforced , new users provisioned, etc, do they really care about the hardware the server images and storage is running on as long as it stays up with predictable performance ? I suspect many IT Pros would give up the responsibility, time and burden of acquiring, deploying, cabling, and configuring servers and storage (and trips to the Cage...). As long as they could still architect the solution they need, deploy server images, reboot images, network servers together and generally administer the functions they need to deliver apps and store data, there is a good chance they don't view the underlying hardware as something they really need to own and manage, just like the datacenter real estate.

Perhaps the movement to the Cloud for companies that have already moved to the Cage will not be such a disruptive event. As long as there are Cloud providers that can provide the underlying infrastructure including servers, storage and networking with SLAs, Security, and the appropriate level of administrative control. And if IT can still customize and "control" at the level they need to, they will likely be compelled to make the next transition to the Cloud.

The benefits of Virtualization for rapid deployment and flexibility plus the intrinsic cost benefits of muti-tenancy will win-over converts that are faced with demanding time to deployment challenges and capital cost constraints ( isn't that most of IT ? ). These Cloud service provider offerings will need to overcome some of the SLA challenges that have faced the early adopters like Web 2.0 startups on EC2, plus address security, sustainability and redundancy fears, but these are all curable issues. This will take some time and there are likely scenarios of hybrid models of premise plus Cloud solutions, but the writing is on the wall...the Cage is just a step to the Cloud.

More Stories By Chris Fleck

Chris Fleck is Vice President of Emerging Solutions at Citrix Systems. Chris started his career at IBM working across multiple engineering and product organizations leading to Business Unit Exec of the IBM Industrial Computer Group. As a pioneer of new technologies, Chris founded an IBM spin-off to commercialize the initial Server Blade products as CEO of OmniCluster Technologies. At Citrix Chris is responsible for Emerging Solutions and is involved with or leading strategic initiatives at the company. You can follow him on Twitter and his blog at TechInstigator.com

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
dklcheng 10/17/08 01:17:28 PM EDT

Enterprise IT is not exactly about constantly pushing technology to its limits. They have one primary edict: Keep the Lights On and No One Dies.

To expect them to embrace and deploy new technology immediately is going to make VCs very angry with their portfolio companies.

The transition to the cloud is going to take time with many testing waters: one or two applications to start, maybe a storage unit here and there.

But no doubt that the economics will drive more adoption at this point (as illustrated in our PaaS-onomics whitepaper: http://www.longjump.com/paas-offers/paas-whitepaper.htm )

@ThingsExpo Stories
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web ...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data professionals...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...