Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, William Schmarzo

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Agile Computing, @BigDataExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Tune into the Cloud – Losing My Religion | @CloudExpo #BigData #IoT #API

One of the tenets of the cloud religion is that it should be possible to build reliable systems on top of unreliable hardware

Tune into: a cloud mindset

One of the tenets of the cloud religion is that it should be possible – through the use of intelligent software – to build reliable systems on top of unreliable hardware. Just like you can build reliable and affordable storage systems using RAID (Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks). One of the largest cloud providers even evangelizes to its application development customers that they should assume that “everything that can go wrong, will go wrong”.  In fact their SLA only kicks in after a minimum of two zones becomes unavailable. Quite a surprising but none the less a typical cloud approach.

Nowadays most of the large cloud providers buy very reliable hardware. When running several hundred thousands of servers a failure rate of 1 PPM versus 2 PPM (parts per million) makes quite a difference. And using too cheap memory chips can cause a lot of very difficult to pinpoint problems. These providers also increase the up-time by buying simpler (purpose-optimized) equipment and by thinking carefully about what exactly is important for reliability. For example: one of the big providers routinely removes the overload protection from its transformers. They prefer that occasionally a transformer costing a few thousand dollars breaks down, to regularly having whole isles loose power because a transformer manufacturer was worried about possible warranty claims. And not to worry, they do not remove the fire safety breakers.

With that we are not implying that the idea of assuring ​​reliability at higher stack levels than hardware is no longer necessary. Sometimes even the best quality hardware can (and will) fail. Not to mention human errors (Oops, wrong plug!) that still on a regular basis take complete data centers out of the air (or rather, out of the cloud).

The real question continues to be what happens to your application when something like this happens. Does it simply remain operational, does it gracefully decline to a slightly simpler, slightly slower but still usable version of itself, or does it just crash and burn? And for how long? For end users bringing their own applications to the cloud it is clear where the responsibility lies for addressing this (with themselves). But end users who outsource their applications to a so called “managed cloud provider” may (and should) expect that the provider who provides that management takes responsibility. Recently several customers of a reputable IT provider – who earned his stripes largely in the pre-cloud era and who now offers cloud services from a large number of regionally distributed DCs – lost access to their applications for several days because one operator in one data center did something fairly stupid with just one plug.

Luckily we do see the rate of such human mistakes decline as cloud providers gain more experience (and add more process). Experience counts, especially in the cloud. But an outage like this simply is not acceptable. If a provider boasts it has more local cloud data centers than others, but then is unable to move specific customer workloads to those other data centers within an acceptable timeframe, it is not really a “managed” cloud provider. Simply lifting and shifting customer applications to a cloud instance  without “pessimistically” looking at what could go wrong, is as stupid as putting all your data on a single inexpensive disk without RAID and without backup. And if reengineering the applications is too expensive to create a feasible cloud business case, then users should ask themselves whether cloud in that case is really the right solution.

In the words of R.E.M.: “I think I thought I saw you try” is really not enough assurance for success. The cloud is not about technology or hardware, it’s about mindset. And providers who do not change their mindset may see their customers loosing faint in the cloud (or at least in their cloud). Quit quickly.

Losing My Religion (1991), was the biggest commercial hit of alternative rock band R.E.M.. The song was written more or less accidentally as the bandleader was trying to teach himself to play a second hand Banjo he bought on sale.

More Stories By Gregor Petri

Gregor Petri is a regular expert or keynote speaker at industry events throughout Europe and wrote the cloud primer “Shedding Light on Cloud Computing”. He was also a columnist at ITSM Portal, contributing author to the Dutch “Over Cloud Computing” book, member of the Computable expert panel and his LeanITmanager blog is syndicated across many sites worldwide. Gregor was named by Cloud Computing Journal as one of The Top 100 Bloggers on Cloud Computing.

Follow him on Twitter @GregorPetri or read his blog at blog.gregorpetri.com

@CloudExpo Stories
"We were founded in 2003 and the way we were founded was about good backup and good disaster recovery for our clients, and for the last 20 years we've been pretty consistent with that," noted Marc Malafronte, Territory Manager at StorageCraft, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are an IT services solution provider and we sell software to support those solutions. Our focus and key areas are around security, enterprise monitoring, and continuous delivery optimization," noted John Balsavage, President of A&I Solutions, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We want to show that our solution is far less expensive with a much better total cost of ownership so we announced several key features. One is called geo-distributed erasure coding, another is support for KVM and we introduced a new capability called Multi-Part," explained Tim Desai, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Hitachi Data Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
"Outscale was founded in 2010, is based in France, is a strategic partner to Dassault Systémes and has done quite a bit of work with divisions of Dassault," explained Jackie Funk, Digital Marketing exec at Outscale, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We focus on SAP workloads because they are among the most powerful but somewhat challenging workloads out there to take into public cloud," explained Swen Conrad, CEO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager – it’s starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are still a relatively small software house and we are focusing on certain industries like FinTech, med tech, energy and utilities. We help our customers with their digital transformation," noted Piotr Stawinski, Founder and CEO of EARP Integration, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We're here to tell the world about our cloud-scale infrastructure that we have at Juniper combined with the world-class security that we put into the cloud," explained Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering at Juniper Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.