Sunday, April 11, 2010

Not Everyone Attends the Tech Conferences

One of the things I find interesting about the latest rounds of industry consolidations and unified offerings from vendors (VCE, SMT, HP Matrix, etc.) is the level of bickering over minutia from the technologists. Not just the technologists from the vendors, because that's expected as they try to defend and position their solutions, but from the technologists at partners (Channel Partners, Global Systems Integrators, etc.) and customers. 
I understand that there is some technology religion involved in these discussions, and a level of control that technologists want to retain over the choices they are being offered. But let's stop for a second and realize that these details are not addressing the bigger picture. They are arguing definitions or data-sheets instead of discussing how to move to Cloud Computing models that are most flexible and cost-effective.

Having a Cloud Computing Discussion - Where to Start?

One of the most difficult aspects of any new topic area is knowing where to start.  Since it's all about Cloud Computing on this blog, let's start with a simple concept that most people can relate to - you don't like the way that you have to interact with your computer(s). You have a problem (of some sort), and starting with the problem is usually the best place to start. 

[NOTE - Plenty of technologies have gotten started because "it's a different way of doing something", but many of them fail because they don't actually solve any problems that more than 1 person has.]

If you're a business, that dislike with your computers probably falls into one of the following categories:
  1. The system is not as reliable or responsive as the business requires.
  2. The ability to use the system to address new business challenges or opportunities takes too long, or is too complicated.
  3. The system costs too much. "Too much" is obviously a subjective number, but maybe the cost of IT just seems like too large a number to the business function requesting it's services.
  4. The system doesn't seem to do some of the interesting things that you've heard other people talk about their systems doing. 
Now that we've established that there is a problem, let's see if Cloud Computing makes sense to bring to the discussion as a potential framework for a solution?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The 5 Ps of Cloud Computing - A Framework for Discussions

I'm going to refer to this diagram many times in the future, which I call "The 5 Ps of Cloud Computing" (from the non-technical perspective). It's not tied to any companies, products or industries, but rather it's a model that I've used in the past to help guide companies that are looking to solve some of their IT challenges with a Cloud Computing strategy.

Let's take a look at the various pieces and how they interact within the model. [Note the color-coding of each section as it will help to remember the concepts]