This week DLT Solutions announced the formation of the Cloud Advisory Group (CAG).   This specialty-based knowledge practice is designed specifically to help our customers understand what cloud technologies are available and how best to leverage that technology. Cloud Computing is a hot topic today, and as such, there’s no shortage of people who are putting their own spin on it.  Fortunately, the folks over at the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) have done a good job of providing the baseline by crafting a definition of cloud computing as well as version 1.0 of a cloud Reference Architecture.  Fortunately, it looks like most of the journalists and consultants have adopted this definition, and this makes it easier for all of us to start the conversation. Philosophically, I think that most can agree with NIST that the key characteristics of cloud computing are:
  • On-demand self-service
  • Network access
  • Resource pooling
  • Rapid elasticity
  • Measured service
Most also agree that there are different kinds of cloud services, ranging from Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to Platform as a Service (PaaS) to Software as a Service (SaaS).  Sure, there are groups that are talking about all sorts of other “Things as a Service” (TaaS), but in just about every case, I’ve been able to distill this new TaaS back into one of the aforementioned trinity.  Finally, these services can be delivered publically, privately or in special community targeted clouds.  And we can tie private, public or community clouds together into a hybrid cloud. All too often the conversation stalls after agreeing on the “What” and before it can progress into the “How”. And this gets to the root of why we have formed the CAG.  It is our goal to provide actionable intelligence to our customers so they can further explore their cloud options and make sound decisions based on their own, unique requirements.  We’ll be doing this via a number of channels.  This blog is certainly one, but we will also be leveraging other mediums to include webcasts, podcasts, articles, panels, and, most importantly, one-on-one with our customers. Oh, and I should also mention that Thursday, May 12 at 2pm EST, DLT CTO Van Ristau and I will kick off the first of a five part webcast series on Cloud Computing.  We hope you can join us!