Charnell Lucich

In the Clouds

Posted on: August 28, 2008

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on Cloud Computing recently, the infrastructures, the architectures, and the clients. While reading various  websites, white papers, and the like, I came across a blog post at DonorPerfect that really made me think about “The Clouds” and the future. The title of this blog post is what really caught my attention – “Cloud Computing – Is It Raining?” DonorPerfect employs a private cloud strategy, where they take care of the software management and let PEER 1 handle the hardware and network. So my first thought after all my findings is, “What the hell is cloud computing? Has anyone defined this yet? Will anyone ever come up with one solid definition?” No. Everyone is making the attempt to, but there just isn’t any clear definition of it. DonorPerfect’s version –

The ability for organizations to rent computer time and space from the “cloud computing” services such as those from Amazon and Google. It is generally viewed as an alternative from either hosting your own infrastructure yourself, or even outsourcing your infrastructure, but managing it yourself (in essence, a private “cloud”).

Some say it’s a cure-all for all that ails the computing world. Eric from ENKI, a Cloud Computing services provider says –

Some expectations I’ve seen from potential customers include, in no particular order:
– cost
– reliability
– scalability
– pay-as-you-go billing
– live phone support
– a vendor that cares about their success
– SLA (service level agreement)
– availability of knowledgeable consultants or outsourced operations services on the platform
– suitability to their existing application
– built-in high availability or DR architecture
– availability of add-on services such as monitoring, performance testing, backup, security audits
– certification compliance (such as SAS70)
– flexibility and/or partnership orientation of the cloud vendor as a long-term business partner
– vendor lock-in issues
– level of access to control logic
– hands-off operation of the cloud

And others have their own definitions and expectations of The Clouds. Stacy Higginbotham over at GigaOM posted an interesting article back in July titled, “10 Reasons Enterprises Aren’t Ready To Trust The Cloud.” In this article she gives some pretty valid reasons such as security or not being platform agnostic (forcing you to rely on a single platform or host only one type of product), just to name a couple from her list. Aside from the two I’ve mentioned, one very important reason Stacy lists is reliability (#9). This is something that DonorPerfect mentions in their blog post as well and it’s something I’m seeing more and more of.

I’m going to end my findings here. I am not discrediting Cloud Computing by any means simply because I cannot grasp what it is, wrap my head around it completely and see the full benefits. Perhaps those of you who read this blog can share your thoughts and your own take on it. I also recommend reading DonorPerfects post on this subject as well as Stacy’s post, I’m curious to see your thoughts after reading both.
I look forward to reading your responses.


1 Response to "In the Clouds"

Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but
after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing
all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say superb blog!

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