Why Amazon Hired a Car Mechanic to Run Its Cloud Empire:

James Hamilton is one of the key thinkers charged with solving such problems, striving to rethink the data center for the age of cloud computing. Much like two other cloud computing giants — Google and Microsoft — Amazon says very little about the particulars of its data center work, viewing this as the most important of trade secrets, but Hamilton is held in such high regard, he’s one of the few Amazon employees permitted to blog about his big ideas, and the fifty-something Canadian has developed a reputation across the industry as a guru of distributing systems — the kind of massive online operations that Amazon builds to support thousands of companies across the globe.

Good piece about James Hamilton, whose blog I love to read (but isn’t available right now).

Lyatiss Comes Out of Stealth, Aims to Make Networks Easy to Manage:

You hear a lot these days in networking circles about “software defined networks.

Lyatiss isn’t French for IT’s holy grail, but maybe it should be:

Lyatiss, a startup that came out of a French research consortium wants to create a new communication layer designed for the cloud and the upcoming world of federated apps.

Taking it to the next level, this sounds great for customer who are running on a multitude of cloud locations.

Cloud databases, or database on the cloud?:

NuoDB has today kicked off that debate with the launch of its Cloud Data Management System and 12 rules for a 21st century cloud database. NuoDB’s 12 rules appear pretty sound to me – in fact you could argue they are somewhat obvious.

Monash has a less favorable view on the 12 rules, or maybe just marks his disagreement in stronger words… an interesting read anyway, as he compares it against Codd’s 12 rules for RDBMS.

However the key piece is Matt Aslett’s note about Cloud databases, this difference is one I’ve been struggling to sell in the enterprise:

Either way, I believe that this is the right time to be debating what constitutes a “cloud database”. Database on the cloud are nothing new, but these are existing relational database products configured to run on the cloud.

In other words, they are databases on the cloud, not databases of the cloud. There is a significant difference between spinning up a relational database in a VMI on the cloud versus deploying a database designed to take advantage of, enable, and be part of, the cloud.

To me, a true cloud database would be one designed to take advantage of and enable elastic, distributed architecture. NuoDB is one of those, but it won’t be the only one. Many NoSQL databases could also make a claim, albeit not for SQL and ACID workloads.

That’s the thing worth thinking about. How much of the technology making a DBMS a Cloud databse is actually new, and how much is just old technologies put to new uses in mainstream DBMSs?

What HP’s cloud chief wants you to know about HP’s cloud. All good and well, but is anybody still listening? HP will have to deliver, then we can talk again.

Rackspace versus Amazon

November 1st, 2012

There’s a place for different business strategies also in the cloud services space. Derrick Harris explains how Rackspace is positioning itself as all about Service and Open Ecosystem (no lock-in), whereas Amazon is all about Ultimate Scalability using a Proprietary Stack.

Rackspace is busy building a Hadoop service, giving the company one more avenue to compete with cloud kingpin Amazon Web Services. However, the two services — along with several others on the market — highlight just how different seemingly similar cloud services can be.

via Rackspace versus Amazon: The big data edition.

Homomorphic Encryption

October 24th, 2012

Homomorphic encryption: computation on encrypted databases without ever decrypting them. An important step that should eventually allow even the most privacy focused institutions off-loading some of their data processing into public clouds.

Alice hands bob a locked suitcase and asks him to count the money inside. “Sure,” Bob says. “Give me the key.” Alice shakes her head; she has known Bob for many years, but she’s just not a trusting person. Bob lifts the suitcase to judge its weight, rocks it back and forth and listens as the contents shift inside; but all this reveals very little. “It can’t be done,” he says. “I can’t count what I can’t see.”

via Alice and Bob in Cipherspace.

The cloud’s ready, but are you, too? How much does it cost you to rewrite everything to be cloud ready?

When a new business starts, it will likely be on all-cloud platforms. When an established business replaces a single system, it will be cloud. Or when cloud solutions offer a multiplied increase in value, a business might do a broad rip-and-replace.

via Drunk on Cloud Kool-Aid? Time To Sober Up.

How Vimeo Saves 50% on EC2 by Playing a Smarter Game:

Nothing shows how much software architectures have changed than the intelligent scheduling of computation over differently priced compute resources. This isn’t just a false economy either. Vimeo saves up to 50% on their video transcoding bill by intelligently playing the spot, reserved, and on-demand markets. If you are ready for some advanced reindeer games then take a look at  Vimeo EC2 transcoding where they explain their thinking.

That’s how the smart players win today. Requires you know what what’s important, and what can wait a bit longer until it’s done.

Tomorrow, September 12, 2012, 7:00 PM, ETH HG E 1.1

Sam Johnston [1], the president of the Open Cloud Initiative (OCI) [2] will join us for the first session after the summer break.

via Open Cloud Initiative and demo – Zurich FLOSS and IT geeks (Zürich) – Meetup.

VMware’s OpenStack Hook-up

August 28th, 2012

Some good commentary about Vmware joining OpenStack: VMware’s OpenStack Hook-up.