Cloud in the Gulf region

What a ride it has been over the past weeks! I delivered a cloud training almost every week, cloud security as well as cloud essentials. I was out of the office a lot: locations in the Netherlands, France and Dubai. And as I write this I am at the Vienna airport after an interesting EuroCMG meeting, where I got to present on cloud costing.

In Dubai I was at the Gitex conference, the largest IT exhibition and trade show in the region, which welcomed 145.000 visitors last year. After the cloud conference that was part of it I got to do a one day Cloud Security (CCSK) workshop. The organizers sold out the 50 seat room. It was the largest class I ever did.

The questions these people had were generally about how to get into the cloud, though for some getting into the cloud was equivalent to putting their servers in somebody else’s data centers  Apparently there is little experience here with outsourcing in general, even if only for housing.

In comparison to other regions I find the concern about network connectivity relatively high. That makes sense, as the Gulf region is fairly far away from most of the important data center locations in the world (think Amazon), and the world’s biggest internet pipes radiate out of north-America, spanning the big oceans, opposite of this region.

To my courses and presentations now come people that have a basic understanding of cloud computing. This makes part of my job easier. Nevertheless, people do not always interpret the basic cloud definitions correctly.

Advancing cloud awareness means I will be doing some planning on the next line of courses and workshops. Topics include: how do I figure out what applications my company is running in the cloud, and have these conform to whatever policies I might have.  Another cry for help I hear at times is: “My CEO has defined a ‘cloud first’ strategy, it is now my job to implement that policy and I am clueless as to where to start.”

The current status of cloud knowledge is also such that I have decided to re-target my mailing list. Rather than catering for people who want a basic introduction to cloud computing, I will focus on people who want to apply that basic knowledge to their own business. For people that have passed cloud certifications I have other plans. Stay tuned.

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