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Cloud computing is the most transformative force in today’s computer industry. Big trends are converging. They change how we think about computers, how we operate them, and how we use them to create new possibilities for businesses and individuals. It’s also the next iteration of open source; it taps the wellspring of innovation wherever that innovation is taking place and puts users, not vendors, in the forefront of technology decisions and directions.
In this book, Gordon Haff takes you on a journey from the past through tomorrow. From early cloud computing analogues in the early days of standardized manufacturing, through today’s rapidly evolving IT operations, through the morphing world of application development, to an open and hybrid future that’s just beginning to unfold.
It begins with perspectives on how cloud computing arrived where it is today. Historical context matters given that so many of today’s trends are reinventions or reimaginings of trends past. Nowhere is this truer than in cloud computing.
Next up is openness in clouds. For all the possibilities it creates, cloud computing also creates potentially new vendor control points. But openness isn’t just about open source—although open source is part of it. Openness is about everything from communities to interfaces. Cloud, like so much of the modern computing world, is very much a child of the open source model and everything associated with it.
The book then gets more nuts-and-bolts about a hybrid cloud management architecture able to encompass both computing resources at public cloud providers and an organization’s own IT department. I also offer some strategies for transitioning from a traditional IT approach to a more services-oriented cloud one.
Operating a cloud covers the need for well-defined operational practices and systems management, as well as what security and risk mitigation really mean in a cloud context.
Cloud computing is also about the developer. Platform-as-a-Service opens up new possibilities for enterprise application development. I describe the rise of PaaS and why customized applications are as important as ever.
Finally, cloud computing is still just part of a broader landscape. Indeed, one of the reasons that cloud computing has garnered so much attention is that its convergence with data and mobility trends in particular is something of a self-reinforcing perfect storm.
It’s a storm that is changing the contours of computing. Gordon Haff is cloud evangelist for Red Hat, the leading provider of commercial open source software. He writes extensively on, speaks at customer and industry events about, and develops strategy for Red Hat’s portfolio of open hybrid cloud solutions. Prior to Red Hat, as an IT industry analyst, Gordon advised companies on product and marketing strategies and was frequently quoted in publications like The New York Times as an industry expert.
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