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Summary:

As I find myself honored with the opportunity to contribute regularly to GigaOM’s cloud coverage, I find myself thinking a lot about what I’ve learned in those five years. So, for my first post, I thought I’d walk through my most important observations to date.

james_cloudclub_bw

For over five years, I have been writing about the convergence of data center, Internet and software-development technologies that has become known as cloud computing. I started writing on my personal blog in December 2006, then went on to write CNET’s The Wisdom of Clouds for the last three years.

I’ve also spent the last three years helping develop Cisco’s cloud strategy, and am just about to begin an adventure as vice president of product strategy for enterprise cloud management vendor enStratus.

Now, as I find myself honored with the opportunity to contribute regularly to GigaOM’s cloud coverage, I find myself thinking a lot about what I’ve learned in those five years. So, for my first post–and in an attempt to put some shape to my model of cloud computing–I thought I’d walk through my most-important observations to date. At worst, if I get it wrong, I hope you’ll straighten me out.

The cornerstone of everything I believe about the cloud can be summarized in one simple statement:

Cloud computing is an application-centric operations model.

What in the world does that mean? Well, let’s begin with the “cloud is an operations model” part. I wrote a post that describes this concept in detail a couple of years ago.

The operations model is one that has been discussed ad nauseum in the last couple of years, but as a quick recap, it centers on delivery of IT capabilities at scale, on demand, typically in a multi-tenant environment. It is important to understand that, while new technologies are indeed being developed for cloud, these technologies are being developed to fit the operations model, not the other way around.

The application-centric part of that statement is derived from the very nature of cloud itself. Traditionally, IT operations has been a server-centic affair:

  • We buy a server
  • We assign that server an IP address and wire it to a switch port
  • We choose an operating system (which, I argue, is actually part of the server from an operations perspective), then install applications
  • Finally, we monitor the health of the system based on–wait for it–server metrics: CPU and memory utilization, I/O rates, etc.

Now, think about consuming a public cloud service. If you don’t own the infrastructure you are consuming, you don’t own the server. You may own the operating system if you are using an infrastructure service, such as Amazon’s EC2, but for most cloud services, you won’t even have that luxury.

What you do bring to the table–er, service–is code, data, configuration metadata and/or policies that are, in fact, what makes any cloud service valuable to you as an individual or an organization. Your task in consuming a cloud service is to deliver those elements to a service that turns them into functionality that drives business value.

Thus, a new order of operations has to evolve in order to meet the demands of this new model. The diagram below, borrowed from my first post on the topic of cloud’s effects on operations, is how I see that order breaking down. Read that post to get a sense of what responsibility is assigned to each of these roles.

IT operations layers for cloud

In coming posts, I want to dig deep into the consequences of application-centricity in cloud, and in enterprise IT, in general. There are so many interesting corollaries, exceptions and possibilities that I’m looking forward to a long conversation with you, GigaOM’s readers. Please do not hesitate to give me feedback via comments. I can also be found on Twitter at @jamesurquhart.

Image courtesy of Gary Orenstein.

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  32. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/An4EEZyB

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  33. Cloud is about consuming services, too! I like this app-centric ops model. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/cAJXQrqy

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  40. Morning everyone. Let’s kick off the day with #cloudbased stuff: “@gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/rWA7shKR

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  41. Nice post @jamesurquhart ! RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/BqRj28v6

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  47. RT @sparkycollier: Nice post @jamesurquhart ! RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/BqRj28v6

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  48. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/p0fmzCvL

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  49. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise: First in the series of articles to come from @jamesurquhart. http://t.co/XSo2apdP

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  52. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/pZ8VqnHR via James Urquhart

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  53. Excellent Article. The breakdown diagram is right on!
    David Robins
    Binfire.com

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  58. “@sparkycollier: Nice post @jamesurquhart ! RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/pjQEcvlw

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  61. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise – GigaOm http://t.co/axse90nW

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  62. SOCIAL MEDIA: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/hWxJEOxN #socialmedia

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  65. RT: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise: For over five years, I have been writing about the convergence … http://t.co/iTNjsP5k

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  73. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/iX7Lw13I

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  74. Here’s the Synopsis…What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/hLcDLwCi

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  75. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/8BjMvSQJ

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  77. @jamesurquhart is the real deal “@defrag: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/Axb4Weja <awesome post.”

