Vendors air the cloud's pros and cons

Vendors air the cloud's pros and cons

Officials weighed the cloud's economic benefits as well as the security and standardization concerns at the Cloud Computing Conference and Expo

During a panel session at the conference, security was cited as a concern of cloud computing. The number one objection of CIOs in recent a survey taken on cloud computing was security, said Erik Carlin, senior architect at Rackspce.

"Security is definitely an interesting factor and there are a lot of issues when you share infrastructure," said panelist Peter Nickolov, president and CTO at 3tera. But security issues can be worked out, he said.

Cloud computing can mean having two competitors' data on the same computer, said Carlin. There will have to be acceptance of the hypervisor as an acceptable security perimeter in the cloud, he said.

The cloud offers speed and agility in deployment without the need to plan ahead, Nickolov said. In the next five months, there will be more vendors offering cloud services as well as more high-profile applications available, panelists said. Global access also will be possible.

Panelists also stressed the role of virtualization. Cloud computing, with its scalability and related requirements, said panelist Steve Herrod, CTO at VMware, "really relies on separating your applications from the underlying infrastructure that you're using and that is what virtualization is."

"I don't think that cloud computing would be possible without virtualization," Nickolov said. Carlin said virtualization is important for infrastructure clouds like Amazon Web Services but not as valuable when scaling an application across many servers.

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