Monday, October 3, 2011

Clearing Away The Cloud

Unless you have been living under a rock (like those guys in the GEICO TV commercial) you know one of hottest topics in IT circles these days is the cloud. Cloud computing is the ability to rent computing resources including raw processor, memory or storage on demand. Need a dozen servers for 30 minutes? No problem. Just order them up on-line and presto, you are in business. You can also rent business applications using SaaS or "software as a service" providers. Everything from simple e-mail systems to office automation suites and complete customer management systems are available by the drink.

While this ability has been around for many years in various other forms (time-sharing, remote batch processing, ASP, etc.) the current cloud movement is picking up steam. It is building a large following among major corporations delivering a whole new set of benefits and introducing a new set of problems and issues.

You can hardly read a newspaper, trade journal or magazine without encountering articles discussing cloud computing. All of this activity and interest has spawned new organizations devoted to the study of cloud computing. The industry must assemble a body of knowledge about the cloud and find ways to disseminate this information  It must further propose standards to make it possible for business to extract the full potential value the cloud computing paradigm holds.

One such organization is the Cloud Computing Consortium (C3) at Stevens Institute of Technology. This organization, formed last year by a handful of volunteers, has grown rapidly and now includes five active working committees debating and documenting various aspects of cloud computing from a management perspective. As one of the founding members, I serve on the Executive Council and participated in the work of the value proposition committee.

C3 is planning to hold its first conference November 7 in Northern New Jersey. C3 is currently seeking additional volunteers for a second round of committees to tackle additional topics, while the findings of the first group will form the basis for the presentations at the conference.

C3 is also seeking additional members and vendor sponsors to support its efforts. For details you can write me or Ken Saloway, or visit the C3 web site.

Captain Joe

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