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Published by

Jason Quesada

Hey everyone. Jason Quesada here, Digital Media Marketing Manager for Cloud Connect. Did you know that we are just 11 weeks away from Cloud Connect Santa Clara? All of the cool and latest cloud solutions will be displayed on the Cloud Connect expo floor. We are going to make it rain at Cloud Connect and we are asking you to join us! Continue Reading »

 
Published by

Manuela Farrell

New blog post from Cloud Connect, Cloud Economics track chair Joe Weinman summarizing some of the content he covered at Cloud Connect and highlighting a lesser known but increasingly important economic justification for cloud computing: the total customer experience.

 
Published by

Manuela Farrell

As you’ve all heard and seen if you attended, Cloud Connect was a huge success!  Workshops, conference sessions, the expo and especially our keynote rooms were packed with attendees wanting to hear about the latest innovations and experiences in cloud computing.  Thanks to everyone who made the event possible.

And a special thanks to everyone who participated in our DonorsChoose.org campaign, by donating money, filling out evals, or voting for their favorite Launch Pad finalist.  We had a record breaking over 1600 evals completed which shows the engagement and dedication of the Cloud Connect audience to improving conference content and giving back to the community.  Because of you, UBM TechWeb and Cloud Connect will donate over $2500 to Bay Area math and science public school projects via our partnership with DonorsChoose.org.  Three of our selected projects were completed before the event even began (amazing), with the remaining projects reaching completion stage once our final donation is made. 

Take a look at the classrooms and kids we’re helping and know that your participation was an integral part of the process. 

Thanks again for making Cloud Connect the must attend cloud conference of 2011 and sharing in our desire to promote and improve math and science education in the Bay Area.  Here’s to all the future cloud evangelists and engineers!

 
Published by

Chris Lotspeich

Yesterday, Cloud Connect opened with our robust pre-conference workshop program and the rooms were packed. Attendees were focused on learning about the Amazon Web Services platform, cloud performance and cloud operations. The twitter conversations for this first day of the event were energized and you could feel the excitement for the week growing as the day continued.

Today the event gets into full swing with our main conference program beginning, the first day of hearing/watching leading cloud users and providers in the keynotes and general sessions program and then meeting the latest cloud vendors within the expo hall.

If you are unable to attend the keynotes and general sessions today at 9am, we have set up a live stream of the program. Simply log-in at tv.cloudconnectevent.com and you will be able to view the 2 hour program from your desk. Today’s speakers include executives from Amazon.com, Cisco Systems, Cloudscaling, Netflix, IBM, Yahoo!, DreamWorks Animation and a special panel on how private clouds shouldn’t be an Island. It is going to be an exciting and robust program that you won’t want to miss.

After the keynotes and general sessions finish today attendees will be flocking to the expo hall to see the 70 plus exhibitors showing off the latest cloud offerings. Attendees will be meeting with companies such as IBM, Intel, Microsoft, VMware, Cisco and others. Yes, Cloud Connect has arrived at the Santa Clara Convention Center much to the excitement of the instructors, exhibitors, attendees and the cloud industry as a whole.

If you are in the area stop by and check out the show yourself. You can still register for a free expo pass to the event with code Blog. If you can’t make it, then watch the keynotes and general sessions and make plans to attend next year’s event from February 13-16.

 
Published by

Steve Wylie

Today we open the doors on Cloud Connect 2011,  an event 3 years in the making and one that has seen explosive growth in that very short time.  The original Cloud Connect was hosted just a few miles from here at the Computer History Museum – a notable launch venue as we fully expected cloud computing to be prominently featured there someday for its profound and long-lasting impact on business and technology.   That seems even more true today as we reconvene here at the Santa Clara Convention Center for a much larger Cloud Connect event with 70+ exhibitors, more than 2500 expected attendees and over 100 registered media from all over the world. 

As I explore the agenda for the week and map out my time, I’m most impressed with the richness of the program and speaker line up.   Our conference chair, Alistair Croll has worked tirelessly over the last few months with a fantastic team of track chairs, and it shows in the quality and depth of the conference. The keynote and general session agenda includes not only a “who’s who” of the cloud industry but also an incredible line-up of enterprise customers that are here to share their case studies and experiences – companies like Netflix, Dreamworks Animation and eBay.  I’m also drawn to the Cloud Industry Summit, the conference within Cloud Connect hosted by MR Rangaswami from Sand Hill Group. MR’s program caters to the industry executives who are dreaming up new products and companies, people investing in cloud start-ups and people defining new challenges and opportunities as businesses move to the cloud.  Whether you’re building your business in the cloud, moving your enterprise to the cloud, or developing cloud-based applications, Cloud Connect offers something for everyone, including an abundance of quality free programs and evening programs and parties to choose from. 

