If you follow technology trends and have never heard of cloud computing, you may have spent your last two years living under a rock. What’s odd though is that if you ask a dozen people about the cloud, you’ll get a dozen definitions. That said, most of us can agree that any IT delivery model that brings greater agility, shorter projects, reduced admin overhead, lower risk of failure and reduced capital expenditure has strong potential to be A Good Thing.
At HP we strongly believe that cloud is the most important change to managing IT since client/server computing. But the challenge in managing through this change shouldn’t be understated; a new set of tools and skills will be needed. To help customers (and other researchers) understand some of this challenge, HP Labs Bristol has built the G-Cloud Theatre.
The G-Cloud Theatre is a room designed to demonstrate systems management in a mission-critical environment. The ‘G’ in G-Cloud stands for “government” and the demonstration in the theatre shows how a cloud hosting many virtual services could automatically resist even a sophisticated security attack intended to destabilise core data and programs (or generally cause mayhem).
The theatre demonstrates a futuristic vision of a console where human administrators could use a touch-sensitive interface to administrate services dynamically and in near real time. Think of it as HP’s nod to today’s computer games or movies like Minority Report and The Matrix. But also think of the G-Cloud demonstration as showing the way systems can be built that react to pre-written scripts or ‘playbooks’ in order to automate security and other management chores. This level of computer intelligence will be needed to rebuff the hackers and other bad guys of the future and will ensure that the Cloud is not some short-lived phenomenon confined to niche applications.