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  1. #1
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    The advantages of using cloud?

    Hi guys.

    I am giving a presentation about cloud computing tomorrow and would like some more pointers to YOUR view on the advantages/disadvantages on using cloud computing for various hosting tasks..

    My current list is mainly:

    - high scalability
    - pay for what you use - not more
    - cheap startup vs. needing a dedi


    geo independant (you can host anywhere) - im not really sure about this one, might say its the same with dedis but its easier to move virtual instances than to platespin a server from one dc to another..

    I have also pointed out a feature I saw on vSphere 6, on a webpage, which is long-distance vMotion.. whats your view on this feature?
    /maze

  2. #2
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    Cloud infrastructure better absorbs tremendous amount of DDoS attack. It's more reliable then single dedicated server on that point of view.
    Time4VPS - flexible, worry-free, fast and affordable VPS hosting in Europe.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by lithuania View Post
    Cloud infrastructure better absorbs tremendous amount of DDoS attack. It's more reliable then single dedicated server on that point of view.
    In a DDOS attack on a cloud site, instead of your site going down, your bill would just be astronomical.

  4. #4
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    That's why you should go with clouds that offer fixed billing , utility pricing sounds good in theory but what people actually want is predictable monthly costs but with the flexibility to scale up and down on demand.

    A common misconception on pricing in the cloud is most clouds base price doesn't include any actual usage charges.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, Utility billing is kind of .... a joke. Because sometimes things arise and you may get completely hammered with a HUGE bill. a PHP script goes off the hook and maxes out your CPU resources 3 fold, and now your stick with a huge bill because of it.

    Get what you need, like you do with cable TV. You watch these channels why would you buy 200 other channels you will only glance at as your looking for something to watch.

    In some situations utility billing makes sense, but I personally don't think the internet business makes sense.

  6. #6
    Utility v's fixed cost is just a billing model, not a required tenet of a 'cloud' IAAS solution.

    There are, imho, very few use models where utility (hourly) billing makes sense at all.
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  7. #7
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    Yeah, I agree, There are a few places it makes sense. I would think development would be a good key fit. Something where you can control your environment a bit better, but for like store fronts and stuff. I notice people like the fixed billing more than anything.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazedk View Post
    geo independant (you can host anywhere) - im not really sure about this one, might say its the same with dedis but its easier to move virtual instances than to platespin a server from one dc to another..
    At that scale, any IT person you employ should really be using configuration and deployment scripts and tools. Cfengine, Puppet and Capistrano are some examples.


    Quote Originally Posted by mazedk View Post
    pay for what you use - not more
    This isn't really a cloud advantage in real life. Reality hits when

    a) you realize instance spool up time to meet demand is too long if you do this too fine grained. It will only annoy users.

    b) you realize that for the most part, general demand is readily easy to forecast and the 'required' provisioning rate is usually long enough that you can use either dedicated or VPS to fill in the gap without the cost premium.

    There is an extremely rare usage scenario in utility billing where you actually have a strong intra-daily demand curve, where the extra expense in development time is outweighed by the peak number of servers you need to fleet. Extremely rare as I haven't heard of it outside of theoretical conjecture.


    After all this, why would anyone want to use the cloud?

    Startup development is easier since you can allow your engineers to field the fleet as needed without needing to go through accounting for every server request.

  9. #9
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    Flexibility & Scalability is one of the key features. The user is able to scale up and down resources easily. In some true cloud environments, improve in redundancy and network reliability can also be obtained.

    As some mentioned, Cloud somehow, is better in handling DDOSes. We used a traditional server in the past for our shared hosting, DDOS attacks were common and a big headache for us. Ever since we moved to cloud, no issues at all.

    I do not know if it applies to other users, but it seems to me that Cloud servers tend to be able to restart/reboot easily and quickly. DNS issues quickly get resolved too.

    However, cloud has a strong disadvantage. Price. When compared to a traditional dedicated server, cloud can sometimes cost much more.
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  10. #10

    How did it go?

    I'd like to know how your presentation went. Did you run into questions you couldn't answer? Will you be presenting again?

  11. #11
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    When ever it comes to cloud its all about cloud its advantage and disadvantage...its just explaining what cloud is...try explaining in a presentation what you could really get by using a cloud and why you should use a cloud...this would cover most of the advantages and disadvantages and gives a better view about cloud hosting...your presentation is gonna give you points...the judging panel and who ever always wants something different...let them see something through a different scope...in this way u stick to your points and you make a good impression

  12. #12
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    Actually, it went pretty well - was a part of my final project for my education, and I got a "12" which basically equals an A in the danish grade scale.

