Is Cloud Computing Ready for Prime Time?: Page 2

Posted November 19, 2009

David Needle

(Page 2 of 2)

Making cloud costs transparent

Sayar said HP is trying to be a conductor for IT, managing the various solutions to make it all "play" right. The company is also providing tools to help IT track costs and charges to various departments. "The cloud is all about procuring the best services at the lowest rate and having that all be transparent," he said.

Mike Evans, vice president of corporate development at Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), doesn't doubt cloud computing is the future, but he's not sure how fast or comprehensive the ramp up will be.

He noted ISVs (define) are being asked to support five to ten hypervisors. "That's a major barrier," he said. And on the public cloud side, Amazon Cloud is different than Rackspace and other competitors so there's another learning curve for would be buyers.

It's also a relatively new technology. "Four or five years ago, Linux was proven to be faster than Unix and people still buy a lot of Unix," said Evans. "People don't rip and replace until their servers come off lease. Also, we don't see a lot of trust at the heavy production cycle (for cloud computing). The big guys want to see big usage success," he added pointing to examples like Wall Street financial firms as reticent to offload their datacenter to third-party cloud services.

HP's Sayar said enterprises are evaluating both public and private cloud solutions.

"The challenge is for decision makers and CIOs to push the pedal with a stick or carrot on whether to provide central infrastructure or to procure from the outside, and that's not an easy decision. What we usually see is that it starts with an external-facing, non-mission critical system like e-mail services to embark on a public cloud and then that opens the kitty to other types of cloud services."

Before too long the cloud will be "ubiquitous, like radial tires," predicted Jeff Carlat, director of partner and platform software for HP's infrastructure software and blades.

Silver bullet ROI and what's next

IT spending on cloud and other infrastructure upgrades is showing signs of improving along with the economy, according to John Bara, vice president of marketing in the DataCenter and Cloud division of Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS).

"The first wave of virtualization was about server consolidation and people got excited about the silver bullet ROI of the last five years," said Bara. "We're at the beginning of the next phase which is about ubiquity, cost and bringing value to the user like being able to access your PC remotely and hold virtual meetings. The desktop is going to have a lot to do with that."

He added "There's been a dam on IT spending, but now there is a flow where companies are able to spend sensibly. We're seeing more in our executive briefings that we're hitting an upgrade cycle with servers, desktops and portables. And Microsoft got it right with Windows 7, so that's triggering a lot of upgrade decisions."

The group of vendors also predicted PC makers will ship more systems with virtualization technology built in that will help spawn new applications. "A hypervisor on every client is going to bring an exciting era of new applications that will make the PC more valuable," said Hara.

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com.

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Tags: cloud computing, apps, virtual, Enterprise, IT infrastructure

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