|By Brian McCallion||
|June 9, 2011 01:11 PM EDT||
On June 7th @cloudexpo I attended a presentation on Eucalyptus by Rich Wolski (founder and CTO of Eucalyptus, known to throw lightning bolts from Mount Olympus when he thinks nobody is looking. He certainly threw a few during his presentation @ CloudExpo that most people didn't notice.) during which he described the genesis of Eucalyptus. Creating a cloud interface indistinguishable from the interface of Amazon AWS was the critical success factor and defined the project. The challenge, Rich explains, was like that of a "Turing Test."
A Turing test is a well known test used to measure the success of early artificial intelligence systems. In a Turing test the user interacts with another 'user' via a keyboard interface not unlike a present day chat system. If after asking and receiving questions and responses from the other user the human user believes the other user is human, then that AI system has met a certain measure of success. IBM's Jeopardy / Watson demonstration provides an interesting example of the Turing test. While IBM focused on the speed of analysis and the depth and volume of data accessed by Watson on my opinion this focus masks the brilliant ability of Watson to simultaneously research and solve for meaning. It's evident but worth noting that for Watson, positing and refining the meaning of the question was significantly more difficult than retrieving the data. And to me it's this kind of "work" that the Turing Test really tests for.
|Decorator Crab in action!|
If the goal of Eucalyptus at inception was to provide an interface indistinguishable from Amazon AWS's interface, what does this mean in terms of the "stickiness" or competitive positioning of web services and their providers? In a marine ecosystem if you are a decorator crab and your unique and carefully constructed shell or wrapper or mediation suddenly ceases to offer you a stable degree of survivability this trouble may be brief and final.
In Amazon's case I wonder if the reason there's been no public conflict between Amazon and Eucalyptus is because essentially, Amazon and Eucalyptus form a symbiotic organism: Amazon AWS provides the Public Cloud and Eucalyptus transmits the Amazon AWS DNA / interface to the Private Cloud. In other words, while Amazon may make money via the Cloud, Amazon may perceive the competitive landscape (seascape) very different from other participants. What if Amazon.com does not directly compete through AWS technology? Instead, Amazon.com operates several hierarchies above from the Masters of the Universe game room. What if for Amazon the cloud play is to completely disrupt and reorganize the datacenter industry ecosystem by unleashing an "event" which disrupts large and small players alike and results in a disruptive redefinition of service delivery, choice of customer, and pricing. And just for good measure, Amazon.com, may in fact remain the leader and lawgiver of the business internet.
Once Amazon put the "Cloud" horse on this multidimensional chessboard, the marketplace forever changed. While one might argue that teaching consumers to purchase things on the internet took ten years, clearly in the cloud and datacenter space, change ripples or waves through the system an order of magnitude more quickly, and appears to be accelerating. @CloudExpo, June 8th 2011 CEO panel, Treb Ryan of OpSource stated that in just six months from now the industry will moved forward in a meaningful way and that issues in the foreground now would not be in the foreground then. Unlike other participants in the Cloud Computing space Amazon has hundreds of millions of end users and millions of businesses using its ecommerce interface to purchase and sell goods. Is Amazon playing in a much larger game and other participants only see the shadows of these moves, but not the body or the head of this organism?
Analyzing the marketplace from the point of view of Amazon.com as an ecommerce SaaS market maker may better reveal the nature of Amazon's behavior in the Cloud ecosystem. Amazon.cpm may be the world's largest SaasS provider by revenue. Think about the the evolution of Amazon's business model and position in the marketplace . In every line of business from its genesis to today Amazon.com has begun by using software to redefine a brick and mortar business and over time increasingly seeks to replace physical commerce activity with the activity of third party participants who actually interact with physical goods and services. In other words, Amazon creates a marketplace, demonstrates success, then increasingly moves to profit by selling other market participants the Amazon.com software services that enable the business. Amzon moves to exit the business of moving physical objects as quickly as it possibly can. Amazon seeks to sell the ecommerce application to other businesses that use that system to serve Amazon's customer base.
