Bernard Golden: Why Cloud Will Transform the IT World

Bernard Golden, Vice-President of Enterprise Solutions at Enstratius and a guru in Cloud Computing has been so kind as to accept our invitation to be interviewed for the Cloud Academy Blog. Listen the whole audio here, or read a summary of the transcription here below:
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Bernard, please, would you tell us something about yourself and your career in cloud computing?

I originally got exposed to cloud computing as a result of writing “Virtualization for Dummies”, part of the Dummies Book series, and in that book, I had a chapter about the future of virtualization. The term “Cloud Computing” had not even been created at that point, so nobody used the term, this is about 2007. But there was this new thing called “Infrastructure As A Service” that Amazon pulled out, and immediately I said: “This is gonna change the face of how people do computing. Who’s gonna stick with the old way of doing stuff when this approach is available?” And as a result, I focused my attention and my work on Cloud Computing. I think my instinct at the beginning was correct. This is going to be a very profound transformation within the world of IT but I think I didn’t realize how profound it has been and will continue to be.

Speaking about Cloud Academy, where did you learn about it?

Well, the founder called me and said: “You know, we started this initiative to help people learn more about AWS and your book “Amazon Web Services for Dummies” is exactly in line with that. Let’s talk about it and see if there is any way we can collaborate”. And that’s where it started!

About your book: you authored several books in your career, and last year you hit the bookstores with your new book “Amazon Web Services for Dummies“. By the way, I had the opportunity to read some pages of it and I found it a very good resource to start with AWS, so congratulations for writing it. Bernard, would you tell us more about your book, how you started it and why it is valuable to cloud computing professionals?

I decided to write the book because it is part of my business and I work with Amazon extensively. It’s a great platform with great capabilities, but it’s not that easy to start with it. I mean, Amazon has a sort of front page that kind of tries to describe the services, but when you go “Great! How do I use it?” it’s kind you are either in the documentation, which is very thorough but not that easy to way through, or you are out at the forms. So there is nothing like “let’s take you from the starting point to help you understand the entire services and why it operates the way it does”. That’s really missing, and that’s the part of the readership that Dummies Press wants to address: its inspiration is to be the first book you read on a topic. They don’t want to be exhaustive, they want to be something that brings you from “interested in a topic” to be knowledgeable in it.

You said that cloud computing gained quite a big momentum in the past years, and we are seeing more and more interest in Cloud-related positions and jobs day after day. With regard to this trend in the future, what technologies do you think we should closely watch and learn about to be proficient in cloud computing?

Well, obviously the foundations, which is how to actually use the resource (like how do I launch instances? how do I store data?  and so forth). Beyond that, there is how to use it effectively to ride applications. How do I create aggregations of resources? How do I create a multi-tier application? How do I create an application that has redundant resources and how do I make it scalable? How do I create applications architectures that can cooperate in this new environment like Amazon Web Services? Beyond that there is how to manage it effectively, and even beyond that there is the “I got it up and running, I’m using it effectively, how do I understand what my usage patterns are or the ways that I can reduce my cost structure by using it, how do I keep track of everything?”. So there is a number of steps, it’s very much like a journey in terms of how you take advantage of it and how you learn to use it and the challenges you face at every step in those journeys.

Going back to Cloud Acadamy, do you think our platform can be a valuable resource for professionals who want to improve and assess their knowledge in cloud computing?
One of the great things about online training that you can’t get in a book is that it can be dynamic, it can actually demonstrate that it’s a real benefit and real value. I think it’s a great opportunity for Cloud Academy and for users who want to really see with their eyes examples of how stuff actually works.

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