|By Alan Williamson||
|June 16, 2009 09:45 AM EDT||
I’ve just come back from hosting room another packed Cloud Computing Bootcamp, at the Cloud Computing Expo in Prague, Europe. We’ve done a number of these bootcamps in the last 6 months and we’re starting to see a common theme of questions bubble through. Namely, how fast is it, and what support can I expect?
We’re starting to see a number of real alternatives pop up on the cloud infrastructure scene now. In the past year alone, we’ve seen the number of providers nearly double, starting to give the ‘grandaddy’ of cloud computing, Amazon, a run for its money.
So now we have real choice to build solutions that are no longer locked into a particular provider - assuming of course we don’t immerse ourselves too deeply in their feature list. But how can you compare providers?
The first comparison point is of course performance. This is a common question asked at our bootcamps and it is important to understand that you are never going to get the same level of throughput as you would on a bare-metal system. As it’s a virtualized world, you are only sharing resources. You may be lucky and find yourself the only process on a node and get excellent throughput. But it's very rare.
At the other extreme, you may be unlucky and find yourself continually competing for resources due to some “noisy neighbour” that is hogging the CPU/IO. The problem is that you never know who your neighbors are. The only way you can guarantee the exclusive resource is to move out of the cloud.
So when comparing providers, it's important not to try and compare too closely the performance of say a small instance at Amazon, with the small slice at Mosso, or the small server-RAM at GoGrid. It is very tempting to do it, and you would think on paper that this would be a fair way of knowing how many instances from each provider you need to host your cloud application but it is not. The only real way to tell, is to literally try it. Cloud Computing is so inexpensive that you have the luxury to try a number of providers at the same time to see which satisfies your own metrics.
The other big area of concern that you can use as a comparison point is support. Just how available are they when things go wrong. Can you reach out to someone to talk to? Can you email a helpdesk and get your query answered?
With Amazon You Are On Your Own
This is where sadly Amazon fail big time. They have their public forums, but other than paying for support specifically, there is no free help. You are on your own. Amazon take little responsibility and it’s quite common to arrive in the morning discovering an instance has been turned off due to some fault and you’ve lost all the data on those disks. At Amazon you have to build redundancy in from the start!
Just recently we had the need to move over what was historically running on a 12 bare-metal server infrastructure over to the cloud. Naturally we would need more than 12 instances, and as a rule of thumb, for every real server, you need two cloud instances. It’s not a hard and fast rule, more a guideline. For this particular client, we didn’t have existing accounts set up with the providers so we had to sign-up there and then and get moving. We architected the system, and decided that GoGrid was going to be the best provider for us at this time. However, we got sidelined instantly and had to ask technical support regarding a specific issue. On the Saturday morning the question was asked, and we have yet to get an answer to that issue. Their online accounting system was not approving new accounts over the weekend so we had to wait until the following Monday to start using GoGrid.
Mosso's Technical Support - Top-Notch
Not wishing to lose the weekend and wait, we went to our second choice, Cloud Servers from Mosso. Instant sign-up and within the hour we had our instances all spun up starting to work. We had some teething issues with Mosso. Performance isn’t terribly good on their lower end instances and you have to move far up the chain before you get anywhere near the level we expect. But their technical support is excellent and top-notch. They were on hand at all times during the weekend assisting us with some issues we had.
GoGrid’s lack of responsiveness lost them what is effectively a $20k yearly account. Such is the world of instant server provisioning - Live by the instance, die by the instance.
Support should never be underestimated. In our experience a good support network outstrips any kinks or issues a platform may have. Flexiscale in the UK is another cloud provider that has had us ring them at all hours, yet they’ve been there answering and helping us out.
Google App Engine: "Cloud It Yourself"
The big vendors have a long way to go to on their support. Amazon requires you pay. Google App Engine isn’t good at answering direct questions. Their attitude seems to be, CIY: Cloud It Yourself. But this won’t last.
While the large players have poor direct one-on-one support they have usually the most online documentation and largest attended forums. But this can usually only go so far in diagnosing a specific issue.
If your business relies on the speedy resolution of an issue from your cloud provider, then test them before you try. Send them that email out-of-hours to see how quickly and how useful the reply actually is. Try and reach someone on the phone. Look around the forums to see how many questions are left unanswered.
Get a feel for how they treat problems, because this little piece of research could make the difference from having a great cloud experience from one that could have you running back for your bare metal systems!
