Thursday, January 07, 2010

Cloud Predictions 2010

Thanks to the gang over at for soliciting cloud computing predictions for 2010.

Here is a link to my attempts to discern the murky future:

Happy New Year

Friday, June 12, 2009

Is the Cloud Ready for the Enterprise?


Especially now that the "private cloud" has been deemed possibly real and useful by the cloud vendors.

The emergence of the private cloud is a major event in enterprise IT infrastructure. The argument against "private cloud" has been it may not be truly elastic, it may not be pay-as-you-go on a fine grained basis and has many discrepancies with how we are beginning to view public clouds.

In this case you have to look in the eye of the beholder, the enterprise IT exec. Most enterprise IT executives I know are pretty bright, and extremely realistic about the dysfunction that litters the corporate landscape. They know there are areas of activity they aren't good at, or are over-complicated, and usually even know why, but they can't necessarily change their organization. So when an enterprise guy says he "wants his own private cloud"...he is stipulating to the jury up front the following types of deformations in his environment:

  • IT is a captive vendor to a captive customer
  • IT is creating many "one of" products
  • IT can't take on debt
  • IT can't issue equity
  • IT reports equally to multiple masters
  • IT's multiple masters range from benignly ignoring each other to actively (and with mal-intent) attempting to damage each others operating division
  • IT can't spend the total sum of money that its multiple masters ask it to spend
  • IT is highly regulated and audited
  • and more.......
IT execs are saying, "OK, despite that pile of problems listed above, I want to be as "cloudy" as possible, because I can see the ways a 'best instantiation' against this backdrop can really help me."

My question is "Why are cloud land folks so pedantic on this point?" Putting in place one of the cloudy solutions available today and its associated loosely coupled automation infrastructures today gives that IT exec WAYYYY more bang for their buck than they get out of the big, over-complicated, baroque, metal provisioning solutions left over from the end days of the dot-com era.

My response is "good thinking guys, let's get you a private cloud and take it from there!"

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Ongoing Cloud Rorschach

Is this cloudy? What do you see in the following images?*

The Announcement

The Call to Action

Notice in "tiny" print at the bottom - consult your Verizon Business representative - click on "Contact Us".

The Contact Form

No public docs. No visibility to features, functions, pricing.
Am I a public company, how big am I, parent legal entity, etc..

Certainly cloudy.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Is Enterprise ready for the Cloud?

This is one of the questions being bandied about in the Cloud world. And this is different than "is the Cloud ready for the enterprise".

I look to the System Integrator market as a guide. For example, Japan traditionally has been an environment where very little proprietary or custom application development is done by enterprises themselves, it is done by "SIers". The enterprises that have the core competencies to do custom development don't keep it in house, they in fact create an SI business. This is why you run into SIs named after large industrial manufacturers.

Increasingly this is occurring in the US and Western Europe; enterprises depend on SI's for implementation and even process and governance in some cases.

What does this mean? It means that whatever the internal IT budget is, many organizations have a greater appetite for the use of IT to enable their business than they are willing or able to put directly into the hands of their IT department. I take from this, that the limit is not available funds for the IT department, it is the IT department either cannot (or is perceived to be unable t0) effectively utilize the funds. The SI becomes one of the key levers business management and the CIO have to expand capacity.

Prior to cloud computing, the SI still, for the most part, had to come back to the IT department/data center operations "hat in hand" to get the implementation of the project deployed. Now the SI's will have multiple cloud relationships or run their own cloud. This creates another lever the enterprise. And, it grows the prominence and footprint of the SI in their business relationship with the enterprise.

It even begins to make them more of a channel for other vendors goods and services than they are today. I am thinking "go long" some of the key SIs in your portfolio as the market rebounds. A lot of them are sitting on their hands right now, actually investing less than my company CohesiveFT does, to meet customers needs in the cloud. But some of them look ready to move with real resources behind real business plans.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"What is a cloud" ruckus

Memo to everyone.
Dateline Chicago.

We are not going to end up with a uniform definition of "cloud".

We have been doing "open systems", "open standards" and "open source" for decades now - and we don't have a uniform definition of "open".

We have been "patching" software for decades and I can tell you there is no uniform definition around what a "patch" is, or what the behavior of "patching" actually entails.

We are developing a Rosetta stone of cloud-ish attributes. And I for one am ok with the Sun definition. I think Dave Douglas, Lew and company have done a good job of making it generally understandable without being overly proscriptive or prescriptive.