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  78. Cloud computing is an application-centric operations model. http://t.co/BPRlhn9j #cloud #cio

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  79. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/PCehxkcU

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  80. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/Rn6eQN1N

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  81. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/vyjtkjNL via @gigaom

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  82. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/8BjMvSQJ

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  83. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/8BjMvSQJ

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  84. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise – GigaOm http://t.co/VtxoSQfx

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  85. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise – http://t.co/HFnfsu52: I’ve also spent the last t… http://t.co/GAPYOrpr #cloud #management

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  86. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise – GigaOm http://t.co/3JhzIkrL

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  87. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/jmKTXkXS

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  88. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise – http://t.co/s7PuZuUI: I’ve also spent the last three … http://t.co/xOiHxQZr #cisco #cloud

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  89. adrian cockcroft Sunday, November 20, 2011

    I agree with your summary “cloud is an application centric operations model”. The logical consequence is that since developers own the applications, the developer organization should own the cloud strategy. In the case of Netflix, using public cloud, the developer organization owns the top two boxes in your diagram and AWS owns the third one. IT operations continues to run the remaining datacenters and employee services, but isn’t in the loop for customer oriented services running in the cloud.

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  90. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/MBSl4XoU

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  91. http://t.co/csnLPmho What cloud boils down to for the enterprise – GigaOm

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  92. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise: 20, 2011, 6:00am PT No Comments For over five years, I have been wr… http://t.co/cjIzw3ql

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  93. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise – As I find myself honored with the opportunity to contribute regularly … http://t.co/AbXUWgsJ

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  100. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/8BjMvSQJ

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  101. “Cloud computing is an application-centric operations model.” http://t.co/hJ8kcPRP

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  102. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise: 20, 2011, 6:00am PT No Comments For over five years, I have been wr… http://t.co/LX28iaiH

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  103. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise: 20, 2011, 6:00am PT No Comments For over five years, I have been wr… http://t.co/RV0SdzlU

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  104. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise – GigaOm http://t.co/KtqKgYXw

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  105. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/BRalYtB1 #EnSW #Cloud #Cisco

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  106. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/hXKQCWKa

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  107. #Cloud What cloud boils down to for the enterprise – GigaOm: What cloud boils down to for the enterpriseGigaOm20… http://t.co/sm77tMoU

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  108. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/Wuvi5kKI

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  109. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/xnQoT436

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  110. Fascinating. RT @DavidLinthicum – What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/FVsxdINJ

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  111. RT @DavidLinthicum: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/8XL7Ws8x

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  112. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/dyWluOAR #Socialmedia @allisswel

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  113. RT @DavidLinthicum: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/scPLLpSG <-“app centric ops model” – exactly

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  114. There are those in the ITSM community who have heartburn over the word “application.” They’d rather call it a “business service.” I tend to think the term “application” is accurate, useful, and shouldn’t go away.

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  115. What #cloud boils down to for the #enterprise – http://t.co/e4dBFXuZ

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  116. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/8BjMvSQJ

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  117. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise: For over five years, I have been writing about… http://t.co/my5XJjFy

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  118. [GigaOM] What cloud boils down to for the enterprise: As I find myself honored with the opportunity to contribut… http://t.co/I3G9c8RF

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  119. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise: As I find myself honored with the opportunity to contribute regular… http://t.co/iQKEC0Ka

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  120. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/XjcSBA1u

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  121. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise: 20, 2011, 6:00am PT No Comments For over five years, I have been wr… http://t.co/iUIzRmVu

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  122. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise: As I find myself honored with the opportunity to contribute regular… http://t.co/Fl1gdkNt

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  123. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/UP67AIlu >> Great read….