More Than 60 Companies Sponsored or Exhibited at Cloud Computing Expo New York April 2009
Cloud Computing Conference & Expo West and East (past two events) were sponsored by more than 60 leading global cloud computing technology providers, including: 3Tera, Active Endpoints, AppSense, AppZero, Aria Systems, CA, Inc., Certeon, Cloud.com, Composite Software, Cordys, Corporate Technologies, Cycle Computing, DataDirect Technologies, EMC,, ExactTarget, FreedomOSS, IBM, Intel, Intel SOA Products Group, iTKO, J9 Technologies, Krugle, LynuxWorks, MeettheBoss.com, Metron, Microsoft, mindSHIFT, Moderro Technologies, Mosso, Nastel, Netmagic Solutions, OpenSpan, ParaScale, Platform Computing, QuantumXML, Red Hat, RightScale, Sensedia, Sun Microsystems, Supermicro, Symantec, Tap In Systems, Tranxition, Tripwire, VIRTERA, VMware, Web Age Solutions, and Zeus Technology.
More Than 100 Sponsors and Exhibitors Expected in Silicon Valley
Upcoming Cloud Computing Conference & Expo 2009 West event, which will take place November 2-4, 2009, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley is estimated to have more than 100 sponsors and exhibitors.
For sponsorship and exhibit opportunities please contact Cloud Computing Expo sales department at 201 802-3021 (events at sys-con.com).
Cloud Computing Expo New York April 2009 Sold Out With Record Participation
2nd International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo, colocated with 5th International Virtualization Conference & Expo presented the most distinguished faculty of speakers on any technology conference taking place in 2009. Speakers, general session and keynote presenters included such names as: ,Ajay Anand (Yahoo!), Alan Williamson (AW 2.0 Ltd), Anthony Arrott (Trend Micro), Bill McColl (Cloudscale), Bob Quinn (3Leaf Systems), Brian H. Prince (Microsoft), Brian Zanghi (Kadient), Bryan Wade (ExactTarget), Clod Barrera (IBM), Daniel Beveridge (VIRTERA), David Bernstein (Cisco), David Bressler (Progress Software), David Douglas (Sun Microsytems), David Linthicum (Blue Mountain Labs), Doug Tidwell (IBM), Ed Sullivan (Aria Systems), Glenn Brunette (Sun Microsystems), Jeff Bauer (Forbes.com), Jeremy Geelan (SYS-CON Media), Jim Rymarczyk (IBM), Joe Gregorio (Google), Joel York (Xignite), John Barr (Yieldex), John du Pre Gauntt (Media Dojo), John Laferriere (Corporate Technologies), Jon Pyke (Cordys), JP Morgenthal (J.P. Morgenthal Blog), Kenneth Oestreich (Egenera), Kevin L. Jackson (Dataline), Kristof Kloeckner (IBM), Lucian Lipinsky de Orlov (VIRTERA), Martin Ingram (AppSense), Matt Holleran (Emergence Capital), Michael Hill (IBM), Omer Trajman (Vertica), Owen Garrett (Zeus Technology), Patrick Kerpan (CohesiveFT), Pau Garcia-Mila (eyeOS), Peter Coffee Salesforce.com), Peter Nickolov (3Tera), Phil Fritz (IBM), Prasad Rampalli (Intel), Raghavan Srinivas (Intuit), Ranjith Ramakrishnan (Cumulux), Reuven Cohen (Cloud Interoperability Forum), Rich Wolski (University of California), Ronnie Thomson (Quark), Russ Daniels (HP), Sajai Krishnan (ParaScale), Scott Wiener (Cloud9 Analytics), Simon Wardley (Canonical), Stephen Elliot (CA), Steve Milroy (OnTerra Systems), Stuart Charlton (Elastra), Thorsten von Eicken (RightScale), Tien Tzuo (Zuora), Tim Crawford (Stanford University), Vik Chaudhary (Keynote Systems), Warren Wilbee (Microsoft), Werner Vogels (Amazon.com), William Fellows (The 451 Group).
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, will compare the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, e...
Sep. 27, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,124
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
Sep. 27, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 416
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Sep. 27, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,840
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
Sep. 27, 2016 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,557
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Sep. 27, 2016 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,182
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
Sep. 27, 2016 05:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,655
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, provided tips on how to be successful in large scale machine learning...
Sep. 27, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,004
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
Sep. 27, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 296
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Sep. 27, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,761
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
Sep. 27, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,595
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
Sep. 27, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,762
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
Sep. 27, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,692
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
Sep. 27, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,273
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Sep. 27, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,213
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
Sep. 27, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,017
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
Sep. 27, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,716
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
Sep. 27, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,601
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Sep. 27, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,665
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Sep. 27, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,222
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Sep. 27, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 4,565