Monday, August 17, 2009

Zenith Cloud Taking Shape

My friends Bob Nitrio and Mike Cortez did the big two-day training on the Zenith Box Office Product (now called smart computing) about a month ago. They loved it.

By all reports, it was amazing. Now I'm very excited to be going to the training myself next week. I'm taking Todd with me in hopes that he'll get so excited he'll sell ten of these things by the time they're released.

I first discussed the Box Office product in April: Zenith Peeks Into the Future . It has evolved considerable since then. In fact, I suspect it has evolved beyond the training I'll receive.

It's interesting because Cloud Computing is exactly where "managed services" was four years ago. As I reported here and here, cloud computing had quite a little buzz at Comptia's Breakaway.

Some people have claimed to have figured out the whole thing. And guess what? They're ready to sell it to you for a price.

Here's the enterprise vision of "The Cloud" for most consultants:

- The big monster companies have been building up the infrastructure for this for a long time. Google, Ebay, Yahoo. Microsoft is a little late to the game, but not much. They certainly have the resources to catch up, especially since they have the ability to create the technology they need!

- "Chrome OS" doesn't really exist. It will some day. But there's nothing un-predictable about it. An O.S. that essentially serves up the Internet is the inevitable next step. Read The Big Switch by Nicholas Carr. By the time Google releases Chrome OS, there will be six or seven competitors, including "Gazelle" from Microsoft.

- For a bizarre little video on Azure, see Billions of servers being deployed just so they can be available to anyone who needs them.

- Google "utility computing per hour" and you'll find offerings from Sun, Google, Microsoft, and a bunch of people you've never heard of.

. . . But I don't need 10,000 computers working on a math problem for an hour.

My clients want a good reliable base for business technology. While most of them don't care about servers or infrastructure, they kind of understand how their current technology works.

Putting critical data "out there somewhere" will not be comfortable until *I* can tell a story about how it's completely reliable, secure, and available in a usable form if the the company "out there somewhere" ceases to exist.

So enterprise cloud computing is great if you're an enterprise.

But for small business, I'm going to have to sell something that either exists on-premise or at a specific location where the client can visit it, touch it, and feel comfortable that they know where their data is.

I am hoping that Zenith's solution will provide that. Ideally, I'd like to drop one of their on-premise units into a client office and back it up to a unit at my colo facility.

- - - - -

Sometimes it's nice to relax and enjoy the lull when technology is stable. We've really had that 80% of the time since SBS 2003 was released. Changes have come in measured steps. It has been a great opportunity to make money!

But times are about to change very quickly. I think SBS 2008 represents the first of a series of changes from Microsoft and others that will dramatically shift how we acquire and use technology. Not that SBS 2008 does things so differently today. But it lays the groundwork for a computing environment that works very nicely with the cloud.

By the end of this year many vendors will have options to just "click here" and send some critical function off to the cloud.

I'm eager to get going! I'm actually more excited about the next three years than I've been in a very long time. I can't wait for the next stage of technical development to get here.

Strap in and settle down: This rocket will take off as the economy emerges from recession. By January 1, you better have a pretty clear idea of what you're doing with cloud computing.


Now Available:
Introduction to Zero Downtime Migrations
Seminar on MP3 Download

1 comment:

  1. I'm eager to hear your thoughts after the Zenith training. I attended it in June, and am completely overhauling the business because of it. Once a skeptic of the Cloud, I'm a firm believer that it is arriving (including internal clouds) sooner than most realize. BTW, there's a good restaurant/micropub across the street from the hotel.


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