What Business is Amazon.com Really In? How Does Cloud fit into this Puzzle?
Rich Wolski @CloudExpo pointed this out to me by simply stating that Amazon's real business is being a SaaS provider of an ecommerce application. If delivering ecommerce services is Amazon's core business, then what is Amazon's Cloud business? And how does what Amazon.com is doing in the Cloud really relate to Amazon's core ecommerce business? If we think about the much cited example of the invention of the telephone, the telephone itself wasn't worth anything until a network of communications could be built. In order to monetize the telephone, Bell had to build out the necessary infrastructure. In recent history, in order for Amazon to extinguish physical books and enable the ecosystem for ebooks, Amazon had to invent the Kindle. Think about the Kindle and how it has fostered mobile tablet form factor computing as you consider Amazon's emboldened move to remake the business internet.
Create the Climate and Ecosystem Necessary for Amazon to Achieve Hypergrowth and World Domination (Exaggerated, but maybe not so much)
Amazon's cloud strategy achieves several key objectives:
- Disrupt the datacenter market in terms of service delivery, quality, provisiong, size of a viable datacenter, and cost. In other words Amazon invented the Cloud. Rich Wolski validated my opinion of this yesterday.
- Disintermediate the major vendors of datacenter compute, network, storage inputs so as to ignite innovation and destroy the viability of current production and pricing models.
Presently, IBM, Intel, HP, Oracle sell to mid-market firms through an ecosystem of distributors and partners collectively called "The Channel.". However, in the Cloud phase ignited by Amazon's disruptive move, the Channel will cease to participate in this ecosystem. Cloud data-center requirements will determine order size, configuration and delivery. And these types of orders can be fulfilled directly by the manufacturers and do not require a Channel to mediate between the manufacturer and the consumer. Intel could, in theory manufacture and deliver industrial size datacenter compute / network / storage units. At the conferences I've attended one area of consensus is that the compute architecture will be Intel. Maybe this is why Amazon AWS is nurturing Nvidia GPUs for floating point intensive workloads. In any case, I expect to see more compute vendors enter the Datacenter space because the order size and volume will might make it feasible for chip manufacturers smaller than Intel to deliver the compute component, but I don't really know how anyone can surpass Intel in terms of volume. Even, so, with the scale of the Mobile build out, Intel's position in the ecosystem is no longer a certainty in this new ecosystem. Presently Cisco offers PODS, which combine compute / network / storage in a pluggable shipping container.
What and How Will the (Few) Cloud Datacenters Buy?
Rather than buying individual servers, network components, and cable datacenters in the Cloud era purchase large "pluggable" blocks of compute and storage directly from the manufacturers. And in this phase, mid-market firms no longer buy a significant volume of compute or storage because the small and mid-market firms will move first and rapidly to the cloud. And once the mid-market fully commits to Cloud, there will be no turning back. And the agility and competitive advantage these midmarket firms will gain, will result in serious erosion of market power of the Global 2000. Once the Global 2000 feel the heat from the mid-market firms, departments in the Global 2000 will likely defect from the corporate datacenter / "private cloud" at an increasing rate. Unable to stem this tide, the Global 2000 will attempt to accelerate deployment of Private Cloud. However, in my opinion, the Global 2000 will largely fail in their private cloud initiatives and the Diaspora / Exodus will continue until all but very "special" applications will run in the cloud. I commonly see Fortune 500 companies outsource applications like SAP and other "mission-critical" applications to managed hosting companies.
As a result, pricing power by the compute and storage vendors will diminish because the consumers, the datacenters will purchase in volume and will negotiate in a manner similar to the way airlines buy from Boeing and Airbus. Technology compute / storage channel sales will dwindle the point that they become insignificant and the Channel as we know it will disappear for these kinds of goods. As a result manufacturers such as IBM HP DELL can now standardize and optimize compute storage for the Cloud Era, but (with the exception of Dell) they won't be happy about it because they will make much smaller margins and will sell much less compute and storage.
