Virtualization, Cloud, Infrastructure and all that stuff in-between

My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together

Cloudcamp London July 2009


Cloudcamp London is just winding down, it seems to be a lot smaller than the last London Cloudcamp and it’s in a smaller but much nicer venue (provided by Microsoft)

There were a set of lightning talks on various cloud topics, mostly on security in the cloud.

Some interesting thoughts from HP labs on on data obfuscation software as a way to better protect data in the cloud, some client side software that can encrypt and decrypt data from a service provider, almost it’s own man in the middle to translate data to/from the cloud.

Never store your data in the clear in the cloud but don’t rely on the cloud to do the encryption, it’s transparent to your apps and is prob he most agnostic approach too, an Amazon or Microsoft DB doesn’t care if the First Name field says “bob” or “"LpZ”

There was an interesting panel discussion that spent some time on the definition of cloud computing, there was a lot of bagging of the concept of private clouds not being “proper” cloud computing, it’s “just” virtualization.

That’s a favorite argument of mine and Joe Bagley from Quest software made a point that summarizes it better than my previous statements; “virtualization is just a technology, cloud is a business model” – to expand that further that business model can be applied equally to public facing services and internally facing services (inter-departmental, chargeback etc.) – it’s not all about internet scale gargantuan operations

Some breakout sessions from Cisco on IP NGN – Next Generation Network, applying tagging technology to ensure network state moves around the datacentre and globe with virtual server instances. “the network is not just the pipe”.

Rightscale were up next; SaaS gives you limited control over what you can do with your solution – PaaS/IaaS – total flexibility, rightscale add automation and management

Predictions over infrastructure sizing cost money = over-provisioning; opportunity cost, which is why cloud is so appealing to start-ups, lower barrier of entry… same principal can apply to the corporate world – cost of failure is smaller for off the wall ideas.

some examples of very peaky demand that they helped deal with on EC2;

  • Animoto EC2 example 8 mins CPU for 1 min video, 25k sign ups per hour peak 4.7k EC2 instances
  • Oscars Starcut, scheduling feature to bring up instances on a schedule
  • Beijing olympics
  • Eli Lilly — computational biology, grid in the cloud taking advantage of massive parallelism

CohesiveFT were up next (The discussion topics didn’t grab my interest this time round so I stuck with the vendor track as I needed to get a bit of market research in.

  • – customize virtual (cloud) server build = likened to Dell website process for building a physical server
  • Software factory, pick components – open source things like mySql, python etc.  upload your own components, multiple OSes (open source)
  • build, licence, market sell ISV solutions via portals
  • output as EC2 or elastic hosts cloud
  • or download VM in VMware/Xen/Parallels VM appliance – very cool
  • community edition = free, personal or professional (paid-for
  • they embed management hooks in the appliance back to elastic server service console
  • On-premise versions going into beta soon, deploy as a VM appliance – nice

enStratus were up last David Bagley is an IaaS management offering

  • managing infrastructure, security, reliability
  • Interesting point made by a member of the audience; Amazon (+other IaaS)costs flex up and down with demand, managed services don’t map that way with most MSP, support is a fixed cost, no pay as you go
  • Reason being you need people sitting there, a larger MSP should be able to do this as they have more diversity better risk/workload spread but costs don’t reflect that or have high barriers to entry.

All round a good event, bit smaller and less vocal audience than the last one I attended, if you get the chance I would definitely recommend checking out an event near you.

2 responses to “Cloudcamp London July 2009

  1. Pingback: CloudCamp London #4 Write-ups » CloudCamp

  2. Mark Cusack July 18, 2009 at 7:30 am

    I also found the HP talk on obfuscation interesting because it highlighted a subject that with hindsight I should have touched upon in my lightning talk about archiving structured data to the cloud. I outlined how data compression minimizes the cost and latency of moving data around the cloud, but should have added that the compression techniques employed by RainStor and others also obfuscates the data, with or without encryption…an added benefit.

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