The Virtualization Practice

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing focuses upon how to construct, secure, manage, monitor and use public IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS clouds. Major areas of focus include barriers to cloud adoption, progress on the part of cloud vendors in removing those barriers, where the line of responsibility is drawn between the cloud vendor and the customer for each of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS clouds, ...
as well as the management tools that are essential to deploy in the cloud, ensure security in the cloud and ensure the performance of applications running in the cloud. Covered vendors include Amazon, VMware, AFORE, CloudSidekick, CloudPhysics, ElasticBox, Hotlink, New Relic, Prelert, Puppet Labs and Virtustream.

There’s been a lot of press around the FREE Ubuntu 9.10 Linux distribution as a client operating system, and a wide set of comparisons made (typically by Mac or PC-using journalists) between Ubuntu and Windows 7, but 9.10 is also interesting from a broader virtualization and especially Cloud perspective. Ubuntu is managed by a UK company, Canonical, through a bona-fide foundation. Ubuntu will always be free, and is aligned with the Debian community.

Eucalyptus is a software stack that when added to a standard virtualized data-center or co-located server network, turns it into a Cloud which looks exactly like the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). It is a “self-build” Amazon Cloud kit. Just add hypervisor.

We consider Eucalyptus in the context of cloud to datacenter migrations, and standards for cloud APIs.

Cloud hosted applications require a new approach to applications performance management. An approach that is offered on a SAAS basis, with an easy to install application resident agent, and that focuses upon response time instead of resource utilization is required. New Relic RPM is the first example of such an approach.

It was only a matter of time before VMware decided that if it was going to be an applications platform company, and really take on Microsoft, that it would need a presence in the business of building applications, and in providing the run-time infrastructure for applications. Acquiring SpringSource is a brilliant move because it leverages the open source community to devalue and dilute Microsoft standing in the applications tools and platform markets.

Last month Verizon expanded its Computing as a Service (CaaS) cloud computing offering. The expansion itself is not surprising. The interesting tidbit is that Verizon has Carrier Status and therefore different laws apply to them than any other cloud provider that does not have this status, such as Amazon EC2, Terramark, etc. Will cloud computing providers be the next internet service provider? If so will they have to battle to not be responsible for the content within their clouds, as did internet service providers with the battle that ensued over the Communications Decency Act?