|By John Considine||
|September 23, 2010 07:15 AM EDT||
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 “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.
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes ab...
Sep. 2, 2015 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 688
In their Live Hack” presentation at 17th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty and Paul Fletcher, Chief Security Evangelists at Alert Logic, will provide the audience with a chance to see a live demonstration of the common tools cyber attackers use to attack cloud and traditional IT systems. This “Live Hack” uses open source attack tools that are free and available for download by anybody. Attendees will learn where to find and how to operate these tools for the purpose of testing their own IT infrastructu...
Sep. 2, 2015 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 482
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Sep. 1, 2015 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 396
Any Ops team trying to support a company in today’s cloud-connected world knows that a new way of thinking is required – one just as dramatic than the shift from Ops to DevOps. The diversity of modern operations requires teams to focus their impact on breadth vs. depth. In his session at DevOps Summit, Adam Serediuk, Director of Operations at xMatters, Inc., will discuss the strategic requirements of evolving from Ops to DevOps, and why modern Operations has begun leveraging the “NoOps” approa...
Sep. 1, 2015 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 424
IBM’s Blue Box Cloud, powered by OpenStack, is now available in any of IBM’s globally integrated cloud data centers running SoftLayer infrastructure. Less than 90 days after its acquisition of Blue Box, IBM has integrated its Blue Box Cloud Dedicated private-cloud-as-a-service into its broader portfolio of OpenStack® based solutions. The announcement, made today at the OpenStack Silicon Valley event, further highlights IBM’s continued support to deliver OpenStack solutions across all cloud depl...
Sep. 1, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 275
Red Hat is investing in Tesora, the number one contributor to OpenStack Trove Database as a Service (DBaaS) also ranked among the top 20 companies contributing to OpenStack overall. Tesora, the company bringing OpenStack Trove Database as a Service (DBaaS) to the enterprise, has announced that Red Hat and others have invested in the company as a part of Tesora's latest funding round. The funding agreement expands on the ongoing collaboration between Tesora and Red Hat, which dates back to Febr...
Sep. 1, 2015 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 394
SYS-CON Events announced today that DataClear Inc. 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. The DataClear ‘BlackBox’ is the only solution that moves your PC, browsing and data out of the United States and away from prying (and spying) eyes. Its solution automatically builds you a clean, on-demand, virus free, new virtual cloud based PC outside of the United States, and wipes it clean...
Sep. 1, 2015 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 439
Cloud and datacenter migration innovator AppZero has joined the Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Alliance Program. AppZero is a fast, flexible way to move Windows Server applications from any source machine – physical or virtual – to any destination server, in any cloud or datacenter, using its patented container technology. AppZero’s container is also called a Virtual Application Appliance (VAA). To facilitate Microsoft Azure onboarding, AppZero has two purpose-built offerings: AppZero SP for Azure,...
Sep. 1, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 217
WSM International, the pioneer and leader in server migration services, has announced an agreement with WHOA.com, a leader in providing secure public, private and hybrid cloud computing services. Under terms of the agreement, WSM will provide migration services to WHOA.com customers to relocate some or all of their applications, digital assets, and other computing workloads to WHOA.com enterprise-class, secure cloud infrastructure. The migration services include detailed evaluation and planning...
Sep. 1, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 200
SYS-CON Events announced today that G2G3 will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based on a collective appreciation for user experience, design, and technology, G2G3 is uniquely qualified and motivated to redefine how organizations and people engage in an increasingly digital world.
Sep. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 516
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp 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. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
Sep. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 447
In 2014, the market witnessed a massive migration to the cloud as enterprises finally overcame their fears of the cloud’s viability, security, etc. Over the past 18 months, AWS, Google and Microsoft have waged an ongoing battle through a wave of price cuts and new features. For IT executives, sorting through all the noise to make the best cloud investment decisions has become daunting. Enterprises can and are moving away from a "one size fits all" cloud approach. The new competitive field has ...
Sep. 1, 2015 02:45 PM EDT
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and a...
Sep. 1, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 483
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.
Sep. 1, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 919
This Enterprise Strategy Group lab validation report of the NEC Express5800/R320 server with Intel® Xeon® processor presents the benefits of 99.999% uptime NEC fault-tolerant servers that lower overall virtualized server total cost of ownership. This report also includes survey data on the significant costs associated with system outages impacting enterprise and web applications. Click Here to Download Report Now!
Sep. 1, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 268
Enterprises can achieve rigorous IT security as well as improved DevOps practices and Cloud economics by taking a new, cloud-native approach to application delivery. Because the attack surface for cloud applications is dramatically different than for highly controlled data centers, a disciplined and multi-layered approach that spans all of your processes, staff, vendors and technologies is required. This may sound expensive and time consuming to achieve as you plan how to move selected applicati...
Sep. 1, 2015 12:30 PM EDT
Organizations from small to large are increasingly adopting cloud solutions to deliver essential business services at a much lower cost. According to cyber security experts, the frequency and severity of cyber-attacks are on the rise, causing alarm to businesses and customers across a variety of industries. To defend against exploits like these, a company must adopt a comprehensive security defense strategy that is designed for their business. In 2015, organizations such as United Airlines, Sony...
Sep. 1, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 500
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
Sep. 1, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 332
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of ...
Sep. 1, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 301
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Sep. 1, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 430