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  124. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/JuzRaKWk

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  125. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise
    http://t.co/X8RtRvGV

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  126. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/rjuiLqec

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  127. #Cloud #News What cloud boils down to for the enterprise – GigaOm: What cloud boils down to for the enterpriseGi… http://t.co/6bccgziH

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  128. #Software What cloud boils down to for the enterprise: 20, 2011, 6:00am PT No Comments For over five years, I ha… http://t.co/G0H2f8lg

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  129. RT @benkerschberg: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise
    http://t.co/X8RtRvGV

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  130. What #cloud boils down to for the enterprise by James Urquhart via @gigaom – http://t.co/uuFAU6AG

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  131. RT @tinamonod: What #cloud boils down to for the enterprise by James Urquhart via @gigaom – http://t.co/uuFAU6AG

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  132. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise: As I find myself honored with the opportunity … http://t.co/11XOVdZ8 CloudComputingTopics

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  133. Excellent explanation maps to #vmware 3 layer your cloud. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/sfwcP6JD

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  134. RT @tinamonod: What #cloud boils down to for the enterprise by James Urquhart via @gigaom – http://t.co/uuFAU6AG

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  135. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/VcJpH6GX

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  136. First of all, I believe you are right with a couple of caveats. What we are seeing that the enterprise does not want to re-write their legacy (I call them “glow-in-the-dark”) applications. We we had to add another layer to your diagram (which we draw as a pyramid), which would be the pinnical, called compute. This provides an easy entry point for the enterprise to enter the cloud without having to worry about how complex the task is going to be.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

    Respectfully,
    Victor
    Virtual-Q.com

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  137. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise (http://t.co/GRybKm75) http://t.co/y0gSW5E4

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  138. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/8BjMvSQJ

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  139. RT @DavidLinthicum: What #cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/fUp25Fw2

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  140. @jamesurquhart says “Cloud computing is an application-centric operations model” do u agree? http://t.co/ZwQzfrXi #Cloud #ALM #Agile

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  141. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise (http://t.co/RC8xxnAA) http://t.co/nI3pTOcd

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  142. What #cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/0ynDv1qX via @gigaom #PaaS #in

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  143. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/8BjMvSQJ

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  144. @jamesurquhart and @enStratus get what Cloud means for the Enterprise. Great post: http://t.co/ln1PAswu cc / @krishnan @BrianMcCallion

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  145. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/0wrrKdkF #business

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  146. [TechResearch] What cloud boils down to for the enterprise: For over five years, I have been writing about t… http://t.co/GI1bclmy #ID

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  147. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/PBRhYpZe

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  148. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/scJbJ8PY (via @gigaom)

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  149. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/QKp2w3CG

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  150. “Cloud computing is an application-centric operations model.” http://t.co/JYSVN4pQ < Interesting Definition

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  151. RT @brianflannery: @jamesurquhart and @enStratus get what Cloud means for the Enterprise. Great post: http://t.co/ln1PAswu cc / @krishnan @BrianMcCallion

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  152. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/8BjMvSQJ

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  153. ‘What #Cloud Boils Down to for the #Enterprise’ by @jamesurquhart…worth reading his 3 part series as well http://t.co/Yqnaakhd

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  154. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise – GigaOm http://t.co/ZwL27LSD #cloudcomputing

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  155. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/8b6rwT5H

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  156. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/COOzjLEH

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  157. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise: For over five years, I have been writing about the convergence of d… http://t.co/QHVPEgTE

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  158. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/nq3w4P2g

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  159. Fascinating. RT @mestery – What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/5W3mQde1

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  160. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/wKeGdgoJ

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  161. RT @benkerschberg: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/z2dLPRO8

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  162. Jeff Schneider Sunday, November 20, 2011

    Infrastructure is only important because it serves up applications. I’m hopeful that 2012 will usher in an era where the application teams lead the cloud transformation. I’m with Adrian on this one… “the developer organization should own the cloud strategy”. This isn’t to say that they make all the decisions, but I do believe that they are responsible for defining their application centric requirements that will drive the lower layers.

