sxswiLogosmall.jpg A description for South by Southwest Interactive (news, site) panel “Thunder in the Clouds,"

This panel of cloud pioneers and experts will debate the state of cloud computing and where its future lies.”

led me to believe that the session should be called the “Cloud Smackdown.” I envisioned the moderator, Red Monk’s Michael Cote, shouting, “Can you smell what the cloud is cooking!” to a frenzied audience. Perhaps my imagination was being a bit overzealous.

“Thunder in the Clouds” was instead a civil discussion on the current and future state of cloud computing with Javier Soltero of VMWare/SpringSource/Hyperic, Michael Coté of RedMonk and Peter Coffee of Salesforce.

Thunder in the Cloud panelists

Panelists discussed how enterprises are leveraging cloud computing to deliver applications that users love in short timeframes.. Although many assume public clouds when they hear the term cloud computing, many organizations are electing to migrate from on premise data centers to private clouds.

No cloud discussion is complete without at least a mention of security. Salesforce’s Coffee said security concerns should not dissuade organizations from cloud adoption. According to him, if you can’t store data in the cloud due to regulation, then use an anonymous identifier in the cloud and map back to the sensitive data center.

Although the session was general in nature, I enjoyed hearing the opinions of some of the pioneers in the cloud and services space.