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Posts Tagged ‘cloud computing’

Thoughts from 2010 Gartner Data Center Conference (Part 1)

December 11, 2010 1 comment

This week, I had the pleasure of attending the 2010 Gartner Data Center conference – got to see a lot of old friends, meet new friends, and learn a lot about what Gartner sees coming down the road. 

This year's Gartner Data Center Conference was held at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, NV

It was also a chance to talk to a number of folks about what’s happening at their own data centers, what they’re looking to solve, and what they’d like to see start happening in the industry.

Here are some key nuggets I walked away with – I’ll post again tomorrow with the rest:

  • When it comes to implementing cloud, we cannot allow “20th century industrial models to sap 21st century innovation.” 
  • There’s still not a good answer for failure remediation in the cloud – credit due to downtime is just not good enough.
  • Expect the community cloud concept to continue to draw interest.  (Community clouds are clouds that service specific areas like banking or healthcare, where compliance, etc would be a requirement for its customers.)
  • The next big business opportunity could be cloud brokers as the new systems integrators
  • Great quote from Phil Dawson regarding due diligence before virtualizating anything – “Don’t virtualize rubbish – otherwise you have virtual rubbish.”
  • We often forget that virtualization is more than just servers and storage – there are apps, desktops, etc
  • Client virtualization / VDI is still top of a number of minds, though many are still at the investigative stage.  There are still lingering questions about user adoption, bandwidth / network constraints, and ROI.  (Though I am a big believer.)
  • When we build staffs, we should strive for them to be “T-shaped” – technically deep in few areas, but linkages to the broader business.
  • It’s important to run IT as a business – remember that it is providing something of value that its customer is willing to pay for
  • Some good discussion on IT chargeback and allocation, which many are not doing today, but forsee implementing in the future.  Four required characteristics of IT chargeback: simplicity, fairness, predictability, and control.

Also got a walkthrough of the IBM containerized data center, as well as SGI’s container – both very cool.  (No pun intended.)  I’ve now had the pleasure to see the modular / container data centers from  HP, Dell, IBM, and SGI first hand.

Some interesting stats and statistical predictions from Gartner:

  • 2/3 of the live audience was polled said they will be pursuing a private cloud strategy by 2014
  • What’s the top concern regarding cloud computing?  Security and privacy are still at the top.
  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world.  Twitter – the 7th. (Wow.)
  • There has been more video uploaded to YouTube in the last 2 months than if ABC, NBC, and CBS had been airing content 24/7/365 continuously since 1948.  (WOW.)
  • Data centers can consume 40x – 100x  more energy than the offices they support.
  • An 8,000 square foot datacenter could cost $1.6M per year for just power.
  • Data centers will be significantly smaller in the next 5 – 10 years
  • Data expected to grow 800% over the next 5 years, and 80% of it will likely be unstructured.
  • Today’s labor force will have 10 – 14 jobs by age 38

As you can tell, just a lot of good discussion on cloud, data centers, power, and overall IT.

OK, don’t want to overload more than I have – will back tomorrow night.

(UPDATE: Click here for Part 2.)

Until next time.

JBGeorge
@jbgeorge

OpenStack Design Summit – Day 1 Review

November 10, 2010 2 comments

Wanted to provide some visibility to the great stuff happening at the OpenStack Design Summit at the Weston Center in San Antonio.

  • Intention is to draft requirements and specs for the January release of OpenStack
  • ~300 attendees total – 90 companies and 12 countries represented
  • Companies in attenance include Dell, Citrix, RightScale, Cloudkick, Canonical, NASA, and many others
  • Technical and business tracks running touching on topics like evolution of the datacenter, Bexar release plans, and many others
  • Lots of Twitter action via #openstack
  • Discussion of cloud deployments from the hardware perspective, the software perspective, the services perspective
  • Lots of hallway conversations between companies – networking-a-rama!
  • Great party at Rackspace HQ last night
  • Pictures Day 1 at from the event at http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinhole/tags/openstack/ and http://www.openstack.org/blog/2010/11/openstack-design-summit-day-1-pictures/

Will try to provide an update tonight after today’s festivities as well.

Some personal thoughts that have been ruminating lately, and are becoming confirmed in my mind this week.

  • No matter what side of the fence you’re on, cloud will need to eventually settle at a model that allows users to evaluate needs, business strategy, etc, then decide HOW MUCH to put in the hosted / public cloud, HOW MUCH to put in the private cloud (whether on premise or of premise), and then implement a BURSTING capability.
  • Services are going to be a key part of broader migration to the cloud, especially at the enterprise level
  • We, as a group, are doing better on this, but we’re not spending enough time understanding and designing the networks that will drive our clouds.  More thought, discussion, and debate need to be done on this topic asap.

For the latest happenings at the Design Summit, search Twitter for #openstack (direct link = http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23openstack).  You can also learn more about OpenStack at www.openstack.org.

Also, if you’re at the event, and interested in seeing the Dell PowerEdge C servers that are running at the event, and will power the InstallFest later this week, find me, tweet me, etc, and I’ll get you into the server room.

Until next time,

JBGeorge
www.jbgeorge.net / @jbgeorge

The Cloud and Cotton Candy

October 11, 2010 Leave a comment

  
The other day I was asked a far too familiar question…
  

          “What is a cloud?”
  
Oh, man – here we go…

Like a kid in a candy store, I began to discuss the origins and evolution of IT.  Servers, storage, networks, virtualization… on and on, reveling in exercising my cloud muscle.  IaaS, PaaS, SaaS… every “*aaS” I could think of!  Vendors, strategies, theories, models… it was an amazing tribute to one of our most talked about spaces, if I do say so myself.

    
The response from the interested party?
     

          “Well, it kinda looks like cotton candy.  Hey!  Let’s get some cotton candy!” 

  
At this point, I should note that the question came from my five year old.  And the question was actually phrased, “Daddy, what is a cloud?”

  
Often, those of us in the tech world that live and breathe the bleeding edge forget to translate all this cool gadgetry into tangible benefits for the rest of the world.  Not that the “rest of the world” couldn’t grasp the technical concepts, but great technologies are often great because of the simple benefits they bring.

So again – “what is a cloud?”
  

  • For the small business, cloud could mean more focus on core competencies and less on IT.
  • Cloud can help drive better efficency when it comes to power consumption and carbon footprint, helping the environment.
  • In the case of the State of Minnesota who has agreed to begin adopting cloud computing, it could mean less long-run overhead and costs associated with running the state – which could turn into more services, less taxes, etc. (Learn more about this development at http://bit.ly/bz47j4.)

  
Now there’s no need to try and translate every tech concept into layman’s terms, but for better or worse, cloud’s getting a lot of play.  It’s important we remember to articulate the value of these amazing technologies into terms that demonstrate how it makes the world better.

How have you answered the question “What is a cloud?” with non-techies you’ve encountered? 

Share your stories here or tweet me on twitter (@jbgeorge).

OK, then – I’m off to get some cotton candy.

Until next time,

Joseph B George
@jbgeorge / www.jbgeorge.net