Tut-tut, it smells like rain… clouds

In all the conversations I have with our OEM customers, those organizations who use Dell hardware and services to deliver their solutions to end user customers, I cannot help but notice the interest in taking advantage of cloud computing to deliver those solutions. There are many great benefits to using a cloud: consolidating the compute infrastructure; outsourcing the ownership, maintenance, and management of the compute nodes; providing instant performance scaling based on demand; only paying for the compute cycles you actually use; and several other benefits.

While the benefits are logically great, there are also many caveats to moving to clouds. One has to take into account how data is moved to and from the cloud is one key issue; there are ownership of data issues which can raise their heads when outsourcing to a cloud; and, the SLA level of the service provider must be well understood and defined.

Can you hear that buzz? It is in every meeting room and phone call.

I hear about it every day. Most of the new solutions I’ve discussed with customers involve either partially off-loading compute cycles to the cloud infrastructure or installing some sort of appliance to accelerate and bridge the connection between an IT solution and the back-end cloud performing the work. What has become apparent is the need for multiple cloud strategies. Not every company wants to rely on outside services for their core needs, while others are eager to outsource as much as possible. Some are legally obligated to maintain possession of the very data they could benefit most from moving into a cloud environment.

Y’all come back now, y’ hear?

I will use this space to discuss the many ways in which cloud services could change the way the Dell OEM customers do business in the future. I hope to share what I am learning with you, but I selfishly want to learn from you in return. This is an exciting new technology which could ultimately change the way we access information.

About the Author: Franklin Flint