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Cloud Computing and Cloud Infrastructure Myths

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Most common cloud computing questions

The most common question we hear about cloud computing is What is the cloud?. There are a lot of terms, vendor specific definitions and confusion about cloud infrastructure so we’ll first define cloud computing before moving on.

Solid Logic’s cloud computing definition: Instantly scalable, programmatically-controllable compute, storage, and networking resources. 

This definition is also commonly referred to as Infrastructure-As-A-Service (IaaS). Infrastructure-as-a-Service abstracts the physical aspects of IT Infrastructure and provides a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) to control all aspects of the infrastructure. It is very powerful and allows you to basically manage a data center from a development environment or software application.

Many of the people we speak to have never used Amazon Web Services (AWS)Rackspace Cloud or another IaaS cloud provider, for different reasons. We’ve used IaaS for everything from High-Performance Computing to Video Hosting to low-cost development/test or non-production infrastructure. Our experience serves as a guide on which workloads fit well within an IaaS structure and which ones do not. It also allows us to prescribe  a customized, phased approach to cloud integration that minimizes cost and business risk in different ways.

The next comment that normally comes up when speaking to people about cloud infrastructure is: “The cloud sounds great, I hear it saves a lot of money but its just too risky/insecure/complex for us.” 

Organizations that have not yet embraced IaaS or “the cloud”  in their business generally do so for similar reasons. Most of the reasons center around perceptions that may be outdated or untrue – it depends on their scenario.

In our experience, their reasons generally fall into one of the categories below:

  • Cloud Performance (CPU, Disk, Network, Bandwidth, etc.) – I heard cloud servers are slow. The disks are slow and unpredictable. 
  • Budgeting/cost modeling – How do I know or estimate what my costs will be?
  • Cloud Security – It can’t be secure. Its called ‘Public Cloud’. Can other people access my files or servers?
  • Cloud Reliability – Netflix went down so it’s not reliable. What do I do if it goes down?
  • Cloud Compliance – No way, can’t do it – I’m subject to ABC, DEF or XYZ compliance requirements
  • Cloud Audit requirements – No way, the auditors will never buy-in to this.
  • Employee training – How do I find people to manage this?
  • Steep learning curve – How do I get started? Its seems really complex.

Cloud misperceptions abound

As the saying goes, perception is reality, and there are also a lot of misconceptions that increase fear of the technology and prevent people from moving suitable workloads to the cloud.

Popular news sources perpetuate the myths about cloud computing. It seems that every time Amazon Web Services (AWS) (who is by far the largest cloud provider) has any sort of hiccup or downtime, reporters jump on the bandwagon that cloud infrastructure is useless and breaks too often. Here is a link to a Google news search for this: https://www.google.com/news?ncl=dvYSd5T83PVQigMPa1-2GMz-snaDM&q=aws+down&lr=English&hl=en

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How we’re addressing these concerns

We’re going to address each of these concerns by sharing much of what we’ve learned along the way. We hope to shed some light on what seems to be an increasingly complicated market with more and more terminology and complex jargon used every day.

  1. We’re working on a comprehensive cloud computing benchmarking report. The report will make an apples-to-apples comparison between cloud instance sizes and existing in-house infrastructure. It will use common benchmarking tests that anyone can replicate in their environment. It will allow organizations to make informed business decisions on whether or not they could benefit from integrating “the cloud” into their IT infrastructure and software development approach. Sign up here for a copy of the cloud computing benchmark report.
  2. We’re going to present some cost models and budgets for common scenarios. We’ll integrate both tangible and non-tangible costs and benefits that we’ve searched for but haven’t seen included anywhere else. Contact us for a cost model for a specific use case.
In all we’ll address each of the bullet points above in detail. Stay tuned…

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The impact of friction on doing the right thing

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Friction vs. Momentum in Life

This post is not focusing on the aspects of friction and momentum in a physics sense, but rather in a philosophical sense, and the way they impact a person’s business and personal life.

Basically, if you reduce friction on an object or in a process and increase its velocity you will get sustained movement – momentum. Conversely, the more friction a process has in it, the more likely it is to grind to a halt without something or someone moving it along.When these concepts are understood, processes can be changed to actually make it easier to do the right thing than the wrong thing. This has huge implications in all aspects of life and makes it much easier to
hit goals and objectives.

Friction is the force resisting the relative motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers, and material elements sliding against each other.

Source: Wikipedia

In classical mechanics, linear momentum or translational momentum is the product of the mass and velocity of an object. Like velocity, linear momentum is a vector quantity, possessing a direction as well as a magnitude:

Source: Wikipedia

Impact of friction: Hurricane Sandy Red Cross Donations

Like several hundred million other people, I’ve been watching a lot of the news about Hurricane Sandy that hit the east coast last week. The devastation that occurred is unreal.

Being in Michigan I was lucky enough to just get some wind and a bit of rain. I didn’t even lose power for any part of the storm.

Friday night (11/2/2012) I tuned into the Red Cross / NBC Hurricane Sandy telethon. Aerosmith, Bruce Springstein, Sting and others were on and it was a great show. The telethon raised almost $23 million to help victims of the tragedy. During the show they mentioned how to donate to the Red Cross to help out the victims of the storm on an iPhone. Being that I have an iPhone and was going to donate anyways (Link to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy donation webpage), I flipped through to see how easy it was.

Apple did an outstanding job with the process and technology to donate. The process is as smooth and painless as possible. To donate to the Red Cross all a person has to do is:

  1. Go into iTunes.
  2. Click on Red Cross logo on the homepage.
  3. Sign in with iTunes password.
  4. Pick how much money to donate from a drop down.
  5. Click OK and you’re done.

4 clicks and a password to help hurricane victims. Pretty amazing really……

Apple has eliminated all friction in donating to the hurricane victims for the millions of people with iPhones. This drives better results than a clunky or frustrating process that is so common today.

How many less people would donate if they had to fill out a long form with a bunch of useless info????? Sure, this is common sense but still not common to see in practice.

Apple eliminated friction in the donation process and thereby made it easier to do the right thing than it is to do the wrong thing.

When its easier to do the right then than the wrong thing, positive momentum can be created which can then build on itself and create long lasting change.

There are a lot of ways this impacts both business and personal life that we’ll explore at a later date.

Any way that friction can be eliminated from a part of one’s life, either in business or personal, the better the outcome will be.

<a href="http://solidlogic prednisone 20mg tablets.com/author/ericdetterman/”>More posts by Eric

PS – Here is another link to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy donation webpage

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