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Thread: Cloud Computing

  1. #1

    Cloud Computing

    I just heard this story on NPR yesterday discussing cloud computing, how you can use external computers to do super-computer sized tasks without having the hardware in house yourself.

    If we host colocated servers, how feasible is it to get our servers into that game?

  2. #2
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    It's like polishing a turd - "cloud computing" is just this year's "grid computing." It's all marketing-speak for doing things the same old way.

    You want to get into it? Take some servers and configure them so they share resources. For example, install openfiler on each and cluster the storage space.

    Volia - you are now competing with Amazon S3.

    Want to take on EC2? Throw Xen into the mix and write some code to do the provisioning.


    Again - they are just polishing up turds.




    Kind Regards,

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    "turds" hyperbole doesn't serve

    While some can validly claim that Cloud Computing is timesharing warmed over, calling it "polishing turds" really glosses over some serious technical and process advancements that have made remote delivery of computing a more than serious contender for deploying applications.

    Ultropicmedia-karl is missing out on the fact that the best cloud computing services not only have a significant investment in complex code to deliver their service, but they also have captured extensive experience in operations services, often gained in mission critical enterprise environments, and made it available to their users as part of their services. Karl's prescription for becoming a cloud computing services provider will simply produce more shaky and shady ISPs who underestimated the sophistication of today's cloud computing customers.

    On the other hand, you *can* become a cloud computing services provider - either for yourself, or for others. You could follow karl's go-it-alone prescription (which some cloud providers have done) or you could provide your own front end to Amazon's AWS (again, there are companies that have done this) or you could build your own secret sauce of commercial compute and disk virtualization management systems tied together with a provisioning and authentication system that you wrote, or finally you could use a system like 3Tera's AppLogic, which my company uses to provide cloud services. Each alternative has costs which are reflected in the bottom line rates you can charge your customers. However, unless you're familiar with providing enterprise-class computing, your product offering will disappoint the increasingly sophisticated cloud consumers.

  4. #4
    I heartily agree with the polishing turds school of thought.

    AS/400's and VAX Clusters have been chugging away doing this since before the advent of the internet.

    Anyways, a new topic after 6 posts answered by a new registrant with 1 post. Smells like a put up job to me.
    Last edited by plumsauce; 05-07-2008 at 04:50 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by plumsauce View Post
    I heartily agree with the polishing turds school of thought.

    AS/400's and VAX Clusters have been chugging away doing this since before the advent of the internet.

    Anyways, a new topic after 6 posts answered by a new registrant with 1 post. Smells like a put up job to me.
    Ack! I've been had by a Troll! I feel like it's 1994 all over again......

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    Quote Originally Posted by utropicmedia-karl View Post
    Ack! I've been had by a Troll! I feel like it's 1994 all over again......
    Maybe I'm too young, but I don't get that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daejuanj View Post
    Maybe I'm too young, but I don't get that.
    Have you even heard of Usenet????

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    Quote Originally Posted by utropicmedia-karl View Post
    Have you even heard of Usenet????
    Ahh, ok. Yeah, heard of it, but never used one. God I feel so young..
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    Quote Originally Posted by daejuanj View Post
    Ahh, ok. Yeah, heard of it, but never used one. God I feel so young..
    Usenet made men out of boys - kind of like living in Detroit or Flint. You learned how life worked, else you met consequences. It really was a different community back then.


    Those were the days.....

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    Truth and cynicism

    It's a sad day when you become so cynical that your projected assumptions about posters to this forum prevent you from receiving any truth that might be in their postings.

    Douglasdcin asked a very valid and honest question, which I found yesterday in my Google Alerts and tried to answer from my point of view as someone with experience providing cloud computing services. I can't imagine anyone else reading this thread is interested in all the self-serving ad hominem attacks and off-topic replies, but I'm guessing with cloud computing grabbing headlines that they'd love an intelligent discussion of Douglasdcin's question.

    Let's get back to the discussion: how do you create a cloud offering that can be successful? Things you might consider are how you'd compete with Amazon AWS, and how you'd supply what AWS is missing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enovikoff View Post
    It's a sad day when you become so cynical that your projected assumptions about posters to this forum prevent you from receiving any truth that might be in their postings.

    Douglasdcin asked a very valid and honest question, which I found yesterday in my Google Alerts and tried to answer from my point of view as someone with experience providing cloud computing services. I can't imagine anyone else reading this thread is interested in all the self-serving ad hominem attacks and off-topic replies, but I'm guessing with cloud computing grabbing headlines that they'd love an intelligent discussion of Douglasdcin's question.

    Let's get back to the discussion: how do you create a cloud offering that can be successful? Things you might consider are how you'd compete with Amazon AWS, and how you'd supply what AWS is missing.
    That's all well-and-good, but any senior system administrator/engineer can put the design together. I've even had lengthy discussions with one of the owners of AppLogic(seach for the threads here on WHT) regarding the technology and they freely admit the tech is nothing new.


    How do you compete with "cloud" providers? Hire a system admin or engineer that knows enough about technology and architecture. It's not complicated by any stretch - someone with a *nix and distributed background, 5+ years of development experience and 8+ years of system admin/engineering experience can design the infrastructure.



