Forrester Research has come up with a cool interactive map that shows the current status of data privacy laws in countries called the Interactive Data Protection Heat Map. It heats up the debate of cloud privacy by showing a that US data privacy is on par with Russia. Even more disturbing is the “warning: symbol indicating possible government surveillance. If you want more privacy you better copy your data to Argentina or Germany, Okay Che!
True wide-spread public cloud adoption by large enterprises will take some time. First the underlining service level and security concerns will need to be addressed. In the meantime, companies can work towards building expertise in cloud technologies and realize immediate benefits by building private IaaS clouds or evolving their current infrastructure to be more like a service. One of the key benefits of IaaS is the ability to scale infrastructure up and down fairly quickly improving agility and time to market, not to mention delighting internal customers. The goal here is to give internal customers the perception of almost infinite elasticity and build services that are close to on-demand. However, achieving this goal will require internal staff keep more infrastructure inventory on hand than they are used to, a proposition that goes against some of the cost benefits of IaaS. Some are meeting this challenge with off premise or external clouds and “bursting”. In bursting you procure additional compute resources from an IaaS provider, typically for a short period of time, while you add capacity to your existing private IaaS. Most of the conventional wisdom in this space is moving towards internal private IaaS coupled with external private IaaS bursting to meet elasticity demands. However there is another option that can help meet the inventory/capacity challenges; technology vendors can share the inventory risk by providing hardware and software upfront at close to zero cost and charging only when its put in service. HP had a similar model with their Intel server hardware a few years ago. They would provision a full rack of servers in your data center and charge you, per server, as you turned them on. There were never any delays due to HW provisioning. I refer to this as vendor inventory risk sharing and see it as a viable option to enabling elasticity and agility.
One topic I don’t hear a lot about is how you get large of amounts of data into the cloud and between clouds. Maybe the assumption is that enterprises will ultimately migrate to “Everything as a cloud” (EaaC); presentation, computing, AND data in the cloud. Consequently, it is understandable how all the discussion is around SaaS, custom thin clients with PaaS, or applications on IaaS. However, wide enterprise adoption of the cloud will rely on the flexibility to use different cloud technologies and providers for different portions of the application and infrastructure.
In the long run enterprises will need a mix and match strategy driven by the financial, security, and compliance constraints. For instance, cloud architectures should support having your data on site in your data center and the compute and presentation layer in the cloud. Cloud architectures should also support the ability to have your data and your compute on different clouds. A critical requirement of this flexibility is the ability to move potentially large amounts of data to and from clouds, since your data and compute resources may be in different data centers. Ultimately, cost-effective network connections are needed. However, typically the bandwidth needed in-between components is a constant and can only be optimized so much in code. In the end, the only option is to optimize the traffic in the network between the components. This is where WAN optimization technologies and products come in.
WAN optimization technologies and products will use compression, caching, and de-duplication to reduce the actual bits going across the inter cloud network allowing enterprises to deploy smaller bandwidth networks and save operating costs. Without a serious offering of WAN optimization technologies and products large-scale enterprise cloud adoption will fail.
An interesting play on IaaS for training, demonstrations and development, Cloudshare.com provides you an environment of up to 6 servers on their cloud for free. The key word here is free. You can choose from multiple OS and enterprise software, including Oracle on Windows, CentOs , Xubunto, and MS SQL 2008. Setup is blazing fast, I built a test bed of 3 CentOs servers and a Windows workstation in under 20 minutes. Environments can also be shared with peers and customers through email. They have a paid enterprise offering also for those that need more features. Enjoy!
A good friend of mine, Jorge Azcuy, posts regularly on this blog. Jorge is a Technical Services Manager for Compuquip Technologies. I bounce ideas/questions off him when in a pinch. Enjoy.
Found an amazing source for information, applications and trends for you cloud computing junkies like me. And you can listen to it while driving those long commutes! It is the ” This Week is Cloud Computing ” podcast,Wednesdays at 3:30pm PT. Find it on ITunes or at http://thisweekin.com/thisweekin-cloud-computing/
The hosts, Amanda Coolong and Mark Jeffrey, run one of the best podcasts I have heard and have the funniest jingles around.