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Cloud Computing in 2017

Posted by The Daw On December - 20 - 2016

This happens each and every year. Various experts, media and corporations feed publishers and crete buzz about each and everything that is about to come next year. This article is focused on Cloud Computing and what to expect from major clouds in 2017. Don’t take it very seriously, it is a suggestion only. However, we will be happy if you bookmark this article and come back next year to find out how good was B10WH’s projection.

Your Cloud Computing Bill Would Increase

Well, corporations love to take more of your money on monthly basis. Most companies who use Cloud computing are under contracts. Upon expiration, Cloud users would expect 3% – 5% increase of their monthly costs. The annual “price hikes” are put into contract and many companies (Equinix in the U.S. for example) would increase your monthly bill in January with few percent. The service will not get better, that’s for sure (I do not mean Equinix, they are good enough).

You Will Be Chased By Reckless Sales Agents

If you are really lucky, you’d might find a way to stop Sales guys and don’t allow them to make you believe that you “need” any Cloud computing service or product you haven’t had an idea about 5 minutes ago. In fact, it is very much about our judgement and the salesman on the line. We must admit that not all sales person are irresponsible and careless, at least not all the time. However, it is a very good idea not to trust them in December (or probably in any 4th quarter) when they are focused solely on the commission and bounced they’d earn. If you need to buy anything at the end of the year or if you just allowed yourself to get caught by one, it is probably the time to get a very, very good deal for yourself. So, just imagine you are a Donald Trump kind of a guy and try to be a tough negotiator. This might get you a very good deal or might ruin your chances to sign one. If you actually don’t need anything a failed deal would be a good deal, it will save you money.

More Public, Private & Hybrid Clouds in 20017

The terms “Public Cloud” and “Private Cloud” sound a bit foolish, especially when you are told that “Private Cloud” mean that the installation, applications and services that run on the virtualized computing instance are created for internal use, while “Public Cloud” is a computing instance build to be accessible for anyone. Whoever, came up with the terms doesn’t have a really bright idea. However, it was a successful one, as the industry adopted those terms.

According to research firm Gartner Inc., the public cloud services market is projected is growing by 17.2% in 2016 to total $208.6 billion ($178 billion in 2015). The projection was released in September 2016. In 2017 more businesses will move their in-house computer tasks and installations into data centers, something which is called “Cloud”.  It makes sense, as any well-secured “Private Cloud” would save financial resources and would add make any business more flexible. It probably means longer work day, which is not that bad in those companies that pay overtime. It also means that many of us would spend less time commuting and more time home with the families.

Providers are pushing for Hybrid Cloud (a Cloud computing instance that works for public use and for internal use), which makes sense for them is it saves them money on Cloud infrastructure and optimizes their production costs. However, in many scenarios a Hybrid Cloud might work great for small businesses and would help pa company to digitalize its business and optimize operations at reasonably low cost.

One thing, which is important is to look forward and negotiate lowest possible pricing on Cloud expansion and resource increase.

Anyone’s ability to negotiate the best Cloud technology service at a reasonably low price is crucial for the internal innovation level for any business. Why?

Cost Savings, Technology Innovation & Agility

High prices and the technology aspect of Cloud computing adoption are the main concerns for most small business owners. People are used to traditional computing and perpetual software license. They are easy to understand and their costs are not hard to project and control.

However, the new computing technologies create innovations. The number of software producers who offer their applications on the software-as-aservice-model, rather than selling perpetual licenses is increasing. many industries are getting to a point where the best business automation tools are available only as hosted subscription services. If our competitors can afford to use the best software products hosted on the Cloud, while we are struggling to find a decent self-hosted alternative, it is very likely that we’d find our business less productive and loose market share.

Look at the price of any Cloud service in comparative way. If it is a bit more expensive that we are willing to pay, we should think about what value it brings for you business.

Cloud Is Regionalizing

it is not a good idea to jump on Amazon, Microsoft, HP, IBM or any other of the “major Clouds”. They are expensive and the value rate, compared to the cost is much lower than their alternatives – smaller, regional Clouds. Unless you represent a big corporation which needs to have specific clauses in the contract and is ready to pay premium for them, going with any major clouds just does not make sense.