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  163. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/7RCXyMKg

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  164. “Cloud is an apps-centric operations model”. An Excellent framework to look into cloudy world.#in http://t.co/9oQOpBSW

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  165. Wow. I wrote a post, and an intelligent conversation broke out in the comments: http://t.co/HXpwBpzL. I love @gigaom!

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  166. RT @jamesurquhart: Wow. I wrote a post, and an intelligent conversation broke out in the comments: http://t.co/HXpwBpzL. I love @gigaom!

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  167. What #cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/Nt0FBig2 /by @jamesurquhart

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  168. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/6zdPhLka @ijavierlozano interesante artículo sobre la #nube

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  169. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise: http://t.co/jN4tPqwq

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  170. Here’s why cloud computing is an application-centric operations model http://t.co/SDRWB5ZK < written by @jamesurquhart

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  171. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/u1un7crr

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  172. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/I4AhVJ2u

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  173. RT @DavidLinthicum: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/xnQoT436

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  174. RT @jamesurquhart: Wow. I wrote a post, and an intelligent conversation broke out in the comments: http://t.co/HXpwBpzL. I love @gigaom!

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  175. R. Nathan Brin Sunday, November 20, 2011

    In the legal profession, Cloud storage may be impractical regarding confidential matters, if not actionable by clients for potential breach of confidentiality. Lawyers are generally required to have total control over any privileged or confidential data we possess. That means, for all practical purposes – onsite storage and control. There are really NO EXCEPTIONS in this regard, except in the minds of those who are not actual trial practitioners. It is very hard to argue that if I exclusively control the storage media, data is more likely to be hacked into. Quite the opposite. If I control the storage, hackers and thieves will have a much harder time breaking into my ONSITE system. If there is an internet or intranet disruption, I can still get to my documents as long as my computer has power to run and programs installed to open the documents I need. Of course I control backup copies also – under my total physical control, care and custody. Cloud availability and security are two major issues for lawyers. What legal data would be classified as insecure enough to allow for use or storage in a cloud situation? Perhaps copies of filed pleadings and public records – that’s about it. Encryption is NOT enough in such situations. Data control and access are key – and arguments to the contrary and may run afoul of differing state legal requirements in a cloud situation. Cloud vendors and promoters will certainly wish to marginalize and minimize the problem, but a lawyer cannot ignore or marginalize the “two ton whale” in the office and the potential liability for claims of data (record keeping) negligence (or failure to comply with the HIGHEST data security standards available). For MOST businesses, cloud computing is a potential litigation trap, but the concept is certainly excellent for storage of non-confidential business items such as photographs, much like what is on a public web page. Beware of Cloud computing in areas that require absolute confidentiality.
    Nathan Brin
    Attorney & Counselor at Law
    Dallas, Texas

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    1. Nathan,

      Great points. Am just curious as to why you believe encryption is not enough?

      Thanks.

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      1. @Nathan,
        The most secure computer in the world is switched off. The second most secure computer in the world is not connected/connectable to the internet

        @S1,
        Encryption is not enough – if the data is valuable enough and accessible, then it will be accessed and any security will be circumvented.

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    2. This is an excellent set of points. Being able to demonstrate non-repudiation in a typical cloud service can be very difficult to do. Encryption alone doesn’t address trusted third party audit & verification requirements. Sometimes having a notarized physical document kept in a private vault or bank safety deposit box is simply the best way to go.

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    3. Somewhat over-stating the case, and downright self-contradictory in places, Nathan.

      “If I control the storage, hackers and thieves will have a much harder time breaking into my ONSITE system.”

      Not if the cloud provider has better security controls and availability features that you do — which is entirely possible, and indeed probable if you are an average small or medium-sized business. Later on in your message, you state “data control and access are key”. That’s right, and it goes both ways. If the cloud provider has better controls and access, your “ONSITE system” is actually more risky. Your office is not Hogwarts; there is no magic that keeps data more secure because it is inside four walls that you happen to own (or lease).

