Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Arguably, the best cloud conference in the world?

For those of you who missed the OSCON Cloud Summit, I've put together a list of the videos and speakers. Obviously this doesn't recreate the event, which was an absolute blast, but at least it'll give you a flavour of what was missed.

Welcome to Cloud Summit [Video 14:28]
Very light introduction into cloud computing with an introduction to the speakers and the conference itself. This section is only really relevant for laying out the conference, so can easily be skipped.
With John Willis (@botchagalupe) of opscode and myself (@swardley) of Leading Edge Forum.

Scene Setting
In these opening sessions we looked at some of the practical issues that cloud creates.

Is the Enterprise Ready for the Cloud? [Video 16:39]
This session examines the challenges that face enterprises in adopting cloud computing. Is it just a technology problem or are there management considerations? Are enterprises adopted cloud, is the cloud ready for them and are they ready for it?
With Mark Masterson (@mastermark) of CSC.

Security, Identity – Back to the Drawing Board? [Video 25:12]
Is much of the cloud security debate simply FUD or are there some real consequences of this change?
With Subra Kumaraswamy(@subrak) of Ebay.

Cloudy Operations [Video 22:10]
In the cloud world new paradigms and memes are appearing :- the rise of the “DevOps”, “Infrastructure == Code” and “Design for Failure”. Given that cloud is fundamentally about volume operations of a commoditized activity, operations become a key battleground for competitive efficiency. Automation and orchestration appear key areas for the future development of the cloud. We review current thinking and who is leading this change.
With John Willis (@botchagalupe) of opscode.

The Cloud Myths, Schemes and Dirty Little Secrets [Video 17:38]
The cloud is surrounded by many claims but how many of these stand up to scrutiny. How many are based on fact or are simply wishful thinking? Is cloud computing green, will it save you money, will it lead to faster rates of innovation? We explore this subject and look at the dirty little secrets that no-one wants to tell you.
With Patrick Kerpan (@pjktech) of CohesiveFT.

Curing Addiction is Easier [Video 18:41]
Since Douglas Parkhill first introduced us to the idea of competitive markets of compute utilities back in the 1960s, the question has always been when would this occur? However, is a competitive marketplace in the interests of everyone and do providers want easy switching? We examine the issue of standards and portability in the cloud.
With Stephen O’Grady (@sogrady) of Redmonk.

Future Setting
In this section we heard from leading visionaries on the trends they see occurring in the cloud and the connection and relationships to other changes in our industry.

The Future of the Cloud [Video 29:00]
Cloud seems to be happening now but where is it going and where are we heading?
With J.P. Rangaswami (@jobsworth) of BT.

Cloud, E2.0 – Joining the Dots [Video 30:04]
Is cloud just an isolated phenomenon, or is it connected to many of the other changes in our industries.
With Dion Hinchcliffe (@dhinchcliffe) of Dachis.

The Questions
The next section was a Trial by Jury where we examined some of the key questions around cloud and open source.

What We Need are Standards in the Cloud [Video 45:17]
We put this question to the test, with prosecution Benjamin Black (@b6n) of FastIP, defence Sam Johnston (@samj) of Google and trial by a Jury of John Willis, Mark Masterson, Patrick Kerpan & Stephen O’Grady

Are Open APIs Enough to Prevent Lock-in? [Video 43:21]
We put this question to the test, with prosecution James Duncan (@jamesaduncan) of Joyent, defence George Reese (@georgereese) of Enstratus and trial by a Jury of John Willis, Mark Masterson, Patrick Kerpan & Stephen O’Grady

The Debates
Following the introductory sessions, the conference focused on two major debates. The first of these covered the “cloud computing and open source question”. To introduce the subject and the panelists, there were a number of short talks before the panel debates the impact of open source to cloud and vice versa.

The Journey So Far [Video 10:59]
An overview of how “cloud” has changed in the last five years.
With James Urquhart (@jamesurquhart) of CISCO.

Cloud and Open Source – A Natural Fit or Mortal Enemies? [Video 8:44]
Does open source matter in the cloud? Are they complimentary or antagonistic?
With Marten Mickos (@martenmickos) of Eucalyptus.

Cloudy Futures? The Role of Open Source in Creating Competitive Markets [Video 8:43]
How will open source help create competitive markets? Do “bits” have value in the future and will there be a place for proprietary technology?
With Rick Clark (@dendrobates) of OpenStack.

The Future of Open Source [Video 9:34]
What will cloud mean to open source development and to linux distributions. Will anyone care about the distro anymore?
With Neil Levine (@neilwlevine) of Canonical.

The Debate – Open Source and the Cloud
 [Video 36:24]
Our panel of experts examined the relationship between open source and cloud computing.
With Rick Clark, Neil Levine, Marten Mickos & James Urquhart

The Future Panel followed the same format with first an introduction to the experts who will debate where cloud is going to take us.

The Government and Cloud [Video 10:27]
The role of cloud computing in government IT – an introduction to the large G-Cloud and App Store project under way in the UK; what the UK public sector hopes to gain from a cloud approach, an overview of the proposed technical architecture, and how to deliver the benefits of cloud while still meeting government’s stringent security requirements.
With Kate Craig-Wood (@memset_kate) of Memset.

Infoware + 10 Years [Video 10:38]
Ten years after Tim created the term infoware, how have things turned out and what is the cloud’s role in this?
With Tim O'Reilly (@timoreilly) of O'Reilly Media.

The Debate – A Cloudy Future or Can We See Trends? [Video 50:12]
The panel of experts examine what’s next for cloud computing, what trends can they forsee.
With Kate Craig-Wood, Dion Hinchcliffe, Tim O’Reilly & JP Rangaswami

So, why "arguably the best cloud conference in the world?"

As a general conference on cloud, then the standard and quality of the speakers was outstanding. The speakers made the conference, they gave their time freely and were selected from a wide group of opinion leaders in this space. There was no vendor pitches, no paid for conference speaking slots and hence the discussion was frank and open. The audience themselves responded marvelously with a range of demanding questions.

It is almost impossible to pick a best talk from the conference because they were all great talks. There are real gems of insight to be found in each and every one and each could easily be the keynote for most conferences. In my opinion, if there is a TED of cloud, then this was it.

Overall, the blend of speakers and audience made it the best cloud conference that I've ever attended (and I've been to 50+). This also made my job as a moderator simple.

I'm very grateful to have been part of this and so my thanks goes to the speakers, the audience, the A/V crew who made life so easy and also Edd Dumbill (@edd), Allison Randal (@allisonrandal), Gina Blaber (@ginablaber) and Shirley Bailes (@shirleybailes) for making it happen.

Finally, huge thanks to Edd and Allison for letting me give a version of my Situation Normal, Everything Must Change talk covering cloud, innovation, commoditisation and my work at LEF.