In other words, while most trendy analysts at the best firms speak passionately about the "consumerization of the internet and of business applications and web services" Amazon has been-there, done-that, and moved several steps ahead to, the "industrialization of the internet."
Amazon survives and thrives through this extinction event, because this new biome enables Amazon to reach and serve more customers and at a much lower price-point. During and after this event, Amazon sells excess datacenter capacity to the market until Amazon is ready to invest in the iteration of the data-center Amazon needs to achieve hypergrowth stage. In other words, Amazon is a macro player and essentially tipped over the market, creating an "extinction event" if you will, which results in the regrowth of the entire technology ecosystem around the needs of massive scale, cooling, speed, and reliability. Amazon requires this kind of an ecosystem to support Amazon's yet to be grasped and unimaginably bold vision of the world marketplace all running on Amazon's ecommerce platform.
See video of Rich Wolski and CloudExpo
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In their General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate at SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, to discuss how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
Sep. 25, 2014 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,721
Come learn about what you need to consider when moving your data to the cloud. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Skyla Loomis, a Program Director of Cloudant Development at Cloudant, will discuss the security, performance, and operational implications of keeping your data on premise, moving it to the cloud, or taking a hybrid approach. She will use real customer examples to illustrate the tradeoffs, key decision points, and how to be successful with a cloud or hybrid cloud solution.
Sep. 22, 2014 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,338
In today's application economy, enterprise organizations realize that it's their applications that are the heart and soul of their business. If their application users have a bad experience, their revenue and reputation are at stake. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anand Akela, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Application Performance Management at CA Technologies, will discuss how a user-centric Application Performance Management solution can help inspire your users with every application transaction.
Sep. 22, 2014 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,998
With the explosion of the cloud, more businesses are transitioning to a recurring revenue model to generate reliable sales, grow profits, and open new markets. This opportunity requires businesses to get to market quickly with the pricing and packaging options customers want. In addition, you will want to take advantage of the ensuing tidal wave of data to more effectively upsell, cross-sell and manage your customers. All of this is possible, but only with the right approach. At 15th Cloud Expo, Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder at Aria Systems and the inventor of cloud billing panelists, will lead a panel discussion on what it takes to launch and manage a successful recurring revenue business. The panelists will offer their insights about what each department will need to consider, from financial management to line of business and IT. The panelists will also offer examples from their success in recurring revenue with companies such as Audi, Constant Contact, Experian, Pitney-Bowes, Teleko...
Sep. 12, 2014 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,506
Planning scalable environments isn't terribly difficult, but it does require a change of perspective. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will broaden your views to think on an Internet scale by dissecting a video publishing application built with The SoftLayer Platform, Message Queuing, Object Storage, and Drupal. By examining a scalable modular application build that can handle unpredictable traffic, attendees will able to grow your development arsenal and pick up a few strategies to apply to your own projects.
Sep. 12, 2014 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,806
The cloud provides an easy onramp to building and deploying Big Data solutions. Transitioning from initial deployment to large-scale, highly performant operations may not be as easy. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will discuss the benefits, weaknesses, and performance characteristics of public and bare metal cloud deployments that can help you make the right decisions.
Sep. 11, 2014 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,282
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects – scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e., the largest single medical system in the United States.
Sep. 10, 2014 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,636
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Derek Tumulak, Vice President of Product Management at Vormetric, will discuss how to address data security in cloud and Big Data environments so that your organization isn’t next week’s data breach headline.
Sep. 10, 2014 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,782
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Sep. 6, 2014 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 5,063
Is your organization struggling to deal with skyrocketing volumes of digital assets? The amount of data is growing exponentially and organizations are having a hard time managing this growth. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Amar Kapadia, Senior Director of Open Cloud Strategy at Seagate, will walk through the essential considerations when developing a cloud storage strategy. In this discussion, you will understand the challenges IT is facing, why companies need to move to cloud, and how the right cloud model can help your business economically overcome the data struggle.
