Unintended Consequences of Cloud – From Influencers to Super Computing
by Amy Hodler on Nov 22, 2011
The week before last we had our first Influencer Summit in San Jose, CA that brought together analysts, bloggers and trusted advisors. I really enjoyed Frank Wilikinson’s blog from the event regarding something we heard a lot that day, You Guys Do That?! This got me to thinking about the unexpected and another comment that piqued my interest that day.
During a panel discussion, two of our customers commented how the use of cloud solutions was influencing their organizational structure—in short, that the higher level segmentations of server, storage and network groups were merging. I know many folks had postulated that this would happen, but this is the first time I’ve heard customers from different industries talking about how it impacts business structure. Imagine what that might mean in the long term for business processes. This alone is an interesting topic, and I’d love to hear more real-life examples.
With the idea of unintended consequences of cloud still stuck in my head, I attended Super Computing 2011 last week, which Ken Wood summarized our participation in A Brief Visit to SC’11. This is a fascinating conference if you’re interested in the amazing things being done to turn data into meaningful information, and seeing the impressive projects from the likes of NASA, NOAA and educational institutions. For a non-promotional report on why this conference and supercomputing is important to our industry and society, check out this video summary from EE Times.
Amongst all the super charged brainpower, I heard one of the providers of High Performance Computing (HPC) mention that the concepts of cloud were changing what their end users wanted. I started asking the same question to others and it turns out that because this type of computing and analytics is extremely dependent on node to node fidelity and intolerant of failures, HPC providers had not anticipated a strong interest in cloud services. However that’s exactly what they are starting to see.
The providers that I spoke to weren’t precisely sure how they would meet these growing requests for cloud-like hosting and delivery but they are working on it. Super computing as a service (would that be SC-a-a-S?) would require some unique implementations of cloud solutions that would vary greatly from big data solutions due to dissimilar data and analytics models. Is there enough of a market for SCaaS? Hmm. Maybe or maybe we’ll call it something else?
These last two weeks have been ones of idea exploration for me, and I’m left with many more questions than I can answer. However, if you’ve read my other posts, you know I love this process. (Something good usually comes out of this exploration; I just can’t predict what it will be.)
So, please send me a quick note or write a comment about any unintended consequence of cloud that you’ve experienced or heard about. I’ll collect them, post a summary, and maybe we’ll collectively come to a few “ah-ha!” moments.
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