Cloud Computing Expo is over. Time for a debrief!

The first european event about cloud computing is now over!

My favorite sentence? this one: "cloud computing is a natural evolution for IT"

Here is a quick debrief:

Who?

There were less than five exhibitors, among them VMWare, GoodData, 3Tera...The Cloud Expo was the perfect image of what is occuring in the Cloud economy: many providers, from cloud to SaaS and some curious end-users.

I wish delegates from Amazon or Google or even Microsoft were here.

Each speaker made great efforts to educate us about the "cloud computing thing". Every session was understandable even for non-technical attendees.

Main Topics?

Security first!

It has been developed many times through different angles: from a technical one to a legal one (David Snead)

During the keynote, Roman Stanek took time to tackle fears and reminded us that today, traditional IT security is less secure and can't fight against people's negligence, nor computers lost by employees. He even highlighted that no internal IT could ensure amazon's SLA level (EC2: 99,95%, S3: 99,9%).

To avoid the darker side of cloud computing, Stephen Foskett gave some pieces of advice, like choosing one’s cloud provider with 3 criteria in mind (CIA): confidentiality, integrity, accessibility.

What happens if they lose your data? You must consider more than just a refund: is it worth your loss?

According to Guy Bunker: standards need to be driven by customers, not by vendors.

User experience: every speaker insisted on a better user experience: cloud infrastructures enable reliable backups and redundancy, and they change the IT role to concentrate on strategic IT problems.

They all claimed that, yes, you could trust your cloud provider because of their long term viability...but why will they have a long term viability? Because of the economies of scale experienced every day by both parties: providers & customers.

David Hacanek from VMWare reminded us that everybody is already using hardware from the cloud: by using your iPhone or Blackberry, you don't care where the infrastructures are, or why your operator made this or that technical choice.

You already agreed to consumption based pricing. You already access it using standard internal protocols. You're satisfied that it's powered quickly ans as required, and you have enjoyed lower prices (compared to 5 years ago) due to shared infrastructures.

Considering problems of latency, speakers focused on the emerging ideas of "Map reduce" and process parallelization for better performance.

Innovation:

With the cloud economy, more and more startups will appear. Now they can delay the time for VCs because they don't need as many investments as before to test their software on a bigger scale, for example. Our startup We Are Cloud is one of those examples. We saved on infrastructure labor. We can deal with unpredictable demand, without CAPEX. It's great for innovation and above all, it means a better time-to-market.

First Keynote:

An On-Demand Business Intelligence vendor opened the cloud expo. We are accustomed to OnDemand CRM and Project Managment solutions, but not particularly to BI, that's why it was a great experience for all of us.

Organization:

Syscon organized this event. They did some great work. Nevertheless, I still don't understand why we couldn't have access to internet for free on the first day (we were at the Hilton hotel, we are in 2009 and it was the cloud expo...)

French people and cloud computing:

There were few attendees from France and only two speakers represented us (Louis Nauges from Revevol and Jerome Bernard from Elastic Grid).

Louis Nauges is really passionate about cloud computing and I particularly recommend his sessions to startups who are crafting something related to the Saas industry. You can't help but be motivated by his speech!

Goodies:

-There were less than 5 girls there...so please next time, allow your female engineers to come!

-Have a look at this cool video from VMWare...a great video to help you understand some cloud benefits.

Our next "cloud computing event"? Maybe the Cloud Camp in France.