Who would have thunk it. The OpenStack Foundation now has a 24-person board, $10 million in funding, and, oh, yeah, 5,600 members. This is becoming more than momentum in the cloud computing market, and it certainly exceeds my expectations from when the standard was first launched.
OpenStack provides a platform to run a private cloud infrastructure, and it now boasts about 550,000 lines of code. Some cloud hosting providers, such as Rackspace and Hewlett-Packard, use the software to host their own services. More are working on OpenStack integration into public cloud services.
OpenStack's success is not so much about what it is and does, but more about what it is not. It's not Amazon.com.
Gartner Research VP Lydia Leong suggests that prospective users proceed with eyes wide open and recognize that OpenStack, while promoted as an end to vendor lock-in can represent its own sort of “ecosystem lock-in.” She recommends the use of a third-party cloud management tool or API library that will work with multiple clouds.
We’ve talked about this many times, usually from the perspective of the corporate entity or from our own perspective as consultants around utility based computing models. This time, I’m thinking, we talk about it from the perspective of the IT Staffer. It can be a scary thing if you’re in the rank and file of rack and stack to hear leadership talking about a push toward cloud computing. At one of my client sites a nearby hospital had implemented a managed service health record and then, not so conveniently for me, fired half of their IT staff. This created a knee-jerk reaction in my shop that made the internal vision sharing a bit more difficult to achieve.
An article by Dawn Altnam recently had me thinking about this - here are some of their thoughts:
“There’s no doubt that the cloud has completely revolutionized and changed the way the Internet is used for business around the world. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing for those working in the IT department. In fact, it would seem more like the revolution of the cloud is helping those who work in the IT field.
For many businesses that choose to use cloud services and technologies, the IT department seems to be shrinking. A company with five IT positions may no longer need all five employees because their services are coming from a different company. If you look at only those particular instances, then you’re probably convinced that the cloud isn’t, in fact, creating jobs. However, you have to remember that as cloud companies grow and expand, they need employees. Someone has to be doing the backend work on cloud services and servers. Those who choose to go into the IT field are finding jobs are growing not shrinking. It’s estimated that cloud computing will create around 14 million new jobs by 2015.”
So my thoughts are this guys - utility based computing, if it lives up to the model, would imply that certain groups of IT staff end up migrating toward these consolidated service centers. Certainly some industries that have a need for on site data for regulatory incentive or watchdog purposes will still have data centers, but if 99% of data centers and their related business application stacks end up being managed services no longer run by the company but run by utilities - then is the worry a little justified for some staffers? I feel like specific skill-sets will keep IT staffers around as cloud companies won’t have the knowledge internal to the industry, but for staffers that have been babysitting vendor patch upgrades for 20 years one could make the prediction that a move to cloud, and thus a move of employers, will be a challenge for them.
JP: When does the cloud become a utility?
From the cloud consumer’s perspective accessing critical business applications via the cloud may require more specialised infrastructure and different skills and expertise from a provider. Equally, the provider's transparency in the service they are providing and their willingness to customise how the cloud infrastructure is designed, and how the service is delivered, is essential in order for clients to be confident that the provider is able to deliver the service levels they claim.
Providers or industry analysts may refer to “utility” services, but the variability in how cloud services need to be delivered and consumed, and the impact which variability in delivery still has on overall service experience means that “utility” is just a label masking something very different under the surface.
By Clive Grayson Director of Service Strategy, Attenda
Clive Grayson is an experienced IT executive with a background in business development, strategy, consultancy and professional services. As Director of Service Strategy at Business Critical IT company Attenda, he is responsible for the company’s service and product strategy. Prior to his role at Attenda, he was responsible for leading and developing Parity's LOB implementing Adobe's enterprise solutions. Clive has a background in strategic IS consultancy (at PWC), strategic management for ISVs and systems integrators, and was previously Head of IS Strategy for the BBC.
Read more: http://www.itproportal.com/2012/09/04/when-does-cloud-become-utility/#ixzz27raItptD