Yesterday, I held a rather impromptu “Cloud Talk” session with some of the Twitter community that has expressed an interested in cloud computing, cloud storage, etc. I’m happy to report that given the rather abrupt beginning of the session, I still was able to sit down and talk with seven individuals (sorry, Stu 😉 ) that had some interesting thoughts and ideas about what the cloud is and isn’t.
The common theme that was discussed (suprisingly) was about the role of what I’ve deemed “middleware;” that is, the specific “connectors” that tie an internal set of applications and their data, processing, security capabilities to one or more cloud services like GoGrid, Nirvanix, Mosso, and S3. This would also be know as “PaaS” (Platform as a Service) or “IaaS” (Infrastructure as a Service). Admittedly, everyone has their own spin on this and the overall taxonomy for the cloud is really still under development by all parties, but the general consensus was tied to this absolutely crucial connection piece.
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One of the current “hot” topics within the IT industry these days is the concept of cloud computing. While there is a level of ambiguity around what cloud computing actually is, there is a definite trend towards looking at what these cloud services and storage can do for the commercial and enterprise.
Private Cloud Challenges
In a previous posting, I talked about the concept of a common cloud file system or cFS. Some folks responded on Twitter that perhaps IBM‘s GPFS filesystem (as a part of their SOFS strategy) could indeed fulfill that role for the cloud. As an additional twist, PaaS “connectors” such as SnapLogic, et. al. that seek to tie front-end processes or applications to underlying cloud services could simply provide a API hook to entities like Nirvanix, GoGrid, Amazon S3, etc. for handling discrete storage functions (with the obvious implications of data access/protection SLAs being separate and distinct from the middleware providers). The provision for this changes when you start talking about privatizing the cloud.
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