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Cloud Computing 101: George De Bono debunks some myths

Cloud Computing 101: George De Bono debunks some myths

This month Kipp is doing a special report on Cloud Computing. To start things off, we spoke to George DeBono, Red Hat’s general manager for the Middle East and Africa, to discuss what you need to know about whether Cloud Computing is right for your business.

March 6, 2012 1:29 by

What is cloud computing?

That is a question I get a lot. The reality is, cloud computing is nothing more than a different way to deliver data to the masses; the masses being a public forum or an internal organisation forum. People have this concept that cloud is the ultimate answer, but it is not. It is just one of the many answers. Again, it is just a delivery platform it is a natural evolution in terms of the way data gets presented to people. It is something that is not 2011, it is not new. It is something that has been around in thought and in concept and in evolutionary phase for quite some time. Cloud was first referred to by one of the guys in an IBM lab in the early 60’s. An old dog like me who has been in the business since the ’80’s, first time I saw somebody draw a cloud in an architecture diagram it was 1989, so it is not new, it is just evolving.

How would you define the ‘Private Cloud’?

Private cloud is a cloud infrastructure that is contained within an organization. To be used the data or the results or output or whatever you want to call it to the constituents of the business. And even within a private cloud you have two private clouds: a cloud that is dedicated to one specific department within an organisation, rather than being for an entire organisation.

And the ‘Public Cloud’?

Public Cloud? Amazon. Yahoo. It is IBM. It is where a cloud solution is being offered on a pay per use type model by a thrid party provider which for organizations who want to test/try cloud it is not a bad thing, but it has risks, it has limitations.

What are the risks associated with cloud computing, in particular public clouds?

You are not in control of the infrastructure, you are not in control of the security mechanisms. You are not in control of your data because your data resides outside of your environment and that is the key issue. The other big issue that we have with public clouds is vendor locking. You need to have the flexibility with respects to the public cloud infrastructure to be able to at some point in time take back your data.

And finally what are ‘Hybrid Clouds’?

So hybrid is a combination of the first two. Let’s say a company thought cloud was a good idea but didn’t want to invest a lot. They wanted to see what could be done so they entered an arrangement with a public cloud provider. Around the edges of that, when they have verified that the cloud could deliver something good for them, they started to build their own structure using their own cloud, which was used for end-of-month or end-of-the-year processing type stuff. Often times, this is when they’ll realise that was really the wrong thing to do. What they needed to do is go the other way around—to have their own cloud infrastructure servicing normal work load and then whenever they were approaching the peak and needed incremental work load for short periods of time then they could license that in the public cloud provider.

Ideally for hybrid clouds, companies should have their own cloud infrastructure that run day-to-day and then when they need the extra processing, this is the time when they should go out and add more cloud from their cloud provider.

Got any additional cloud computing questions? We’ve got a series of features lined up for you. But if you can’t wait, contact us by leaving a comment below, or a post on our Facebook page, our Twitter or email us at [email protected]

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1 Comment

  1. Grand Master on October 16, 2012 5:35 pm

    I believe you need to update on this subject, especially when it comes to security in the cloud.

    Hybrid cloud, after research and evaluation, represent the best solution and the way forward for businesses as it deliver two key objectives: Flexibility in addressing peaks and maintaining control on business critical systems linked to core business.

    My personal research shows that public cloud providers will eventually deliver following 3 services: 1) Compute Resources for large/medium enterprises for seasonal peak on demand on compute resources and 2) SaaS for the SMB market who requires services that today cant acquire due to various entry / adoption barriers 3) Disaster Revery and Business Continuity for all business who can’t afford to build or keep supporting such expensive part of the IT infrastructure. Pure IaaS play will not gain success and acceptance for reasons George has discussed in his video interview.

    As far George statement that there will be public cloud provider coming into the region. The fact is there are already one fully operational based out of Qatar, one is doing per-launch testing in Saudi, and several others are in project sourcing or implementation phases.

    In this regard, the ISP/Telecos are strong candidates to evolve faster public cloud provider offerings within our region due to their traditional control over ISP services and a legacy of hosting data center owned by such operators.

    During late 2010 the adoption rate of virtualization started to increase in the Middle East region. The main driving force was cost cutting for expansion and refresh cycles after the close to freeze state the industry faced during 2008 and 2009. UAE is the highest in terms of adoption and maturity levels, followed by peak growth in Qatar and Saudi which will continue to drive growth for software companies in this our region for 1 or 2 years to come. Kuwait, Egypt, and Iraq still long way to go in terms of virtualization and cloud.

    With increasing number of companies offering cloud technology solutions (the reality may be just basic virtualization software), some software vendors has started to address the topic of managing heterogeneous virtual infrastructure in the cloud. This would provide greater flexibility and wider choices for businesses to develop tier strategy within their cloud and virtualization


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