    I didnt run into any questions I wasnt able to answer, one of the guys overseeing it was quite interested in which types of services are - and arent - optimal to provide in a cloud.. Was quite an interesting discussion actually
    /maze

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazedk View Post
    Actually, it went pretty well - was a part of my final project for my education, and I got a "12" which basically equals an A in the danish grade scale.

    I didnt run into any questions I wasnt able to answer, one of the guys overseeing it was quite interested in which types of services are - and arent - optimal to provide in a cloud.. Was quite an interesting discussion actually
    Nice to hear that everything went well
    Good Luck

  14. #14
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    Very nice to hear it went well, my graduate themes back on my time where boring like COBOL and c++.
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  15. #15
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    I think it's really important to mention that cloud and VPS are very similar. The main difference is that a VPS is on one server and with a cloud server they are distributed across multiple computers and load balancing is performed.

  16. #16
    Thanks for sharing and glad you got a "12"!!

  17. #17
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    Thanks everyone

    Quote Originally Posted by OffshoreRacks View Post
    Very nice to hear it went well, my graduate themes back on my time where boring like COBOL and c++.
    Lucky for me, thats not really my strong side - so thank god the times have changed

    We do however still have a lot of cobol programmers at work so aparrently theres still work to be done in that genre
    /maze

  18. #18
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    Okay, so im sitting here at work looking back at my presentation and browsing through the cloud forum..

    One thing that comes to mind - which is kind of cool - is the "long distance vmotion" that vmware has on their upcomming vsphere 6 - not sure when its due to be out. But I read about it online a month ago or so.

    Imagine, being able to vmotion your entire cloud/DC to where the power is cheaper, the weather is cooler, where there is no hurricane? or to the dc location nearest to the biggest load of customers..

    Sounds pretty cool right? - I know its off into the future but the aspect of being able to migrate your entire cloud away from a dc that is causing your issues (or maybe just costing you too much $ to run)... thats cloud, for the cloud provider anyways
    /maze

  19. #19
    One advantage is when the cloud is down, many sites are down to, so customers don't think you have bad infrastructure.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazedk View Post
    One thing that comes to mind - which is kind of cool - is the "long distance vmotion" that vmware has on their upcomming vsphere 6 - not sure when its due to be out. But I read about it online a month ago or so.
    Long Distance vMotion is actually here already, but there are numerous limitations, which aren't very practical to overcome.

    One of the issues is that Layer 2 networks are typically used at each site, but transporting Layer 2 traffic over a Layer 3 network (such as the Internet) isn't practical and doesn't perform well.

    Moving a VM, its memory and CPU states, storage, etc. in real-time while maintaining some reasonable level of performance and uptime is a pretty big challenge. It's typically better to perform replication of a machine's storage and fail-over the VM to a different location, with the expectation that at least a few minutes of downtime will be required while the machine/services start at the new location.

    Currently, the major limitations with Long Distance vMotion is in the requirements, such as an OC-12 (622Mbps) connection between locations, less than 4 milliseconds of latency (<100km apart), and a few others, but these are pretty significant requirements for now.

    Eric
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  21. #21
    A reliable host will ensure that your web site is always available and that visitors will enjoy a smooth performance. Good luck!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by netlover1080z View Post
    One advantage is when the cloud is down, many sites are down to, so customers don't think you have bad infrastructure.
    Best comment of the day!
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  23. #23
    What about uptime ? Does have a better uptime in cloud than dedicated/vps ?

    roberto
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  24. #24
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    deppends, if you have a cloud that offers HA / FT yes, then you have better uptime.

    But if you have a server that runs with redundant hardware such as psu, hdd, controller etc. there prolly wont be any significant difference.

    Servers hosted in the cloud has to reboot aswell if the host server goes down - if you are running HA. (If you are running FT - fault tolerance in vmware you should be able to come past this issue though, but I have no experience in that feature im afraid)
    /maze

  25. #25
    When people pay only for performance and usage it will help drive the price down of doing actual computation. Intel and AMD would have to focus only on compute performance instead of marketing trickery.

  26. #26
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by DomainNameInvesting View Post
    I think it's really important to mention that cloud and VPS are very similar. The main difference is that a VPS is on one server and with a cloud server they are distributed across multiple computers and load balancing is performed.
    This one really quotes the diff between VPS and Cloud... +1
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  27. #27
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    The only way cloud can handle ddos, is if the provider you are with has a big enough pipe, and that they are happy with you chewing up the bandwidth. For a lot of clouds out there, it's single location, so a ddos will have the same effect as it would on a typical vps server. Amazon have pretty big pipes. I'd guess that a lot of companies selling cloud servers, with a 2Gb ddos incoming, would still be null routing you, you'd need to add a ddos service or proxy to the mix to survive. Hourly/usage billing could get kind of expensive too during such an event..

