Tag Archives: Virtualization

What would it take for the clouds to rain?

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  1. Cloud is definitely the hot word in infrastructure talk these days, In a recent article by Frank Dzubeck in Network Worldhe discussed 5 open questions that need to be addressed for clouds to flourish most so in enterprise environment with its share of regulations and procedures. before going to address those questions from a technical perspective it is important to also address the these questions from the business angle as the solution often lays there.
    the questions that need to be addressed are: 1. Security , 2. Performance , 3. Management, 4. regulation and 5. variable cost structure.
  2. on the business side – enterprise cloud services are definitely a high-caliber problem to solve with multiple technical variables entangled with legal contracts so reducing it to an evolutionary process by looking at existing services we consume helps to make a tangled web into a solvable problem. adapting solutions from the world of voice service, power services and temp workforce placement services should be the start for where to look for solutions and practices.  for example, the security commitment and compensation question has been addressed and placed in practice for a lot of international companies outsourcing offshore. performance has been addressed in voice services more so by creating a commoditized voice service that allows the customer to switch to a different service provider if he hears noises or long latencies on the line than by any strict SLAs. the management is a pure technical question that assumes that underlying application infrastructure is manual and hands-on and not commoditized in nature like power is.  a century ago companies still managed and created their electric power as it became commoditized, the largest consumers don’t ask for the ability to manage and troubleshoot their service provider’s grid and last to the challenge of having a variable on-demand cost associated with computing, again i defer to the power consumption model which we can adopt in which demand forecasting provides a rough estimate but never a precise one.
  3. on the technology side – we are looking into a new type of infrastructure that has 2 main things:
    1. the ability to apply business policies to applications. in this model the application owner does not just request for features but also asociates service level requirements (latency, avalability, security) as well budgets for running the application (otherwise we know everyone will want a milisecond latency and 100% availability for everything).
    2. application infrastructure has to be automated in real-time based on the above business policies without constant hands on from engineers. in this world the infrastructure grows and shrinks based on the changing nature of the application, the demand from users and the business changing needs.
  4. as we see both the business side and the technology side being sorted out, we will see the cloud starting to reach massive commodity consumption which resembles more of power grid than the manual outsource model it has today.

Psst… want to know what’s going to happen in the data center in 2008?

We at B-hive spend a lot of time helping customers achieve optimal service levels to their business applications while improving the cost effectiveness of their data center operations. That gives us good insight into what is happening inside the data center and what things are going to happen in the near future.

I thought an appropriate way to start this post is by sharing our predictions for 2008 as we see it from the fluorescent lighten, cold, floating floors of our customer’s data centers.

This post will tackle the future of Web 2.0.

Web 2.0 – there has been much talk recently about the end of the Web 2.0 world as we know it. That sentiment has been exemplified by two recent events – media anti-sentiment towards the web2.0 poster child, (probably peaking with the Beacon story) and the VC community’s declining interest in financing new Web 2.0 ventures, illustrated recently by one of the largest Silicon Valley VCs, Kleiner Perkins, stating that they will not finance any new Web 2.0 companies.

From the way I see it, Web 2.0 is here to stay – the concepts of user generated content and social connectivity are just a technological adaptation to some of the most basic human traits (we share information and we have the need to belong to groups that define who we are and who we aren’t) and as such we will see the same technology making its way into the enterprise (my CRM could use some more collaboration tools and I am sure that crowd wisdom will turn to be a very important information source in virtual financial trading floors) or as a progression of any online application today (Fantasy Baseball, Mommy Groups). Sure, some of the recent users in Facebook might stop using, but that would be mostly the users who were not supposed to be on it in the first place (that includes most of the media writers covering Facebook today and all of my mom’s co-workers who are poking me on Facebook so they can see some baby pictures of my 7-month old).

Facebook’s target audience will just keep on using it in the same way we didn’t stop using IM or shopping online after the .com bust . On the contrary, the number of users will continue to climb and I am sure that given enough time, the financial model behind it will be fine-tuned.

As for the VC angle, yes VCs make it easier for new companies to launch, especially when they have a long technology development period. Guess what? Launching a web2.0 application today has been quite commoditized with platforms like Ning and many others allowing users to focus on creating the community and the rest is up to that magic viral touch. In the same way that anyone today can open an online-shop in Yahoo! or eBay without the need to get Web-Van style funding (more than $800m raised and they didn’t even have a sock-puppet on the payroll!). Web 2.0 is now a commodity application maturing from a hit driven market to a long tail eternal phase.

Next week – The future of the virtualized data center.

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