On behalf of our event sponsors, our speakers and all of us  at UBM TechWeb, thanks for joining us at Cloud Connect this week.  Enjoy the show.

Steve Wylie, General Manager, Cloud Connect

 
Published by

Manuela Farrell

In preparation for tomorrow’s Cloud Performance Summit at Cloud Connect, great new post from one of that program’s speakers, Jyoti Bansal, Founder and CEO of AppDynamics.  Jyoti writes that “the only true way to manage cloud-based apps is to focus on business transactions.” 

This summit is proving to be one of our most popular programs with a truly stellar speaker lineup.  One more day!

 
Published by

Sundar Raghavan

IT professionals are dealing with a lot of cloud pressure these days. Your organization wants you to make the IT infrastructure more agile and “cloud like,” but without increasing your budget.  Public cloud solutions provide scalable, on-demand resources that are cost effective. However, you have concerns around security, policy management and time commitment.

A hybrid cloud model, where you can augment your data center resources and policies with cloud resources, is being discussed as an attractive alternative. At Skytap, our enterprise and ISV customers who are considering hybrid clouds ask us a few important questions that should be considered by all under similar circumstances:

·         What application workloads are best suited for the hybrid cloud model? 

·         What are the key requirements to deliver a hybrid cloud successfully? 

·         Most importantly, when is a hybrid cloud less than ideal?

We would like to share our perspectives on these key questions with the CloudConnect audience.

Ideal application workloads for hybrid clouds

CIOs and IT directors who we engage with describe their application workloads in terms of predictable workloads managed by IT, and dynamic workloads requested by users.

Predictable workloads such as ERP systems, mail systems, collaboration portals and contract management systems are typically well planned and managed by IT.

On the other hand, users typically create ad-hoc or dynamic workload requests such as environments for development and test, IT sandbox or POC projects. For example:

·         A developer may want to create parallel dev/test environments with access to corporate apps and databases.

·         An IT operations engineer may want to test clustering and fail-over scenarios between two locations.

These users require self-service capabilities that enable them to manage their own set-ups, teardowns, parallel work streams and remote team collaboration.

By carefully architecting a hybrid cloud solution, IT organizations can move these workloads to the cloud while maintaining full visibility and control.

Key requirements for successful hybrid cloud deployments

Our experience shows that there are five must-have requirements for a successful hybrid cloud deployment:

1.     Self-Service User Interface – To cover the broad range of functional users in an enterprise, you need a self-service solution where users are empowered to manage their own environments. At the same time, IT owners need self-service admin tools to implement approved templates, security policies, VPN access, and budget control measures.

2.     Secure Cloud Architecture – A hybrid solution must include various security measures including data center security, physical security, access security, virtual data center security, compute (virtual machine) security, network security, storage security and operations security. The data transport between the cloud and your data center must be secured with an IPsec VPN connection.

3.     Configurable Role-Based User Access Control (UAC) – Enabling granular user access control (UAC) is a key requirement for enterprise adoption of hybrid cloud based solutions. Most cloud providers only offer a limited set of user access controls. Make sure the solution you evaluate offers a rich UAC model to set fine-grain permissions.

4.     Cloud Policies, Quotas and Chargebacks – The ability to enforce enterprise IT policies with cost controls and chargeback billing to internal groups are key requirements for most IT organizations.  Make sure the solution offers auto-suspend capabilities when resources are not in use to save costs.

5.     Snapshots and Collaboration – Capability to snapshot an entire virtual data center is important to encapsulate enterprise applications and enable IT environments to be replicated accurately and quickly. In a hybrid cloud, the VPN connections and security policies that the applications use must also persist across snapshots.  Snapshots are useful to save a ‘golden image’ for rapid deployment at a later date.

What workloads are not ideal for the hybrid cloud model?

Although a hybrid cloud model delivers user agility, cost savings and IT productivity, it is not a panacea for all applications and IT requirements. Here are some practical questions to assess the fit.

·         Is your application architected to be efficient in terms of network traffic?

·         Can your application run on virtualized environments?

·         Do your users understand the nature of data and the applications they are authorized to use in the cloud?

·         Does your application require access to graphic accelerators, audio and video controls?

·         Does your application require access to specialized hardware or equipment?