It is very likely that we’d discover we’ve signed a bad deal wit any of the large cloud provider when we need support. Being transferred between departments , you ticket being “escalated” a number of time before anyone would bring resolution would kill small or medium size business. So, we’d better find any local, small or middle-sized Cloud infrastructure provider, discuss our project with them and ask for a short monthly or quarterly contract to start with. Contractual flexibility is very important and it prevents any possible disputes or financial losses.

Vendor Lock-in Cloud Platforms & Services

In the pre-Cloud era, companies used to buy equipment and to colocate it in data centers. Most of them still do that. However, within the last few years various experts argue that the total cost of ownership is relatively low for leased computing capacity. This is true in a short-term contracts and project with a time frame of up to 2 years.

Before the introduction of the Cloud computing concept in the IT hosting industry there was a clear division between Infrastructure Hosting providers, Software producers and Managed Service providers. These days there are a growing number of software producers, who offer their apps as hosted Sofware-as-a Service solutions. This means that they build their own IT service ecosystem and control the whole lifecycle: Product installation and configuration, Technical support and troubleshooting of their own application; Infrastructure Hosting  service and Management service (System administration).

Once client moves to any proprietary software platform, it is virtually impossible or at least time consuming and very costly to migrate or change the provider. So it is very important that:

Businesses avoid vendor lock-in Cloud Apps and services or work out a technical scenario on how to migrate their services, operations and whole data to any other platform or provider.

The best section on the Cloud would be to avoid proprietary vendor lock-in services. What dos this mean? In Infrastructure Hosting this means that the company is safe to use VMware, Xen or any other Cloud platform, as long as it is clear that the computing infrastructure could be migrated without hassle and the company would switch to another provider.

Software Defined Infrastructure Services

it sounds a bit confusing to mix software with the infrastructure services, but this is very much what certain part of virtualized environments and Cloud computing is about. We’d expect to use IT services delivered from a software-defined, virtual environments that comprise of integrated compute resources, data storage and networking. It is very likely that in 2017 or in a couple of years a small, but powerful server box would replace all the appliances – servers, switches, routers, firewalls – in the corporate branches and all services they produce would be delivered from software applications that run in one appliance.

There is a term for this “Hyperconvergence”, it is quite perplexing t say something like “We can expect more hyperconvergence in 2017, but complete solutions are still some distance away”, isn’t it?

That’s it. There are many other things to be said about the development of Cloud computing technologies and services in 2017, but this has never been planned to be very detailed. I hope that 2017 would bring you success with or without Cloud computing.

Meet The Cloud Computing Evangelist – Diego Parrilla from Abiquo

Posted by hosttycoon On August - 25 - 2009

diego-parrilla-santamariaI met Diego during the WebHostingDay 2009 in Germany. My first impression was he was very open and friendly person. I asked him what did he do and he explained me that his company was producing a Cloud computing class software. When I went back to the hotel room the same day I began searching for other similar solutions produced by European software companies (this was during an EU based event) and I wasn’t able to find that many. So I’ve decided to ask Diego to give me an interview, to talk about Cloud computing, and of course about  his company. Then I begun preparing for this interview and started browsing the web, to find some information about Diego Parrilla. Information which would help me to find out more about the person I was about to interview. Let’s see whether I made it this time.

Hi Diego, it was good to meet you. And it is good talking to you. So, tell me how do you moved to the clouds? I’ve seen you see yourself as “Cloud computing evangelist”. I’m curious when did you get yourself familiar with Cloud computing?

I was the Professional Services Manager of Amplía Soluciones. We developed a platform for Telcos heavily based in distributed and grid computing. Late in 2006 I discover Amazon EC2 and started to use it as testing platform for Amplía and for my own pet projects. I resigned in Amplía in late 2007 and started to work in ‘stealth mode’ for Abiquo, redesigning their grid computing platform to become a cloud computing. And that’s why I’m here.

Something happened in mid 2008. I get a phone call of somebody from Amazon Web Services, and he asked me what was the status of the Cloud Computing in Spain. I was shocked with the question because obviously they should know more about it than me. Then I realized that Evangelization (Evangelism, of course figuratively) was key in the Hispanic world. The “Cloud Computing Evangelist title”? It’s a SEO strategy a colleague recommend me.

What did you do before getting done to Cloud computing? Have you been involved in development of any enterprise applications and software architectures?

I have been involved for almost 15 years in software and product development. Most of these projects, because of their nature and their complexity needed distributed computing (first) and grid (later) computing (later). Scalability was always an issue, and most of the times we could not use standard technology to solve our problems. In 2004 I became a partner of Amplía Soluciones. We developed a Machine-to-Machine (M2M) platform for Telcos and Big Wireless Carriers. In late 2007 I resigned and joined Abiquo to build what we think a cloud computing has to be.

