Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Richard Napolitano, Aruna Ravichandran, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Recurring Revenue

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Opinion: "Cloud in a Box" Gets Boxed In

Another big company joining the cloud computing tsunami - Oracle

Just a week after our blog post on the telcos, we find another big company joining the cloud computing tsunami – Oracle’s announcement of its “cloud in a box” offering as well as new offerings of Oracle software running on Amazon’s EC2.

For a company whose leader shunned the term “cloud” last year, this is a lot of cloud announcements in one week.  Oracle’s new Exalogic Elastic Cloud is perhaps the first Sun-Oracle-in-a-box“cloud in a box” solution that is actually delivered in a box (of hardware).  Unlike the offerings we have seen from Eucalyptus, Nimbula, Azure, and VMware, the Exalogic product contains the control software as well as the hardware components to make a virtualized resource pool.  The other vendors have focused on delivering a software solution that can be combined with the users’ choice of servers, storage, and networking gear to build a cloud.

Oracle, powered by Sun’s server and system technology, has decided to deliver a complete cloud solution that contains up to 360 CPU cores, 2.8TB of RAM, and 40TB of storage in a single rack of equipment.  This big box is reportedly priced at just over $1M.  Oracle’s motivation for this box is to deliver on the promise of building an entire stack of both hardware and software that has been engineered to work together to deliver better performance, reliability, and scale.  Overall, the Exalogic system has impressive performance characteristics and may be a great solution for data center consolidation, but…

Placing the term “Elastic” in the name of this offering is stretching the accepted definition of the term as it relates to cloud computing.  The Exalogic server is a contained set of resources that is purchased, operated, and maintained as part of the enterprise infrastructure.  You can scale your applications up and down within this solution, but in the end, you are limited to the number of cores, amount or RAM, and size of the storage you purchased.  While you can add more racks to the solution, you are stuck paying for the whole thing independent from what you really use – not exactly elastic or pay for only what you use.  My only other problem with Exalogic is the range of supported operating systems – we like the Linux and Solaris support, but a quote from Rick Schultz of Oracle – “There is no demand for Windows at the moment” – makes me wonder who they are talking to.  More than half the enterprise workloads CloudSwitch has deployed to the cloud are Windows-based; how can there be no demand for Windows in Exalogic?

The other interesting difference in the Exalogic solution as compared to the big (public) cloud offerings is the design center for the hardware.  Clouds like Amazon and Google were developed around “stripped down” servers to act as generic compute components.  The redundant components normally used to improve the reliability of a server are removed from the compute nodes to reduce the component cost, and software and other application-level techniques are used to make up for the fail-able components.  Each of the servers in the Exalogic solution has redundant power supplies, 2 solid state disk drives, and redundant Infiniband controllers.  This more expensive hardware allows the system to survive component failures with minimal disruption to the running applications – a traditional enterprise infrastructure design, with high reliability to support a lot of VM’s packed on a single piece of hardware.

The difference between the two approaches highlights the upcoming battle between architectures in the cloud – stripped down commodity servers versus highly available high-end servers as the basis for cloud computing.  The early leader in this space is the commodity server approach because of the types of applications initially targeted to clouds – stateless horizontally scalable web applications.  But as we start putting more core enterprise applications into the cloud, the HA architectures become more interesting, and thus we expect this architecture to gain ground.  We see these architectures gaining ground already with clouds like Terremark, BlueLock, and Savvis.

The other announcement this week from Oracle is expanded support for running Oracle software in Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud.  Oracle has provided templates (AMI’s) in Amazon for its database software since 2008, and this week they have expanded the number of applications they will support in Amazon to include Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise, Oracle's Siebel CRM, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Database, and Oracle Linux.  In addition to expanding the software supported on AWS, Oracle has taken the step of “certifying” the software for operation in Amazon.  This means that customers can now get support from both Oracle and AWS for those applications.  Although Oracle’s lead cloud story seems to be about the Exalogic box, I believe that this announcement does more to advance cloud computing for enterprises.  Support for these key Oracle products in Amazon’s cloud adds credibility to public cloud computing, as it allows enterprises to really use the cloud for their core applications.  This is one of the areas that a cloud provider cannot fix, it is up to the software vendors to expand their horizons to embrace the cloud and Oracle is blazing the trail.

I think the only downside to the Oracle-Amazon announcement is the lack of integration with Oracle’s control software.  The FAQ’s from Amazon and Oracle emphatically state that the management controls for Oracle deployments to the cloud is exclusively the Amazon console and tool set.  This is a shame since we believe that seamless integration between the data center and the cloud is key to a successful enterprise cloud deployment; creating a disjointed environment just adds work with no value for the enterprise and ultimately leads to cloud lock-in. Our enterprise customers have told us consistently that they want a “single pane of glass” from which they can manage pools of resources both internal and external.