While not all of these questions are showstoppers, it is important to ask and assess the fit so that you can be assured of success.

By paying close attention to key application, data, security and user requirements IT organizations can deploy a hybrid cloud solution and get the best of both worlds: scalable, cost effective cloud resources that are secure, configurable and policy compliant.

 
Published by

Jason Quesada

Nati Shalom, CTO of GigaSpaces, writes about new cloud platforms. 

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Global thought leadership organizations Gartner, IDC, and Merrill Lynch, just to name a few, all concur that cloud technologies, which already constitute a more than $16bn dollar annual market, are only expected to grow and some even predict multiply tenfold by 2015.  With more than 50% of respondents citing business agility as a primary driver for migrating to the cloud (as brought forth in a recent Sand Hill survey of 500 IT decision makers), this is almost an ironic scenario with the silo-oriented approach widely dominating the cloud market today that has spawned a rather cumbersome process for organizations who require quick time-to-market when rolling out new business products.

Continue Reading »

 
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If you read the brochures, Clouds promise—apparently—limitless capacity, pay-as-you-go economics, and freedom from the drudgery of maintaining and upgrading the boxen that litter your data center.

 

At the same time—if you believe the hype—they’re compatible with on-premise infrastructure, and it’s easy to run applications in clouds for testing and even production. IT managers can control the operating system, server configuration, architecture, and everything else.

 

Cloud computing can absolutely deliver elastic, fire-and-forget capacity on demand, without any need to tweak the underlying machines. This is called Platform as a Service: developers paste their code into the cloud, and it just runs. On the other hand, a cloud can be heavily customized, giving customers control over nearly every aspect of their environment, from network topology, to machine configuration, to what runs when and where. This is called Infrastructure as a Service: you get a command line, a library of virtual infrastructure, and all the machines you can afford. You just can’t get both at once.

 

This isn’t just disingenuous. It sets impossibly high expectations. It can undermine the real value clouds offer, because it makes IT professionals (and the less-than-technical managers to whom they report) think that they can have their cake and eat it, too. Cloud computing is about tradeoffs. The basic model of public clouds is based on an economy of scale. The cloud provider spreads costs across a large number of customers, who share common platforms. The more that a customer needs to customize things, the smaller the scale against which to economize. Consider the geographic location of data. Many companies are concerned about where their data goes—in fact, one IT executive I talked with recently confidently stated, “with clouds, you don’t even know what country your data is in.” That’s simply not true. If you choose a cloud that doesn’t make any guarantees about data, then the provider is able to choose the best place for information based on cost, law, latency, reliability, and so on.

 

On the other hand, Amazon lets users choose from four Availability Zones, two of which are inside the U.S. But if a cloud customer wants to be more specific—choosing the city or even the data center—then the cloud provider can’t find an economy of scale. Costs will rise, the range of available services will shrink, and the customer may as well rent their own rack.

 

Clouds are also about automation and standardization. Cloud providers want to design single points of failure and manual tasks out of their offerings. The more a customer is willing to co-operate and abdicate opinions, the more automated and reliable a service they can use. By coding to App Engine and Bigtable, Google’s customers get immediate elasticity and detailed accounting of what’s happening. In return, all they have to do is give up their opinions about storage architecture and programming language.

 

Cloud Computing is a valuable new tool in the IT toolbox. But not clearly explaining the tradeoffs and nuances, its proponents are making promises the cloud simply can’t deliver.



 
Published by

Manuela Farrell

This week we announced that Cloud Connect chose DonorsChoose.org as its official event beneficiary in order to support math and science education in Bay Area public schools.  We selected three classroom projects whose requests include iPad touches for basic math and phonics instruction, human anatomical models for anatomy and physiology courses and materials and balances for science labs.  Public schools in the Bay Area, California and the entire country need all the support they can get, and we’re proud that Cloud Connect can make this contribution to the community that hosts it.

“Thanks to Cloud Connect, hundreds of Bay Area public school students will receive resources that they need to learn and succeed,” said Candice Chesson Jimenez, Director, West Region, DonorsChoose.org. “We are honored to partner with the conference, and look forward to continuing to learn how our organization can drive innovation in our online peer-to-peer philanthropy model.”

We’re asking Cloud Connect attendees, exhibitors, speakers and community members to join us in our support by either donating directly via the Cloud Connect giving page, filling out evals for any conference sessions or workshops attended, and/or voting for their favorite Launch Pad finalist on the keynote stage on Wednesday, May 9th.

Click here for detailed information.

See everyone in just over a week!

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