Cloud Expo Europe, June 2010

It was Prague’s turn to host this year’s Cloud Expo Europe, the annual International Cloud Expo series event, organized to demonstrate the latest issues and trends in the world of Cloud Computing. We attended the conference in 2009 (see our previous blog post) and only wished we could have done so again this year!

June’s two-day event kicked off with an intensive program of keynotes, general and breakout sessions, and featured speakers from Cloud Expo, Inc. and IBM among many others.

Any changes from last year?

2010 saw an abundance of new speakers, with few returning from the 2009 session. Should this be viewed in a positive light? We think so. The growth of cloud computing is clearly evident through the evolution of the topics discussed in the various lectures - a year ago the bulk of the information delivered was theoretical in nature - whereas now we are seeing how that knowledge can be applied in practice. The 50+ technical sessions covered a wealth of in-depth cloud computing topics - from what is cloud computing, and how manage a migration to the cloud, to how to consume it in SMEs, and is cloud the new normal for enterprise IT?

What were the benefits of attending these sessions?

- LEARNING why cloud computing is relevant today from both an economic and technologic point of view. For example, Matthew Colebourne from Nivio Technologies discussed "Cloud Computing for Consumers and SMEs over the Public Internet" in his session, and how and why there is a need to deliver it in this way in order to reap the benefits.

- HEARING first-hand from experts in their field what issues should be considered when evaluating cloud systems. Mamoon Yunus, CTO of Forum Systems Crosscheck Networks dedicated his session to "Understanding Enterprise-to-Cloud Migration Costs and Risks", during which he suggested developing a quantifiable impact assessment to ease the risks of the cloud migration process.

- SEEING what the potential advantages and disadvantages are of adopting cloud computing systems.

- DISCOVERING what to look for in a cloud computing provider to ensure data and applications are secure. The Sales V.P. of Unisys’ Global Security, Technology and Consulting unit, Roberto Tavano, talked about "How Cloud Computing Improves Security" - stressing that companies should not fear a switchover for security-related reasons, and that successful migration actually decreases the risks to the organization.

- FINDING OUT how to transform a traditional data center that is less flexible and costly to a cloud computing environment that is secure, virtualized and automated.

- MASTERING how to improve efficiency while lowering operating and capital expenditure.

- LEARNING what works, what doesn't, and what's next - a concept advocated by the renowned French evangelist firm Revevol and it’s CEO, Laurent Gasser. During the expo he spoke about organisations being able to move their applications to SaaS solutions, with the majority being able to move in as soon as the next 3-5 years.

Armed with this information, delegates were reliably informed of the contributions made by Cloud Computing to the rapidly falling costs of computation, application hosting, and content storage and delivery.

If there was one message taken away from the Expo it was this: cloud providers can help businesses to maximize performance, minimize cost and improve the scalability of their IT endeavors, which all of us at We Are Cloud totally agree with.