Impact 2010 – BPM in the Cloud

Originally posted on 05May10 to IBM Developerworks (10,946 Views)

I have just seen Amy Wohl of Amy D Wohl Opinions present on Cloud computing, she was going through the various cloud models and spoke about Community Clouds. What she means by that is multiple community focused clouds as part of a larger (private) cloud. An example of that is the Vietnam Government that bought an IBM Cloudburst to provide multiple virtual private clouds to small businesses in Vietnam so that they can have access to computing power that they otherwise now be able to afford. For Telcos, this could be an offering to their local community groups – perhaps a local schools, bar, sporting clubs, service clubs etc but also potentially for commercial organisations – perhaps to small businesses.

She also made the interesting point that (in her opinion) we are too early in the cloud evolution to actually define standards. She believes that any standards set now would stifle innovation in cloud technology and interoperability. I was interested to hear about this since I attended a web conference call a few weeks ago run by the TeleManagement Forum’s effort to create standards around clouds, particularly For Enterprise use rather than public clouds. I guess the Enterprise cloud market is the most likely type of cloud user that will need interoperability first, thus the emphasis on standards.

John Falkl from IBM

Amy co-presented with John Falkl from IBM who discussed BPM within the cloud. Given BPM is a business function, items subjects such as Security are usually one of the biggest hurdles for Cloud Services. There are multiple factors that fall under the title of ‘security’ such as encryption, roles, authentication (especially when using federates or external authentication services), legal data protection requirements and authorisations. John also pointed out a number of considerations that should be considered in enterprise cloud services including Governance models (which he sees as an extension to normal enterprise governance models). John’s view of standards for Cloud services is that it will most likely start with Web Services standards such as WS-Provisioning and mentioned that there were multiple efforts around cloud standards. I might see if I can have a chat to both John and Amy after the session to get their views on the TMF’s efforts around cloud standards. If that discussion is interesting, I will report back.

Amy made a really interesting point during the Q&A – she said that when she was at Microsoft a few weeks ago and asked about transactional activity in their cloud – they said that MS could not do it…. Very interesting especially when you consider that transactional integrity is a core capability on IBM’s cloud capability.

I asked Amy about the TMF Cloud standardisation – she hadn’t heard about it, but did say that she thought that TMF’s approach was right – asking the enterprise customers to specify their requirements – she also thought they were probably the right place to start for any cloud standards too.

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