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Silverlight: Interview

The Next Chapter in the Virtualization Story Begins

Virtualization is almost too successful, says Abiquo's CEO - adding that "the infrastructure beast is becoming uncontrollable"

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Cloud Computing Journal recently caught up with Pete Malcolm, CEO of cloud management innovators Abiquo - a major new player in the fast-emerging Cloud ecosystem and Platinum Plus Sponsor of 6th Cloud Expo being held in Prague, the Czech Republic, 21-22 June 2010.

Malcolm is keynoting at the event. His theme will be "An Open Cloud Ecosystem - the Gathering Storm."

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Abiquo was also Platinum Plus Sponsor of the 5th International Cloud Expo held April 19-21, 2010 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City

Cloud Computing Journal: How would you define the difference between Private clouds and Public Clouds, and why is the distinction so important in the context of Cloud Computing?

Pete Malcolm: Actually, I think people get rather too hung up about this, confusing nomenclature with functionality. To my mind, a public cloud is simply one which has been exposed to external users, whereas a private one is for the exclusive use of the organization. The really interesting part is the service the cloud provides, and the benefits it brings – public or private.

Cloud Computing Journal: As the CEO of a major new player in the fast-emerging Cloud ecosystem, how do you see your company fitting in? You consider Cloud management to be the most important layer, presumably?

Malcolm: Well, clearly we think it’s the most important layer, but more seriously we believe there is a need to move beyond the hype and to set out a clear vision of how cloud computing evolves – practically as well as theoretically. This isn’t just about technology – its actually more about how the way IT organizations operate, and service their users, is going to fundamentally change over the next few years.

Cloud Computing Journal: There has been much talk lately of interoperability. Do you think that Cloud Computing is destined always to remain at the level of “just talk” or do you think there is genuinely a realistic prospect of the Cloud ecosystem being one day open and interoperable?

Malcolm: I believe interoperability is inevitable, but because user demand will force it, rather than major Cloud players truly initiating it. The reality is that the Cloud currently has a number of huge vested interests, and although those interests “talk interoperability”, the lock-in they currently enjoy is worth far more to them. When users have the means to easily break this lock-in, the currently hollow words will become truth.

Cloud Computing Journal: Who in your view are currently the Top Five Cloud Computing Companies?

Malcolm: Clearly the “fathers” of Cloud computing like VMware, Amazon and Salesforce, will continue to have great influence, but I think the really interesting question is who the Top Five Cloud Computing Companies will be in five years' time. This century has seen the birth of a new way, but we believe the real Cloud Computing revolution is yet to come.

Cloud Computing Journal: How about security issues, what’s your company’s take on Cloud Computing and security, from an enterprise-level perspective?

Malcolm: It’s really simple: until large enterprises are convinced that effective, standards-based security is integral, running applications on servers they don’t own will be limited to those with non-sensitive data. So, for example, hosting the public areas of your corporate Web site won’t be an issue, but the secure pages will continue to be hosted in-house.

Cloud Computing Journal: How will Abiquo charge for its services? Will it be on a usage basis?

Malcolm: Yes, the Cloud firmly established the “pay as you go” charging model, and we will follow this with fully elastic combined license and support fees. Pay only for what you need, for as long as you need it.

Cloud Computing Journal: As a successful serial entrepreneur what was it in particular that led you to foresee that Cloud Computing would become so much the flavor of enterprise IT already by 2010?

Malcolm: The market has seen the tremendous growth in technologies like virtualization and in Cloud-based services. It has heard tantalizing stories of a Cloud nirvana ahead, and this fuels interest and speculation.But we need to be careful the hype frenzy is backed by a realistic vision which clearly articulates the benefits, and provides a credible roadmap. What excites me is the opportunity to translate the hype into reality – to provide technology solutions which allow customers to truly capitalize on the vision.

Cloud Computing Journal: Your keynote theme at 6th Cloud Expo in Prague is going to be ""An Open Cloud Ecosystem - the Gathering Storm.". Care to give us a sneak-peek?

Malcolm: The last decade saw the growth of Virtualization from its humble beginnings as a developer tool to its increasing adoption in data centers worldwide. It dramatically improved resilience, scalability, portability and utilization, and became one of the key foundations of the Cloud. But the story is only just beginning... so I shall be concentrating in my keynote on the next chapter in the Virtualization story. What it is, what it means, why open standards are key, and most importantly, how it will revolutionize the way organizations manage IT. 

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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