Friday, November 7, 2008

Cisco 3.0 and the future of cloud computing

It's been a big week for Cisco and their activities in Cloud Computing. On Wednesday and Thursday they held their first ever "Cisco Cloud Computing Research Symposium" (C3RS) in San Jose, which they described a forum to stimulate conversation and exchange of ideas with the intent of laying out the main open lines of research in Cloud Computing. The by-invitation-only event, which I had the honored of beening invited to, but sadly could not attend ,focused on cloud technology and its impact on the Internet of the future. (And specifically how Cisco was going to make a tonne of cash off major customers such as Bank of America who are rumored to be in the process of rolling out a major private cloud with them)

In a separate conversation, Cisco's Chief Technology Officer Padmasree Warrior spoke to a group at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. During her panel, Warrior outlined Cisco's vision for the cloud saying that cloud computing will evolve from private and stand-alone clouds to hybrid clouds, which allow movement of applications and services between clouds, and finally to a federated "intra-cloud."(Guess she reads my blog, Padmasree call me I'll hook you up with an intra-cloud)

She seems like the term intra-cloud, which actually isn't that bad. She elaborated with this tidbit: "We will have to move to an 'intra-cloud,' with federation for application information to move around. It's not much different from the way the Internet evolved. It will take us a few years to get there. We have to think about security and load balancing and peering," she said. "Flexibility and speed at which you can develop and deploy applications are the basic advantages that will drive this transformation."

During the same conference panel, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch, said that compatibility at the cloud platform layer is a problem. "The level of lock-in in the cloud in terms of applications running and data aggregation is at a risky juncture right now in terms of continuity," I actually agree with Lynch, Adobe's cloud efforts have been some of the most locked down out of most of the major players. CEO Marc Benioff went back into his vision for integration between his platform and Google and Facebook as an example of the way cloud services can be mashed up. "It's an unclear area of the law as to who owns what." (Don't get me started on this one, I smell BS a mile away. Marc your customers own their data, how many times do i have to tell you this!)

At the end of the day all the major players love to talk about interoperability and federation. VMware with there Vcloud is prime example of interop-vapor. Hey look, we're interoperable, just as long as your using VMware. But in the end action still speaks louder the words and for now it's just words.

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