Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogel recently posted about the challenge of choosing the right metrics for cloud computing. He begins with the following observation where he introduces the idea of Return on Agility:
“In the many meetings with customers in which I have done a deep dive on their architecture and applications to help them create an accurate cost picture, I have observed two common patterns: 1) It is hard for customers to come to an accurate Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculation of an on-premise installation and 2) they struggle with how to account for the “Return on Agility”; the fact that they are now able to pursue business opportunities much faster at much lower costs points than before.” Continue reading Return on Agility and the Cloud
On June 26, Red Hat announced a new version of OpenShift, and pricing for a future production offering (some time this year). You still can’t buy it but if you were able to buy it you’d know exactly how much it could cost – at least if you could work out what a “gear” is. Pricing allows us to start to compare it more meaningfully with other offerings. However rather than comparing with another PaaS offering, we think most people will be actually considering IaaS as an alternative, so we are going to do that comparison instead.
Continue reading OpenShift — Pricing and Comparison to AWS
Apple unveiled the latest iCloud iteration at it’s Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco yesterday, beefing up the the fledgling service with new features that show for the first time that it too understands what post-PC means. Continue reading Apple Joins the post-PC Revolution
Everywhere you look you hear more and more about cloud computing as well as one of my favorite lines from a Microsoft commercial “Let’s take it to the Cloud…”. Companies are jumping on the cloud bandwagon in quite a big way. I wanted to point out and mention some stories and services that I am using personally and am having good success with.
Apple has done quite well serving up the AppStore and iTunes for the mobile devices and Apple has recently announced that it was discontinuing MobileMe and replacing the service with iCloud. It can go without saying that this has been an invaluable tool for use with my iPhone and iPad. Continue reading Take it to the Cloud
I like OpenStack (the Open Source IaaS Cloud Platform intiative), partly because of the model of open innovation and permissive licencing (which reminds me of my time at Eclipse) and partly because even within the existing governance model (which I have criticised) there is the opportunity for different agendas to surface and to drive the project in different directions and this diversity makes an analyst’s life more interesting.
One of the most intriguing names that has hitherto been at the periphery of the OpenStack initiative is Citrix. Up until last week, Citrix’s contribution was to ensure OpenStack ran on XenServer, something which I’m sure Citrix cares about, but perhaps wasn’t top of the list of requirements for the rest of the world. However, this week at it’s Synergy event, Citrix made some more sigificant announcements about Project Olympus, through which it aims to provide (in collaboration with Dell and Rackspace) a route to commercial exploitation of the OpenStack codebase. Continue reading Citrix announces IaaS Project Olympus built on OpenStack
One of the differentiating features of an IaaS cloud implementation, is that you do not get access to a consolidated scalable storage infrastructure. At least not in the same way that you might expect if you were just scaling out compute nodes attached to the same SAN. You get remote block storage (Elastic Block Storage, EBS, in the case of Amazon) connected to a specific machine image, and you get REST-style object storage (Simple Storage Service, S3, in the case of Amazon) which is shared amongst images but does n0t speak the traditional APIs.
A lot of people have become dependent on EBS as it seems closest to what they are used to. Amazon failed because of simultaneous failure of its EBS in two Availability zones. If you were dependent on one of these (or mirrored across the two) you lost access to the filesystem from your Instances. It is also worth noting that EBS images are not like CIFS or NFS filesystems in that they can only be attached from a single instance, so you are still left with a bunch of headaches if you have a replicated mid-tier that expects to see a filesystem (for example to retrieve unstructured data). It may be sensible to move to the use of the S3 mechanism (or some portable abstraction over it) for new applications, but if you have an existing application that expects to see a filesystem in the traditional way, this will require you to rewrite your code, so you are left looking for a distributed cloud-agnostic shared filesystem with multi-way replication (including asynchronous replication), and this is where Gluster fits in. Continue reading Is Gluster the answer to Scalable Cloud Storage and the Amazon Outage?