|By Jeremy Geelan||
|August 11, 2012 01:00 PM EDT||
"Cloud will provide the technology to allow virtualization of mainframe workloads," observed Scott Morrison, CTO at Layer 7 Technologies, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. "But," Morrison continued, "the organizational inertia in large enterprises will keep many mainframes operating for the foreseeable future."
Cloud Computing Journal: Just having the enterprise data is good. Extracting meaningful information out of this data is priceless. Agree or disagree?
Scott Morrison: Strongly agree. Data has no inherent value; it's the interpretation we place on it that creates value. Over the years, we've gradually improved in how we handle the ever-increasing volumes of enterprise data, but there is a big new challenge on the horizon. This challenge is the interpretation of API transaction data, which captures the timeline of who is doing what and when. We need more advanced tools to capture and understand this new mine of data in the context of existing enterprise data sources.
Cloud Computing Journal: Forrester's James Staten: "Not everything will move to the cloud as there are many business processes, data sets and workflows that require specific hardware or proprietary solutions that can't take advantage of cloud economics. For this reason we'll likely still have mainframes 20 years from now." Agree or disagree?
Morrison: Agree. Nothing is as sticky as legacy. Cloud will provide the technology to allow virtualization of mainframe workloads, but the organizational inertia in large enterprises will keep many mainframes operating for the foreseeable future.
Cloud Computing Journal: The price of cloud computing will go up - so will the demand. Agree or disagree or....?
Morrison: Disagree, and agree. There will be a downward price pressure on certain commodity services in the cloud, such as general virtualization. We've not yet seen the "GoDaddy's" of the IaaS world appear that run on volume and razor-thin margins and that will drive general no-frills IaaS prices to the bottom. Open source cloud infrastructure will continue to mature and make it very viable to run very large offshore data centers very cheaply, and this will force providers to differentiate on high-level services such as business-workable SLAs and security. So price will go down.
Demand will increase regardless of price. There is still a huge latent market out there that does not understand cloud yet. As they engage in the marketplace, demand will naturally increase.
Cloud Computing Journal: Rackspace is reporting an 80% growth from cloud computing, Amazon continues to innovate and make great strides, and Microsoft, Dell and other big players are positioning themselves as big leaders. Are you expecting in the next 18 months to see the bottom fall out and scores of cloud providers failing or getting gobbled up by bigger players? Or what?
Morrison: No. There is still lots of opportunity for new players and lots of potential for the market. It is not even close to saturated. We will see consolidation in the next five years as small IaaS and PaaS vendors begin to get acquired by larger players, much as happened in the late '80s in the ISP market. Right now we are still waiting for these "micro-cloud providers" to appear, but we will see them, particularly as spinoffs of conventional hosting companies. The emergence/consolidation cycle on this one will be very fast.
Cloud Computing Journal: Please name one thing that - despite what we all may have heard or read - you are certain is NOT going to happen in the future, with Cloud and Big Data? ;-)
Morrison: Mainstream enterprise adoption of Big Data. I think the concepts, problem sets, and tooling behind Big Data present difficulties that are not to be underestimated in the average enterprise.