My experience with software technologies? A lot of Java, C++, middlewares all around, and lot of open source of course. I have also trained people in the execution of Agile Projects with Scrum and Lean.

Now tell me more about Abiquo. Is it a company created to produce Cloud computing generation technologies?

Abiquo is a spin off a Grid Computing research department of the Politechnic University of Catalonia. We started in 2006 developing a Grid Computing framework called AbiNtense. But we soon realized that Grid Computing frameworks (and probably development frameworks in general) is a extremely hard market. So we move our focus towards Cloud Computing technologies.

Our vision is to let the users to choose. Choose the technology, the vendor, the timings… We develop a Cloud Computing Platform -AbiCloud- that give the power to the users.

I’ve see that you offer AbiCloud. Tell me more about this type of Cloud and its architecture. It is Linux one, isn’t it?

Well, not necessarily. Abicloud is composed of two main components: The Abicloud Server is the core management software running in centralized servers: it’s the command control. This software has been developed in Java and has been succesfully deployed in Windows, Linux and Solaris.

The other component, the Abicloud Node, is an agent installed on each ‘Cloud Node’. With this agent, an hypervisor must be installed. We support VirtualBox, XEN and KVM. This Cloud Node software is linux dependant (well, we are doing some experiments with VirtualBox and OpenSolaris). We also support VMware ESXi, but in this case the hypervisor is an embedded Linux OS.

Abicloud integrates with third party storage Software like Sun OpenStorage, NexentaStor. It can work with even simpler configurations like ZFS on Solaris/OpenSolaris or LVM+iSCSI targets in Linux. Abicloud is like a big ‘enabler’.

What kind of communication link do you use to connect load-balancer, web servers and database servers? Do you use Fibre Channel, iSCSI or InfiniBand?

We are using iSCSI as our main communication channel. With the new 10 GBit ethernet communications, we think that most of the traffic will pass through these new Fabrics. Some customers has requested FC as an option in the platform. We hope that it will be an option very soon.

Has a stable, commercial version of AbiCloud already been released or it is still in development. Please also tell me what kind of equipment does anyone need to deploy AbiCloud?

Abicloud 1.0 will be released in October 2009. It will include three different versions:

  • Community: This is the version already available to download in our site. It’s a complete platform, and it’s the perfect tool to enter and understand what is the private cloud concept.
  • Enterprise: This version will be focused on the needs of enterprises with the Private Cloud in their goals.
  • xSP: This version complemets the Enterprise version with some key features that Service Providers need to deploy a Public Cloud.

Abicloud can run on any commoditized x86 hardware. If you just want to test drive our platform, you can do it with really modest hardware specs. If you want to deploy a private or public cloud, then you need to take it seriously. We can help with the deployment of this cloud, of course.

I’ve seen that you are connected in on or other way to Nubeblog.com. Is this blog yours and what do you write about?

Yes it’s my blog. It’s the most popular Cloud Computing blog in Spanish. It is one of the activities I perform to evangelize in the Hispanic world.

How do you plan to position AbiCloud on the market. As a IaaS solution or as a platform? Do you plan to offer services on top of AbiCloud as a SaaS provider, or you will stay as cloud software producer?

Abiquo is a software producer. Abicloud is a software product. It’s a software product that helps your to abstract your existing hardware and become a IaaS provider (no matter if external or internal).

How does the Spanish market adopt the idea of Cloud computing. Are Spanish It companies looking to deploy and use cloud architectures?

Spain is a difficult market. It’s hard to find early adopters because cultural reasons. But we have seen a lot of interest in Cloud Computing (not only in our platform), and there are a lot of initiatives around it. Some big Spanish companies are launching Private Cloud Computing initiatives, and I hope this market will ramp up in the near future.

OK. Final question. Would you reveal more about AbiCloud’s pricing? How do you price your solution and how much will cost to be deployed?

The price range will start at 0€ (community versions) and we will try to keep it on average €12 per month. There will be several options available. In october we will launch our commercial offering. Regarding the cost of deployment of the solution, it depends on a lot of factors, but it will be similar to the cost of virtualization and/or hardware consolitation of a data center.

Thank you for your time Diego. It was good to talk to you. Once Abicloud is already released we would present it here in B10WH.com.

