TechLines: Cloud Control: photos

TechLines: Cloud Control: photos

Summary: Yesterday we held our TechLines event on cloud computing, discussing the ins and outs of the cloud — is it just a fad, or is it a shift to public infrastructure that is as inevitable as night falling?

TOPICS: Cloud, IBM, Microsoft

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  • (Credit: Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet Australia)

    Faced by a question about how companies prefer to be responsible for data security themselves rather than trust cloud providers with their data, Carraro likened the releasing of control to people in the past when they realised that banks were a safe place to harbour funds.

    "People were keeping their money under mattresses," he said. "That has shifted."

    He said that organisations would be better off in security terms if they did go with a cloud provider. Ovum's Noonan agreed. However, he had an option for those who weren't convinced.

    "If security is your absolute concern, go to your existing service providers and ask them do they have a cloud offering," he said.

  • (Credit: Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet Australia)

    O'Loghlin introduced a lawn mower analogy early on in the piece, which the other panellists picked up and ran with. Why buy a lawn mower when you use it so infrequently, he asked? Why can't someone just cut your grass for you?

    Carraro reused O'Loghlin's analogy, saying he should engage the services of a landscaper. It's changing from the idea that "I need to do it", according to Carraro, and moving to "it needs to be done", so let's get a professional to do it.

    "Clearly, you're implying I'm not a very competent lawnmower," O'Loghlin joked.

    Later O'Loghlin asked IBM's Wightwick to explain the difference between infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service. There was a pause. Then Wightwick said "I'm trying to figure out how to relate this to a lawnmower", before admitting defeat.

    Further again, when talking about potential job losses in the IT department from cloud, O'Loghlin was told by panellists that the IT staff will be able to carry out other roles. He said then that those employees weren't mowing as many lawns, but were perhaps designing the shape of the lawn.

  • (Credit: Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet Australia)

    Noonan explained how the viability of cloud was mixed.

    "If we were starting a small business I think it would just be a no-brainer to start picking the best of breed cloud technology and making use of it," he said. "But if you've got an organisation that's got IT that has been running for 30 to 40 years with hundreds, probably millions of dollars invested into applications ... it's a technical challenge you sort of pick up and lob over into the cloud."

    He said that organisations would look through their application portfolio and pick which ones made sense to move to the cloud.

    "That application doesn't really differentiate my application from someone else's: it's amenable," he explained.

    On vendor lock-in, Noonan said that the vendor choice issue had been something facing IT for a long time — in terms of when companies choose particular systems, they're also locking themselves into a vendor.

    However, standards to facilitate data portability also featured heavily in the discussion.

Topics: Cloud, IBM, Microsoft

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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