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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.

A Cloud Hosting Debate

Posted by hosttycoon On January - 4 - 2010

cloud-hosting-debate-b10wh“How do you understand “Cloud Hosting”? What kind of infrastructure and platform do you imagine when someone mentions Cloud hosting?”, asked in the popular web hosting forum Hosting Discussion a member named HostColor. The forum user suggested 6 “fields” to be filled with answers: Operating system; Virtualization; Software; Network; Data center; Other features.

“You should include instances in your list also”, responded Conor Treacy a “Community Advisor” at HostingDiscussion board. “Remember a TRUE REDUNDANT cloud will be in multiple data centers.  For me, I see too many hosting companies attempting to run their own cloud, or offer cloud hosting, and operate out of a single data center facility. Yes it likely does satisfy the requirements to be “cloud” but really, the purpose is to have instances in various parts of the world to serve the data faster”, added Conor who also said that it costs more to do this, but “when you’re dealing with enterprise sites, you get what you pay for”. He mentioned that he does not pretend to know all about the cloud. “It’s too new and seems to be more “concepts” to many places than anything else”, said Conor.

An user with a name XeHost posted that “The cloud sounds great in theory but to implement proper cloud hosting infrastructure is very expensive”.

“I shall disagree that a true redundant Cloud shall be in multiple data centers”, responded HostColor and added that this is only an option. The user who opened the thread said that “operating infrastructure in different data centers is a different concept – CDN, something which according to the user, businesses did many years before the concept of Cloud computing to emerge. “If you use global redundant network for Cloud hosting service, you don’t need to have infrastructure in different physical locations, unless you really need some kind of localization similar to Google local search. If you are service provider, you do not need this”, said the user.

Can you define “global redundant network”? If you do not need to have data in different locations, if a data center goes offline (like they do – it’s not UNCOMMON), how does the data stay active for viewers on the web? Doesn’t the data need to be replicated to an outside machine SOMEWHERE?”, was the Conor’s response.

“I’ll throw my hat in the ring here”, said a HostingDiscussion user named “Bmdub”. HE said that he has been in the hosting business for over 6 years. “I’d compare cloud hosting with the shared hosting methodology of the late 1990’s to early 2000’s. Today however, Cloud Computing has become a much different animal. There are higher levels of security, performance and manageability that are defining what cloud computing truly should be and is becoming right now”, explained the forum member and summarized his understanding of Cloud hosting in 6 key points.

1. OS: I really think the OS selection is based on the capabilities of the provider and their ability to support those needs with experts. In my mind, Cloud Computing should offer both Microsoft and Linux based operating systems.

2. Virtualization: This is a piece of the puzzle. Right now, VMWARE, Citrix and Parallels are the only companies providing what I’d say is an easy to deploy platform to offer a scalable and secure computing platform. In the future, the underlying virtualization technology will matter less when API’s and customization become more prevalent. At this moment, I’d say that Citrix and VMWare will dominate for quite some time because of their financial capabilities and their general acceptance as reliable products. Although Microsoft and Google will have something to say about that.

3. Software: Id say any development platform should be built to live in a multi-tenant configuration and can easily scale across multiple processors.

4. Network: This is a big thing and the cloud most certainly should have more than 1 Tier-1 (Verizon,ATT, Level3) provider connected to it. As someone mentioned earlier, geo-diversity- or federated cloud- will build a truly resilient network for maximum uptime. Look for this from hosting.com in 2010.

5. Datacenter: Tier3 or better data center. Multiple carrier access, N+1 or better power and cooling. 24x7x365 support.

6. Other features: Well, API support, geographic load balancing, easy to use customer interface (Self Service).

A meaningless post, I believe followed, in which a user said “Some hosting companies claim that there are using a Cloud Hosting structure. But sometimes… it isn’t”.

Here came HostColor again to respond to Conor ans said “I’ll give an example. Having a good and stable connections with 2 or 3 major U.S. carriers + NTT and another one to Asia and 2 more to Europe… will be enough to say you have a “global redundant network”.”

Conor responded by saying “So “global redundant network” is not the same as a “global redundant site” then. You’re just looking at multiple carriers for the data. If the data center goes offline (network issue, power issue, someone trips over the power cord (ahem – rackspace), or the electric room catches on fire (ahem – the planet), or the basement is flooded (uhh.. can’t remember the datacenter, but it was in Chicago) – so those items don’t necessarily play into the roll of a redundant NETWORK – these relate to the SITE in particular”.

He also said that for him the idea of redundant means a multi-location site where if someone’s websites go offline at one place, they will be up in another. “This is what has been broadcasted on a number of places offering cloud and how stable and superior Cloud really is. Where in fact it’s nothing more than shared hosting with the ability to increase processing power, disk space, memory etc all on the fly”, added Conor Treacy who represents a company named “Hands On Web Hosting“.

A HD use from UK’s web hosting provider CSN-UK.net joined the discussion. He said that the concept of cloud computing isn’t new considering the concept goes back as far as the 60’s, though the way in which it is being used by providers. “The whole point of cloud computing is from a hosting standpoint to provide speed, stability and redundancy across as wide an area as possible in order to increase the benefit for the potential client base, done by virtualization”, posted CSN’s representative.

“However brining in the point that Conor made, the whole point of a cloud network is to provide a redundant network across multiple locations in order to avoid many of the problems of traditional systems and combine them with the benefits of the similar VPS technologies. Otherwise the effectiveness of the cloud within a single datacentre is simply to provide an expandable VPS solution mirrored across multiple machines as essentially it would have similar redundancy for many of the issues that cause us as providers downtime”, added the HD member.

He explained that the use of multiple transit providers does little to nothing to provide redundancy if a primary switch on the network has a malfunction for example or any of the examples provided above, as such the virtualisation layer of the cloud network ensures that the data is mirrored across multiple sites and an alternate site would take or share the load with other sites in order for the users site to remain available and unaffected by the malfunction or natural disaster. “Where my knowledge is lacking is the information from scripts that are held in RAM or being processed which could lead to corruption, though there are a number of solutions I’m yet to read that in-depth to any particular approach”, said the CSN-UK.

“Sure! There’s only one thing that I would like to point out and it is that having infrastructure and redundant network across multiple locations IS NOT part of the “Cloud” concept. However I shall admit that if a company operates 2 or more facilities in a CDN, which is part of a cloud platform and/or service is something that shall be appreciated from its customers”, said HostColor, a user who represents a quite popular web hosting company Host Color.

This is the last post to the thread “Your Notion Of Cloud Hosting?“. Follow the link to see how does it continue and what do other HD members think about Cloud hosting. To find reviews about Cloud Hosting Providers visit CloudHostingList.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 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 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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