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Cloud experts talk downtime, perception, security

The collective intelligence of the cloud computing industry is in San Francisco this week at Structure 2011, a GigaOm event loaded with discourse on and debate about the future of cloud platforms and services. 

Among notable insight coming out the event so far, NetApp founder said that people who claim trepidation about moving services to the cloud probably are already using it and just don’t realize it, citing his own company’s payroll system, website and blog—all of which are cloud-based. It’s an interesting point to consider since there does still seem to be some hesitance about moving certain applications to the so-called cloud: If it’s all cloud eventually, which appears to be the direction we are headed, will anyone even know—or care?

Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft’s server and tools business, was asked about how growing cloud business affects the software giant’s future. This post at reports that Microsoft believes it can only get better because of the cloud:

 Nadella rejected the idea that cloud computing is a threat for Microsoft, adding that this is just an inflection point as many others in their history when they had to adapt and come with new and innovative solutions that brought them in a leadership position. While cloud computing is meant to lower computing costs, and thus affecting Microsoft’s business, the trend today is an increase of using computing resources, which is helped by the cloud model, increase that in the end benefits Microsoft from a financial perspective.

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels used his keynote to address the topic of cloud outages, a topic familiar to the company. He said developers and users of cloud services should focus on creating applications that are more sophisticated and fault tolerant. Which apparently mean that accidents happen, so get used to it (a not entirely unrealistic notion).

This post at reports that Vogels also used the event to provide an update on the impressive growth of Amazon Web Services:

The number of objects stored in the Amazon cloud today is approaching 350bn objects. For comparison, the company was storing between 100bn and 120bn objects in the first quarter of 2010.

Meanwhile, Citrix Systems CTO Simon Crosby used the occasion of the GigaOm event to announce that he is leaving Citrix to help launch Bromium, which has raised a $9.2 million series A round of funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Ignition Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The company is otherwise stealth, but in this story, co-founder Gaurav Banga says the company that will apply the concept of virtualization to cloud security. Here’s hoping more focus on addressing issue of cloud security can help win over any of the remaining cloud naysayers.

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