Cloud Camp Paris

Posted by hosttycoon On June - 13 - 2009

cloud-camp-parisCloud camp in Paris was well-organized and useful event. We suggest you to visit CloudCamp.com website and to consider attending any future events. If you are new to Cloud computing Cloud Camps will help you to understand it. If you are familiar with the major transformation in computing technologies you will have a chance for networking and meeting prospective partners and probably to find customers.

Among the sponsors of the event were Sun, A-Servers, Right Scale and Orange. Their presentations were interesting even that some of the speakers thesis confronted to each other. The most interesting part wads the unconference part some panelists has been chosen from the audience to moderate different discussions.

cloud-camp-paris-opening

Eric Bezille prepares for the opening of Clod Camp, while some of the conference participants enter the hall.

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josh-right-scale

Josh from Right Scale

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eric-bezile-sun-presentation

Presentation of Eric Bezille from Sun

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dave-nielsen-cloud-camp-facilitators

Dave Nielsen, the founder of Cloud Camp is inviting facilitators.

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dave-nielsen-the-organizer-of-cloud-camp

Dave Nielsen speaking.

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josh-unconference-session-cloud-camp

Josh Fraser, Righ Scale

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how-to-make-money-on-the-cloud“How to make money on the Cloud” list?

Clouds Mature As World Economy Looks For Growth

Posted by hosttycoon On May - 6 - 2009

cloud-software-rising-industry“Web-based business software sales are growing briskly, even as most of the industry stalls, as the segment pioneered by Salesforce.com Inc benefits from the weak economy and fading concerns about security”, reported Reuters. According to research firm Gartner the sales of Cloud based software will grow with 22% to a record $8 billion. “We are still going strong,” says Sharon Mertz, Gartner analyst who advises IT managers on software purchases. “The model is pretty solid, even in these tight economic times.”, says Ms Mertz.

The rapid development of Cloud computing platforms puts pressure on established software companies such as Microsoft,  IBM, Oracle and SAP AG to play catch-up, after standing on the sidelines for most of the past decade as Salesforce and others gained credibility with corporate clients.

Many of the providers of Cloud software and Software as a Service (SaaS) host their technologies in their own data centers, offering their customers various IT services through web browsers. This model of doing computing saves corporate client and small business customers a lot of money on buying hardware and software licenses in advance and running programs on their own computers.

The SaaS model of delivering computer services through Internet begun outperforming tthe raditional model of selling software as the world economy worsened.

SaaS provider NetSuite Inc, founded by Oracle chief Larry Ellison, reported a 22%  increase in quarterly revenue. While companies like NetSuite are growing from a smaller base, their performance contrasts with a 33% fall in software revenue at SAP, a 6% drop at IBM and a 5% rise at Oracle. For example Salesforce’s forecast is to post a 23% increase in sales.

Gartner analysts expects the SaaS market to grow at average annual rates of 19.4% through 2013, far above the 5.2% growth for the overall business management software market. Salesforce, whose stock has gained 40%this year, is trading at about 56 times forward earnings according to Reuters Estimates. NetSuite, which is up 48% this year, trades at a multiple of 93. By comparison, SAP, whose shares have gained 12% this year, trades for about 14 times forward earnings. Oracle, whose stock is up 7%, trades at a multiple of 13.

It was probably impossible to predict such a scenario a 10 year a ago, when Marc Benioff quit his executive job at Oracle to found web based business software business. He brought together a few programmers who worked out of a small apartment in the building where he lived. The new team developed Salesforce’s first software programs for managing sales and marketing fairly quickly. The hard work was to get customers was a bigger challenge due to various security concerns.

However Salesforce gradually signed up customers, including financial institutions like Merrill Lynch and Aon, which conducted intensive reviews of its data centers. Having references from these companies helped the new enterprise to overthrow concerns about security.

Today, Salesforce counts among its 55,000 business customers including Dell, Sprint Nextel Corp, Starbucks Corp, Toyota Motor, and the U.S. Army.

“The maturity of the SaaS model has come a long way,” explains Tom Hattier, an IT manager with General Electric. and adds that more and more companies have embraced it. General Electric has been using web based software for several years decided to go live last October with a corporate-wide system hosted by Aravo Solutions that manages GE’s database of more than 500,000 suppliers.

