The Democratization of IT slides from Interop

Last week, I presented a session on the democratization of IT. The short version is this: When every employee has better technology in their pocket than they do on their desk at work, and when it’s easy and cheap to deploy new applications that fly under the radar of enterprise IT controls, IT is no longer a monopoly, and it needs to shift what it does dramatically in order to stay relevant.

Enterprise Cloud Summit slides

ECS 2010 New York is a wrap. Over two days, an extraordinary set of speakers and end users came together to look at the state, and future, of cloud computing.

  • Folks like Accenture’s Dan Elron and Forrester’s Frank Gillett show us the big picture
  • Hands-on practitioners like Cloudscaling’s Randy Bias give us their view from the trenches
  • Fifteen end users discuss their enterprise and startup cloud adoption
  • We had detailed discussions on management, security, performance, and more.

The great content came from the participants; I just framed the discussion and moderated some of the panels. If you want them, here are my slides from the event.

First: opening remarks for ECS, on the democratization of IT.

(2 more decks after the jump)
Continue reading “Enterprise Cloud Summit slides”

Presentation from the first Canadian Cloud Roadmaps webinar

We recently ran the first of a series of webinars aimed specifically at Canadian cloud computing initiatives. Having talked with many governments and companies in Canada, we know there are some technical and legislative quirks to Canadian cloud adoption, and we’re trying to get a dialogue going.

The series is a joint, non-commercial undertaking between Bitcurrent, Joyent, and Cloudventures. The first webinar laid the foundation, discussing a common language for talking about cloud computing and looking at some of the standards and best practices that exist today.

You can watch the webinar here, or download the video file as an MP4 to watch later.

Slides from cloud 101 at Gov2Expo

On Tuesday, I had a chance to talk with government cloud users in DC about clouds. Rather than the usual “echo chamber” of clouds and IT, this was a more introductory session, and it gave me a chance to cover the broader trends in IT — the shift from a monopoly model to a free market, and the cultural changes it entails.

Here’s the slide deck, with speakers’ notes.

Launching Cloud Connect

In a few weeks, we’ll hold the inaugural Cloud Connect in Santa Clara, California. It’s actually the continuation of a series of events David Berlind launched around cloud computing, plus a spinoff of last year’s Enterprise Cloud Summit, plus a bunch of new content.

We’re pretty excited, because this is the first time Bitcurrent has helped build an event from scratch (unless you count Bitnorth, that is, but Cloud Connect is a beast of a different magnitude.) There are four days of content, built around three audiences: those who buy and finance cloud decisions; those who build cloud applications, and those who have to run the cloud platforms.

Getting here has been an interesting experience. Here’s what we did, plus an easter egg for reading all the way to the end. Continue reading “Launching Cloud Connect”

A Q&A on cloud computing

Recently, some journalism students from the American University in DC asked if they could interview me about cloud computing. As I wrote back to them, I realized that the discussion was different from what I usually talk about when it comes for clouds. These are journalism students, and they likely have a different view of “cloud computing” from the technobabble we technologists enjoy. It’s also about how schools will use on-demand applications. So I figured I’d re-post the thread here.

One of the biggest things I realized was that “clouds” can mean “elastic, on-demand compute platforms” or just “stuff that runs on the web” depending on who you’re talking to. And while these seem like two separate definitions, ultimately, they’re the same thing.

The Q&A, below the fold.

Continue reading “A Q&A on cloud computing”

How many Google App Engine apps are there?

I’m in San Diego today with Lenny Rachitsky of Webmetrics, talking about possibilities for cloud research. We were discussing App Engine penetration, and fired off some searches to try and see how much attention the Google Platform-as-a-Service is getting. This is speculative at best, and fairly imprecise; but we did see some surprising things.

The trick here is that every Google App Engine site has a name that ends in You can call your new site whatever you want (, but there’s a default name for it ( And that makes it searchable.

appengine-searchFirst of all — how many are there? Well, according to Google’s own search, around 221,000. But what’s most interesting is that the top-ranked ones aren’t in North America. Many of them are Chinese, or Indian. Some of them are phishing sites (such as this one that is a pixel-for-pixel copy of Twitter — don’t log in.) Looks like the free trial and easy enrolment in the service make it appealing for certain markets.

Where’s the word “Appspot” being searched for? Once again, we turn to Google — this time their Insight for Search service — and see that China and Japan are where most of the discussion’s going on about “appspot”; for “”, however, it looks like it’s North America.

googleinsightsappengineIt’s not clear that App Engine is getting the broad adoption of other cloud platforms, like Amazon. For one thing, it’s a Platform, not Infrastructure, model, which makes it less attractive for enterprises. There are concerns over portability, particularly for people who code to Google’s APIs for storage. But if these searches are anything to go by, it’s getting attention in some parts of the world.

The ROI of clouds, from IGT09

I’m at IGT09 this week, put together by the energetic Avner Algom. Yesterday, I gave a presentation on the ROI of cloud computing (including some data that IDC and Peter Van Eijk were nice enough to let me use.) We started off with a panel on enterprise cloud use, with four panelists from very different backgrounds:

  • Steve Rubinow, EVP and CIO of NYSE Euronext
  • Yosi Shneck, CIO, Israeli Light Company
  • Eyal Waldman, Co-founder & CEO, Mellanox
  • Liam Lynch, Chief Security Strategist, eBay

Here are the slides, including panel questions.

Getting ready for the Future of Clouds with Dr. Bob Marcus later today. Should be fun; he has a lot more useful information than I do to share with the crowd, so I’ll try to make vague, generic comments that can’t be proven instead.

Conclusions from the Hybrid Cloud panel

Lots of good conclusions from the Hybrid Cloud panel at Interop; too many to see on one slide, so here they are.

  • Hybrid isn’t one app in two places; it’s internal and external apps talking to one another
  • Migrating for new apps is easy; for already deployed ones, it’s much harder
  • In the new world, the developers are the admins and ops toolsets are changing
  • The 2010 platform will be
    • Infrastructure-aware; parallel; split between dev and ops
    • Not really PaaS; but not IaaS either
    • Runs both in-house and externally
  • Increased focus on making it easy for developers to transition to on-demand environments
  • Portability becomes a bigger concern (in/out and between clouds)
  • Where enterprises will initially embrace it:
    • Collaboration, messaging, things “just above” infrastructure
    • Areas that don’t add strategic value
    • Leverage utility model of what’s there now (apps with inherent burstability)
  • Ideological battle in infrastructure
    • Bottoms-up focus on primitives (storage, queue, compute); we build things from easy-to-connect, RESTful functions
    • Top-down modelled approach, which we reduce down to the underlying patterns and can generate code from them (policies, etc.)
  • Growth of 2 kinds of technologies
    • That make this easier for developers (Ruby on Rails) ➜ This will win
    • That help to migrate legacy systems into cloud-compatible containers
  • Enterprises about 5-7 years behind consumer/public Internet (Web tech, Hadoop, enterprise mashups)
  • Let us not forget: All big web businesses use a ton of Oracle
  • Huge $ to be made solving enterprise migration: Discrete components or specific apps
  • Standardization is 15% of the problem; standards bodies are still arguing taxonomies
  • Internet standards are built on rough consensus and running code; whoever produces a useful product that is available to many people quickly will win