[Novalug] Fwd: cloud computing (and CIO mag article)
kkauffman at headfog.com
Sun Jun 7 11:14:29 EDT 2009
This time for novalug... -_-
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ken Kauffman <kkauffman at headfog.com>
Date: Sun, Jun 7, 2009 at 11:14
Subject: Re: [Novalug] cloud computing (and CIO mag article)
To: Pete Nuwayser <nuwayser at gmail.com>
Here's the EC2 Amazon cloud stuff (http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/). It's a
great solution for temporary batch job work at scheduled points in a month.
For people that do a lot of business intelligence work, licensing the cloud
MAY be a faster way of getting the job done quickly. Rather than mung
through terabytes of data over hours and days, you can conjure up a cloud
configuration and get it done fast giving you more time to actually use the
information you extract. Retail does a lot of this I know. I've also had
experience using Netezza where you can get the same effect, but that's
another topic since the data warehouse can crunch the numbers hard (ELT vs
Now I realize you are probably more interested in the "how do I build one",
but I've always thought of cloud computing as not much more than a beowulf
cluster. So you could use the Google App Engine to program your own and not
need to build out the infrastructure.
So, unless someone else has a different view on this, cloud computing is the
same as beowulf to me, but some marketing guy figured out how to actually
use it and market it under a new name.
On Sun, Jun 7, 2009 at 10:53, Pete Nuwayser <nuwayser at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Jun 7, 2009 at 10:17 AM, greg pryzby<greg at pryzby.org> wrote:
> > Doug Toppin wrote:
> >> "Cloud computing" is a subject we've been going over in my class at
> >> various points. That topic has a variety of meanings but they all
> >> pretty much boil down to less custom software (and thus licenses) and
> >> requiring less labor to administer (and thus fewer people) installed
> >> on individual user platforms (laptops, desktops, ...). When we made
> >> the jump from big machines with dumb terminals to PCs on each desk a
> >> significant increase in IT-related staffing was required to administer
> >> them (an artificially induced increase really). As those costs have
> >> increased over the years it's become apparent that something needs to
> >> happen to reduce them. Cloud computing puts us right back to multiple
> >> people sharing big machines (via virtualization or whatever) with
> >> fewer people needed to administer them.
> > Back to time-sharing mainframe type days. Yep... what goes around, comes
> > around.
> >> A recent article on this subject can be found at:
> >> At the end of the article you'll see: "Adopting cloud whole hog could
> >> cut IT staff by 10 percent to 15 percent". There are numerous side
> >> effects to moving to a cloud environment but it's clear the intent is
> >> to reduce some of the mundane aspects of IT.
> > Interesting point.
> Nah, it's just written to help generate sales and inflate the hype. :-)
> From a Fed perspective, the half-dozen agencies that are already
> Shared Service Providers who also purport themselves to be current or
> potential cloud providers are not sure exactly what their strategy
> will be. They're all looking at themselves and their as-is states,
> saying, "Could we at least /call/ ourselves a cloud provider just to
> keep from being marginalized? We're already a shared services
> provider, so, what the heck?" Until these guys and gals figure out
> what to tell their customers, the most they can do is answer the
> question, "Do you have something like salesforce.com or EC2" with
> "yeah, sure, we can do that" or "we have a pilot in the works."
> > Being right in the middle of this (while @ Novell and again at Red Hat),
> > am not sure I agree. I agree that the level of knowledge for the IT
> > will need to increase and the 'mundane work' will be less, but there will
> > still need to be people to do the work. Much like with the industrial
> > revolution, the skill set will change. I don't need people to sew by
> hand, I
> > need people to fix the machines.
> You should expect to learn how to virtualize every component of
> whatever it is you support now, be it the app layer, OS, network,
> storage, etc. Otherwise, I don't think much will change. Are you
> splitting time between infrastructure, OS and app support? If your
> supported app were partially or wholly virtualized, how much of your
> job would really change? Clouded or not, Linux is still Linux.
> > With cloud, there is a need to design and care and feed the
> > There is the need to gather requirements and build the machines (VMs?)
> > the cloud. Someone has to build the knowledge into the system to allow
> > allocation/release of resources although the allocation and use is
> > 'automated' via tools.
> Since so much of "cloud" just means OS virtualization (for now,
> anyway), these activities have mostly to do with classifying workloads
> as good or bad candidates for virtual environments. You look at I/O
> contention, CPU loads, RAM ballooning, affinity and anti-affinity,
> capacity planning, stuff like that. E.g. most people don't expect to
> stick a SQL database in a cloud without also understanding what other
> parts of the solution stack are nearby. Become an expert before you
> are asked!
> I also think it's very important to grasp customer-side expectations
> of clouds, either by vertical or horizontal. For example, how much
> autonomy might your customers want, say from a provisioning
> perspective? Are you offering Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)?
> Wouldn't it be great to let your customers stand up something with
> little more effort than entering a Remedy ticket? How could that
> > You are right that you need to keep your skills sharp and grow.
> >> The strongly waving flag here is to keep your skills tuned to beyond
> >> those required for mundane IT. Find ways and learn how to plan,
> >> implement and manage future environments in all sorts of situations.
> >> Be amenable (and enthusiastic) to change in the workplace.
> > For those of us who were around in the 90s and early 00s, if you were
> > breathing and weren't afraid of a keyboard, you could get a 'job in
> > computers'. There were smart people (they are still around and in the
> > business), but there were lots of people that who did it for the money
> > didn't really grasp what they were doing. They could follow a script or
> > decision tree, but if there wasn't a case to handle the situation, they
> > lost.
> > It happens in EVERY field when there is a jump in 'technology'. It is
> > again for the IT field. However, these things tend to be slow (bleeding
> > edge, fast adopters, fast followers, etc...) and there are companies that
> > will stay way behind the curve (IT for stores) for years.
> > Of course I could be wrong. But don't say nobody told you what is coming.
> Well, don't say nobody told you /something/ is coming. I think Doug
> (and the rest of us) would like to know exactly what that is! :)
> Pete Nuwayser
> + let the customer talk +
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> Novalug at calypso.tux.org
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