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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?