Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Night at Camp

Its late, so I'll keep this brief. I just got home from CloudCamp Silicon Valley on the Sun Microsystems campus in Menlo Park. What a great event. I am completely sold on the unconference format, and very much appreciate the contributions of the organizers and sponsors. If you get a chance to attend a CloudCamp at a city near you, do it. You can't help but broaden your understanding of this loosely defined monstrosity we call cloud computing.

I attended two sessions, and organized a third. The first discussed technologies that could be used to stitch together processes and transactions in the clouds. I think I need to process the ideas there a little more before I write about them, but workflow/ESB concepts are certainly alive and well in the cloud according to this session.

The second session covered the need for common APIs and architectures in the cloud, and what can be done to make J2EE/.NET/whatever applications more "cloud friendly". We discussed the concept of software fluidity, the different needs of IaaS and PaaS based architectures, and ways to address certain traits of distributed systems that force tradeoffs between consistency, availability and partitioning. It was an amazingly cool discussion, and I learned a lot from everyone involved.

The final session was one I organized, targeting the US legal climate for the cloud, and the constitutional issues I've written about here before. Needless to say it was lightly attended, but each participant lent significantly to a far ranging conversation about the Stored Communications Act, the Patriot Act and the Warshak vs. USA case, and what--if anything--can be done about it. I think I'll blog about the outcome of this conversation a little later as well.

I also enjoyed meeting with Sam Charrington, Lew Tucker, Franco Travostino, Paul Lancaster, Luis Sala, and all the others I shared thoughts with throughout the evening. I go to bed tonight inspired and hopeful about the cloud for perhaps the first time in several weeks. Thanks again to those that made it happen.