“Infrastructure 2.0: Fixing the Cloud”

A Conversation with Ali Alasti, VP, Hardware Development, Oracle; and Chris Drumgoole, SVP, Terremark Worldwide; hosted by Greg Ness, VP, Marketing, Vantage Data Centers

GN: What kinds of cloud computing are there?

AA: Big name and big trend. Funnest– internet access on an airplane. Cloud gives you choices: private or shared, on premise or off premise. You decide what you want, how much server power you need vs. operating systems, software such as Salesforce. A little bit of everything.

CD: IT people draw where servers will go, used to draw clouds to represent the internet in planning when they weren’t responsible for it. Computing applications delivered without you having to worry about what they are. All applications on smart phones are housed in a cloud. When you don’t want to worry about where your stuff goes. Coders dont write on a platform. They write in software. The two aren’t comparable. It depends on what you

AA: Cloud is a continuum of computing. It’s just the next progression. It puts into focus strengths, value added, what companies have to offer. Companies have to decide which parts of their IP they want to keep in house and which ones theyre willing to relegate to the cloud.

CD: There are public and private clouds. Still an enterprise glass hardware. The federal government is consuming cloud, which are on servers with companies like Fortune 500. Then there’s consumer cloud like Amazon. Private cloud– Oracle is offering private servers, housed within a company’s walls, which are theirs alone.

AA: Number one question to consider as a customer: looking for highly controlled private environment or highly flexible enterprise service. In many cases theres a huge concern about security, which leans toward private, but you have to establish your own comfort level. Highly application driven — CC processing still on private clouds.

CD: People feel like the cloud is new, but everyone in this room has used the cloud. Online games, hotel reservations, etc are all on the cloud. Angst around the cloud term is a marketing angst. Just a matter of when apps will move on. In 2-3 years anyone writing new apps will be writing on the cloud.

GN: Cloud security? Private vs. public?

CD: Joke that don’t have sales conversations around cloud, but security conversations that turn into transactions. Cloud is computing, running on the same bricks, copper, etc. Believe its actually a more secure form of computing if you do it properly, than traditional computing. Don’t let the cloud provider scare you away about security. Questions CAN be answered.

GN: What about downtime?

AA: You signed something that said best effort, and sometimes you get what you pay for. Some kinds of clouds cannot guarantee no interruptions. Some can. At Oracle, our job is to scare people on security. In equal security situations, there are benefits to having a private cloud, but the differences are getting better.

CD: When you go to the cloud, you hand over responsibility to someone else. And you can have downtime. Its important to be very clear of what you’re doing. SLA- Perception that because its cloud, you don’t have to care. Not true.

GN: What will cloud do to IT?

AA: It comes down to what you will gain by transferring everything to cloud. What matters to you? Energy saving, security, etc. With even two highly similar banks, decisions are very different about cloud. A lot fo it comes down to company politics. Ultimately, the move to cloud is about gaining efficiency and you need to be clear about what you want to be efficient on.

CD: Cloud has made it easier to start a business. In IT, you’ll see a renewance in focusing on true software engineering. Money will be made by those who commoditize the hardware and put effort into the software development.

AA: Cluster technology is not getting its due — the idea of multiple users play with multiple machines, that all work as one. Such as Google. Security aspects, ID aspects, but to the user it ultimately should allow you to host everything without thinking about what’s private and what’s public. Companies often start public and then move to private infrastructure.

Tom Malloy: For consumers, is there any insight between public clouds, colocation, etc? Where are the inflection points?

CD: Inflection point is about application more than volume and size. I don’t think there’s an economic inflection point.

AA: People want to be bothered with less. Want hardware-software combination to deal with their own problems, not underlying infrastructure.