The Troposphere

May 17 2010   6:36PM GMT

Inside the world of cloud computing at Citrix Synergy 2010

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Donna Lyon, an attendee at Citrix Synergy, offers her take on the cloud announcements from the show.

There is always a debate over whether cloud computing is a marketing phase or a technological reality; the Citrix Synergy event held in San Francisco was no exception.

Mark Templeton, president and CEO of Citrix, wasted no time in announcing that the cloud technology built by Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal. a global law firm, won the firm the Innovation Award for 2010. The company empowers employees by giving them access to the information they need whenever and wherever, confidentially and securely. Using any device — whether desktop computer, mobile phone or iPad — the firm’s employees can access internal company records immediately through their private cloud. This potentially offers up a better work/life balance to employees, along with allowing them to set up new offices quickly and grow more efficiently.

“Virtualization and cloud computing is our future…if you’re not doing it now you need to be,” said Andy Jurczyk, CIO of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal.

A session on the future of IT was lead by Michael Harries and Adam Jaques, both from Citrix. Harries also insisted cloud computing was the way of the future, despite some concerns from audience members working in the healthcare industry. Jaques, on the other hand, noted that he still considers cloud to be mostly a marketing term.

Duncan Johnston-Watt, CEO of CloudSoft Corporation, and Bruce Tolley, VP, outbound and corporate marketing at Solarflare Communications, hosted a session about how to build an enterprise-class cloud. The pair then demoed the results of their cloud computing test center, created in July 2009, that delivers increased data speeds for internal clouds.

Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst of IDC, took the stage to talk about three big IT trends that are set to change the industry:

  • Mobility, due to 1 billion mobile internet users, 220 million smart phones, 500,000 mobile phone apps and the fact that emerging markets are phone-centric IT users.
  • Cloud computing, due to the desire to consolidate, virtualization and automate.
  • The information avalanche, due to the 7 billion communicating devices in place, 700 million social networkers, and tons of video dominating new growth. Today there is 0.8 ZB of data out there, but in ten years, there will be 35 ZB.

Companies still focused on physical resources are going to be doomed, Gens stated. With the influx of data, organizations are going to have to move into the cloud.

Cloud security concerns remain, especially within the healthcare and government industries, but the takeaway from Citrix Synergy is that people are changing the way they think about cloud computing. The early adopter organizations, such as Sonnenschein, are pushing aside any doubts and embracing the technology. It is early days now, but soon we may not have a choice.

Donna Lyon specializes in external communications and media relations in the software and hardware industries. She has more than eight years experience in marketing, strategy development, public affairs and public relations, working with companies including Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard, Informatica and BlueArc. Donna’s technology areas of focus include software, virtualization, data centers, networking and collaboration.

Donna’s passion for marketing communications is also shown through her work as a board member on the San Francisco chapter of the American Marketing Association. Donna holds an MBA from Golden Gate University along with a Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing at Bristol University.

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