In the previous post in this series I wrote about what constitutes a cloud and began describing which of those parts can be readily provided by the traditional communications carriers (i.e. telcos).
Just as a refresher, I have defined “cloud” as being made up of the following:
Or, all in one breath, something we can safely and securely access, whenever we want, from wherever we want, as much as we want, and on whatever device we want.
In this post, part 2 of 4, I continue on where I left off describing what the carriers are already doing that I think map directly to the cloud space.
Now on to the second cloud component, Accessible from Anywhere. Odds are, if you’re reading this, you have a cell phone or some other cellular enabled device. There are very few places, in the United States anyway, where one can go and not be able to have access to computing resources of some sort over one of those devices. And that coverage footprint, as well as the quality and speed of that coverage, gets better all the time. And who owns the networks that make that coverage possible? Well at least here in the United States those networks are owned by the carriers. Is that changing, becoming more democratized? Yep you bet. But, we're a long way from that being the norm and I'm not sure we can wait for that to happen either. We're ready, business is ready, to see a fully-baked cloud NOW, not later, that meets all of the criteria.
Third, device agnostic. More audience participation. Raise your hand if you have an iPhone. An Android? A Windows Mobile device? A Blackberry? A cellular card for your laptop? Something other than what I've mentioned?
Looking around at the proliferation of devices that can be used to connect to the <accessible from anywhere>, <always on> network, I'd say that we're very, very close to being device agnostic.
I need to go out of order a little bit now and talk about measured service, or metrics and usage logging. I'll get to 6.b. how the cloud responds to that usage, in the next post but for now let's just talk about measured or metered service.
Have you seen the size of your full detailed phone bill lately? I don't mean the final amount billed, I mean the call detail records and the like. That's not even all the information or detail that is collected on any given voice or data transaction. That's just the "easy to read" bits. I don't think anyone can argue that the carriers have metered billing with detailed usage logging down pretty well.
So there you have it, we're half way to our (or at least my) ideal cloud and we haven't even had to build or invent anything new yet right? Well, no not exactly.
The trick, again, is to make sure that things like five nines availability apply to not only the carrier's traditional land line and cellular networks but also to the back end systems and resources that make up the cloud itself.
The recent outages of Outlook.com, Amazon Web Services, and Google should suffice to prove the point; namely that without availability nothing else matters.
And what about the rest of the items on our list? Namely, infinitely scalable, easy to consume, resources modified on the fly in response to detailed usage statistics and last but certainly not least, security?
It is in these areas that I think the carriers still have a lot of work to do. But, those are for another post so please stay tuned.
Thanks for reading.
Joe can be reached in the comments section below, via email at jdk at calibersecurity dot com or on twitter @joeknape.