BT Compute breakfast event, Cloud: Herding cats

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Cloud: Herding Cats

I attended a very informative event in the River Lee Hotel, Cork on the topic of “Cloud Computing”. Of course the phrases “Shadow IT” and “Changing role of the CIO” were used during the presentations. You come to expect that when cloud gets discussed. But, as the speakers gradually made me realise, the ability to reign-in and control an organisation’s IT environment has also come of age. So, the promise now exists for the  disruptive digital forces of mobility, unified comms and the cloud to no longer be the ‘un-herded cats’ of an increasingly diversifying IT environment.

I’m a network guy so when SDN (software defined networks) came up I thought: OK now we’re in for more over-wrought claims about an immature technology. Not so. SDN was demonstrated as powering the cloud but not yet ready to extend to the WAN. Standards were the holy-grail being sought and I had to agree. Getting vendor kit to inter-work and deliver the promise of configurable transport assets beyond the data-centre seems a challenge that has quite a way to go. I also hear experts decry MPLS as not configurable enough (“where are the APIs?” they ask) to support dynamic bandwidth assignment in an ever-more more cloud-centric world. However, in the next sentence the same experts pronounce that SDN is not the panacea.

I then proceeded to have a very nice chat with a gentleman from Cork Institute of Technology about remote education, the new collaboration paradigm and just-in-time transcoding.

The reality vs. the hype

I might have arrived expecting the expected but I left with a better appreciation of reality over hype. In particular I was impressed by the control that Cloud Management Systems now allow:

  • A whole raft of IT infrastructure and applications delivered “as a service” to customers across global networks
  • Provision and integration of cloud and non-cloud services
  • Integration of private, public and hybrid cloud services

– all through a single portal. That these cloud management systems now empower an IT manager to stay in control must really hold out hope for those with a fear of cats.

The great news is you can watch the entire event here and to find out more about BT Compute visit

Steve Coakley


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