Journey to the Cloud – Michael D. Brumfield


VMWorld 2011 was held at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. It was four-jam packed days of technical and business sessions, customer case studies, hands-on labs, vendor exhibits, and networking opportunities. The theme was “Your Cloud. Own It.” I went with two objectives in mind: to get a pulse on the “cloud” industry and to explore virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). I will recap a little of my experience.

First, I found there are as many definitions of cloud as there were attendees. There were about 20,000 in attendance. The main thread throughout cloud is the agility and availability that is derived with the virtualization of applications. It is no longer just the server that is virtualized. Cloud is a push toward an individualized and personalized user experience across platforms (PC, SmartPhone, Tablets, etc.). The application is delivered from a private, public, or hybrid cloud provider. The first step in the journey to the cloud is to virtualize your servers. Survey results presented at the conference showed that in 2010 over 50% of servers became virtualized.

My second focus was virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). The vendors in the Solutions Exchange unveiled tools and enhancements that add value to virtualized desktops. I spoke with one vendor that virtualizes desktops and provides an IPSec VPN back to a customer network for data access. VDI is in the emerging technology market with organizations beginning to test their applications. There is a great deal of potential in this technology. There are now products that support 3D graphics in a virtualized desktop. The agility created for designers and engineers is growing.

Overall, the journey to the cloud is mixed with some successes, some challenges and complexities. There appears to be many who are moving to a hybrid cloud model for business continuity, disaster recovery, and capacity augmentation. Your journey to the cloud must be linked to your business strategy. Unfortunately, there are pitfalls that must be addressed. For instance there are licensing implications for the Operating System (OS) and some applications that must be accounted for when moving to a cloud infrastructure. Be sure to address these issues as your mileage may vary.

Palitto Consulting Services (PCS) is equipped to work with your business in the area of cloud computing to match technology advantages with your strategy. Please contact us at 330-335-7271 with any questions or to set up an appointment.