Sep. 6, 2014 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,806
If cloud computing benefits are so clear, why have so few enterprises migrated their mission-critical apps? The answer is often inertia and FUD. No one ever got fired for not moving to the cloud – not yet. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Hoch, SVP, Cloud Advisory Service at Virtustream, will discuss the six key steps to justify and execute your MCA cloud migration.
Sep. 6, 2014 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,832
The 16th International Cloud Expo announces that its Call for Papers is now open. 16th International Cloud Expo, to be held June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Sep. 5, 2014 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,014
Most of today’s hardware manufacturers are building servers with at least one SATA Port, but not every systems engineer utilizes them. This is considered a loss in the game of maximizing potential storage space in a fixed unit. The SATADOM Series was created by Innodisk as a high-performance, small form factor boot drive with low power consumption to be plugged into the unused SATA port on your server board as an alternative to hard drive or USB boot-up. Built for 1U systems, this powerful device is smaller than a one dollar coin, and frees up otherwise dead space on your motherboard. To meet the requirements of tomorrow’s cloud hardware, Innodisk invested internal R&D resources to develop our SATA III series of products. The SATA III SATADOM boasts 500/180MBs R/W Speeds respectively, or double R/W Speed of SATA II products.
Sep. 4, 2014 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 9,034
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
Sep. 4, 2014 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,374
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudian is a Foster City, Calif.-based software company specializing in cloud storage. Cloudian HyperStore® is an S3-compatible cloud object storage platform that enables service providers and enterprises to build reliable, affordable and scalable hybrid cloud storage solutions. Cloudian actively partners with leading cloud computing environments including Amazon Web Services, Citrix Cloud Platform, Apache CloudStack, OpenStack and the vast ecosystem of S3 compatible tools and applications. Cloudian's customers include Vodafone, Nextel, NTT, Nifty, and LunaCloud. The company has additional offices in China and Japan.
Sep. 3, 2014 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,270
SYS-CON Events announced today that TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise), a leading value-added provider of server and storage virtualization, and r-evolution will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise) is a leading value-added provider of software, systems and solutions for corporations, government organizations, and academic institutions across the United States and Canada. TechXtend is the Exclusive Reseller in the United States for r-evolution
Sep. 3, 2014 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,572
Every healthy ecosystem is diverse. This is especially true in cloud ecosystems, where portability and interoperability are more important than old enterprise models of proprietary ownership. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Baker, Server Product Manager at Canonical/Ubuntu, will discuss how single vendors used to take the lead in creating and delivering technology, but in a cloud economy, where users want tools of their preference, when and where they need them, it makes no sense.
Sep. 3, 2014 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,650
The consumption economy is here and so are cloud applications and solutions that offer more than subscription and flat fee models and at the same time are available on a pure consumption model, which not only reduces IT spend but also lowers infrastructure costs, and offers ease of use and availability. In their session at 15th Cloud Expo, Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, and Ian Khan, Global Strategic Positioning & Brand Manager at Solgenia, will discuss this shifting dynamic with an example of a top European Telco provider. Find out how they are leveraging the power of acloud-based consumption model services to offer more value to the mass market and enable a new revenue model that embraces the true meaning of the Third Industrial Revolution.
Sep. 2, 2014 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,515
The emergence of cloud computing and Big Data warrants a greater role for the PMO to successfully manage enterprise transformation driven by these powerful trends. As the adoption of cloud-based services continues to grow, a governance model is needed to orchestrate enterprise cloud implementations and harness the power of Big Data analytics. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mahesh Singh, President of BigData, Inc., to discuss how the Enterprise PMO takes center stage not only in developing the appropriate governance model but also in collaborating with key stakeholders to ensure a successful transformation.
Sep. 2, 2014 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,977
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, will explore the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, war stories, case studies, and recommendations.
Sep. 2, 2014 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,780