However the growing popularity of Cloud class software has been boosted by innovations in Web 2.0 technologies implemented by companies like Google. The web giant sells business versions of its email, calendar spreadsheet and word processors and offers consumers, offering them extra collaboration and archiving functions.

Microsoft, which is still expected to launch its Cloud platform Azure offers online marketing software, programs targeted at small businesses and is getting ready to bring its popular Microsoft Office software online and to sell it as a service.

IBM and Oracle are alos launching new SaaS products. while SAP puts out a line of accounting programs for small to middle-sized businesses.

And a string of smaller companies sell niche software to manage sales, marketing and human resources that they hope will become the next big hit. They include Constant Contact, Kenexa Corp, RightNow Technologies, SuccessFactors, Taleo Corp, Ultimate Software Group, and etc.

There are also many other new and start-up companies such as Abiquo, Fuscan and Daas.com,which develop PaaS (Platform as a service) solutions and have already entered the market or are about to debut their cloud software in 2009.

WHT Members Say: What Is Cloud Computing?

Posted by hosttycoon On May - 5 - 2009

cloud-computing“I think a good way to start off this forum section is to determine what cloud computing means to everyone, I know there are a lot of different views and it should be interesting to see them.”, says HP-Kevin in a thread titled “What is Cloud computing?” in WHT. Members named “Karbon” adds that he is “curious as to what is it as well” and ads the he never have heard of it. “Is it where you host in the clouds?” writes the WHT member and adds “joke, don’t yell at me”. This are only one of many examples that show that the average web user is still unfamiliar with the concept of cloud computing and cloud hosting in particular. Wikipedia offers an explanation of the term “Cloud Computing”. Web Hosting Talk also has a detailed explanation in its Wiki section. So we will not go over the “Cloud”. Most important is to see what people think of the Cloud computing.

“Interested as well in knowing what cloud hosting is and does”, this is another Cloud newbie post in WHT. As always happens the first one who know more on the topic emerges, this time on the 4th place. His nickname in WHT is Plutomic-Andrew and he offers an explanation about “Cloud”.

Cloud is…

“Cloud hosting, in one form or another, is the clustering of multiple physical hardware nodes together to act as a single server, with nearly unlimited resources since it can be continually added to seamlessly without adversely affecting the applications running on the cloud currently” says Plutomic-Andrew. He adds that such a single cluster or grid is then broken down into individual VEs or Virtual Environments.

“Each VE is a self-contained LAMP stack running on top of any OS the customer would like while having access to the computing power of multiple processor and multiple GBs of RAM to perform its computing tasks. In most cases depending on the architecture of the cloud, each VE can expand dynamically to withstand the influx of heavy traffic or in other cases storage demands. These demands are typically caused by a site being dugg, slashdotted or in one way or another gaining more exposure than they would under typical daily circumstances”, writes Plutomic-Andrew and becomes the first to know something about Cloud computing. However it is very tech explanation and most forums users probably lost themselves on the 3rd row.

A proof of this is the Karbons remark – “Ah, I feel stupid now. I should of known what it was. It’s basically a server cluster”.

“Its really exciting I cant wait to try it out for my new project, but I do have some doughts. He adds that on his course he was taught that “the cloud will be when all applications and data are stored on the web and we simply connect using “terminal Pcs” in effcet moving backwards”.

… a Buzzword

“To some ‘the cloud’ is the answer to everything – to others just an overhyped buzzword… We (UK2group) takes it very seriously, and I see this taking over most of the dedicated server market within the coming 5 years. It is very far from mature though – one of those things everyone talks about but really only a handfull actually provide. Buzzword or not, it is bound to change some of the mechanics of the hosting industry”, says WHT member with nickname “eming” and becomes the first self promoter in the thread who underlines that his company takes Cloud computing seriously. He how ever provides a URL ( to some ‘the cloud’ is the answer to everything – to others just an overhyped buzzword… We (UK2group) takes it very seriously, and I see this taking over most of the dedicated server market within the coming 5 years. It is very far from mature though – one of those things everyone talks about but really only a handfull actually provide. Buzzword or not, it is bound to change some of the mechanics of the hosting industry. EDIT: take a moment and read this article published today from Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123802623665542725.html – it will help give a better understanding… ) to Wall Street Journal’s article that should clear the air around the clouds, according to him.

“Thats a great explaination”, posts WHT member named himself “you86” and ask the questions “Will all these hardware nodes in queue? What will happen if one/two will broken down? everything will stop working?”.

