CloudCamp London 24/10/2012

It’s been some time since I went to CloudCamp – January if I remember correctly. Well, it’s on again and I’m due to be in the country so I’ve just registered for it.

For the uninitiated, CloudCamp is an unconference (a participant-driven meeting) where people who are interested in Cloud Computing exchange ideas and look at pictures of kittens (you’ll understand if you go).

On the agenda…

Registration, beers and networking from 6pm. Followed by:

  • Kick-off 6.30pm
  • Introduction to CloudCamp Joe Baugley EMEA CTO Cloud at VMware.
  • Lightning Talks; to include Kuan Hon from Queen Mary University of London School of Law talking on cloud contract negotiations, Steve Chambers on Cloud Star Ratings, and more talks to be announced.
  • Unpanel – cloud experts volunteer to join the panel to answer questions from the floor
  • Unconference – an opportunity for everyone to further discuss the topics surfaced in the unpanel that require further discussion.
  • From 8:30pm: Networking, drinks and pizza
  • 9:30pm close

Find out more and how to register (it’s free) at cloudcamp.org/london.


CloudCamp London 25/01/2012

Where has the time gone? It was over a month ago that I was at CloudCamp but it feels like only last week. Now the date of the next event has been published – Wednesday 25th January 2012.

The theme of this event – which should provide some interesting talking and discussion points – is “Big Data“, a bit of a departure from the norm.

As the the last two events it is being held in the Crypt at St James’ Church, Clerkenwell. This is great for me as it’s just around the corner from my office.

Register Here…


CloudCamp – The Return

It’s been about a year since I last went to CloudCamp. In honour of my return and as an homage to CloudCamp London’s compere, Simon Wardley, I have adorned this post with a suitable image. Ta-da! (For those who are bewildered, Simon has a fixation with kittens in his presentations.)

The reason that it’s been so long since I attended a meeting (that sounds bad but you know what I mean) is that I found them to be a bit similar and not really relevant to what I was doing at the time. A few changes in personal circumstances also had an effect. But, having recently started a new job where cloud computing is very much a part of it, I felt the time was right to go again. It also helped that the venue for this meeting was in the crypt at St James Church, Clerkenwell – just a 5 minute walk from my office.

Armed with a beer and in the company Mr Radnidge (@vinternals) what follows is a brief overview of the evening (partly at the request of Ed Grigson (@egrigson) and Simon May (@simonster), neither of whom could be there).

Things kicked off with Simon Wardley’s presentation. His thoughts about what had recently been bothering him about cloud included a number of slides, themes and thought streams from his presentation to OSCON 2010 (you can see that presentation here or view the slides here) but it wasn’t nearly as long. He spent a couple of minutes explaining cloud in terms of Everett Rogers‘ theories around the “Diffusion of Innovations”. Essentially this boils down to new technologies being adopted in a fairly predictable way over time as they evolve and mature.

Assuming that I’ve interpreted him correctly (remember the beer), cloud services were presented as being at the top end of this curve (i.e. computer consumption is fairly ubiquitous and mature).  The screenshot on the right is the slide that I’m referring to here (the y-axis is ubiquity).

Whilst from a computing perspective that’s probably true, if you consider cloud as a separate product type then I’d argue that it is much further down the curve. There is still debate about what cloud is and there is a great deal of innovation still going on. Add to that the adoption of cloud services is fairly low (at least as far as enterprises are concerned) and I think that you end up with a different picture.

That’s just my opinion. I could be wrong and I’d be happy to talk at length with anyone on the topic. Don’t get me wrong or shoot me though, I still enjoyed the presentation and it’s given me a lot to think about on its own.

After that warm up, things moved on to the lightning talks. For the un-initiated these are 5 minute presentations on cloud related subjects that are supposed to be vendor neutral, not about consulting and should avoid lots of speculation about the future.

One of the talks (that got laughs for the wrong reasons – problems with the slide deck) was about trust and security in the cloud. Another was about the Cloud Legal Project, a Microsoft funded but independent study into cloud service contracts. I found this one very interesting not because I’m a closet lawyer or anything but because it’s something that’s often over-looked and could have quite significant consequences at some point. It could also be a barrier to entry for some enterprises where the cloud is concerned. In fact, it was so well received that it actually ran over its 5 minute slot.