      I am reminded of a customer who told me about their backup tapes, which they kept on a high floor of a building immediately adjacent to the World Trade Center because they thought it was safer and more accessible. You can guess which backups were not available on 9/12/2001, right? Other backups, kept in a secure 3rd party hosting center in New Jersey were immediately available.

      Furthermore, please quote any state or federal law that requires record keeping to be done on premises? Every large company I have ever worked with has sent confidential data to Iron Mountain for secure offsite storage. Several of them were surprised when Iron Mountain couldn’t get it back, in one case because they “accidentially shredded the box”. Yet, the world did not end, nor did they suffer catastrophic litigation losses.

      Yes, preservation and chain of custody and proper record keeping are important. How an organization chooses to accomplish them, though, is not inherently at odds with cloud computing and storage.

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  176. Great article by @jamesurquhart What Cloud Boils Down to for the Enterprise http://t.co/tCgrt9LD

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  177. RT @jaredstauffer: Great article by @jamesurquhart What Cloud Boils Down to for the Enterprise http://t.co/tCgrt9LD

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  178. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/exT704w0

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  179. RT @jamesurquhart: Wow. I wrote a post, and an intelligent conversation broke out in the comments: http://t.co/HXpwBpzL. I love @gigaom!

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  180. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/D5bR6Egd

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  181. Good insights, as usual. Couple of observations from my experience:
    a) The nature of the applications are changing – from a client-server to a truly distributed-elastic infrastructure
    b) Congruent to Adrian’s POV, the top two boxes are indeed the application artifacts, but they are very different from the traditional application and services layer.
    c) I would like to see the services layer (middle box) renamed as cloud services or something similar to distinguish from the traditional services layer. Let me explain:
    i) In addition to maintaining the functional aspects of an application, the services layer also needs to handle the scale, elasticity as well as distributed failures.
    ii) The applications person is also an operations person in many ways – I am, of course, talking about devOps (which James also advocate) If you see Adrian’s work, a lot of it is about scale and failure.
    iii) From my experience in designing & implementing an object layer for egnyte, a lot of my work was architecting failure scenarios, operations procedures and load testing at scale. I call it “How to embrace failure and influence scalability[http://goo.gl/3lJkK]”
    Looking forward to reading more from JamesU …

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  182. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/8BjMvSQJ

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  183. I just commented on “What cloud boils down to for the enterprise” by @jamesurquhart @gigaom: http://t.co/9Mc0iOoF via @gigaom

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  184. Great perspective on #cloud: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/BNZ1TXZb @synteractive

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  185. It all comes down to the user, when the user is unhappy with the complexity of the product they will search out an appliance or application base system that works….the first ones there that make the products that truly are robust, have API’s for development, and build stable, redundant systems will win the race. There will always be a need for IT sys admins, but not in the same way. Their role will be changing as more and more VM infrastructures are built. While their infrastructures may already be virtualized, it will only be those senior level managers who want their data onsite that will keep them employed. IT sys admins must be more dynamic and start to see the user again, not just the ticket queue. Adapt to survive…until the big datacenter takes multiple users and systems offline and they realize that putting your eggs into one basket is not a good idea. Looke at SCE in SoCal’s recent folly where San Diego went offline for a day. It can happen….can your business afford be down for more than a day? That is the question….

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  186. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/8BjMvSQJ

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  187. What does cloud boil down to for the enterprise? Cloud is an application centric operations model. http://t.co/3KXP26vk #cloud #appdev

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  188. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/ysaNNtw9 by @jamesurquhart

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  189. Agreed. And the application is the layer the value is. “@DavidLinthicum: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/TEZ6dDk9”

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  190. adrian cockcroft Sunday, November 20, 2011

    My talk at QConSF yesterday is now online at SlideShare, I describe our version of the middle box in some detail: Global Netflix Platform http://slidesha.re/rpI16H

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  191. James,

    I have to disagree with you here. Cloud for enterprise is about simplification. It simplifies physical management of on-premise equipment, it simplifies acquisitions, it simplifies getting better utilization out of existing investments and it simplifies expanding the computational perimeter of the business moving the compute closer to the event. Frankly, the operational model could be the best in the universe, but if it cost more or was more complex to implement, it would probably would be a non-starter. The enterprise is looking at economical or business advantages, which is why so much money and interest is chasing cloud right now. I’ll go so far as to say that the Enterprise is chasing cloud without much thought as to what they will actually run in cloud or the impact of what they’re moving to the cloud.

