What is CloudCamp?

CloudCamp

It’s a series of local events held all over the world and where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas and discuss challenges. It’s informal and advertised as an ‘un-conference’, supported purely by its members and volunteers.

Having attended my first ever CloudCamp in January of this year during the CloudExpo week I was throughly taken with the concept, the approach and audience mannerisms. It’s quite different to what I’ve observed of other User Group meetings where attendees listen intently to a list of speakers marched up on stage, in the CloudCamp environment every attendee has the opportunity to speak or be a panelist. The audience vote (humorously) people to and from the stage, pose questions then take great pleasure at digging a little more into the answers. It’s a light hearted affair, for everyone.

Last Wednesday, 24th April, CloudCamp was held in London dedicated to the topic of the ‘Software Defined Data Centre’ (SDDC), a phrase that’s recurring daily at the moment especially by VMware and appears at least twice a day in my Twitter stream. The keynote from Simon Wardley set the scene that Cloud adoption isn’t something that happens lightly, it requires planning and mapping out. The success of some companies compared to the stumbling of others is usually attributed to the simple fact that you need to know what you want to achieve. I’m a fan of his presentation style, it’s lively and fun, the audience engage quickly and before you know it, it’s over. Good skills to have.

Vendors followed with their 5 minute lightening slot, each describing their goals and how they can take your organisation down the route of Cloud adoption, of course using their product range. My favourite guest speaker of the evening was Kuan Hon, she challenged outside of technology focusing on regulatory issues. It was fast and furious messaging, but she did only have five minutes. Greg Ferro enlightened us about ‘Software Defined Networking’ (SDN), chatting with him later referred to himself as being known within Canopy Cloud as the Cloud Plumber. Marvellous.

Lightening slots now finished it was the time for the ‘un-conference’ to begin, members of the audience formed a panel and deliberated questions from the floor. Joe Baguley now takes the microphone and seeds in a question or two when the audience or panel need steering back on track. Again, he holds the floor and audience attention well and I can see exactly why he holds the role of Chief Technologist EMEA for VMware.

Putting the SDDC and SDN discussions to one side a couple of really interesting items really stood out in amongst all the chatter and banter.

• Kuan Hon struck quite a cord with the panel and audience in that her recent and current research relates to Cloud governance and compliance. She challenges and questions whether organisations are truly aware of where their data sits or is transmitted to? Importantly, it has to comply with local data protection acts of the hosting company’s country. She used the phrase, “Internet is global, laws are local.”, which really does hit the nail on the head.

• The Software Defined Data Centre discussion soon moved across to the Software Defined Networking which then jumped over to the G Cloud Programme. These three huge topics were challenged from the angles of consumer to strategist, during the interaction a panel member responded to a question citing the types of Cloud (Private, Hybrid, etc…) and followed it up by asking the audience, “How private is a Private Cloud when the equipment is not in your data centre?”. Quite a bombshell of a quandary.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend a CloudCamp in your area, I’d highly recommend investigating it. The full itinerary for this year can be found here.

http://www.cloudcamp.org

Twitter IDs of the names referenced above: @joebaguley @swardley @etherealmind @kuan0

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