Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, John Basso, Igor Drobiazko, Pat Romanski, Dana Gardner

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
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
IoT device adoption is growing at staggering rates, and with it comes opportunity for developers to meet consumer demand for an ever more connected world. Wireless communication is the key part of the encompassing components of any IoT device. Wireless connectivity enhances the device utility at the expense of ease of use and deployment challenges. Since connectivity is fundamental for IoT device development, engineers must understand how to overcome the hurdles inherent in incorporating multipl...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
The IoT has the potential to create a renaissance of manufacturing in the US and elsewhere. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Florent Solt, CTO and chief architect of Netvibes, will discuss how the expected exponential increase in the amount of data that will be processed, transported, stored, and accessed means there will be a huge demand for smart technologies to deliver it. Florent Solt is the CTO and chief architect of Netvibes. Prior to joining Netvibes in 2007, he co-founded Rift Technol...
Join IBM June 8 at 18th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn how to innovate like a startup and scale for the enterprise. You need to deliver quality applications faster and cheaper, attract and retain customers with an engaging experience across devices, and seamlessly integrate your enterprise systems. And you can't take 12 months to do it.