TechHui

Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

What is it?
Real-time access to infrastructure
Compute memory, process power, bandwidth, storage
No capex, just opex
Order / provision from anywhere
Scalable on the fly (up and down)
Easy Web management interface
Pay per use / utility-based pricing

How to get into it?
Enabling technologies:
Virtualization: VMware, Xen, Parallels, Hyper-V
Cloud/grid platforms: 3Tera, Abiquo, Primacloud
Microsoft System Center

Who has entered?
Slicehost and Mosso (Rackspace)
SoftLayer
ServePath
Layered Tech
Gandi
Webair
UK2 Group
MaximumASP
Voxel
Xcalibre
Arsys

Amazon, Google, Microsoft a Sure Bet to Win?
Cloud is changing the game
Winners have yet to be determined
Cloud has a long way to go; outages common, support sub-standard
Hosters can and should do better!
Compete, build cloud-like attributes

Thoughts?

Views: 93

Replies to This Discussion

Read an interesting blog last night on how Cloud is currently becoming more "Phog".

http://www.cmdln.org/2009/08/19/its-not-the-cloud-its-the-phog/

I'd agree with the blogger. What was a great and clear concept is getting more and more surrounded by FUD, Marketing, with the concept of the Cloud becoming ever more diluted
At a previous work place Marketing were pushing us to get "Web2.0" services, and even "Web3.0 if possible". Today it seems like the marketing people at some companies have latched on to the Cloud, and just mudying the divide between Virtualisation and Cloud.

That said it does excite me as a technology in general. I have long hoped for an expansion of the concept behind SETI@Home, but in a Data Center level where server resources are pooled together seamlessly. Where increasing the computing power is a question of just plugging in and powering up another server. In many regards something akin to a rendering farm, but even more seamless and less specialised.

The current server usage model is horrifically inefficient, despite it's solid basis in safe principles, i.e. dedicated servers for each major function. Plus, of course, adding redundancy to the mix. That results in under-used servers sapping up electricity and cooling. In an ideal world I long to see a day when all the servers in a DC are connected in a trusted manner. People wishing to have a web server would be able to provision one and it'd exist virtually amongst all the connected servers, able to utilise any servers CPU for various tasks. I would imagine at that stage pricing models would move back towards the old Mainframe days, paying for xx slices of CPU time.

Back when the marketing hype started for the PS3, a few technical sites started looking in detail at IBM's Cell processor that powers it, and one of the vision for it. Whilst it's not enabled in the PS3, one of the ideas with the Cell processor is that you can just plug in additional processing power. Imagine hooking up your PS3 to your TV and taking advantage of any spare processing power of the generally under used Cell processor that could be driving the TV, or using spare processing power in a DVR/VCR/DVD player. With the rapidly improving powerline ethernet connecting Cell based systems together could be as simple as just plugging the device in to the mains. I guess you could term it a "Personal Cloud". Of course we're probably a decade away from seeing such technology, but one can always hope.
Interesting. You got me interested in open-xchange again with this post. Has anyone put the latest version into production?
OK for the record I am a Regional Sales Manager for a Managed Services "Cloud Computing" company. My goal of this response is not to be salesy but informative. If you want added info, please drop me an email... That being said...

Handing over activities such as email, Web hosting, network management, help desk and or service desk to a third-party provider can minimize internal headaches and maximize an IT department’s ability to focus on core competencies. Nevertheless, there’s nothing routine about ITinfrastructure outsourcing.

IT Infrastructure Outsourcing enables businesses to maintain a competitive edge. C-level executives rely on strategic initiatives to take their business to the next level. Infrastructure Management Outsourcing is an emerging trend in the otherwise mature Infrastructure Outsourcing market. IMO can be an enabler of the asset-light approach to IT transformation, presenting a viable alternative to the traditional IO model.

The reasons that companies opt to outsource their infrastructure vary greatly, from reducing head count to increasing service availability. In fact, drivers often correlate with a company’s size and scope. Large market organizations need to
provide some level of 24/7 infrastructure services, and that’s often well beyond their current staffing capacities, hence seeking value through outsourcing.

Other companies turn to IT-infrastructure outsourcing to gain access to scarce skills and resources. Furthermore, recruiting employees with such skills can be a time-consuming and costly endeavor.

