Structure conference goes over the future of cloud
June 20, 2012 —
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With cloud computing in its infancy when the GigaOM Structure conference in San Francisco began in 2008, most of the talks focused on solutions to problems. Today, however, the conference had a much more distinct focus on the future. Specifically, the theme of the show was “What happens to cloud in the next five years?”
Not surprisingly, everyone had a different answer. From Rackspace's vision of an OpenStack future, to Amazon's expectations that it will be able to continue to lower prices, the future of cloud services and products seems to be a bright one for enterprise developers.
Werner Vogels, Amazon's CTO and vice president, said that cloud has changed the role of the CIO. “CIOs are changing dramatically. They always wanted a seat at the table, but they're always charged with cost-cutting,” he said.
“IT was seen as the blocker. Now, they have the opportunity to be the hero of the organization. I also see them realizing how they got into that situation. The old vendors were nailing them down with long-term contracts. They see a new world of IT where they are in charge. They are in control of software instead of the vendor.”
Lew Moorman, president of Rackspace, discussed the future of cloud platforms, and more specifically the future of OpenStack. He announced on stage today that Rackspace's cloud hosting services would be moving onto the OpenStack platform on August 1.
Moorman said that there are currently two solutions to cloud lock-in. The first is to clone the cloud APIs. The second is to use an open standards-based cloud platform.
“Our industry has been obsessed with API standards,” he said. “I'm here to say this is not going to happen. First of all, there's the basic fact that APIs are nothing more than an interface to real technology. They're a bridge and a protocol. Cloud is not a protocol, it is a set of incredibly complex technologies. If your strategy is to clone the APIs, you need to be able to clone that technology, but everything behind the cloud is not exposed in proprietary clouds.”