From 8th – 10th March 2010 we ran a pilot of the Cloud Computing Technologies: A Comprehensive Introduction course in Reston. With 16 attendees from a variety of backgrounds, the course provided a thorough hands-on coverage of cloud computing.
On day one, we examined the architecture of the cloud and considered the advantages and also barriers to cloud adoption. Both the business and technical aspects were evaluated at this stage. Hands on exercises using Google productivity tools illustrated the collaborative low cost benefits of software delivered as a service.
Day two continued to investigate software services from a number of vendors including Salesforce.com and Microsoft as well as the concept of software plus services for composite applications. The elegant solutions delivered as platforms were then introduced and hands-on experience was gained in working with the Google App engine and Windows Azure. The storage solutions available in the cloud were discussed in detail. A demonstration of Force.com highlighted the power of this application development platform.
Day three progressed to highlight how infrastructure may be delivered as a service and the offerings from Amazon EC2 and Eucalyptus were unravelled. With the components of the cloud all understood, the course introduced how a business case for adopting the cloud can be developed and implemented. As part of this, application architecures for the cloud, migrating to the cloud, vendor lock-in and disaster recovery strategies were just some of the factors analysed in building the business case. Workshops were run in which attendees applied their newly gained knowledge.
Attendees of the pilot were really excited by the power of cloud computing. Interestingly, the major concern of everybody was security. The course discussed the various aspects of cloud security and how these are handled by vendors and also what needs to be considered by users of the cloud. Overall, a really successful three days, and lots learned by everybody. Thanks to a great group for your input. Our next North American session is April 21-23 in the Washington DC area (which I will be teaching!) & May 12-14 in London. If you have any questions on the content, feel free to leave a comment. Maybe I will see you there!