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Review of the Reviews: Cloud Computing Expo Europe 2009 in Prague

There are many untapped areas out there for cloud computing

"We’re at the beginning of a paradigm shift in IT that’s going to be as dramatic as the introduction of the PC in the early 80s. I for one, am very excited to be involved."

That, according to the Founder & CTO of The Server Labs, was his primary takeaway on getting back to the UK after participating at Cloud Computing Expo Europe 2009 (pictured above) the latest event in SYS-CON's industry-leading Cloud Computing Conference & Expo series. "There are many untapped areas out there for cloud computing," Parsons (pictured below right) added.

There have already been three conferences in the series, with the 4th one due already in November, at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

The Cloud Is Here To Stay
"The majority of people I spoke to thought that Cloud is here to stay," wrote Parsons. He was not alone in having enjoyed the event very much. Stephen Foskett, who also spoke at Cloud Computing Expo Europe, wrote in a post-event blog:

"The IT world is changing and remote managed services are a big part of it," Foskett noted. His blog continued:

"Many of my discussions came to this point, that the cloud computing movement is already underway, already taking hold both in consumer and corporate spheres, and will quietly take its place alongside more conventional in-house paradigms.

Among the many ideas worth considering:

  • We may eventually see time-variable pricing, with rates going up at periods of peak demand and down at other times. This will lead to spot pricing and futures contracts.
  • One follow-on idea was the possibility of deep discounts for those who can tolerate “best effort” services. Would you pay 10% extra for a non-guaranteed extra copy “most of the time”?
  • Service providers will compete not just on price, but scalability, efficiency, and SLAs.
  • Private clouds may not be clouds at all, since they don’t offer the same CAPEX/OPEX tradeoff and flexibility advantages. But private clouds could lead to a peer-to-peer public cloud, something that is already happening with DR systems today!
  • How many public clouds will there be and who will run these? Will it be the usual suspects like Amazon and Google? The telephone companies? The software providers? Or corporate peers, as mentioned above?
  • Flexibility to relocate applications in the cloud is an excellent idea, and one that will spur adoption, but “ye canna change the laws of physics” when it comes to bandwidth. This means that it’s a lot harder to migrate cloud storage to a new provider than cloud application instances!
  • With each country adopting different laws, it becomes incredibly important to consider which legal system governs your cloud computing system. This has important implications for privacy and accountability, but many fail to think about it."

"it was great to meet familiar faces in the growing cloud community and to evangelize the cloud approach to a new audience," wrote Owen Garret at the Zeus Blog. Garret called Cloud Computing Europe 2009 "A very useful networking event."

"Cloud Computing Expo Europe was the perfect image of what is occurring in the Cloud economy: many providers, from cloud to SaaS and some curious end-users," wrote Rachel Delacour, CEO of We Are Cloud, a French based business intelligence company.

"Each speaker did great efforts to educate about the 'cloud computing thing'. Every session was understandable even for non-technical attendees," she added.

Where Are Europe's Cloud Providers?
A very interesting angle was raised in a post-conference blog by Dr Guy Bunker, Symantec's Chief Scientist, and that is the whole question of whether the absence of ‘true’ European cloud providers is acting as a brake on the adoption of the cloud in Europe. Here's what Bunker, who was also a speaker at the event, wrote:

"It’s an interesting question and one I had never thought about. Having worked for American companies for nearly two decades, I have never been concerned by the control they may have. It is true that various EU countries have very strict privacy laws and so they may be restricted from using global public clouds - but for the rest… this is something that needs to be looked at further. The cloud is going to offer competitive advantage to those that use it effectively - the EU mustn’t be left behind."

Bunker's overall conclusion about the Prague conference was that "there were a lot of great sessions - along with some very interesting new perspectives."

More Stories By Cloud News Desk

Cloud Computing News Desk brings the latest industry news related to the Cloud paradigm of massively scalable IT resources and capabilities delivered as a service using Internet technologies. For up to date news on the International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo series, the easiest way is to follow it on Twitter.

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