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Author Topic: One fifth of all businesses will completely move to cloud by 2012  (Read 4871 times)
isthisthingon
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« on: January 14, 2010, 04:20:13 PM »

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2010/011310-cloud-gartner.html

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Cloud computing will become so pervasive that by 2012, one out of five businesses will own no IT assets at all, the analyst firm Gartner is predicting.

Did someone say disruptive?  This has zilch to do with "good" or "bad."  We're witnessing a gigantic transformation of the IT industry that's unstoppable not because cloud computing is so cool, too neat to pass up, fun enough to flip our world on it's head, etc. etc.  This is happening as predictably as when the electric grid transformed the power industry from personal generators (water, wind mills, compression based, etc.) to having the world simply plug in.

The world will soon wonder what it must have been like when IT specialists were required to use computers that accessed shared resources.  When we reach a $100-$200 terminal price that plugs you back in to your cloud universe with everything you've ever done, everything you're doing and everything you ever needed to do online at your fingertips, well let's just say the idea of local storage will probably be considered loco storage. 

My recommendation to those who wish to remain in IT?  Software as a Service.  Learn it, know it, live IT.  Here's an interesting company that I believe is really going places: www.lyris.com Wink
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2010, 05:20:07 PM »

ITTO, this is your turf ...do you really believe that big corps will cede that much to the cloud?  Backups, yeah, I see that (son-in-law works for netapp).  But daily operations --INV, A/R, A/P? I dunno.
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2010, 06:24:40 PM »

ITTO, this is your turf ...do you really believe that big corps will cede that much to the cloud?  Backups, yeah, I see that (son-in-law works for netapp).  But daily operations --INV, A/R, A/P? I dunno.

Logic would dictate that this is a crazy form of surrender that couldn't possibly happen on a large scale.  However, thinking of it from a publicly traded P&L perspective you bet yer patootie.  It's far different for personal considerations and small privately held companies where decisions are made stemming from fear, need for control, cultural biases, etc. 

Dell, for example, handles virtually all of their CRM needs through Salesforce.  Dell is pretty large and Salesforce is absolutely pure SaaS - no software install options there.  Starbucks?  Salesforce again.  But I have a much deeper insight into Salesforce than other players such as Google who handle virtually all business process elements for small/mid/large corporations around the world.  This Gartner prediction could be off by a wide margin but it doesn't change what's fundamentally happening out there in cloud land. 

Having personally managed the arduous task of SOX 404 compliance, seeing literally 500K go out the door in additional SOX expertise assistance at the same time, it's a no-brainer when we see companies completely switching to an already approved, SOX compliant (HIPPA, etc. etc.) service.  Show the board of a public company what they will save in this arena alone and approval follows.  Then tell them how many people they can dump, I mean resource reallocation possibilities, and you tell me what they're going to do Wink

>do you really believe..?

Yes.  From my vantage point I can say that seeing is believing.  It's not really a question of wondering what will happen.  It's a rather simple certainty that can change just as easily as we could get wiped out by an enormous asteroid tomorrow.  Yet barring something equally as game changing in a different direction such as the sun suddenly exploding, it's as certain as the expansion of the Internet itself.  Exact numbers are anyone's guess but cloud computing is like the auto industry in the 40s.  When you start to see the roads being built everywhere, the production lines ramping up, the prices coming down and everyone and their mother talking about what they will do once they own one, it tells the story itself 
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perkiset
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2010, 10:00:25 PM »

It's not if, it's when.

Nutballs and I are in the middle of a relatively large conversion from in-house tech to datacenter almost-cloud (we're working on the plans for a full cloud). The possibilities are incredible. The tech is strong. The efficiency is marvelous. The TCO is excellent.

It's really frickin' involved when it comes to architecture and making it work.

Frankly, today, it's way beyond your average MacroShaftie. It will also be difficult for the same folks to even get their arms around it - I have to be honest (and I believe I can speak for both nuts and me here) - there are concepts and details that it's difficult to get your arms around initially, and since there isn't a huge volume of data on how easy/simple/cheap/great etc the cloud notion is, it's going to be a while before the grunts can embrace it.

In addition to the fact that if they really embrace it, many of them will no longer have jobs.

It IS the future. And how we are doing it is on the cutting edge. But we are far from the mainstream. It's going to be a while before we hit the 100th monkey, IMO.
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2010, 10:34:15 PM »

Agreed perk.

Not so much that its hard to understand "technically", but that it is hard to understand from a "here is what you can really do and need to think about it this way" point of view. (which is what I think your saying)

Though I have been surprised by some of the tech that is now available. Like LiveMotion on VMware (Xen has something similar), where you can move a virtual from 1 host to another, without downtime to the users... woah.
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2010, 10:41:00 PM »

Well see, that's kind of the point ... there's honestly so much "whoa" in the tech, that it's hard to put your finger on exactly what it is. In addition, I think relatively few people have spent time in a real data center and have enough experience to know what this all looks like ... and I think many people, not even known what a SAN looks/plays like, would just be lost trying to know even where to start.

