I read with interest, Charles Babcock’s article about why Eli Lilly is engaging multiple cloud providers, not just because it included a reference to BlueLock, but because Charles demonstrated concrete evidence that this nebulous concept of cloud computing is beginning to mature in the enterprise and mid-size enterprise company psyche.
It wasn’t too long ago (four years ago to be exact) that the concept of Infrastructure-as-a-Service didn’t exist. How do I know that? Pat O’Day, BlueLock’s CTO, wrote the first entry in Wikipedia for Infastructure as a Service (IaaS) not in 2006 when we launched the company, but nearly a year later in July 2007. Fast-forward to VMware’s VMworld 2010 where 17,000 people converged on arguably the IT industry’s standard virtualization and cloud conference and as I walked the floor of the exhibit area – I couldn’t find a single company that didn’t have a cloud product or service.
Now consider Lilly and Charles’ article – he explained that different companies are choosing to architect and offer clouds with differing SLA’s which means that companies will have an opportunity to choose the right cloud for the right workload. In 2007, it was novel to even offer a cloud. Today companies are going to market with their version of a cloud, shooting at a specific market. Charles got it right when he characterized our IaaS cloud and our aim – we’re willing to step up, make real performance promises, and accept a portion of the risk for non-performance, betting that mid-size enterprise companies will trust BlueLock enough to send their non mission-critical production workloads.
We don’t believe it’s realistic to think that enterprises are ready to send their mission-critical workloads yet; however, there is real evidence (read real paying customers) that are willing to send us workloads that are important to their business so they can focus their critical and scarce human and capital resources on other things. So now, it’s not about getting everything into the cloud, but making a conscious decision about what workload should be kept in-house on a private cloud and which workload can be trusted to the right cloud company, thereby achieving a hybrid approach to cloud computing.
The bottom line is that a one-size-fits-all approach to the cloud is not the trend. The trend is to consciously choose the SLA and the performance necessary to deliver the desired user experience in the cloud and matching that with a cloud provider with the right promise, SLA, security and service model. With the announcement at VMWorld 2010 of our certification as one of five global vCloud DataCenter partners, we’re in a better position than ever to help companies make those decisions and execute a hybrid cloud strategy making IT departments more flexible, efficient and responsive to the business challenges that they face. If you’d like to learn more about how we’ve done that for our clients, send me a note (bwolff at bluelock.com) or give me a call (1-888-402-BLUE x102).