|By Roger Strukhoff||
|June 19, 2011 09:52 AM EDT||
Cloud Computing was done a great favor by the simultaneous Cloud Expo and Apple Worldwide Developer's Conference a couple of weeks ago.
At Cloud Expo in New York, hundreds of technology providers and thousands of their customers interacted over a four-day event that dove into all aspects of the Cloud. Call it a tipping point, a critical mass, or a big bang.
Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, Apple launched the iCloud, redefining Cloud on its terms. I've seen this announcement characterized as Apple "vs." Google, or Amazon, or whomever else has been offering Cloud Computing services to this point.
But let's remember, Cloud Computing is an analogy - and there are many types of clouds in the sky. We shouldn't get hung up on whether or not a particular company's offerings are "true" Cloud or not. (And I'm aware I was doing just that as recently as six months ago in some of my columns.)
By this logic, the definition of Cloud should be stretched (and hyped) beyond all recognition. I've already seen the term "legacy Cloud," and now I eagerly await the use of "pre-Cloud" or even "virtual Cloud" (which would be both redundantly ironic and ironically redundant).
So what? IT managers should always, always focus on where they want to go and what they want to do, rather than features and "solutions." If they're simply following some insane C-level directive to "save money with the Cloud," they should either try to find another job or perhaps get to someone to try to Weinerize their boss.
But if they're working on server consolidation initiatives (and who isn't), trying to wring higher performance out of existing servers, or focusing on growing the business while upgrading staff with no budget increase, then it's time for Cloud Computing in one form or another to the rescue.
Steve's iCloud is not enterprise IT. But it has raised the general awareness of Cloud, and besieged IT departments will face an increasing need to integrate many of Steve's devices into the mix. They will no doubt be able to do so with knowledge gained from the vast array of technology providers who were at Cloud Expo.
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