Once you're done arguing over the merits of cloud computing, the next logical conversation to have is how you're going to live with it.
IT organizations already make use of any number of cloud computing services and as time goes on, it's pretty clear that IT organizations are going to function as integrators of multiple cloud computing services.
The challenge, says Dmitri Sirota, a co-founder and vice president for channel and alliances for Layer 7 Technologies, is that once all these services become part of the enterprise IT fabric, they need to be effectively managed. In the coming months Layer 7, which makes XML gateways for connecting Web services, is going to take that challenge on with new offerings that not only automate access control for multiple cloud computing services, but also allow IT organizations to create a virtual layer of isolation between themselves and those services. That's important, said Sirota, because as cloud computing services become more integrated with the rest of IT, a system event in the cloud should not be allowed to extend out to internal IT organization.
Longer term, Sirota says offerings such as these will allow IT organizations to broker between cloud computing services. But he doesn't think that the ability to broker between cloud computing services is going to lead dynamic auctions because service providers and their customers don't want to have to manage that process. Instead, IT organizations will put out bid to fulfill requirements for additional capacity that crop up on a periodic basis.
However the economics of cloud computing evolve, the one thing that is for certain is that IT organizations are going to need new classes of tools to manage those services at higher levels of abstraction in order to not only take advantage of the cloud, but master it as well.