Finally, while I like the architecture of the Exalogic Elastic Cloud, and believe that it could form the basis of a new class of cloud computing offerings, it too may be missing a critical point.  If an enterprise decides to deploy their private cloud on this technology, there is no connection or relationship between the applications deployed to the private cloud and those running in the public cloud.  This, once again, highlights the importance of cloud federation – you will never break the cycle of buying more hardware and infrastructure if you don’t embrace technology that allows you to access the public clouds.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By John Considine

John Considine is Co-Founder & CTO of Cloudswitch. He brings two decades of technology vision and proven experience in complex enterprise system development, integration and product delivery to CloudSwitch. Before founding CloudSwitch, he was Director of the Platform Products Group at Sun Microsystems, where he was responsible for the 69xx virtualized block storage system, 53xx NAS products, the 5800 Object Archive system, as well as the next generation NAS portfolio.

Considine came to Sun through the acquisition of Pirus Networks, where he was part of the early engineering team responsible for the development and release of the Pirus NAS product, including advanced development of parallel NAS functions and the Segmented File System. He has started and boot-strapped a number of start-ups with breakthrough technology in high-performance distributed systems and image processing. He has been granted patents for RAID and distributed file system technology. He began his career as an engineer at Raytheon Missile Systems, and holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
"We specialize in testing. DevOps is all about continuous delivery and accelerating the delivery pipeline and there is no continuous delivery without testing," noted Marc Hornbeek, Sr. Solutions Architect at Spirent Communications, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
"Alert Logic is a managed security service provider that basically deploys technologies, but we support those technologies with the people and process behind it," stated Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Digital Transformation is the ultimate goal of cloud computing and related initiatives. The phrase is certainly not a precise one, and as subject to hand-waving and distortion as any high-falutin' terminology in the world of information technology. Yet it is an excellent choice of words to describe what enterprise IT—and by extension, organizations in general—should be working to achieve. Digital Transformation means: handling all the data types being found and created in the organizat...
The essence of cloud computing is that all consumable IT resources are delivered as services. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, demonstrated the concepts and implementations of two important cloud computing deliveries: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). He discussed from business and technical viewpoints what exactly they are, why we care, how they are different and in what ways, and the strategies for IT to tran...
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of pro...
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin,...
Container technology is sending shock waves through the world of cloud computing. Heralded as the 'next big thing,' containers provide software owners a consistent way to package their software and dependencies while infrastructure operators benefit from a standard way to deploy and run them. Containers present new challenges for tracking usage due to their dynamic nature. They can also be deployed to bare metal, virtual machines and various cloud platforms. How do software owners track the usag...
With SaaS use rampant across organizations, how can IT departments track company data and maintain security? More and more departments are commissioning their own solutions and bypassing IT. A cloud environment is amorphous and powerful, allowing you to set up solutions for all of your user needs: document sharing and collaboration, mobile access, e-mail, even industry-specific applications. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Shawn Mills, President and a founder of Green House Data, discussed h...
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect t...
"Our biggest growth area has been the security services, the managed services - the things that differentiate us in the market that there is no client that's too small and there's no client that's too big," explained Paul Mazzucco, Chief Security Officer at TierPoint, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Containers are changing the security landscape for software development and deployment. As with any security solutions, security approaches that work for developers, operations personnel and security professionals is a requirement. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kevin Gilpin, CTO and Co-Founder of Conjur, will discuss various security considerations for container-based infrastructure and related DevOps workflows.
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry. Resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, broke down what we've got to work with and discuss the benefits and pitfalls to discover how we can best use them to d...
"We do data integration for B2B also application to application, and we do data management and enable Big Data," explained Pat Adamiak, Vice President, Product Marketing at Liaison Technologies, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
The Cloud industry has moved from being more than just being able to provide infrastructure and management services on the Cloud. Enter a new era of Cloud computing where monetization’s services through the Cloud are an essential piece of strategy to feed your organizations bottom-line, your revenue and Profitability. In their session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, and Ian Khan, Global Strategic Positioning & Brand Manager at Solgenia, discussed how to easily o...
Chuck Piluso presented a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Prior to Secure Infrastructure and Services, Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Te...
"ProfitBricks was founded in 2010 and we are the painless cloud - and we are also the Infrastructure as a Service 2.0 company," noted Achim Weiss, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of ProfitBricks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobi...
One of the hottest areas in cloud right now is DRaaS and related offerings. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Dale Levesque, Disaster Recovery Product Manager with Windstream's Cloud and Data Center Marketing team, will discuss the benefits of the cloud model, which far outweigh the traditional approach, and how enterprises need to ensure that their needs are properly being met.