Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, ManageEngine IT Matters, Liz McMillan

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CHEETAH Training & Innovation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CHEETAH Training & Innovation is a cloud consulting and IT training firm specializing in improving clients cloud strategies and infrastructures for medium to large companies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and thei...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...