The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

Cloudy with a chance of data

Posted by riverbedtest on June 28, 2011

by Michael Kreiger, VP Market Experts with Ziff Davis Enterprise.

What’s in a name?  A lot, when it comes to Cloud Computing, one of the buzzword darlings of the 21st century.  To IT old-timers it’s a return to mainframes and dumb terminals of decades ago.  To others, it represents a new way of defining the relationship between man and machine.  To me, it’s a bit of both.

Last week I had the opportunity to share the just-released May 2011 Baseline Magazine research study on Cloud Computing with a number of my friends at Riverbed’s world headquarters here in San Francisco, thanks to special dispensation from Ziff Davis Enterprise research director Guy Currier.  Here are some highlights from the study and the lively discussion that followed.

First, we found that the major attraction of the cloud wasn’t so much cost savings as it was about versatility – being able to scale at a moment’s notice both up and out.  And cloud customers are looking for the right toolset – including management tools – to allocate, secure and integrate cloud offerings into their existing operations seamlessly.

We talked at length about the technical definition of Cloud Computing – but what it  boiled down to during our discussion was this:  “Rapid scalability for a fair price”.  Whether you’re using Cloud backup or a hosted CRM application, having that versatility at your (or your users’) fingertips seems to be the resonating point in this whole cloud market.

A major cloud driver we discussed was the cascading growth in the amount of storage that organizations generate daily.  If you believe in the adage that “storage that exists in only one place is storage you don’t care about” then you’ll understand why backup and archiving are entry points to cloud computing for many an enterprise.  Moving these tedious tasks from on-site tapes to remote cloud-located disks not only frees up local resources and real estate, it more importantly can turn the drudgery of backup/archiving into enablement of a disaster recovery or business continuity plan that just wasn’t feasible before.

The study looked at what users perceive as top challenges in could deployment for the next two years.  It’s no surprise that the number one concern with public clouds was security.  What did surprise me was that for private clouds the top TWO concerns were security related – Unauthorized access and loss prevention came in respectively as one and two on the private cloud “risk” list.

We wrapped our meeting discussing what cloud users look for when they source a solution.  Since every solution from archiving to application hosting touches the entire enterprise – no matter how or where it’s sourced – real ROI will come from providers who deliver on the big three:  Security, reliability and versatility.

Michael Krieger began his IT career as a mainframe programmer/analyst in the early 1970s.  He has led the development and marketing of data communications, superserver, blade and SaaS products for a variety of tech companies and is currently VP Market Experts with Ziff Davis Enterprise. Michael can be reached at


One Response to “Cloudy with a chance of data”

  1. So cute! I already like you on FB and also get your posts on Google Reader. 🙂

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