Cloud Computing

Calum MacLeod (South Africa) - The Cloud Phenomenon as Musical Metaphors

Last week was a unique opportunity to get a snapshot of what is uppermost in peoples' minds when it comes to networking and security. From a travel perspective it offered the joys of "ash clouds" in Berlin, sitting out a two hour delay in Amsterdam after we had already taxied to the runway, and the joys of turning up at a hotel in the South of France at 3:30 AM with my presentation slotted for 8:00 AM! - The joys of business travel! In fact I got to see a lot of clouds - from both sides.

And it offered the opportunity to see what the Germans, Dutch, and the French are getting all excited about these days when it comes to security. And yes you've guessed it - Clouds! In fact watching them march into the presentations on "Securing Our Cloud", "Identity and Access Management in the Cloud", "Betting on the Cloud", and "Your secure path to Cloud virtualization", it actually looked like a scene from one of those zombie movies. The word "Cloud" seems to have the same effect as you would see on the devoted followers as some mystical religion with gurus who lead them all down the path of enlightenment.

So here are some rather irreverent thoughts on cloud computing.

"Hi Ho Silver Lining.." - I'm definitely taking Jeff Beck's words out of context but I have to say that "Cloud" is definitely loaded with silver for a lot of companies. Everyone seems to be offering something for the "Cloud". You need security, virtualization, identity access, storage. I suppose if nothing else it's a relief for some sales folks not to be selling compliance for a change. In fact if you're not selling "Clouds" today then you're definitely out of touch with reality - or is it the other way round?

"Get Off My Cloud.." - Apparently the Rolling Stones released "Get Off My Cloud.." as a follow up to "Satisfaction". So I can only guess that all those devotees last week have been getting "No Satisfaction" and see "Clouds" as the answer. But of course everyone is so concerned about their own clouds. After all as Mick said, "Hey, you, get off my cloud Don't hang around ‘cause two's a crowd On my cloud..".

Cloud's Illusions

But like so many other things in the IT business, everyone is screaming that they have the answer to all questions, and ultimately no one seems to know what's going on, and the more I hear the less sense it all seems to make, and in the words of Joni Mitchell:

"Now they only block the sun.

They rain and snow on everyone.

So many things I would have done,

But clouds got in my way.

I've looked at clouds from both sides now

From up and down and still somehow

It's cloud's illusions I recall

I really don't know clouds at all"

Calum MacLeod is currently EMEA Director for Venafi, a digital certificate and encryption key management specialists. He has over 30 years of expertise in secure networking technologies. For further information visit: venafi



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