It is just marketing…?

HP-Kevin who has opened the thread about Cloud computing responds to Andrew’s Cloud hosting explanation and asks him “Can you name some/any company out there that can provide you a VE with a “self-contained LAMP stack” with nearly unlimited scalability? Or even scalability beyond the resources of a single physical hardware node?”.

“What you have explained is what I find many people expect from “cloud hosting”, but I disagree, and I am not sure the functionality you have described yet exists. So far I am with Tim on this, and its just marketing”, posts HP-Kevin.

An example of a Cloud

Plutomic-Andrew responds to HP-Kevin by saying that “Most all cloud computing environments will allow you to use more than one physical piece or hardware for computing power”. He gives an example with AppLogic of 3tera., and says to “you86” that depending on the architecture of the Cloud the services can be re-provisioned and started on other physical equipment in the cloud.

“True, but AFAIK even applogic does not allow you to scale one wm across more than one physical hypervisor”, responds user “eming” – Ditlev Bredahl, CEO, uk2Group.com.

“There was a good article in the Financial Times last Thursday about cloud computing… it’s definitely picking up momentum”, posts “dazmanultra”. “Jonrdouglas” says that hybrid clouds let anyone to run “what is generally code that runs only on Windows, in the same directory as your files you generally run on Linx What”.

According to “HostedFTP” it is a huge market and the expectations are to be a $100 billion industry within the next 10 years. “Amazon AWS S3 amd Ec2 is the major player at this time. Many companies are already moving into the cloud as it is very inexpensive to host”, says HostedFTP.

“I am involved in a SaaS based software project that my partners and I are hoping will grow exponentially for us over the next few years. We are working on some contracts now and I really think that it will be in my best benefit to launch our software on a cloud so that we can quickly and easily grow as needed”, says VertexBilly and ads that he has just contacted 3tera to get their sales info and learn more about what they can do “to help us launch this”. “I am not sure if we are ready for this infrastructure and cost yet (as we would do our own cloud in house) but I really do think that for companies that are working on a similar SaaS type business model as us that a cloud based infrastructure is probably the way to go and not just hype”, explains the WHTmember.

… Waste of time + Extra Costs

Nathaniel which forum name is “logikstudios” posts that his personal thoughts on the cloud are potentially a waste of time on a major skill. “Look at it like this. Look at all the current providers out there. They are WAY! to expensive for 95% of the users and you can’t really benefit the use of them. I was looking at moving a project to the cloud and thought to myself, to get the same type of power we require now was going to cost us £250+ extra a month(approx 2.5 x the amount). I can see websites/companys possibly having there own mini clouds setup, but interms of of processing power and storage (nothing more really than a super server with a DAS), its going to have to come down alot! before it really kicks off i think personally, maybe around VPS pricing”, says Nathaniel.

“I would class cloud computing as basically making your documents available to you anywehere, microsoft is really trying to get the lead on this by launching live services like Azure and Live Skydrive, profile and whatever else”, responds “FortressDewey” and adds that if he needs to view a file he just emails it to himself”.

A “Web Hosting Talk” forum member with nickname “hwmcneill” says in his first post that he have just come across the thread which he found interesting and he would like to comment on some points made.

“AmirKhan” raises the point that it is a platform for the “no software” approach. This, as far I am concerned is correct. In a sense the two processes have occurred in parallel thus creating the virtual cloud concept. “You86” asked about what happens when a node breaks down and I might add runs into capacity problems. These instances are handled by normal overload chaining to other live servers. In the case of breakdown, that is the autochaining is incapacitated, the use of virtual client technology (VCT) can have the browser detect non-response and switch to a predetermined priority list of servers. Thus even if the “central server” fails the VCT component keeps operations running with a gap in operations equivalent to less than 1 sec (depending upopn sys bandwidth).

“HostedFTP” mentions that clouds are expensive to host. Well each node or server can be hosted like any other. The configuration is in the software so a cloud can be made up of servers located anywhere in the world. Sharing such resources and making use of online applications rather than multiple redundancy sw at the client end saves an enormous amount of money in outlays. And any updates at the nodes affect all users making “roll outs” extremely low cost. Logikstudios raises the point of high costs but I am not sure what these refer to so I cant comment. Certainly higher users make the whole thing cheap and so the cost issue can be an issue of not having enough users to justify the initial outlays. “DHD-Chris” mentions clouds as being a facilitation of global access to docs etc. Yes, this is also part of the support functions i.e. data processing, transmission and storage with web document rendering being essentially a dialogue in a browser combining storage access and transmission”,posts hwmcneill. He adds that this is just his initial response to thread and he is going to rustle up some notes to provide a follow up on this. He also says that he will provide some examples of his own experience in Cloud computing field.

