Cloud Mania

Sunny TerrasRecently there isn't a day going by without getting confronted with the message that the cloud is the best thing since sliced bread. However the cloud is, like a real cloud, so blurry that it's by now only getting more and more confusing. What is this cloud? All I know, it isn't clear.
  • Microsoft is 'all in', whatever that might be. Recently with lot of buzz around Office 365, unfortunately I've to wait two to four weeks to test drive the recent beta release of Office 365. This can mean that it's a done deal and people are jumping on it immediately and I'm just too late with my adoption and have to wait in line, or it's a trick to create the impression that traction is huge, either way it's not yet clear what it can mean for my business.
  • Gone Google, not a day goes past of I read another impressive 'Our Gone Google Story'. Well, when I went to Google I didn't get further than the reception desk. Note: Aadjemonkeyrock runs Google.
  • VMWare launches Cloud Foundry, the first open Platform as a Service (PaaS). Many buzz words in the value proposition 'No Obstacles: Deploy and Scale Your Applications in Seconds', showing again focus on convenience.  
  • Microsoft is aggressively promoting the Azure Platform. It's too complex for me to understand, but it makes heaps of sense and has many advantages to build your solutions on top of a real cloud platform. You don't need to manage servers, get scalability and redundancy and combined with 'pay as you go' pricing it creates new business opportunities. 
  • Product Software companies are all evaluating how to fit the cloud in their product roadmaps. I notice a lot of interest in a transition toward Software as a Service solutions, but many of them  just don't know how to fit it in their existing business. If you need help figuring this out now, contact me, or wait until I focus an article on this specific topic.
  • Many traditional Information Technology service providers are fighting for your attention for their cloud solutions. They want to extend their service portfolio and provide you more convenience by hosting your existing solutions so you can focus on your core business instead of IT.

... and this is just the peak of the cloud iceberg and already shows the cloud embracing various and probably almost all aspects of information technology. It's about...
  • replacing on premise software with cloud based solutions consumed through the browser or in a hybrid model based on the traditional desktop applications.
  • outsourcing existing IT solutions to a solution provider.
  • changing the focus of software product development toward cloud solutions and possibly on top of an existing cloud platform.

The cloud and all the attention it's getting is driving me crazy. I prefer clear sunny days over cloudy ones at any point in time, but unfortunately the clouds will come and disrupt my current habit of outdoor lunches in the sun. With the IT cloud it's going to be the same and you should get prepared now.

What are you doing for your cloud adoption? Leave a comment below

4 comments

Some big hurdles that I encountered in cloud adoption are related to reliability and cost in certain scenarios. Just a few examples:

1. A SQL Azure database of 10GB costs $100 per month. If you're hosting applications for a few thousand customers, each with their own database, this becomes much, much more expensive than a private solution.
2. The maximum database size in SQL Azure is 50 GB, which puts a severe limit on scalability.
3. File access through Amazon S3 fails in one of every 1000-10000 calls. You have to work around this by implementing your own retry/recovery mechanism. This is still much too unreliable to replace a private SAN or NAS.

Agreed, they are very valid points that I've also experienced. This shows that, especially for large scale applications the cloud platforms aren't mature enough yet. This doesn't however mean they will gain more and more main stream adoption.

The SQL Azure examples you give require you to build your own database sharding, something you would expect from the platform. I expect this to be high on the agenda of the SQL Azure engineers.

Rumor mill says and denies MSR Dryad project was moved to Azure product team for sharding http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/Dryad/

Based on the engineers body language somethings afoot
http://www.meetup.com/Seattle-Hadoop-HBase-NoSQL-Meetup/

Thanks for this
informative article on one of most talked-about subject in the field of
technology.

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