Open-source cloud platform developer Cloud.com has recruited Christian Reilly as its new vice president of enterprise solutions. Reilly brings 15 years of virtualization and cloud experience—most of it at network engineering and construction firm Bechtel, where he was responsible for everything from data center engineering to projects focused on virtualization, cloud, video and voice projects. Reilly also managed Bechtel’s sourcing management group and led global IT procurement. We talked with him about new challenges, cloud adoption and the evolution of the enterprise.
What attracted you to Cloud.com?
First and foremost, it was the people. They share such a great vision and have a lot of faith in the product they are creating. Additionally, they are clearly focused on creating a partnership with their customers to make sure each and every one of those customers, both service provider and enterprise, is successful in the execution of their cloud strategies.
From my experience in dealing with many software vendors, it is really important that the new breed of software vendors learn and learn well from the mistakes of previous vendors and pay a great deal of attention to both the technical and commercial requirements. Cloud.com is doing that fantastically, in my point of view.
What will your focus be?
My primary focus and overarching goal is to work alongside Cloud.com’s current and future enterprise customers to help them create and execute a successful cloud strategy to bring tangible benefits to their business. A successful cloud strategy is not simply about the technical pieces, but also how a cloud deployment is aligned with clear business goals, how internal operational or organizational model changes are addressed and how that complete package is communicated and ultimately measured to prove the benefits and value.
You’ve been very involved cloud-based technology for some time. In your view, why are enterprises moving more to the cloud now?
I see this in two parts, because I see a clear distinction emerging between two types of enterprises: traditional enterprises and new enterprises. The traditional enterprise, or old corporation, sees a move to the cloud in terms of targeted workload or opportunity. They recognize that deploying a cloud can enable them to meet and exceed business demands for speed and agility but they must be somewhat selective about which workloads they chose to deploy a cloud. While the cloud may not necessarily deliver immediate cost savings, the opportunity to have better cost flexibility while focusing on long-term efficiencies is making the cloud more attractive than ever.
The new enterprise, including companies such as Netflix and Zynga, have built their products specifically for web-scale deployments. Their products were architected very differently than traditional enterprise applications, actually for a de-facto cloud model, and because of that, they are 100 percent capable of scaling up and down as needed.
What challenges does the industry—and Cloud.com—still face in migrating enterprises to the cloud? Are there still barriers to entry?
The answer to this question has two approaches—private and public cloud barriers to entry. From the private cloud service perspective, I believe it’s becoming less about the security and compliance and more about a lack of education, training and ensuring that enterprises get practical advice and see a clear reason to create a strategy to move to the private cloud. Additionally, the industry has been confounded with the actual definition of what private cloud entails. This is why Cloud.com is dedicated to getting the word out about our private cloud customers, how they are using CloudStack to successfully deploy private clouds and creating a program to help with definition to delivery, giving customers practical help to be successful. When they are successful, we are successful. It’s as simple as that.
In terms of barriers to public cloud deployment, it is more of a technical discussion. If I had to use one word to sum it up I would say legacy. Large, old corporations are facing the challenge of integrating the public cloud with their legacy environment and often creates technical barriers in terms of the difficulty in migrating existing software architectures, security models, etc. This is not something that can be fixed overnight, but I firmly believe that this is where the practical guidance can play a major part in helping organizations understand the limitations and the opportunities.
What’s next for Cloud.com? What do you see as the next steps in the company’s evolution?
Cloud.com and the cloud computing market in general are very young. It is impressive that in just a little over a year the company is delivering a product being used in over 50 large-scale clouds in production. They have done this because they are openly communicating with customers and listening to and delivering on what they need. In order to maintain the leadership position, we have to continue to deliver a high-quality core product and continue developing our ecosystem. I also believe that continuing our dedication to the open source community is extremely important in our future success. Our product has and will continue to stay open because of the company’s unwavering belief in open source technology.
We need to continue developing the innovation of our core product, CloudStack, so that it offers deeper integration into existing and future systems, including many of the ancillary physical and virtual components that help power the next generation dynamic data center. The product is already known for seamlessly integrating into any environment so we need to ensure that remains the case considering how hot this sector is and how fast the market is expanding.