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Get Your Head Out of the Clouds: Cloud Confusing… I Mean Computing

Written By: Neil Stolovitsky
Published On: June 10 2009

Public Clouds and Hybrid Clouds,
Private Clouds and Fluffy Clouds?

That was the first thought that came to mind after attending this year’s IBM Rational Conference at Orlando’s Walt Disney World. I believe Dr. Danny Sabbah, General Manager of IBM Rational Software, said it best in his keynote presentation to thousands of conference attendees when he stated, “Vision without Execution is Hallucination.”

This year’s theme “As REAL as it Gets!” was IBM’s message to the marketplace aimed at concepts like “Cloud Computing” that they believe need to be grounded in real-life work environments.  Although conceptually the evolution of computing to more of a services based or utility-based model delivered by Cloud Computing is a compelling proposition to companies moving their IT budgets towards operational expenditures and away from the traditional high capital expenditures they have incurred in the past, IBM’s underlying message seems to be that businesses, at least large enterprises, may not be ready to let their precious corporate data reside in public cloud computing environments.

With that in mind, IBM suggests that businesses need to have a broader view of cloud computing that leans more to leveraging a “Cloud Architecture” in order to work more efficiently and effectively.  In other words, cloud computing should be the ability to setup a work environment that delivers all the technology benefits of cloud computing of shared resources, collaboration and elasticity in the environment a company feels best fits their business model without potentially compromising security.

For IBM, in many cases it makes sense for their clients to setup a private or hybrid cloud that allows a business to maintain its existing infrastructure and still benefit from the latest and greatest in cloud computing.  Consequently, IBM’s strategy is to offer all types of Cloud Computing options that can fit a company’s current business model.  However, if you want to “Get Real” – IBM is pushing the more conservative private and hybrid options to the market allowing its clients to maintain more control of their cloud computing environments and has opted to sit back letting others (namely competitors and partners) to test how well the market will respond to Public Cloud Computing and all that goes along with it.

So what do you get when you bring together the guys from MythBusters, Software Development Reality TV stars, and thousands of Men in Blue in a place where dreams come true?  The perfect IBM storm to find that silver lining in cloud computing.  Sticking to their guns, IBM’s message around cloud computing is cautiously conservative, thus ensuring that they are in line with their GM’s philosophy of executing on their vision.
 
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