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SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, TJ Randall

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Enabling Agile IT with Cloud Computing

An exclusive Q&A with Sal Bruno, Director of Cloud Services at SHI Enterprise Solution Services Group

"There is great promise with the emergence of Open Source for the cloud ecosystem," noted Sal Bruno, Director of Cloud Services at SHI Enterprise Solution Services Group, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. "The promise revolves around the elimination of customer "lock-in" to proprietary cloud technologies and to enable ecosystems of cloud services to have interoperability."

Cloud Computing Journal: The move to cloud isn't about saving money, it is about saving time. - Agree or disagree?

Sal Bruno: Yes, agree. Cloud enables IT to be more agile and, therefore, more responsive to business needs.

Cloud Computing Journal: How should organizations tackle their regulatory and compliance concerns in the cloud? Who should they be asking / trusting for advice?

Bruno: Whenever possible organizations should conduct their own due diligence. They can request to see the documentation for any of the certifications they care most about. For example, SHI Cloud has 12 different certifications including SSAE16, ISO9001, PCI, HIPPA and Cloud Security Alliance. Customer can ask to see any of the certifications or the documentation that supports them.

You can ask advice from those in the industry that provide "advice" (Advisory Consulting), from those that build cloud services and are certified or from the other organizations that use cloud services. The best approach is to sit down with the cloud service provider and have them review their certifications and what it took to achieve them. In addition, seek colleagues who are consuming the service as they will provide the best advice.

Cloud Computing Journal: What does the emergence of Open Source clouds mean for the cloud ecosystem? How does the existence of OpenStack, CloudStack, OpenNebula, Eucalyptus and so on affect your own company?

Bruno: There is great promise with the emergence of Open Source for the cloud ecosystem. The promise revolves around the elimination of customer "lock-in" to proprietary cloud technologies and to enable ecosystems of cloud services to have interoperability. This will permit organizations to have a broad spectrum of choice, to leverage best-of-breed cloud services and ensure interoperability. Given the "community contribution" approach, there are still concerns especially as it relates to security.

Cloud Computing Journal: With SMBs, the two primary challenges they face moving to the cloud are always stated as being cost and trust: where is the industry on satisfying SMBs on both points simultaneously - further along than in 2011-12, or...?

Bruno: As cloud computing continues to mature, costs are coming down and are aligning well with the SMB space. As the Proof of Concepts and Pilots of 2011-2012 move into production, the issues of trust and confidence are being eliminated and adoption is accelerating.

Cloud Computing Journal: 2013 seems to be turning into a breakthrough year for Big Data. How much does the success of cloud computing have to do with that?

Bruno: Today, many data centers are at or near full capacity and cannot handle the amount of data and infrastructure required to enable Big Data. Therefore, cloud computing service providers will need to be leveraged especially for the SMB space to participate. The success of cloud computing now provides the foundational layer for realistic enablement of Big Data.

Cloud Computing Journal: What about the role of social: aside from the acronym itself SMAC (for Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) are you seeing and/or anticipating major traction in this area?

Bruno: 1. Social Media "data" will play a key role in the enablement of Big Data and as such will need cloud services to deliver real-time analytics.

2. The emergence of BOYD and Any Device, Anytime, Anywhere will drive the setup of a professional's workspace in a virtual environment that can be provided by cloud services. In both cases (1 & 2) leveraging cloud services providers will enable organizations to accelerate implementations while preserving capital by consuming "as a Service."

Cloud Computing Journal: To finish, just as real estate is always said to be about "location, location, location", what one word, repeated three times, would you say Cloud Computing is all about? (Example: Scalability, Scalability, Scalability)

Bruno: Agility, Agility, Agility.

More Stories By Liz McMillan

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