Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reuven Cohen Invents The "Unsession"

Gotta luv the Ruv. One of the highlights of this week's Sys-Con Cloud Computing Expo was Reuven's session on World-Wide Cloud Computing, "presented" to a packed room filled with some of the most knowledgeable cloud computing fans you'll ever see--from vendors, SIs, customers, you name it.

Reuven got up front, showed a total of two slides (to introduce himself, because if you're Ruv, it takes two slides to properly introduce yourself. :-) ), then kicked off a totally "unconference" like hour long session. The best way I can think of to describe it was it was that he a) went straight to the question and answer period, and b) asked questions of the audience, not the other way around. Now, he may just have been lazy, but I think he took advantage of the right sized room with the right subject matter interest and expertise at the right time to shake things up.

The result was an absolutely fascinating and wide ranging discussion about what it would take to deliver a "world wide cloud", a dream that many of us have had for a while, but that has been a particular focus of Reuven's. I can't recount all aspects of the discussion here, quite obviously, but I thought I would share the list of subjects covered that I noted during the talk:
  • federation
  • firewall configuration
  • data encryption
  • Wide Area Network optimization
  • latency
  • trust
  • transparency
  • the community's role in driving cloud specifications
  • interoperability
  • data portability
  • data ownership
  • metadata/policy/configuration/schema ownership
  • cloud brokerages
  • compliance
  • Payment Card Industry
  • Physical to Virtual and Physical to Cloud
  • reliability
  • SLA metadata
  • data integrity
  • identity
  • revocable certificates (see Nirvanix)
  • content delivery networks (and Amazon's announcement)
  • storage
Now, I'm not sure that we solved anything in the discussion, but everyone walked away learning something new that afternoon.

Got a session to present to a room of 100 or less? Not sure how to capture attention in a set of slides? The heck with it, pull a "Reuven" and turn the tables. If you have an audience eager to give as well as take, you could end up enlightening yourself as much as you enlighten everyone else.

Thanks, Ruv, and keep stirring things up.