    I also disagree with Adrian’s assertion as well. I reference my Nov 18 Tweet https://twitter.com/#!/jpmorgenthal/status/137749111008010241 – “Here’s a frightening thought for #CEOs IT staff may be more loyal to a vendor’s platform than your biz, r they making best decisions 4 u?” More succinctly stated, do I want a bunch of CCIE’s making decisions whether to buy Cisco or Juniper or a group of Oracle Certified DBAs making the decision on whether to switch to MySQL or SQL Server? The COO should own the cloud strategy with input from IT and Finance.

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  192. >> “Cloud computing is an application-centric operations model” < +1

    It always strikes me as strange why this simple truth, regardless of exactly how it is expressed, has to be repeated so often — and even stranger that there are those who disagree with it, or don't even see it.

    At the end of the day, no organization is motivated to spend a dime on data centers or cloud subscriptions if it doesn't eventually lead to running an "application" of some sort.

    That's the only value that any compute system can offer — regardless of it's size or complexity.

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  193. I just commented on “What cloud boils down to for the enterprise” @gigaom: http://t.co/IEzQsT4W via @gigaom

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  194. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/eajpTTnW

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  195. RT @jamesurquhart: Wow. I wrote a post, and an intelligent conversation broke out in the comments: http://t.co/HXpwBpzL. I love @gigaom!

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  196. RT @jamesurquhart: Wow. I wrote a post, and an intelligent conversation broke out in the comments: http://t.co/HXpwBpzL. I love @gigaom!

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  197. RT @jpmorgenthal: I just commented on “What cloud boils down to for the enterprise” @gigaom: http://t.co/IEzQsT4W via @gigaom

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  198. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/7cQR6vWJ

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  199. adrian cockcroft Sunday, November 20, 2011

    I have a few questions for Nathan, does he keep all his data in his laptop handcuffed to his wrist? Does he really know where all the copies of his data are? My guess is that his “on premise” is likely to be a leased cage in a shared facility with backups stored offsite in another shared facility.

    There are several cloud vendors who can provide audits of their facilities that meet well established standards. The definition of on-premise is much fuzzier in practice than some people might expect.

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  200. “Cloud computing is an application-centric operations model” http://t.co/TeOzsFbw [I like this ]

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  201. RT @jamesurquhart: Wow. I wrote a post, and an intelligent conversation broke out in the comments: http://t.co/Iimz7zD5 . I love @gigaom!

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  202. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise: For over five years, I have been writing about the converge… http://t.co/M6W3dfCk #gigaom

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  203. adrian cockcroft Sunday, November 20, 2011

    In reply to JP, the CEO needs to decide who is responsible for cloud. In Netflix’ case the VP of Engineering for the Product Development organization (which reports to a Chief Product Officer) owns the cloud strategy.

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  204. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/FzgHmTEE #in

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  205. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise – http://t.co/PihLtdmu

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  206. Excellent piece – looking forward to your expanded thoughts on the “services” portion of your stack – as you and I have discussed before, I am still seeing a two layer model that combines Infrastructure and Services into one, effective layer (I am simple minded that way). We are witnessing this in the market place as businesses who offer Infrastructure services are supplying everything BUT the application (of course).

    As a consequence of this new paradigm, I am working thru in my head the implications of not only this concatenation of the digital world and what it will do to the business, I am also eager to see what new applications and innovations will arise with Everything connected to Everyone, Everywhere – for example, see bio-hacking to get early insights on how more available data on yourself leads to tweaking yourself in positive ways (lose weight, better sleep, more energy, higher IQ, etc) – this evolution of the Internet into the Evernet will increase the innovation velocity for us all.

