Arjuna Agility: another report from The Cloud

by Justin Souter on December 19, 2008


Some pipes last week.

Last Friday I met with Steve Caughey of Arjuna Technologies. We know each other through Codeworks Connect, of which he is the incoming Chairman.

I wanted to understand what they do, as my understanding was they were involved in Cloud computing in some way.

Arjuna are presently in their third incarnation, having twice previously realised value from their intellectual property through industry sales – according to Arjuna’s ‘About’ page.

Looking at my notes, Steve summarised benefits of Cloud as being two-fold:

  • Sharing computing resources *within* an organisation
  • Turning capital expenditure into operating expenditure through buying computing power, on-demand, from others: Amazon Web Services probably being the best-known example.

Arjuna’s Agility product is designed to help customers form their own internal cloud, using their existing data centre infrastructure. Crucially, it is also the ‘connector’ between internal resources and external ones.

I think I probably speak / write for many in saying my understanding of cloud providers is fairly thin, but given that AWS [and I’d guess other providers] has had problems recently (e.g. reports here and here), a tool to help inter-operate with cloud providers will be very welcome.

Therefore, on first inspection, helping organisations manage the relationship with Cloud providers, and automatically failover to another provider in case of problems, looks to be a very promising line of business.

To put this in context, if organisations can spec their infrastructure to deal with mainstream demand, and outsource any spike in activity to the Cloud, costs could be dramatically less.

Steve and I discussed the likelihood that Cloud computing will come of age during this economic downturn – i.e. do more with less money, but using the same IT infrastructure.

Steve made the insightful point that ‘business’ departments can (and are) cutting out the IT dept., and going direct to Cloud providers. Having worked with the IT Department of large organisations, I can understand why, but I can also see the downside.

How much better, therefore to have ‘IT’ leading the way, to co-ordinate and manage — and avoid the chaos that is all to easy to predict?

One of the key points that Steve made was that Arjuna’s tool is intended to automatically execute on Service Level Agreements between the Business and IT (i.e. by seamlessly using the Cloud to augment existing technology capability & capacity).

Steve and I talked about the parallels with the original move to outsourcing IT. I’m assuming that it was pretty scary for newcomers, but now it’s mainstream.

In the same way, Cloud computing will be a leap for many, but adoption could just what many organisations need right now.

For more links to Cloud articles, please see my delicious tag.

On a topical note – Happy Christmas everyone!

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