After the lightning talks came the “un-panel”, chaired by Joe Baguley (recently appointed Chief Cloud Technologist at VMware) and featuring volunteers from the audience. Discussion and questions focused heavily on cloud legalities (further evidence that the CLP presentation struck a chord), agility in the cloud, trust / security and the barriers to cloud adoption presented by the older generation.

I’m not going to give a blow-by-blow account of the discussions. I came away though with several things to think about it more depth though. Well worth the time spent in my opinion.

Once the meeting was wrapped up it was beer and pizza time. Time to chat with other attendees and presenters. I got to chat for a while with two alumni (Dan Young and  Dimitri Koutsos) from a hosting company that I used to work for as well as having a long chat with Guy Chapman about a whole range of topics.

Cloud services and solutions are about more than just the technology and it’s those bits, the thinking bits, that CloudCamp is for. An evening well spent in my opinion.


CloudCamp March 2010

CloudCamp London is back again. It seems like only last week when I went to the last one. Now although this is only going to be my second attendance at CloudCamp, it promises to be a little different from the norm. Since there will only be one room available there won’t be any breakout sessions but instead a presidential style debate about cloud computing featuring:

  • Matt Deacon – Microsoft
  • Simon Wardley – Canonical
  • Rod Johnston – VMware
  • Chris Richardson – Thoughtworks

I’m not particularly familiar with any of them but it could be interesting having VMware and Microsoft squaring up against each other to talk about Clouds.

As an added bonus it’s just round the corner from where I’m working. I think I’ll go and register now. For more details (including the registration process) see CloudCamp’s site.


Thursday, March 11, 2010 from 6:30 PM – 11:00 PM (GMT)


Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre
Broad Sanctuary
SW1P 3EE London
United Kingdom


Review: CloudCamp January 2010

CloudCamp is a conference (they call it an “unconference”) where end users, IT professionals and vendors meet to swap ideas about Cloud Computing. I’d never been to one before and both the format and the topic intrigued me.
As a virtualisation consultant I am of course aware of cloud computing but the reality of my day job means that clouds are things representing the internet on infrastructure diagrams or the things that I see out of the office window just before it’s time to go home. However there is no denying that there is a movement out there and it is in the general direction of the clouds. Time for me to think and learn more about it.
So that’s one motivation for me attending. Another one was that several of my favourite bloggers and twitterers were due to be in attendance and I wanted to meet them.


The format of the evening was quite refreshing. Six lightning talks by various speakers to be followed by a question panel and focused break-out sessions. (See the full agenda here). The lightning talks in particular were slightly new to me but very effective. Having just five minutes to talk about a subject without being too vendor specific can’t be easy. In a minimalist way it forces the speaker to focus on the important things. Of the six speakers / subjects I found that Kate Craig-Wood’s five minutes on the “UK G-Cloud” got me thinking the most as I have done a lot of work with central and local government bodies.


The question panel (“unpanel”) featured six volunteers giving their thought / answers about various questions posed by the other audience members. Again the idea is not to be too vendor specific and a red card system was in place to send off any of the panel who strayed too far in one direction or another. There were some interesting questions asked and some very good answers given. Plenty for me to think about on my train home.

Breakout Sessions

The topics for the sessions were nominated by anyone with an idea for one. “The role of the government in the Cloud” was booed as a suggestion and “The role of Microsoft in the Cloud” was met with stony silence. That the session on “Interoperability and Standards” was chaired by a man from Microsoft was met with several undisguised chuckles.
I had meant to attend to join in with one of the discussions but after a drinks / beer break I was chatting about all sorts with bloggers Simon x 3 (Gallagher, Long and Seagrave of vinf.net, simonlong.co.uk and techhead.co.uk respectively) and Stuart (vinternals.com).

Thoughts on Clouds

I’ve had numerous thoughts about Cloud Computing in recent months and more after last night. At some point I might write some of it down and share it.
As for CloudCamp, I enjoyed it and I definitely got something from it. I might not attend every one in the future but I’d certainly recommend it for anyone with an interest or potential interest in Cloud Computing and the future of virtualisation.