Some personal observations as I wrap up the week…
The future of infrastructure is the cloud. I use “cloud” in a broad sense; many larger organizations will be building their own “private clouds” (which technically aren’t actually clouds, but the “private cloud” terminology has sunk in and probably won’t be easily budged). I was surprised by how many people at the conference wanted to talk to me about initial use of public clouds, how to structure cloud services within their own organizations, and what they could learn from public cloud and hosting services.
Cloud demos are extremely compelling. I was using demos of several clouds in order to make my points to people asking about cloud computing: Terremark’s Enterprise Cloud, Rackspace’s Mosso, and Amazon’s EC2 plus RightScale. I showed some screen shots off 3Tera’s website as well. I did not warn the providers that I was going to do this, and none of them were at the conference (a pity, since I suspect this would have been lead-generating). It was interesting to see how utterly fascinated people were — particularly with the Terremark offering, which is essentially a private cloud. (People were stopping me in the hallways to say, “I hear you have a really cool cloud demo.”) I was showing the trivially easy point-and-click process of provisioning a server, which, I think, provided a kind of grounding for “here is how the cloud could apply to your business”.
Colocation is really, really hot. My one-on-one schedule was crammed with colocation questions, though, as were my conversations with attendees in hallways and over meals, yet I was shocked by how many people showed up to my Friday, 8 am talk on colocation — the best-attended talk of the slot, I was told (and one cursed by lots of A/V glitches). Over the last month, we’ve seen demand accelerate and supply projections tighten — neither businesses nor data center providers can build right now.
A crazy conference week, like always, but tremendously interesting.