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@CloudExpo: Interview

Cloud Computing Architectures: A Paradigm Shift

An exclusive Q&A with Joe Seibel, CFA, CFO & VP of Strategic Development at Hexagrid

"As more and more people become comfortable with the idea, businesses will move more workloads to Public Clouds," stated Joe Seibel, CFA, CFO & VP of Strategic Development at Hexagrid, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. "I like to compare it to the history of electricity when every business had its own generator even though there was a central utility," Seibel continued. "Eventually, as businesses saw the stability and became comfortable, they got rid of the generator. For the immediate and mid-term future, I believe private clouds, including hosted private clouds, will be the preference."

Cloud Computing Journal: How fast will the last remaining barriers to enterprise-wide cloud adoption melt away - are secure public clouds feasible, for example, or only private ones?

Joe Seibel: I believe it will be a year or two before we see the barriers to enterprise-wide adoption melt away. Given that moving to cloud architectures is a paradigm shift in the current way enterprises are used to running IT, it will take some time for all the traditional silos to be broken and rearranged.

I believe secure public clouds are certainly possible and most clouds today are probably more secure than most of the current Enterprise IT infrastructure. However, again I would point to the psychological effect of not being able to see the hardware and know exactly where the data resides. As more and more people become comfortable with the idea, businesses will move more workloads to Public Clouds. I like to compare it to the history of electricity when every business had its own generator even though there was a central utility. Eventually, as businesses saw the stability and became comfortable, they got rid of the generator. For the immediate and mid-term future, I believe private clouds, including hosted private clouds, will be the preference.

Cloud Computing Journal: What is the biggest new dimension of consumer cloud computing? Is it Cloud Telecoms, Cloud TV, Cloud Music, or what?

Seibel: All the areas mentioned are certainly poised for growth. However, I think consumers really want anytime/anywhere access to all their media, so any consumer-facing cloud company in the business of allowing this possibility will be very successful.

Cloud Computing Journal: How much of an influence on cloud adoption is the US Government's continuing support of cloud strategies for all government agencies?

Seibel: Obviously, anytime the government gets behind a project it will be good for a market. Look at what happened with the Internet.

Cloud Computing Journal: What impact does the arrival of Microsoft, Oracle, Dell, IBM, Cisco and the other giants have on the smaller cloud players?

Seibel: Again, I would say that the arrival of these players only gives more confidence to the overall market that the opportunity is real and that there is true value for the end consumers of the technology. The big guys will of course always grab their fair share of the market, but I am a firm believer that the smaller innovators that have taken a 'start-from-scratch' approach will be in the best position to quickly capitalize and respond to market needs simply because the larger companies have a vested interest in trying to form fit their old technologies into a new paradigm (much like fitting a square peg in a round hole).

Cloud Computing Journal: What can Cloud Expo attendees expect to see from you in Santa Clara?

Seibel: You can expect me to show how building and owning a cloud is not as difficult as some of the bigger vendors would like you to think. I will be showcasing our new Unovie cloud solution and showing how cloud brings business back to a time when technology wasn't a burden. After talking to us at Cloud Expo, at Booth #825, we hope businesses consider how much more productive their business would be if IT just worked so you didn't have to worry about the complexities of keeping the lights on and instead could just flip a switch to continue your progress.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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