Data Centers and Cloud: A Perfect Storm

Cloud computing definitely has an influence on data center operators and owners. Managers need to "listen to the demands of the business" and explore what cloud solutions fit those needs, according to Jack Story, HP Distinguished Technologist and the moderator of a cloud panel at Orlando Data Center World.

Data Center Knowledge

September 25, 2014

3 Min Read
Data Centers and Cloud: A Perfect Storm

The cloud computing marketplace is continuing to evolve and the heavyweights are not sitting on the sidelines. As DCK noted this week, Digital Realty is partnering with Carpathia to provide hybrid cloud infrastructure solutions, and 365 Data Centers entered the cloud storage business. This is just the latest among many moves, including IBM's purchase of SoftLayer, in the cloud infrastructure space.

Cloud computing definitely has an influence on data center operators and owners, said Jack Story of the AFCOM Data Center Institute (DCI) Board of Directors and HP Distinguished Technologist. Story, with 24-plus years of experience in outsourcing and the service provider industry, will lead a panel titled, "Data Centers and Cloud: A Perfect Storm" at the Orlando Data Center World Conference next month.

For data center operators and for enterprises, managers need to "listen to the demands of the business" and explore what cloud solutions fit those needs, he said. A few years ago, converged infrastructure, such as "cloud in a box" was offered, but now cloud is much more advanced.

"Internal IT teams would build something and then conclude, cloud was all about virtualization," he said. But they were missing some critical components of cloud computing. "Cloud is more than that. It goes to the abstraction of the infrastructure."

Cloud computing solutions provide many benefits including the ability to deploy quickly and "fail quickly," Story explained. "If you fail quickly, you have the opportunity to try something out." That feedback can be invaluable in the development of a business model, or an application.

Netflix, for example, used public cloud service, Amazon Web Services, for its infrastructure, and experienced outages along the way. The learning curve for the team was to react to the outages by changing aspects of the application, so Netflix prioritized different aspects of the business, internal applications, for example, were not as important as content streaming to customers. This kind of information from failure impacted the development of their approach.

Down the road, Story said, there could be the development of "intelligent apps" that jump from "cloud to cloud." This "self-healing" could bring seamless experience to the user.

But today, "if a business is looking to move more quickly and generate revenue quickly, cloud is definitely the way to go," Story said. He added that cloud computing makes a lot of sense from a cost aspect as well.

"There are reduced operational costs and costs to deploy," he said. "With faster provisioning, a company can generate revenue more quickly than a CapEx model." He said he has worked with start ups who examined their funding and decided they could do more and more quickly with cloud.

What about cloud security?

Data security of all types is a hot topic these days, and cloud security is part of that. "You have to understand your own security requirements very well," Story said. "It also means you have to understand your regulatory and compliance requirements." But that doesn't necessarily rule out cloud computing, he noted. "Banking is heavily regulated, but they are using cloud. Not all their data is in the cloud, but they understand what can be in the cloud." He also noted that a business with regulatory requirements needs to understand where geographically its data is stored and work with the cloud provider to make sure they are meeting requirements.

Joining Story on the panel are: Jennifer Torlone, Senior Director, Technology and Information Services, Amerijet International; Rick Smith, Co-Founder and Vice President of Customer Advocacy, INOC; and Subo Guba, VP Product Management & Marketing, Unitrends.

Want to explore more on this topic? Attend the session on “Data Centers and Cloud: A Perfect Storm” or dive into any of the other 20 trends topical sessions curated by Data Center Knowledge at the event. Visit our previous post, Trends in Automation: The Lights Out Data Center.

Check out the conference details and register at Orlando Data Center World conference page.

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