More companies also seek to convert fixed IT costs into variable costs. Whether a business is in the throes of rapid growth or is being forced to scale back rapidly, outsourcing allows a company to pay for only those services that it requires, as well as add and subtract services on an as-needed basis. With outsourcing IT infrastructure, companies can rely on a pay-on-demand model until they reach a tipping point to determine whether or not to invest in house or continue to outsource.

Companies really have to be targeting a minimum savings of at least 15 or 20 percent going into an outsourcing arrangement to see value. There are ways, however, in which companies can maximize the value derived from infrastructure outsourcing. Spending anywhere from 3 to 6 months evaluating your company’s end -to-end IT
processes and discovering their strengths, gaps, costs and key requirements can be undertaken in
house or through outsourcing advisors.

Choosing a provider is a difficult task. The larger companies have a hidden agenda (to sell you more of their core offering). Smaller companies may not have the financial security to hang in there for the long term. Medium sized boutique companies offer vendor agnostic solutions, and are more concerned with their clients' business goals.

Hope this was helpful

Francis Covington
Critigen Managed Services
Regional Sales Manager
Attila Seress said:
Interesting. You got me interested in open-xchange again with this post. Has anyone put the latest version into production?
Yes, if you mean 2007, we have over 100K users. We are Microsoft gold, and will offer 2010 upon Microsoft release.

Francis A. Covington said:
Attila Seress said:
Interesting. You got me interested in open-xchange again with this post. Has anyone put the latest version into production?
Francis A. Covington said:


Handing over activities such as email, Web hosting, network management, help desk and or service desk to a third-party provider can minimize internal headaches and maximize an IT department’s ability to focus on core competencies. Nevertheless, there’s nothing routine about ITinfrastructure outsourcing.


More companies also seek to convert fixed IT costs into variable costs.



I think many companies have not added in the hidden costs. For example, the security aspects of having proprietary company material on someone else's servers. You constantly have to do penetration tests to assure the company is properly securing your data. Also, how can you trust their employees with your data? There're many other things that need to be considered when choosing such a path for your company.
Email me and I will send you one of the analyst report on resolving security concwerns.

scott weeks said:
Francis A. Covington said:


Handing over activities such as email, Web hosting, network management, help desk and or service desk to a third-party provider can minimize internal headaches and maximize an IT department’s ability to focus on core competencies. Nevertheless, there’s nothing routine about ITinfrastructure outsourcing.


More companies also seek to convert fixed IT costs into variable costs.



I think many companies have not added in the hidden costs. For example, the security aspects of having proprietary company material on someone else's servers. You constantly have to do penetration tests to assure the company is properly securing your data. Also, how can you trust their employees with your data? There're many other things that need to be considered when choosing such a path for your company.
It would be nice to have a link so others can read up on it. I have seen several on the web. However, I would like to see a technical treatment, rather than a glossy marketing writeup.
Hi Scott:

Thank you for the request. I have not been able to paste a link, but what I can suggest is that you register online for CIO magazine, and highlight the areas of your interest (i.e. Cloud Computing, or Managed services). They will inundate you with current articles and white papers that are being published by actual users sharring their experiences. I particularily like these because many of them come from clients using the cloud today, and they are very honest and straight forward.

Hope this helps...

Regards,
Francis

scott weeks said:
It would be nice to have a link so others can read up on it. I have seen several on the web. However, I would like to see a technical treatment, rather than a glossy marketing writeup.
Thanks for the link. I am looking for a technical treatment, as I mentioned previously, and I don't think I will find it in CIO magazine. I will only find business cases there and they will gloss over the hidden costs, such as those presented by the security issues. A technical discussion would reveal those hidden costs. I'll just keep reading online until I find what I'm, looking for.

Thanks for the discussion, though. It's my first one on TechHui. :-)
Scott:

I just looked through some of my files, and I have several reports that will give you exactly what it appears you are looking for. However, all of them are Gartner Reports, and I cannot reproduce them. You might put the following into a search engine, and see if you can find thsi Gartner Report (note don't use the quotation marks) "gartner_value_for_high_tech_and_telecom"

Francis

scott weeks said:
Thanks for the link. I am looking for a technical treatment, as I mentioned previously, and I don't think I will find it in CIO magazine. I will only find business cases there and they will gloss over the hidden costs, such as those presented by the security issues. A technical discussion would reveal those hidden costs. I'll just keep reading online until I find what I'm, looking for.

Thanks for the discussion, though. It's my first one on TechHui. :-)

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