Five cloud computing questions

A look at what form of computing is being provided via the cloud

The second question is Performance. Quality of service commitments and service-level agreements from cloud computing vendors may not meet corporate availability, legal, budget and insurance requirements. Who is responsible for loss of revenue/profits from a significant cloud computing outage, high network load or insufficient bandwidth access due to denial of service?

The third question is Management. It is exceedingly difficult to manage and administer a corporate virtualized IT environment. It may be impossible or impractical to attempt to manage the cloud. What tools exist for the buyer to monitor and manage multiple cloud computing vendors and their products?

The fourth question is Governance and Regulatory Compliance. Outsourcing of any services brings into question oversight and the cloud computing vendor procedures, processes, internal tools and third-party auditor access. What vendor-supplied software tools exist for the buyer to provide for cloud computing vendor governance and regulatory compliance?

The fifth and final question is Financial - the classical issue of a variable vs. fixed-cost management. Corporate CFOs demand budgets to be projected with accuracy, committed to as part of a financial allocation plan and managed with continual diligence and oversight. How do you control IT costs in a services and cloud computing utility billing model, and when should a cloud computing variable cost be converted to an internal IT fixed cost?

Cloud computing will usher in the IT age of the services delivery provider in a similar manner to Internet communications creating the age of the Internet service provider. Every major Internet vendor, IT vendor and carrier wants to be an SDP. Their success and cloud computing's success will depend on their answers to the above five questions.

Is cloud computing just time sharing deja vu? Not from a 21st century technical perspective but from a corporate benefits/concerns perspective they seem to be one and the same.

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Frank Dzubeck

Network World
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