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Distributed Computing (Cloud) Services

Exclusive Q&A with Jerry Miller, Vice President of Technology at CDNetworks

"Distributed computing (cloud) services are proving to be more universal, more scalable, and more economical as a pay-per-use model," observed Jerry Miller, Vice President of Technology at CDNetworks, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. Miller continued, "Many of the functions previously confined to private networks, such as WAN acceleration and high-security transactions, can be increasingly performed in the cloud."

Cloud Computing Journal: Just having the enterprise data is good. Extracting meaningful information out of this data is priceless. Agree or disagree?

Jerry Miller: Definitely agree. Even with cloud services, there is often a wealth of data available. Yet enterprises often don't possess the resources or experience to analyze and take proper action when needed, often resulting in underserved regions or markets, underperforming sites or services, and/or lost revenue. As a service provider, CDNetworks helps ensure that this information is presented in an understandable, actionable manner and works with its customers to consult on improvements, so the content provider can get the analysis needed to find patterns and problem areas to better focus scarce resources. In addition we accelerate cloud applications and websites that contain the data, so companies can use resources in emerging technology hubs like India, China, and Russia to help extract meaningful information.

Cloud Computing Journal: Forrester's James Staten: "Not everything will move to the cloud as there are many business processes, data sets and workflows that require specific hardware or proprietary solutions that can't take advantage of cloud economics. For this reason we'll likely still have mainframes 20 years from now." Agree or disagree?

Miller: I tend to disagree with some exception. There will certainly be the research institutions and government agencies requiring massive amounts of computing power in a physically secure space or custom hardware systems, but I wouldn't be surprised if all data centers are outsourced to cloud providers in the next ten to fifteen years. Distributed computing (cloud) services are proving to be more universal, more scalable, and more economical as a pay-per-use model, and many of the functions previously confined to private networks, such as WAN acceleration and high-security transactions, can be increasingly performed in the cloud. Meanwhile, enterprises are fast learning that infrastructure is not a core business and continues to be commoditized. Does it make sense for enterprises to make a long-term investment/guess on hardware that will only depreciate in value and utility over time or outsource this to the cloud where it can grow its costs as it grows its needs? That is the core question.

Cloud Computing Journal: The price of cloud computing will go up - so will the demand. Agree or disagree or....?

Miller: The demand is definitely going up. I think that as these services become more commoditized and more options enter the marketplace, pricing will likewise go down.

Cloud Computing Journal: Rackspace is reporting an 80% growth from cloud computing, Amazon continues to innovate and make great strides, and Microsoft, Dell and other big players are positioning themselves as big leaders. Are you expecting in the next 18 months to see the bottom fall out and scores of cloud providers failing or getting gobbled up by bigger players? Or what?

Miller: We are very excited for Rackspace, Amazon and the others for their tremendous growth. I think the consolidation of cloud providers has already begun, but the cloud providers who also take into account the user experience will win. As all cloud providers are well aware, you can't run a cloud service to reach global end users well without dynamic web acceleration. Latency is and will remain a major problem for North American- and European-based cloud application providers that want to reach customers in China, India, Russia, Asia, and South America. CDNetworks has points of presence in all of those locations, so all of our customers and their users have the same great experience.

Cloud Computing Journal: Please name one thing that - despite what we all may have heard or read - you are certain is NOT going to happen in the future, with Cloud and BigData? ;-)

Miller: There are some Big Data advocates that are preaching fully distributed data and cloud computing and the end of private data centers. While there will definitely be more migrations to the cloud, many enterprises and government agencies will still want private, centralized architectures for better physical control of their data (even if in a "private cloud"). However, most of these centralized applications and databases will need to be accelerated to adequately reach the increasingly global audiences. Centralized or not, these systems need high-performing, always-available cloud services to provide acceptable user experiences. At CDNetworks, we pride ourselves on our ability to enable any type of infrastructure (internal, hosted, or cloud) to reach users anywhere around the world with near-origin performance.

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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