Last night I attended CloudCamp Silicon Valley. Having recently attended VMworld, Orcale OpenWorld, and CloudCamp, I have to say that I still think there is great value in the Unconference Format. While VMworld was one of the most productive trade shows that I have ever been at, one can only hope that it can maintain that productivity as it grows. Oracle OpenWorld has grown into the typical trade show venue where attendees are locked in sessions most of the time and vendors sit around their booths checking email. While the unconferences are held for the benefit of the attendees and the attendees decide what gets discussed and vote with the feet (walk to the discussions you like and feel free to leave if you don’t find it valuable). I was a bit concerned about the event being held at Suns EBC, but it worked well overall, nice facilities for the group and infrastructure for the sponsors to show their stuff before the event began (thought there were a few predatory vendors in the group who don’t understand the the point of an unconference…I’ll admit it felt good to shoot a few of them down; I only hope they learned their lesson)
It was great running into not only old colleagues and industry contacts, but an alumni of my university as well. Fun stuff reminiscing about old times back at UWEC CS department and the hindsight value of that program.
One of the sessions I attended was lead by Mike Pittaro from SnapLogic (a company I did some consulting work for earlier this year). His discussion was well attended by over 15 poeple to discuss Connecting Clouds. Essentially talking about the integration needs of cloud computing, it’s similarity to SOA, and the cyclical nature of integration along with computer trends in general. I found how personal corporate connections came up during the discussion: my ex-collegue from IONA Steve Vinoski was referenced with his REST vs SOAP discussions; the demise of SOA vendors referencing IONA’s recent absorption into Progress Software; and the proprietary versus open standards discussion referencing VMware’s ESX hyperadvisor. We also discussed open standards for connecting clouds versus proprietary connections between clouds, will proprietary connections emerge as the cloud coellesces from it’s post big bang state into gallexies and solar systems? This discussion was very timely considering GNU Founder Richard Stallman’s recent comments on cloud computing.
Even more interesting the the last session I joined which was lead by James Urquhart and discussed the current legal situation around cloud computing. Unfortunately, this was a very thinly attended discussion based on the importance of the discussion to anyone doing anything in cloud related. We discussed topics ranging from the Stored Communications Act, legal ramifications of non-US customers to US cloud companies based upon the physical location of their cloud service, and even the concept that cloud computing and virtualization enable of Follow the Law computing (similar to Follow the Sun or Follow the Moon computing, moving your computing to physical locations that are legally favorable to the work that you are doing). There are definitely some legal aspects of Cloud Computing that all cloud companies and cloud users need to realize and get changed or risk Cloud Computing progress disappear into the ether. Very interesting night of discussions…
One of the most interesting aspects I took away from the night is the split between the Web 2.0 Cloud and the Enerterprise Cloud. The Web 2.0 Cloud is the all the classic cloud services that you think of when you say Cloud Computing: Gmail, SalesForce.com, Joyent, Amazon Services, etc. The Enterprise Cloud is the continual migration of internet technologies into the internal enterprise data center along with the evoloution of virtualization in the enterprise and the move of large enterprise IT organizations into true internal service provider role. VMware’s vCloud initiative and technology vision will enable an Enterprise Cloud to connet with the Web 2.0 Cloud and move computing from inside the enterprise out or oustide the enterprise in. But all the discussions were based around using or building around the Web 2.0 Cloud or a few vendors who were talking about the cloud computing technologies for the enterprise. Companies and individuals need to be clear on which of the two sides of the cloud they live on. Nothing is worse than talking on a topic for 15 minutes only to realize that each party is living on the oposite sides of the cloud. I assuem this disparity is part of the reason that VMware didn’t official sponsor or get involved in CloudCamp; which is a bit surprising considering the new recent announcements and focus.