For my interests I have a subset of the Sun view.

Pat Cloud is:

Cloud User defines a workload
This is done manually or via automation. The workload is in the form of a "language module" (Java EAR, Java WAR, Python Egg, Ruby gem, Python-Django-AppEngine tar file).

Cloud User moves workload to cloud (either manually or via automation)

The workload uses resources
It dynamically accesses and consumes network, storage, processing, and possibly some value added services.

The Cloud has certain minimal attributes
It has an API.
It takes credit cards or PayPal.
It allows short time window usage (pay by the minute, hour, day, week?)

This works for me - and helps me get a lot of work done. Cheers.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Open Cloud Ruckus in verse (compliments of RoboPoem)

For those of you have missed the fuss over the Open Cloud Manifesto, a veritable Greek Tragedy, and are even less inclined to read the voluminous email trail of pronouncement, criticism, critique, hysteria, fear and even rational discourse (in some small amount), here are the events in 4 poems as the result of google cloud group texts cut-and-pasted, then translated to verse by the wonderful RoboPoem.

Note: I first did this last Friday night, but did not want to pile on Reuven Cohen anymore than was happening. We are both at the Cloud Computing Expo today and he assures me he will take no umbrage.

I. The Manifesto
Cloud providers must work together dot
That the challenges to cloud adoption chant grapeshot
Portability applicability
immeasurable applicability
Addressed through open collaboration puff
Appropriate use of standards dress rebuff
Providers must not use their market heady
Lock customers into their sate unsteady
And limiting their choice of providers snout
Providers must use and adopt though redoubt
Wherever appropriate the it foghorn
Invested heavily in escalade stillborn
And standards organizations there dought
Need to duplicate or reinvent clinch got
When new standards or adjustments to hemstitch
Are needed we must be judicious astrology deathwatch

II. The Backdrop of Events
I define cloud computing as elastic vein
Resources' with a value'added stack cell arraign
Providing ha linear reincorporate
Etc' a all accessed by a scum alleviate
In theory' apps running on the same cloud should be braids
Share americanization choroids
Have mentioned in the definition of cloud game
Done in today's data centers a data nan frame
Be elastic today infact quite a ravishing
Been working on grid/utility/on walk absorbing
Centers for atleast 10 years they are also nephrons
On a pay'as'you'go model' many course gridirons
Especially in the enterprise world have slurred
Scalability automatic disjoint cowherd

III. The Furor
Hi to all' i think this rooster
Getting nowhere fess blaster
Feel i must express my doom
Think the whole weighting showroom
Not really obeying
Whether chaffered displaying
Lead this thing in new york trig
He is the leader oat dig
What anybody has played
About it he started pope fade
Thing and he has my vote beech
Regarding the reside preach
With microsoft' the outdid
The way things are dye outdid
Why the secrecy i yore
Are at a warm sophomore
This industry where we twice
That open tent sacrifice

IV. The Apology
Dear friends' it is with an eye fireside
Open future that we bay eyed
Many apt criticisms sneak
The cloud computing nor relique
Ccif and the difficult shabby
Which this abolishers clubby
Itself' as the organizers of crew
We would like to make our scab blue
The following letter is feet
Edict or decree berth deceit
A heartfelt attempt to reach lapp
Our fellow ethyl overlap
So we might begin to move smear
Events and complied anywhere
Our options' an apology while sup
This week's metaphysical up
Well argued posts one expanse
To inevitability trance

This covers the gist of the events. You should now be up to date.
I for one, am getting back to work.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Something new in Elastic Server that I LOVE...

OK. So I am a total "homer" for our stuff at CohesiveFT. I don't know if any of the other systems out there that help you on-board to EC2 help you elegantly with AMI placement in S3 buckets. If they already do, they have my congrats.

Check this screenshot out.

This is part of our EC2 configuration screen. When Amazon launched their Europe data center at the end of last year - we went live about 8 minutes later with the ability to dynamically create custom AMIs and live deploy them to EC2 USA or EC2 EU.

Still, even after that cool addition, one artifact from the "early days" of Elastic Server, that we had never addressed, was S3 bucket creation, organization and maintenance. We put each of your AMIs into a bucket named the same as the AMI. Simple, but it lead to hitting the AWS "number of buckets" limitation and made sorting in ElasticFox kind of a pain.

BUT above you see how you can select your S3 bucket as part of your assembly instructions. Not only do you get a dynamically created AMI in minutes - but you choose how to organize in S3! Thanks team! This is great!