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Users Look to Cloud Computing for Computing Flexibility, Software Richness

February 17, 2014

The focuses of this third post on what users want from cloud computing are a couple more “wants” involving computing flexibility and software variety and richness. It builds on the first post of “wants,” pricing and control and the second post on reuse and workload handling

Computing is often consumed in elements involving computing power, storage and networking. If you package up a combination of these elements—processing power, RAM and external storage; and networking bandwidth and features—you can imagine packages that you might label small, medium, large and extra large VMs. These packages, when placed in a service catalog, should provide the necessary computing flexibility regarding sizes, characteristics, and attributes that your users require. You want to make them granular enough to meet the needs of most users but not so elemental that they create support and pricing headaches. This balance may not be easy to arrive at for enterprises with a large variety of existing hardware, software and applications. Duplicating this diversity in a general-purpose cloud infrastructure is very challenging.

Software variety and richness is also an important consumable desired by cloud users. Needed is support for different operating systems including different versions and levels of the same OS. Also desired is support for a vast variety of middleware and databases as well as software to supports different domains like application development, analytics and collaboration.

In short, cloud environments need the same richness that we generally find in IT environments today plus the packaging of the element in a cloud model including pay-for-what-you-use pricing in IaaS and PaaS implementations. For this reason, cloud can be more challenging to implement than conventional IT. It will take additional time for IT suppliers to fully embrace the cloud model with products and tools. Until then, you may have a cloud solution without some of the desired software. 

Are you consuming cloud using the new flexible computing models? Is your cloud-software model  rich and varied? What else do you want from cloud computing?

Posted February 17, 2014 | Permalink

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