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Stories by Bernard Golden

Get the latest lessons on cloud computing

Last month the UC Berkeley Reliable Adaptive Distributed Systems Laboratory (aka RAD Lab) published Above the Clouds: A Berkeley View of Cloud Computing." The report is an excellent overview of the move to cloud computing. It identifies some key trends, addresses the top obstacles to cloud use, and makes some excellent points about cloud economics. It also, in my view, understates a few aspects of cloud computing as well, primarily as a result of addressing the topic with an academic detachment. Overall, it's well worth tracking down and giving a read.
RAD defines cloud computing as having the following three characteristics:.

Written by Bernard Golden07 March 09 22:00

Do the maths correctly for cloud computing

I'd like to address an issue I've heard raised a number of times: That cloud computing, far from saving IT organisations money, actually costs more than providing the same services in-house.
I hear this most commonly identified as an issue with Amazon EC2, put in this way: A large instance of a Linux server (15 GB memory 8 EC2 Compute Units (4 virtual cores with 2 EC2 Compute Units each); 1,690 GB instance storage (4 by 420 GB plus 10 GB root partition) 64-bit platform I/O Performance: High) costs $.80/hr, or $576/month). A Windows instance is even more expensive: A large instance with Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Authentication Services, and SQL Server costs $3.20/hr, or $2304/month. A like-for-like comparison for a similarly-sized Windows instance sans the additional software is $1.20/hr, or $864/month).

Written by Bernard Golden14 Feb. 09 22:00

The case against cloud computing

I've had a series of interesting conversations with people involved in cloud computing who, paradoxically, maintain that cloud computing is-at least today-inappropriate for enterprises.
I say paradoxically because each of them works for or represents a large technology company's cloud computing efforts, and one would think their role would motivate them to strongly advocate cloud adoption. So why the tepid enthusiasm? For a couple of them, cloud computing functionality is really not ready for prime time use by enterprises. For others, cloud computing is too ambiguous a term for enterprises to really understand what it means. For yet others, cloud computing doesn't-and may never-offer the necessary functional factors that enterprise IT requires. While I think the observations they've made are trenchant, I'm not sure I'm convinced by them as immutable problems that cannot be addressed.

Written by Bernard Golden31 Jan. 09 22:00

The Cloud: What Clayton Christensen Can Teach Us

Clayton Christensen's book, The Innovator's Dilemma, is a touchstone here in Silicon Valley. His book examines the process of innovation as it attempts to answer the question "why do most new technologies seem to come from startups and not from established companies that are also familiar with the technology?" He cites many markets as examples, including tube table radios (displaced by transistor radios), cable-driven steam diggers (displaced by hydraulic diggers), and disk drives (where successive waves of technology were represented in shrinking form factors) that brought new companies to the fore at each new wave. In each of these markets, according to Christensen, innovation shook up the established way of doing things and propelled new market entrants past companies that had dominated the previous technology.

Written by Bernard Golden16 Jan. 09 06:31

Is the bad economy good for client virtualisation?

Could the stretched-out replacement cycles for desktop machines be a boon for client computing? In a recent Wall Street Journal Business Technology blog post, Ben Worthen</a>] noted that a survey from US CIO magazine, found that companies will forgo traditional three-year replacement cycles for desktop machines (both traditional desktops and notebook computers). According to the CIO survey, 46 percent of businesses will defer replacing machines for the next year or two.

Written by Bernard Golden27 Nov. 08 22:00

What Gartner didn't say about client virtualisation

Gartner released its annual "Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2009" last week and pride of place goes to virtualisation, put right at the top of the list. More surprising, perhaps, is the fact that Gartner placed Cloud Computing directly below virtualisation in the second spot.

Written by Bernard Golden22 Oct. 08 22:00

Who's getting ROI from cloud computing now?

Recently the SDForum, a Silicon Valley-based technology and business incubator, hosted an all-day Cloud Computing Symposium. If the presenters at the Symposium are to be believed, cloud computing represents an infrastructure revolution, moving infrastructure use from a capital expense to an operational expense and cutting the overall cost by at least 90 percent.

Written by Bernard Golden17 Oct. 08 22:00