Innovation, Technology, and Life in the Cloud

George Watt

The Great Cloud Debate Rages On

Cloud computing has been steadily, some might say “rapidly”, gaining traction as a strategic business weapon. Every day brings new articles about businesses that have discovered how to leverage cloud computing to drive agility, take advantage of new opportunities, improve service, or lower costs. Lately there has even been an increase in the number of people who are touting cloud technologies as ways to improve security or business continuity; something very few would have said even a year ago. (Though some of us have been of that opinion for quite some time.)

To me this does not suggest that cloud computing is the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. Rather, I believe it is a sign that business and technology leaders are beginning to figure out when cloud computing can help them – and when it cannot.

With that as context, many thought the days of the “great cloud debates” – the days of “true cloud” versus “false cloud” – were surely behind us.

“Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.” – Michael Corleone

Last fall a number of us had been discussing the fact that there was still much confusion, and even some deception and misdirection, both in favor of and against cloud computing. Though it had been a while since either of us had participated in a full-on Marquess of Queensbury Rules cloud dustup, last November my colleague, Andi Mann, and I agreed to participate in a live head-to-head cloud debate at CA World in Las Vegas. The purpose of the debate was not for us to represent our own opinions and see which of us could win it, because neither of us is in any way competitive. (See the definition of irony.) Rather, our hope was that we would present both sides of some of the most commonly debated and contentious topics, and in so doing provide people considering the use of cloud with some information that might help them make their own decisions based upon their specific business requirements.

In response to requests for a repeat of the session, we have created an online, interactive version of the debate which can be viewed at your leisure. In this session, entitled “The Cloud Computing Debate: Cutting Through the Cloud Clutter” (I lost my bid for the title “Ten more reasons Andi Mann is wrong, as if you really needed them”) we debate ten of the items we hear most often during our interactions with customers, practitioners, CIOs, and via social media including:

  • Is cloud marketing hype or a fundamentally new approach to technology?
  • Is public cloud less expensive than on-premise IT?
  • Can decent SLAs be achieved in the cloud?
  • Can data ever be safe in the cloud?
  • Is cloud a radical revolution or a logical evolution?
  • Is cloud the next generation mainframe or the end of the mainframe?
  • Isn’t cloud just the Internet?
  • Isn’t cloud just virtualization?
  • Is public cloud the one “true cloud”? Does private cloud count?
  • Is cloud bursting real or just a pipe dream?

Throughout the debate, each viewer is provided with an opportunity to make known their opinion on each topic known via a series of (optional) interactive polls. So please visit our debate and let us know what you think about these issues. You can also share additional thoughts by adding a comment to this post.

Please join the discussion

This debate was the first webcast Andi and I recorded together, though it was not the last. Following this session we began recording CloudViews Unplugged, a ten minute monthly webcast wherein we discuss the latest cloud news and events. If you have suggestions regarding topics you would like is to tackle in future sessions please send us a note or tweet, or add a comment to this post.

We look forward to future conversations with you.

“The Lightning” photo courtesy of stock.xchng.

This article is cross-posted at Cloud Storm Chasers

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This site contains articles regarding entrepreneurship, innovation, and the practical aspects of deploying, providing, managing, and using cloud computing, and other technologies. I also share my thoughts and experiences related to consumer driven IT, social media, management issues, and about what some refer to as “soft skills”.

All works copyright 2009 – 2019 George Watt – All rights reserved.

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