Test Driving Cloud ComputingBy Carolyn April | Posted 2009-09-16 Email Print
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You want to make an enterprise case for cloud computing? Maybe you should consider the new Monterey initiative from Cloudsoft, Prima Cloud, Intel, Citrix and Super Micro.
While there's plenty of excitement about the prospects of cloud computing, there remains just as much skepticism in the marketplace, especially within enterprises skittish about putting highly distributed mission-critical applications outside of their own domain.
Duncan Johnston-Watt, founder and CEO of U.K.-based cloud software company Cloudsoft, understands that trepidation and wants to do something about it. Watt, along with some highly notable industry players including Intel and Citrix, recently pulled the curtains on a new initiative dubbed Monterey that will allow enterprises, especially those in the wary financial industry, to test out robust cloud environments to see if they can stomach them.
"Everyone is interested in the cloud, but there’s a fork in the road between the commodity cloud and enterprise cloud," Johnston-Watt told Channel Insider. "The problems that you have running in a commodity cloud are similar to broadband in that it doesn’t scale speedwise when you have a lot of users at once. And there’s the potential for business assumptions to be made that not everyone needs everything at a time."
Cloudsoft’s whole mojo is middleware. Middleware almost seems like a throwback term these days, but it remains critical plumbing in almost every large enterprise running complex applications. Cloudsoft wants to apply the middleware paradigm to cloud-based applications, serving as a traffic manager of sorts. The company has designed a middleware solution called Cloudsoft Distributed Mediation (CDM), which is an application delivery platform to simplify development and deployment of complex transactional applications in the cloud, eradicate network and processing bottlenecks, optimize resource management, and implements policies, Johnston-Watt said.
Those features, he argues, are necessary to get large enterprises to take cloud-based computing seriously. He’s not alone in this belief. Amazon is reportedly working on a similar enterprise cloud platform.
The Monterey initiative effectively lets enterprises take the cloud for a test ride. Cloudsoft has partnered with PrimaCloud, which will provide use of its data centers in California to host the cloud. Infrastructure is being provided by server manufacturer Super Micro, Citrix and Intel.
Get in touch with Johnston-Watts to take part in Monterey. He's doing outreach, but welcoming those companies that turn to him as well.
The companies that are involved in the project speak to the strategic nature of the cloud. The kind of proof point that Monterey is offering here is just exactly what solution providers need to convince their customers that the cloud is relevant—and business-wise—for them.
Where do you sit on the cloud computing continuum?