Cloud Purchasing Hit List

I checked the CloudWorld Conference today in San Francisco. (It’s actually three events rolled into one:  Cloud + Open Source + Next Generation Data Centers.)  A couple of take-aways from a fantastic panel moderated by Jeff Kaplan from ThinkStrategies:

  1. We need to get beyond the hype. “For some vendors, no matter what the question is the answer is cloud computing.”
  2. The hybrid model is real. “Enterprise data centers aren’t going away.”

Because there is so much confusion (and hype) surrounding the topic of  software, platform, and infrastructure as a service (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS), I found the session from the head of engineering and operations at to be particularly useful. Here is her Cloud Purchasing Hit List:

What to look for:

  1. Ease of Use
  2. No/Limited IT Involvement
  3. Track Record of Quality
  4. Self-Service Provisioning
  5. Interoperability
  6. Single Instance, Mulltitenant Architecture (“You aren’t a true cloud vendor if you’re just a hosted enterprise application.”)

What to watch out for:

  1. Complex/Costly Set-Up and Customization
  2. Extended Time to Value
  3. Security (check out this excellent ZDNet post on cloud security)
  4. Availability
  5. Scalability, Performance
  6. Single Tenant Architecture (“Very difficult for vendors to manage; costs get passed on to the customer.”)

There was also a great deal of emphasis put on the importance of vendor viability when considering a SaaS / Cloud vendor in this economy. Even so, the point that was most heavily emphasized was what refers to as their “multitenant kernel.”  The benefits of multitenancy have been proven over the years for both software vendors and customers (self-provisioning, costs, upgrades, frequent releases, etc.), but many ISVs continue to try to market and sell around the fact they they’re delivering a single tenant solution – or in some cases an on-premise applicance!

The bottom line of the session: do your due diligence and be sure that you’re investing in real SaaS/PaaS/IaaS…dare I say “on-demand” solutions. The conference continues on Thursday with some pretty meaty topics. More details here.

2 Responses to “Cloud Purchasing Hit List”

  1. 1 vishagashe 2009/08/14 at 11:50 pm

    I like your commentary here.

    Regarding cloud checklist….. I had some detailed checklist/items to consider while considering PaaS… written in an article here …

    Vish Agashe

  1. 1 Twitted by axway Trackback on 2009/08/15 at 3:22 am

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