    (I think Kurzweil does a good job of prognostications)

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  207. @jamesurquhart This is clear. This is true. This is the thing. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/180JDtLK Bravo!

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  208. I just commented on “What cloud boils down to for the enterprise” @gigaom: http://t.co/5fwK2jdf via @gigaom

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  209. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/8BjMvSQJ

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  210. RT @rhdonaldson: I just commented on “What cloud boils down to for the enterprise” @gigaom: http://t.co/5fwK2jdf via @gigaom

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  211. I am closer to JP on this. I like that there is a growing move away from low-level infrastructure thinking, but I think an app-centric view is still too IT-centric.

    For the business, the application is no more relevant than the infrastructure. I think the ability of cloud to deliver better (cheaper, faster, more efficient, etc.) business services is much more fundamental.

    This is reflected in why CxOs are choosing cloud. Leading drivers tend to be cost reduction, increased agility, and greater business-IT alignment. Nothing about apps there. You could argue that a focus on the app helps achieve these, but I think that misses the bigger picture.

    Indeed, one app may well be just a component in a larger business service. Take Salesforce.com – is it a CRM app? A SFA app? An enterprise social app? A customer datastore? Or is it a combination of apps that together reduce the distance and friction in the sales value chain to deliver a better throughput from lead to pipe to revenue?

    (and btw, I think this also highlights how the app-centric view falls down significantly when applied to SaaS – especially composite SaaS – rather than IaaS and PaaS)

    Sure, abstracting higher up the chain is great, so there is nothing wrong with moving up from infrastructure focus to an app focus. So this model is not wrong – it is great as far as it goes – but the real focus should be even higher.

    Bottom line – I think we (IT people generally) are still too IT-focused. I think the really amazing thing about cloud is how business (including IT) can get back to focusing on business – not servers, not systems, not applications, but delivering business value to internal and external customers.

    Andi Mann
    CA Technologies.

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  212. ‘The COO should own the cloud strategy with input from IT and Finance.’ via @jpmorgenthal in comments here: http://t.co/EB6Z6XHJ Right on!

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  213. Added my comment on @gigaom – #cloud as app-centric operations model http://t.co/TVWwjurO < @jamesurquhart & @jpmorgenthal sucked me in ;-P

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  214. @AndiMann well stated bottom line, here: http://t.co/u8RAheSJ I was thinking that as I read the piece and some of the comments

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  215. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/C6Q6JzU6

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  216. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/4Isfxclb #cloud101

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  217. what-cloud-boils-down-to-for-the-enterprise http://t.co/NDvrFkgP

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  218. #Cisco #Cloud What cloud boils down to for the enterprise — Cloud Computing News: I’ve also spent the last … http://t.co/iXR2MFWZ #TCN

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  219. #Cisco #Cloud What cloud boils down to for the enterprise — Cloud Computing News: I’ve also spent the last … http://t.co/HdlHrMLk #TCN

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  220. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/67y0J3P9

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  221. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/ReXjVs2j good post by james urquhart

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  222. Enjoyed the article by @jamesurquhart on “What cloud means for the Enterprise” http://t.co/ZMRabW5U

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  223. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/q6EZ6Zus

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  224. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/uqNTRD2U

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  225. Clouds for Enterprise – http://t.co/6Gdtf6eh

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  226. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/8BjMvSQJ

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  227. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/zzWULTNL good look at the basics of cloud computing

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  228. RT @gigaom: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/8BjMvSQJ

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  229. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/1OTkJbvQ good look at the basics of cloud computinghttp:… http://t.co/vlb2MLfY

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  230. RT @jamesurquhart: Wow. I wrote a post, and an intelligent conversation broke out in the comments: http://t.co/HXpwBpzL. I love @gigaom!

