Friday, 27 May 2011 09:49

Cloud myths and recommendations Featured


Using a PC to access cloud services while talking up the Green IT benefits is like spruiking your environmental credentials and then going to work in a Hummer instead of riding a bike.

"If you go to the cloud all the way, why do you have that big PC on your desk?" asked Tarkan Maner, president and CEO of Wyse.

That was a loaded question, given that Wyse invented the first thin client device in 1994 and has been making them ever since. But even Maner admitted that it's still not possible to do everything in the cloud.

Still, it is reasonable to ask whether full-blown PCs are needed when cloud applications or a virtual desktop can deliver the functionality required by particular groups of users. PCs cost more than  thin clients, require more management, and need to be replaced more often.

Speaking during a keynote session at the Citrix Synergy 2011 conference, Maner also identified and refuted a number of myths about the cloud.

'It's not reliable, secure or private' - planes are safer than cars, he observed (see also "Cloud insecurity a myth, says Citrix executive"), and similarly clouds can be engineered to meet these requirements. But it is important to manage the relationships involved, he warned.

'It's only for consumers and SMEs' - telcos such as NTT in Japan are already delivering cloud services to enterprise customers.


Tarkan Maner, president and CEO of Wyse

Please read on to page two for the rest of Maner's list of myths, and his recommendations for going cloud.

'Virtualisation is cloud' - Maner suggested this idea comes from companies that are concerned about being seen to be cool and in touch, and that want to be able to tick the boxes in an annual report rather than actually innovating.

'TCO is the only reason for using the cloud' - the value delivered is more important than the cost, Maner said

'SaaS = Internet = cloud' - this is "the biggest joke," said Maner. The three terms are not interchangeable.

Maner made five recommendations for organisations planning a move towards the cloud:

Use a hybrid approach with an easy start - there's no need for a 'big bang' approach.

Policy-based management, security and intelligence are important.

Look for collaboration and customisation via open standards - you need to be able to back out of an arrangement that isn't working for you.

Consider users, content, applications and policies before data centres, networks and devices - a user-centric approach is more likely to succeed.

Disclosure: the writer travelled to San Francisco as the guest of Citrix.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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