[Executive summary: We'll be blogging about private cloud for the next three days here at EMC World 2010. Stuck at your desk? Follow along with EMC World 2010 live video from SiliconANGLE's #TheCube.]
I'm here in Boston to attend EMC World 2010. The theme, plastered everywhere at the venue and across the city (that's a sign at the taxi stand at Logan Airport over to the right) is "The Journey to the Private Cloud Starts Now." Thousands of infrastructure geeks are here to get their EMC on, and I'll be covering the more-virtualization-related activities at the conference.
I'm very interested in what people are thinking now about private cloud and if it's starting to make sense to them. Sometimes I see people have made it easy on themselves by just categorizing "cloud" as a marketing term for now, full of hype. That way they don't have to think about it too much. Others, coming from experiences with the public cloud, can't see how a private cloud makes sense. The reality is far more complex, and far more interesting. Already after talking to some of the attendees and EMC employees at the conference I'm seeing a recognition that private cloud concepts are resonating with the IT professionals.
What makes private cloud challenging to talk about is that "private cloud" isn't a term the marketing gang cooked up that we can all ignore, like the normal Three Letter Acronyms that every company "is a leader in." Cloud is not a technology — you can't rack up a Cloud Box and call it a day. Cloud is an operational model, a consumption model, and way of running IT as a value-added part of your business. It's been fascinating so far this trip as everybody is closest to their part of the coalescing cloud — topics like provisioning, automation, chargeback, policy-based management and compliance were common topics at the opening reception — and it will be interesting to see how these threads come together over the next three days as we continue to talk public cloud.
EMC's Ed Saipetch has been briefing customers on the virtual datacenter and private cloud this week. He wrote yesterday about the conversations he's having. It seems to be a lightbulb type moment — to some IT shops, building a private cloud seems obvious, and to others, it still seems impossible. As Ed says in his post talking about some We’re separating but will stay friends:
Some customers saw exactly where I was going and others probably thought I was insane. I started at a high level and then went into the details but here’s the problem. When we talk about infrastructure becoming a pool of resources that you’re able to push and pull workloads into and out of, some people think it’s fairytale land. … Infrastructure AND platforms are both part of the “Stack” and “Cloud” conversation. It’s about businesses being able to let their most valuable asset (their people) work on deploying applications faster instead of provisioning servers.
We seem to be mirroring the same conversation we had when we had to give up being server huggers and virtualize in the first wave of server consolidation. As we're moving to a higher level of abstraction and automation, at first it seems like you're giving up what you've spent all your hard time to build in the first place.
Sound like an interesting conversation? Let's get started. There's a few ways to follow along over the next few days.
- Follow along here on VMTN Blog and Twitter (@jtroyer) I'll also be checking in on foursquare to support the Spots4Bots charity http://bit.ly/Spots4Bots
- Search for blog posts on EMC World
- Search for Twitter updates on EMC World
And my favorite… streaming video LIVE from #TheCube at EMC World 2010. SiliconANGLE's John Furrier (@furrier) and Mark Rizzn Hopkins (@rizzn) will be broadcasting live Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 2:30-5:30pm EDT (and a little more besides). They're set up right outside the bloggers lounge here, and they've already penciled in a great series of guests. You should not miss this show. Check it out at http://siliconangle.com/emcworld2010/. EMC's Stu Miniman (@stu) lays out more information on the broadcast and agenda:
What content are you getting? THREE keynote speakers (2 of which will be coming directly from the stage straight to the live video), top industry bloggers & analysts, partners (VMware, Cisco, Brocade and others) and more special guests to be announced later. Topics will span everything from Federation, Cloud and Virtualization to Social Media, Security and Sustainability.