Floyd Strimling, VP Community, Technical Evangelist for Zenoss, stopped by a while ago to speak about his opinions on the topics of OpenStack, Google App Engine versus Amazon Web Service, and different approaches to open source projects he's seen companies adopt.
Our conversation started by focusing on cloud computing frameworks and the approaches organizations are using to deploy their applications. I'm not going to attempt to capture all of the thoughts that were discussed. Here is a short summary:
- Often cloud computing services are being selected based upon the the expected costs rather than what the service will do for the organization. These perceptions often are developed by business decision makers without the help of IT support.
- Organizations would be best advised to engage the IT organization early on in a project to make sure that what appear to be simple choices about a cloud service don't turn into major impediments later.
- It is really wise to understand the features; functions; frameworks; terms and conditions; and other attributes of a cloud service offering before making a commitment. This also includes having the answers to questions about management, security, reliability, usage restrictions and the like before making a move.
- Open source software projects offer organizations a strong starting point for the creation of IT solutions, but an organization needs to understand whether they are willing to deal with extensive computer science projects to get a task accomplished. It might be better for some to select a more well defined and more restricted commercial offering rather than a wide open open source project.
I always enjoy conversations with Floyd. He is a very knowledgeable, highly opinionated and very personable spokesperson for Zenoss. I've also enjoyed opportunities to work with him on projects Kusnetzky Group has done for Zenoss.
I really support his view that organizations need to take the time to understand their requirements, their expertise and develop a solution architecture before adopting technology. Just because a product or service is highly publicized or popular in the media doesn't mean it is the best choice for an organization's specific needs.