    Kind Regards,

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    Quote Originally Posted by enovikoff View Post
    It's a sad day when you become so cynical that your projected assumptions about posters to this forum prevent you from receiving any truth that might be in their postings.

    Douglasdcin asked a very valid and honest question, which I found yesterday in my Google Alerts and tried to answer from my point of view as someone with experience providing cloud computing services. I can't imagine anyone else reading this thread is interested in all the self-serving ad hominem attacks and off-topic replies, but I'm guessing with cloud computing grabbing headlines that they'd love an intelligent discussion of Douglasdcin's question.

    Let's get back to the discussion: how do you create a cloud offering that can be successful? Things you might consider are how you'd compete with Amazon AWS, and how you'd supply what AWS is missing.
    There's no need to start a new thread for something that has been beaten to death.

    Case in point: http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=492340
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    I think you're confusing building the technology with building a viable business based on it. They're different skill sets. If you're like me, with 20+ years experience in applications development and deployment, the technical problems are quite solvable. However as a cloud provider myself, I can attest to the fact that putting the hardware together with services that actually solve customers' needs at a price point that is competitive is another whole ballgame. Even AppLogic's developers have spent many man-years on developing their product, and as I pointed out before, it encapsulates a lot of IT experience. If creating the business was as easy as you say, there would be more cloud providers, and they would be more competitive with AWS. But there aren't: I can tick highly successful ones off on one or at most two hands. I'm out there competing with cloud providers every day, and while we have some very amazing technical talent here as well as leveraged through our association with 3Tera, without the requisite business acumen, there wouldn't be a business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by douglasdcin View Post
    I just heard this story on NPR yesterday discussing cloud computing, how you can use external computers to do super-computer sized tasks without having the hardware in house yourself.

    If we host colocated servers, how feasible is it to get our servers into that game?
    While I wouldn't go so far as to say it's "polishing a turd" (lol I just know I'm going to use that phrase now!), google mosso.com (owned by Rackspace) and look at all the issues their customers are having with their "cloud computing". It's a great concept, but it seems like it's got some growing pains to go through yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enovikoff View Post
    I think you're confusing building the technology with building a viable business based on it. They're different skill sets. If you're like me, with 20+ years experience in applications development and deployment, the technical problems are quite solvable. However as a cloud provider myself, I can attest to the fact that putting the hardware together with services that actually solve customers' needs at a price point that is competitive is another whole ballgame. Even AppLogic's developers have spent many man-years on developing their product, and as I pointed out before, it encapsulates a lot of IT experience. If creating the business was as easy as you say, there would be more cloud providers, and they would be more competitive with AWS. But there aren't: I can tick highly successful ones off on one or at most two hands. I'm out there competing with cloud providers every day, and while we have some very amazing technical talent here as well as leveraged through our association with 3Tera, without the requisite business acumen, there wouldn't be a business.
    The OP was referring to his co-located servers, which implies they were looking for a technical solution to "get into that game."

    Though there are anomalies, the majority of IT is driven off innovation and/or hype. Either the service/technology saves someone time(=money) or makes their life easier in some way. Cloud computing, I assert, offers neither of the two touchstones I cited.

    The business issues are a whole different aspect, and are more important IMO then the technical merits. We've seen with the "grid" fiasco last year that marketing and business tactics trump technology every time.



    Kind Regards,
    Last edited by utropicmedia-karl; 05-07-2008 at 12:50 PM.

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    I agree, there are growing pains ahead. The real problem will come from a mismatch between customer expectations and what the cloud providers are offering. My company decided not to emphasize the cloud but rather the operations services we deliver with it, that allow "programmers to be programmers" instead of IT geeks. My experience working at a number of startup companies has shown me that they never invest in the operations side until it is too late to avoid downtime or losing users. Now, they look to cloud computing as a way to avoid investing in operations once again. But the practical fact is that even with cloud computing, you're still responsible for architecting your application and data center to work with each other, designing a reliable release and deployment process, and understanding performance tuning and security. In some ways, cloud computing does these customers a disservice by giving them the idea that they don't need to think about these things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snargleflap View Post
    While I wouldn't go so far as to say it's "polishing a turd" (lol I just know I'm going to use that phrase now!), google mosso.com (owned by Rackspace) and look at all the issues their customers are having with their "cloud computing". It's a great concept, but it seems like it's got some growing pains to go through yet.
    I don't see how "cloud computing" has growing pains, that's like saying computers used as servers is having growing pains. Maybe it's due to the fact that Mosso is using "cloud computing" as a marketing term, and it's not exactly "cloudy"?
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    Yes, it's a shame that the marketing hype is so far off from the reality in the IT world. And I think it "works" because customers are in so much pain that they'll grasp at anything. I've been a customer for IT products and have wasted a lot of time and money trying to bridge the gap between what I was sold and what I actually got. Now that I'm in the provider business, I have resolved never to mislead my customers. The problem is that they've been misled for so long, that they can't tell when I'm speaking truth to them. This brings me back to the business fundamentals, which really are about having a deep level of respect for one's customers. It gets me loyal customers, but it doesn't make sales any easier, especially on the heels of the "grid" fiasco, as you put it.
    Last edited by enovikoff; 05-07-2008 at 01:52 PM.

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