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This Week in the Cloud: The ‘All Cloud’ Vision; Benioff Chimes in on the Public/Private Debate

Eric Berg

Now that Dreamforce (and summer) is behind us, it’s back to reality. Here’s a look at some of the week’s cloud stories that caught our eye:

Cloud Forcing IT’s Hand

ITBusinessEdge’s Mike Vizard recently wrote a telling piece on how the cloud’s forcing IT departments to modernize. Vizard explains how a well-thought-out cloud implementation can save companies from a common IT management pitfall: the tendency to compartmentalize applications, which creates a logistical and management nightmare. “Cloud computing is designed to leverage shared resources, which means that if IT organizations adopt cloud computing, they are, by definition, changing their approach to managing IT,” writes Vizard.

Of course, siloed IT tools can be a problem with cloud apps, as well, especially if IT isn’t driving adoption. By empowering IT to lead cloud adoption throughout the organization, businesses can ensure a transition to the cloud produces real efficiency and cost savings, not additional management headaches.

Taking the Leap

The BBC interviewed John Engates, the CTO at cloud computing and hosting vendor Rackspace, about technological changes at the company. The next big challenge, according to Engates, is the push toward all-cloud infrastructure.  Engates mentions that he’s excited to move all of Rackspace’s IT applications to the cloud, but he recognizes the growing pains associated with making the transition. Engates lays out his vision for IT: Rackspace — and companies of any size — abandoning on-premise tools for cloud applications. Said Engates:

“We have this concept here at Rackspace that we call the all-cloud enterprise. … Someone who has every application in the cloud. Today only small companies have that, I think long-term the ambition would be for any company of any size to have that all-cloud approach to their IT infrastructure.”

Well said.

Benioff on the Public Cloud

It seems Salesforce’s Marc Benioff takes issue with VMware’s interpretation of the cloud. According to Andrew Hickey in CRN, Benioff certainly understands the importance of virtualization, but the private cloud just doesn’t mesh with Benioff’s and Salesforce’s version of cloud computing.

Hickey quotes Benioff on his interpretation: “Our vision of cloud computing is multi-tenancy, shared systems and public networks run as a 24x7 public trusted service. … If you're talking about more hardware or if you're talking about more software, it's not about the cloud. And the cloud is really this next generation of computing and that's new software and that's new services.”