The Industrialization of Cloud Computing

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Cloud Computing Starts to Mature

The emphasis in the cloud is shifting from public to private cloud computing deployments.

Now that cloud computing is firmly established on the IT agenda, the conversation is starting to shift towards how to make cloud computing platforms reliable enough to run production systems.

In pursuit of the goal CSC has created a BizCloud architecture that spans multiple variants of private and public cloud computing as part of an effort to give IT organizations the most amount of flexibility as possible. In fact, as Siki Giunta, CSC vice president of cloud computing, sees it, hybrid cloud computing will be with us for at least five to 10 years, which means the challenge going forward is going to be the need to develop a federated approach to managing cloud services.

Speaking at the CSC Technology and Business Solutions conference in Orlando, Fla., this week, Giunta says CSC is developing a SpotCloud platform, due out later this year, that will allow its customers to broker a variety of cloud computing services regardless of whether they are provided by CSC or some other vendor. Without that orchestration capability, says Giunta, cloud computing will soon spiral out of control.

That brokering capability, coupled with the emergence of more robust application programming interfaces (APIs) across the cloud computing ecosystem, heralds the beginning of not only how IT services will be delivered but also paid for. For example, Giunta says CSC is driving software vendors towards licensing models based on the actual amount of memory consumed by the application workload, rather than the number of processor cores deployed. In the cloud computing era Giunta notes that existing software licensing models no longer make economic sense.

As part of this overall effort, Giunta notes that IT organizations will have to focus more on how to optimize the performance of specific types of application workloads. Not every application is ideally suited for the cloud, so any journey to the cloud needs to start with an application portfolio analysis that identifies the most suitable candidates for running in the cloud.

These and other steps are part of what Giunta calls the "industrialization" of cloud computing that will make this computing paradigm viable in the enterprise. In contrast, she notes that Google and Amazon are not delivering flexible cloud computing environments that are backed up by service-level agreements (SLAs) that give customers money back in the event the SLA is not met.

Giunta concedes that the changes being advocated by CSC are going to be traumatic for both internal IT organizations and the vendors that serve them. But the inevitability of cloud computing means that these issues should be tackled now, says Giunta, as opposed to letting cloud computing become yet another "rats' nest" of incompatible services that no one knows how to really manage.