With each passing day, companies are making greater moves to cloud systems. There's a lot of value to be had in these systems, especially in terms of cost savings and disaster preparedness. But the customers of those companies, meanwhile, aren't quite sure. With high-profile hacker attacks in the news, as well as events around PRISM, there's quite a bit of doubt in the field. Erik Levitt, CEO of Open Data Centers, is looking to help on that front by way of an upcoming panel discussion during this week's ITEXPO (News - Alert) event.
ITEXPO is the world's largest and best-attended communications and technology trade show, set to run Aug. 26-29 at the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, Nev. Levitt's panel discussion is set for Aug. 27 from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m., and the topic will likely hit close to home for any business looking to deal with the cloud. Specifically, the panel entitled “Do Your Customers Trust Your Cloud?” will focus not only on finding ways to get the customer to trust the cloud, but also show the potential market issues around rapid adoption of cloud systems.
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The panel features not only Levitt, but also the vice president of sales at Server Farm Realty, Dan Flynn; the senior consultant/evangelist for cloud computing and data center managed services at Windstream (News - Alert), Kent Landry; senior cloud product manager with EarthLink Ron Penna; and the whole affair will be moderated by The VAR Guy and Talkin' Cloud's managing editor Charlene O'Hanlon.
Levitt, meanwhile, is a particularly good choice thanks to his position within Open Data Systems, a company that focuses on data center architecture and control systems. The company has taken great pains to keep its systems operational for as long as possible, receiving power from several different grids to minimize the chance of a blackout taking out the data center. Additionally, the company works with several different fiber providers to have the best chance at having a connection available regardless of conditions on the ground, as well as diverse sources of communications and N+1 redundancy backed up by a full security system. It boasts a 24 / 7 Network Operations Center (NOC (News - Alert)) and even goes so far as to include both generator and battery backup to best ensure operations.
It's not hard to draw parallels, in terms of customer perception, between the cloud today and the Internet itself around 15 years ago. While several negative stories have emerged that knock the potential customers' faith in cloud systems, it may simply be that the cloud is too new for a lot of people to readily accept. After all, 15 years ago, as the thought of giving out a credit card number over the Internet struck these people as a move guaranteed to spark identity theft. But with some aggressive marketing and some good hard work, people began to accept the idea of conducting business online, and in all likelihood, that will happen here as well.
Companies like Open Data Centers will prove to be the tip of the spear in terms of getting businesses to accept cloud systems. Perhaps these businesses will start small, devoting a department's work or some non-essential functions to cloud systems. But seeing firsthand the kind of reliability and security—not to mention value—to be had in cloud systems will make for greater moves with time. ITEXPO will have plenty more in the way of communications technology, and for those who can't make it, check out all our videos here.