Saturday, May 16, 2009

Enterprise Cloud Computing Misses the Point

With the recent Google outage, the tech news world is full of prognosticators who want to pass judgement on Cloud Computing readiness for the Enterprise.  The 24 hour news churn seems to be impacting even the tech news crowd.  My guess is that Nicholas Kolakowski  and Garret Rogers  both wrote their pieces about Cloud Computing from a large corporate network that they complain about (privately) and they are probably required to email a copy of their postings to someone using the corporate Exchange Server that mysteriously keeps going down.  Come on guys, are you kidding?  Cloud Computing IS the Enterprise.  

Let's get real for a minute, the Cloud is simply virtualized, externalized services. In many cases these services are servicing the same organization internally and they find it useful to timeshare externally for a profit. 
 Examples include Google, Amazon or  Ok, let's be honest, nobody's network services are immune to outage.  Five nines of reliability (depending on how you count them) still amounts to 8.76 hours of downtime per year!

Are outages annoying?  Sure, can they be costly, of course.  I'm all about making the service providers deliver as promised but I also am pragmatic enough to know that in all of the enterprise accounts I have worked, I have never found one that didn't have it's share of outages.  

Here is the real question, is the Enterprise in need of a Cloud service?  Small and medium size businesses and individuals need access to the services Cloud Computing can provide.  Enterprises have the opposite problem, they need to make sure they reach maximum possible utilization of the services they have.  Cloud Computing is comprised of a lot of services being provided by Enterprises who want to maximize efficiency.  The story is best told when looking at the Amazon 2008 earnings "Amazon’s “other revenue” — which includes that of AWS — totaled $550 million in the last 12 months, up 32 percent from a year earlier. " Courtesy of Kevin Kelleher at Gigaom

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