  28. #28
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    There are many benefits of using a cloud service (and I'm talking about a real cloud service - not some imitation cloud service that is really a VPS) over a dedicated server and a VPS. IMO the only advantage a VPS has over a cloud service is most likely price and maybe improved I/O (this really depends on the specs of the server hosting the VPS).

  29. #29
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    Those are great starting points for highlighting the benefits of cloud computing. Converting to the cloud is a popular trend among both businesses and individuals seeking centralized and efficient methods for data sharing and storage. Geographically independent access is another major benefit since cloud computing allows data access from a web browser anytime, anywhere.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazedk View Post
    Actually, it went pretty well - was a part of my final project for my education, and I got a "12" which basically equals an A in the danish grade scale.

    I didnt run into any questions I wasnt able to answer, one of the guys overseeing it was quite interested in which types of services are - and arent - optimal to provide in a cloud.. Was quite an interesting discussion actually
    Post your presentation on the web I'd like to see it or email it to me...?
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  31. #31
    Main advantage is that it is scalable. Security and cost are two weaknesses that will hopefully develop over time.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeakWebHosting View Post
    Main advantage is that it is scalable. Security and cost are two weaknesses that will hopefully develop over time.
    Any examples of security breaches or problems that result specifically from someone using a cloud versus non-cloud architecture?

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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by erickmiller View Post
    Any examples of security breaches or problems that result specifically from someone using a cloud versus non-cloud architecture?

    Eric
    I was thinking the same thing. A number of people have made certain comments without actually backing up those comments. I also think many people have made certain statements without either testing a real cloud setup or understanding what a real cloud setup consists of.

    No wonder so many people are confused about clouds.

  34. #34
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    Ya, I'm thinking it's been more lip-service than anything, but here's a paper from Tavis Ormandy at Google http://taviso.decsystem.org/virtsec.pdf

    And things like this don't help

    http://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename...=CVE-2007-4993

    In part, the hoopla is more about virt vs non-virt. Unless you're in a regulated environment and need to audit this for legal reasons, the real risks of dom0 being compromised in a cloud is much lower than your admin using the root password 's3cr3t'.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by tchen View Post
    Ya, I'm thinking it's been more lip-service than anything, but here's a paper from Tavis Ormandy at Google http://taviso.decsystem.org/virtsec.pdf

    ...
    Any idea when that paper was written? The popular Microsoft offering that was masked used a WIndows 2000 host. I was thinking Hyper-V at first and began to worry. Obviously the paper is no longer relevant for any of the current offerings of the companies listed in the test(s).

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCTechMe View Post
    Any idea when that paper was written? The popular Microsoft offering that was masked used a WIndows 2000 host. I was thinking Hyper-V at first and began to worry. Obviously the paper is no longer relevant for any of the current offerings of the companies listed in the test(s).
    From the looks of the reference list, 2006/2007. Hyper-V, Xen, and VMWare from the nvd.nist.gov vulnerability list have cleared up somewhat over the last few years. The more recent ones are primarily DOS attacks from guests and exploits in the management tools themselves (rather than the hypervisor).

    At that level then, you're operating at the same security risk as dedicated DCs and clouds make no difference in operations and audits.

  37. #37

    Security

    Quote Originally Posted by erickmiller View Post
    Any examples of security breaches or problems that result specifically from someone using a cloud versus non-cloud architecture?

    Eric
    "Security Breaches" are not widely publicized. Actual security is only as
    good as the perceived security because both affect customer adoption.
    When you consider perceived security and the quality of cloud services vs.
    dedicated hardware you only need consider audits. PCI, SAS-70, etc will
    not pass in cloud infrastructure because of the shared nature of the
    hardware, shared login (cloud staff to hypervisor), access/tracking, etc.

  38. #38
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    I also wanted to add a few points,

    1- HA can also be added to the cloud, as some suggested,
    2- You will have tremendous cost reduction for maintenance over years, as migration is easy due to the hardware independence nature of the cloud.
    3- You also can be fully redundant and service from two Datacenters and Vmotion is not the only option. you can use storage solutions like starwind or similar to them to sync your data to secondary location and at the same time be agnostic about the virtualization platform.

  39. #39
    How are these thoughts for just the cloud?

    1. HA is better suited for dedicated servers w/ dual power supplies and fully 2N architecture b/c you're not relying on cloud "code" which can fail.

    2. What data is this based on? To say that the cloud has a tremendous cost reduction is flat out wrong. Peak servers are 1/15 the cost of cloud for equal usage. If you amortize hardware over a 3 year lease, it's far far cheaper than the cloud at any scale beyond development testing.

    3. How is this thought unique to the cloud? Any managed hosting provider worth their salt will provide multiple bi-costal datacenters with SAN synchronization.

  40. #40
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    Well cloud is the next generation of hosting infrastructure and soon every company will start using this option.

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