… Concept Still Unclear?

“The concept is still somehow unclear for me”, writes “HSNM”. “What I can see is a matter of distributed computing that handles the problem of connecting different pieces together to let a single service run in an abstract way”, say the forum member and explains that Google calendar can be an example which uses cloud computing. According to him “the Internet is a big cloud by itself”.

… Its About Distributing Servers And Loads Between Many Computers

“I guess one can look at it from several angles. For me its about distributing servers and loads between many computers and in some cases geographic locations. It adds ability to dynamically or at least quickly scale out. Allowing to handle spikes in server loads as well as adds a layer of redundancy”, comments “dariusf“. He adds that the problem he sees with it is two folds, one is the cost for larger requirements.

“It does cost more then getting part of a rack and installing a bunch of servers. It removes the layer of server management and support and this could be a very large cost of the operation when you have to maintain multiple servers, clusters, load balancers and other networking hardware. So perhaps the overall cost will be lower”, explains the WHT member. The biggest question he has at this point and he just didn’t have much time to investigate is the question of user session replication on the application layer between the virtual nodes.

“With at least ColdFusion one has the option to store user session specific information on the database and in this case every node in the cloud would be able to hit that database cloud and the session for the user. Its slow and not as elegant as doing something like Jini and buddy under Java, which ColdFusion being in essence java and running under the JVM can use. Doing session replication between the nodes with something like Jini would be the best solution but how does that work and what about dynamic new nodes added in the cloud?”

“Another question is the database replication. Does it get moved in to the cloud and then replicated between the nodes or does it stay out of the cloud and gets only hit by the cloud?”

“If it stays in the cloud, would one set a fixed number of nodes and then replicate between them or is there a way to dynamically replicate as nodes are created or removed based on the loads? Any ideas out there? Anyone has any experience with this”, asks the WHT member?

… Grid Computing Has Been A Hot Topic Some 5+ Years Ago

“So what is the ‘cloud’? What is the difference between a ‘cloud’ and the ‘grid’ and a ‘server farm’?”, ask “andria”. “Grid computing has been a hot topic some 5+ years ago. In my understanding, Grid consists of server farms located on different locations. Connected with each other, acting as one”, writes the WHT user.

“I can recall that around 2000 there have been big headlines each time when someone would set a new record for the biggest server farm. Most of them were set up in scientific field. With grid computing or a server farm, you throw a task into it and it gets distributed across the place. So basically, to me, it looks like a cloud hosting company is doing nothing different. They are running a number of virtualization tasks on a grid computer (or on a single server farm)”, posts “andria”.

According to this WHT member each virtualization task gets certain resources allocated and that’s it. “I assume for hosting company this solution is somewhat easier to handle, since all resources are seen as one and the whole load is also put together. There are no boundaries of a single server. On the customer side only those who need clusters would profit from this. A VPS customer could not care less if he is getting 1/20th of a single server or 1/20.000th of 1.000 servers. So, to me, the ‘cloud’ seems to be either a single server farm or a grid network of server farms”, concludes “andria” and asks “Or am I wrong? So why call it a cloud?”.

The Dominator – Cloud hosting exists!

The last word (May 5th, 11.45 am EST) has the WHT member with name “The Dominator”. “Cloud computing exists, but most end user customers don’t get it – coders have no idea how to code to use extra nodes on the cloud, and cloud computing is so vaguely defined – it depends who you talk to – we sell lots of dedicated servers direct through discussions with customers, and customers ask me is my server cloud computing?”, explains “The Dominator”.

He adds that in the last 2 years most cloud (grid) computing data centers had major outages. The user says that the “future is coming” and he expects computers to connect to some form of Clouds, but data centers to “take a bit longer to transition to grid models everywhere”.

Still Unclear?

If I had to make myself clear of what Cloud computing was, from the above conversation, I would loose myself. So folks, the best you can do, if you need to know what really cloud means is to spend a few hours reading in Wikipedia, WHT Wiki and other library resources. Then stop and think about what you have read. And if you still do not understand the “Cloud”, stop thinking about it and just use it.

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