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Cloud Computing – A Game Changer

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In his latest post JP Morgenthal states that:

... those that argue that Cloud is just hype have already missed the bigger picture - the game is always changing and this is the next major change.

Morgenthal goes further, explaining his point:

Computing hardware was already heavily commoditized, but, up to a few years ago software was still the realm of the wizards. With the emergence of cloud computing delivery models - IaaS, PaaS & SaaS - consumers now have value-based vehicles to select from to support their various computing needs from do-it-yourself (DIY) to do-it-for-you (DIFY) ... cloud computing brings IT into the realms of Pep Boys and Home Depot.

Morgenthal ends his post by predicting that the transition to the cloud is inevitable and one must ask the question whether he moves now or misses the boat:

So, technically speaking, it doesn’t matter if Cloud really offers a revolutionary change over what we already had because in the minds of the masses, the change is real and it’s happening now. The question is, will you figure out your role in the changed game or believe the game change will fail leaving you unchanged?

And Morgenthal is not alone in his prediction. According to US federal CIO Vivek Kundra, for the US government, it’s full speed ahead for cloud computing. Blogging about his speech, Joe McKendrick notes Kundra’s vision for government IT to be more like

... a site called Animoto, which enables users to build MTV-like videos, handily managed its own huge spike in demand because it was able to dynamically provision server power from the cloud. "They went from 40 to 4,000 servers in a few days, without losing a single user"

And to show that they are serious, the US government has created its Federal Cloud Computing Strategy . According to this strategy

By leveraging shared infrastructure and economies of scale, cloud computing presents a compelling business model for Federal leadership. Organizations will be able to measure and pay for only the IT resources they consume, increase or decrease their usage to match requirements and budget con-straints, and leverage the shared underlying capacity of IT resources via a network. Resources needed to support mission critical capabilities can be provisioned more rapidly and with minimal overhead and routine provider interaction.

According to Morgenthal this strategy is very comprehensive and

... serves as a model that even the private sector can follow for adoption of Cloud Computing. It serves as an example for establishing a solid foundation that includes a business justification, addresses security concerns, provides a decision framework for identifying appropriate services to move to the Cloud, illustrates successful use case examples, and establishes a model for governance.

There is a wealth of publications on Cloud computing today, but, for the most part they are centered around cloud platforms and specific technologies used for cloud implementation. Isn’t it time for us to take a step back and see the impact that Cloud computing has on IT and the solutions provided, which go far beyond hardware virtualization?

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