Q&A with Pat O'Day of BlueLock - Page 3

Pat O'Day (Profile)
Monday, March 28th 2011

PO: Most businesses can benefit from cloud computing. Enterprises can at last have access to world-class IT infrastructure in small, affordable pieces. They can avoid over-provisioning or under-provisioning with the ability to act quickly and add resources as needed, avoiding long provisioning/configuring/integration cycles, connecting web applications in external clouds and turning their own data centers into metered corporate utilities. Cloud computing allows companies to better deal with the “unknown” in terms of the amount of resources they will or won’t need and then provides the ability to change their mind later—either by bringing the application back in-house or to another cloud provider (via OVF formats).

VSM: Is cloud computing right for all applications?

PO: Whether or not an application is a good fit for the cloud depends greatly on the type of application in question. For IT departments, applications that have a high sensitivity for network latency or ones that need to integrate with other local systems like mainframes are best run in the internal datacenter. Applications where lots of change occurs like development, demonstration or proof of concept are a great fit. Some IT departments prefer to put line of business applications like SharePoint or other third party software applications in the cloud so that they can focus their limited resources on mission critical and revenue generating application support activities.

VSM: Besides security, what are some of the other barriers to mass cloud computing adoption?

PO: One possible barrier to adopting a cloud computing strategy is a lack of transparency from some cloud service providers. This barrier takes many different shapes. Some lack transparency in billing or cost, some providers do not allow you to migrate workloads creating a lock-in scenario, and some still do not provide a vendor-neutral way of managing your infrastructure and others do not grant you visibility and insight into how your virtual resources are performing.

We have seen how IaaS cloud services changed our way of thinking about the cost of IT. This new way of thinking can help us be better stewards of our operational budgets, but it also means we need to take care in forecasting growth and planning likewise. Enterprises may relish the agility of on-demand resources, but service providers still need to offer billing models that provide predictable cost structures.

Beyond cost, providers must also grant IT administrators new and innovative ways to manage their cloud resources. While it is great to be able to provision a brand-new server in under two minutes, it takes excellent management tools to care for the server during the remaining four years (or more) of the server's life cycle. Server administrators must be able to monitor servers for quirks before they become larger issues and have the right tools on hand to diagnose problems when they do occur.

VSM: Lastly, BlueLock was recently named one of only three North American service providers to offer the VMware vCloud Datacenter Services. What is the rundown on the new services?