Has cloud computing reached its absolute peak in terms of hype? The topic makes for animated discussions at technology seminars these days and the hype seems to have reached a crescendo, making it really difficult to separate fact from fiction. You know it’s trouble when a technology has more than 20 definitions and means different things to different people. A month back, I’d the opportunity to talk to some of the high-profile CIOs from the region at a summit in Doha about cloud and whether it is really on their list of priorities this year. Despite all the hype and hoopla, CIOs look askance at this new technology, which promises to revolutionise the way we deliver and consume IT resources. There are many reasons why they are skeptical and said an emphatic no to the public cloud model. Not many are comfortable with the idea of sending their sensitive data beyond national boundaries and many cloud service providers still seem to be clueless about security. Regulatory issues, which are unique to the region, further compound the problem. Some of them who have put some applications on the cloud were even forced to take it back in-house because it didn’t work out really well. As one CIO told me, it costs around $ 55-60 for hosting e-mail on cloud but the same would cost around $45 if provisioned internally. I guess the biggest stumbling block to public cloud at the moment is the lack of economies of scale.
Having said that, I must hasten to add that private cloud is indeed gaining traction in the region thanks to the onslaught of virtualisation into data centres. But the real question is there any single vendor out there who can provide all the software required to build a private cloud, which entails virtualisation spanning across servers, storage and networks, with a great deal of automation and orchestration. I am afraid the answer would be ‘no’, though vendors are increasingly creating their own definitions of private cloud to fit their product sets. So, are you ready for the bumpy ride?