Cloud podcast gives plenty of food for thought

Podcast microphone

I had an interesting experience, yesterday. I was interviewed by Red Hat’s Richard Morrell for one of his celebrated podcasts and had a wide-ranging discussion on the nature of cloud computing and the current state of the market.

It was fascinating. Not only is Richard one of the most articulate and informed cloud commentators out there, but the experience also provided me with the rare opportunity to stand back and coalesce my thoughts about cloud. Richard was a great interviewer; very polished, with the ability to think in whole sentences – which is more than I could manage (it’s always horrible to hear oneself speak unless blessed with the voice of Richard Burton).

The podcast covered a wide variety of topics but the over-riding themes were whether cloud customers were being well served by their service providers and the role of the CIO (and we don’t use the phrase ‘career is over’ once). We also briefly considered the effect that the PRISM revelations would have on the European cloud industry, following on from the piece I wrote earlier this week.

Richard is a pure techie – with a deep and abiding interest in open source – as you’d expect of someone working for Red Hat, and he delivered several digs at proprietary technology. Before going on air, he spoke about his period working under the guidance of Jon ‘maddog’ Hall, which must have been quite an experience. His technical streak shows when he starts talking about grepping log files as a management tool; a long way from the approach that many companies are taking. Cloud decisions are being made by managers who probably think grepping is an obscure sexual practice.

He speaks with such enthusiasm about open source, talking of the ease with which developers can load Linux distributors these days. And, as his job title has it, he’s an unashamed evangelist for cloud.

That’s fine for the people in the podcast that I categorised as the “bods in the basement running up cloud instances” but Richard’s enthusiasm and support for open source may be bemusing for some of the executives – it’s a subject we will look at again in a couple of weeks time.

There was plenty we agreed on though and it made a change to think more deeply about some of the wider issues to do with cloud. Too often, I speak on one subject and talk to one vendor where everything’s a bit narrow in its focus: half an hour was still too short a time to cover everything but it was good to have the opportunity to take the broader view

Max Cooter

Max Cooter is a freelance journalist who has been writing about the tech sector for almost forty years.

At ITPro, Max’s work has primarily focused on cloud computing, storage, and migration. He has also contributed software reviews and interviews with CIOs from a range of companies.

He edited IDG’s Techworld for several years and was the founder-editor of CloudPro, which launched in 2011 to become the UK’s leading publication focused entirely on cloud computing news.

Max attained a BA in philosophy and mathematics at the University of Bradford, combining humanities with a firm understanding of the STEM world in a manner that has served him well throughout his career.