(This article is part one of a two-part series on Cloud Computing and its usage by companies located in Richmond, Virginia)
Plying the stormy cloud sea toward reality has been a challenge for business and IT folks alike. Buffeted by gales of white papers, webinars and sales-speak we cling grimly to the wheel of our organization as we attempt to find a gleaming beacon of true direction in the tempest-tossed marketplace. It doesn’t help that the captain had to be tied to the mast after listening to too many slick marketing campaigns.
In an attempt to cut through the hype and educate myself outside the vendor sales pitches, I attended the latest AITP meeting on Cloud Computing. Local companies, with an international presence, were gathered to discuss their usage of the cloud as well as their rationale for choosing that solution. Also, two vendors were on hand to give their perspective on current and future use of cloud computing.
The panel consisted of Chris Burroughs,VP IT Infrastructure Services at Mondial Assistance. Ms. Burroughs has worked with the cloud model since the Application Service Provider (ASP) days. Another panelist was Mark A. Eichenberger, Office 365 Specialist from Microsoft Corporation. Mr. Eichenberger provides a variety of cloud solutions (Private, Hybrid, Public) to his customers. The next panelist was Chet Loveland, Chief Information Security Officer for MeadWestvaco. Mr. Loveland’s organization currently has near 18,000 users using Corporate Gmail. Chuck McBride, Sr. Global Infrastructure Manager of Tredegar Film Products was on hand to discuss his firm’s early cloud adoption strategy. The final panelist was Jason Karnes, Cloud Architect at VMware. Mr. Karnes works within the vCloud Datacenter. [Read more…]