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  231. Mark A. Roosevelt Sunday, November 20, 2011

    I enjoyed reading your post and I like the way you put things in terms that non-IT management might understand. I catch on one sentence, though, where you ask us to “think about using a public cloud service.”

    I think you were correct in your usage of “public cloud,” but it highlights an issue that information technology-related vendors (hardware builders, software publishers, ISPs, and the like) must begin to address. Namely: What is “cloud computing” made of, and how does that impact me?

    I’ve been working with cloud technology and its predecessors–timesharing, EDI, managed hosting services and SaaS (Stuff-as-a-Service)–for 15+ years. Call it what you will, but cloud computing is the natural end-result of the intersection of multiple trends:

    – ubiquitous global network access (the Internet and managed private networks)
    – mobile device pricing and feature set
    – distributed enterprises (telecommuters and international offices)
    – the need to conserve natural resources
    – cheap storage

    Small business should be jumping all over this. After all, who wouldn’t want enterprise-grade versions of e-mail, social networking and back office applications? Why house a server or servers in the SMB version of an enterprise data center when you can let someone else provide the infrastructure? So, why isn’t SMB going gaga for cloud? Several issues cloud (sorry) the picture:

    – If cloud is “public,” implying multi-tenant, do I really want my mission-critical apps on the same system as my competitors or businesses that might prompt a shutdown by law enforcement authorities? Can I be on a multi-tenant system without breaking any laws?

    – Why do I need to virtualize my apps? They’re running fine right now, and a consultant told me that my e-mail server software is a dog when virtualized unless precisely managed (almost to the point where you ask yourself “Why are we virtualizing this?”)

    I am a firm believer in cloud computing; did cloud when cloud wasn’t cool. But cloud should not, for the foreseeable future, by default mean “public cloud” as you (sort of) implied in your post. Though some apps are public cloud no-brainers (e-mail spam and virus protection, web conferencing, retail commerce holiday traffic spikes) a hosted, managed private cloud is a great start for smaller businesses: They can have their cake AND eat it too, retaining control over how their systems are deployed. It’s a good step in the right direction–getting critical apps out of a closet (or out from under someone’s desk) and into an enterprise-grade data center where they belong–while the virtualization/multi-tenant software gets up to speed from security and performance perspectives.

    In closing, I commend your for your thought-provoking article (and your tweets), and look forward to more of the same!

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  232. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise – GigaOm http://t.co/66vMSOU3

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  233. RT @jamesurquhart: Wow. I wrote a post, and an intelligent conversation broke out in the comments: http://t.co/HXpwBpzL. I love @gigaom!

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  234. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/tfXISd8B

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  235. “Cloud computing is an application-centric operations model” @jamesurquhart http://t.co/EKciqzHf via @gigaom #cloud

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  236. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/MqAtvDnV #yam

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  237. What #cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/FgVl7orC #technology

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  238. RT @filos: What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/njX5XoGY

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  239. I just commented on “What cloud boils down to for the enterprise” @gigaom: http://t.co/xHW2qYVL via @gigaom

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  240. Reality check: article + comments “What cloud boils down to for the enterprise” by @jamesurquhart @adrianco @andimann http://t.co/z1IZOmiK

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  241. I am thinking about how this development will offer access and also what barriers exist to control content (and intellectual property rights and profits.) The company I work for has launched a shift to the cloud, but individuals do not have access to content. What happens, say, with publishing houses that want to control sales and profits?

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  242. What #Cloud boils down to for the enterprise: It’s an application-centric operations model. http://t.co/QSkjdRhc #datacenter #IT

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  243. @AndiMann @gigaom @jpmorgenthal I responded to Andi’s comment. We are prob more aligned than not, but stick by my post. http://t.co/4xQJRpPK

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  244. RT @jamesurquhart: Wow. I wrote a post, and an intelligent conversation broke out in the comments: http://t.co/HXpwBpzL. I love @gigaom!

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  245. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/Q1E6ESpG #enterprise #cloud #app #it #tech #infrastructure

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  246. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/YHMTYir9

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  247. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise http://t.co/MaY7XxIm

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