Cloud computing may be a global business, but the reality is that data often needs to be processed where it’s generated and stored. That’s one reason why Pivotal, which helps companies develop applications across multiple clouds, believes a common open source platform for the cloud will emerge sooner than later.
Speaking at Gigaom’s Structure event on Thursday in San Francisco, Pivotal President Scott Yara described clouds as “new modern hardware” and hailed the fact that big companies of all stripes — from Rackspace to SAP — are unleashing a range of innovative applications for them.
The challenge, however, is to unlock the cloud’s global potential by writing software that will work everywhere — be it an Amazon Web Services cloud in Bogotá or a Microsoft Azure cloud in Belgium.
According to Yara, there is a common business need for an industry standard that is bigger than a single vendor. He said he prefers an open source standard to a vision of a world where there are only “4 or 5 mega-computers that matter.”
Fortunately, Yara said, the alternative of an “open cloud” (or if you prefer a “multi-cloud”) is already fast emerging as a result of the large number of companies participating in Cloud Foundry, a multi-company effort to create a common standard for platform-as-a-service.
So where does Pivotal fit into all this? Yara said the one-year-old company, which was spun off from VMWare and EMC, is offering a suite of technologies that help enterprises write software for data-driven applications that can be run anywhere.
He added that the potential of multi-cloud platforms offers enterprises an opportunity to divert their massive IT budgets into developing software applications that differentiate them from one and other — even turning their IT units from a cost center to a possible source of revenue for the business.
Yara shared his thoughts with moderator, David Linthicum, an SVP with Cloud Technology Partners and a Gigaom Research Analyst below:
Photo by Jakub Mosur