The discussion panel at TechFire X (Image: Mediateam)

Firm storage base and complementary tech unleashes ‘unbound cloud’

The discussion panel at TechFire X (Image: Mediateam)

6 June 2014

Concerns over skills, security and resource management were among the questions put to the panel of expertise and experience at the recent TechFire X event that asked the burning question: can you manage all your clouds from one platform?

The event was run in Dublin and then Cork on successive mornings, with a subtle change in emphasis from the attendees on both days.

In Dublin the concerns were around skills and security, with data residence an issue that was raised in various guises. In Cork, the questioning was more around the issue of scale and as well as security, with questions being asked about how smaller companies might take advantage of developments around cloud platforms and their increasing availability and capability.

Alan Watson, alliances manager, NetApp, took this up and outlined how there was indeed a split emerging where larger companies were showing a preference for using the same technologies that were underpinning public cloud services but with the larger companies implementing private cloud infrastructures. Watson said he could foresee a time when all but the largest companies would actually leverage public cloud services for primary IT infrastructure, as confidence in security and service levels grew.

Brian Jordan, data centre specialist, Cisco, said that the growth and development of complementary technologies around the core cloud technologies has increased the usefulness of cloud services in general, and that this circumstance, as had been observed with other technological developments in the past, will rapidly accelerate adoption of public cloud services, or at least those that are based on a solid storage platform such as the NetApp ‘unbound cloud’ approach.

A properly orchestrated storage platform, NetApp argues, is the solid base from which truly effective cloud services can be delivered, with successive layers being carefully orchestrated, meeting and exceeding user demand and expectation.

One question from the floor asked how experienced ICT professionals could prepare for the advent of this service delivery world, where so many IT departments will be lost to services delivered from the cloud. The panel, led by the user experience participants, Sean O’Keefe, senior director of customer support EMEA, FireEye, Gerard Grant, VP of IT, Pramerica Systems and Trevor O’Connell, senior infrastructure architect, Fexco, agreed that by looking at other successful service delivery models, IT could learn that a good service manager for the future is like a good department head and still relies on a deep understanding of the systems, as well as their impact and importance for the business. In moving to a primarily service driven model, less technical operatives are needed, it was argued, but that the need for someone to manage the function remained, with all that that entails.


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