Imagine, just 50 years ago, someone saying "you'll have a computer with a pointing device on your desk at home ... and you'll be able to do ANYTHING!" Most folks could not envision it until they'd actually SEEN enough of the craptastic little buggers to understand that they could, in fact, do exactly that. I think it's the same with this notion.

Frankly ol' chum, I'm pretty durn glad to have you on the team Wink
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2010, 10:53:24 PM »

Quote
It's not if, it's when.

Nutballs and I are in the middle of a relatively large conversion from in-house tech to datacenter almost-cloud (we're working on the plans for a full cloud). The possibilities are incredible. The tech is strong. The efficiency is marvelous. The TCO is excellent.

This honestly warms my heart, as weird as that must sound.  Why?  Because although I think nutballs is totally good people and would wish the best for him, I seriously want the best for perks.  I could give a rats ass if I'm wrong on all of this but I sure as hell want those who mean the most to me to have a look-see through my cloud goggles. 

It's almost like insider information.  When you see some crazy numbers for Q(1,2,3,4) regarding massive investments in x or y, it doesn't mean that x or y are good things.  In this cloud example I happen to believe that they are good and inevitable things.  But in any case, having regular lunches with architects from Google, Adobe, my company and others playing in this field has taught me one certain thing: they are all betting the God damn farm on cloud computing and Microsoft is right there with them.  Oh yeah, IBM is right there too.

So forget the personal feelings about this stuff and for crap sake Cache, cache in on the knowledge and grab a piece of the pie!!  My desired "pie" is not monetary.  However, it is technology.  Congrats perks!  I hope you and nuts do some crazy sh1t with cloud-like technologies!!

Quote
there's honestly so much "whoa" in the tech, that it's hard to put your finger on exactly what it is.

What's in a name after all?..... Wink  Perks, you could bitch-slap cloud technologies in their entirety and on each detail level.  It's the confusion of terminology which is assisted by those who want us to believe that the cloud is beyond our reach, without their assistance of course  ROFLMAO

This is the Renaissance period of cloud computing.  Only the true Renaissance men and women will see and act on this opportunity, if that's what they choose to do 
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2010, 11:16:47 PM »

Now let's just hope that Salesforce doesn't get hacked and publicly humiliated. If companies feel insecure at all, then you can forget this. I think if there's so much suspicion with regular internet folks about putting sensitive stuff in the cloud, I just have to say that this change asks for quite big behavior change. But in business, it's the numbers so if the numbers look real good, smart CEOs will follow. But I trust ITTO on these so it's interesting what's going to happen Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2010, 07:36:00 AM »

This is the Renaissance period of cloud computing.  Only the true Renaissance men and women will see and act on this opportunity, if that's what they choose to do 

Woah... i heard the same kind of buzz about .net and i guess that maybe the multi tier environment was the beginning of this cloud idea?

What exactly is cloud computing anyway and how to act on this opportunity?  Brush up on lamp and practice hoarding software functionality through browser portals?

Or is it the idea of SETI at home type processing where all the cloud participants donate processor power, bandwidth, storage, in a 'raid' like way where a participant can drop out and everything keeps going.

 Can you give me us a cliffs notes of the idea behind cloud computing and what should be researched by those who want to stay in the game?

<edit: modified your post to end the quote Ph>
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2010, 07:55:26 AM »

Here's one kind of cloud build without any technical terms, so that nomenclature doesn't get in the way.

  • Imagine 10 computers. None have hard drives.
  • They are all connected by a really fast network-like mechanism to one bigass, redundant hard drive.
  • When machines start up, they get their OS from the main hard drive.
  • This OS is extraordinarily simple: it simply wraps the processor in a little kernel that allows lots of instances of operating systems to run on the machine and share its resources (RAM, network cards)
  • The first thing to boot up is a management piece of software that knows everything about your cloud.
  • The master program creates instances of operating systems like Windows or Linux and puts them anywhere it wants to in the array of harddriveless computers. These instances can not only flex in size and resource (consuming more or less of the processor), but the master controller can actually pick them up dynamically and put them on other machines, should it feel the need.
  • Because most of today's OSs run pretty quiet, the processor can handle lots of the instances per box. The processors run a lot hotter and utilization upwards of 100% is common, but that's OK because it just means you're getting the most out of your boxes.

Anything can be virtualized. Even the master control program. When you need more juice, you add a box and tell the MCP about it. Imagine all the possible ways you can configure this: then know that it's already part of the way things work. It is a dream.
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2010, 08:06:52 AM »

Dumb question here,

Does this mean that only middle to large size companies can benefit from this cloud thing, like for instance if you create the next Youtube (or have a service) that is very bandwidth intensive, it would save you a lot of money spent on servers or are there other benefits?
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 08:11:06 AM by vibratingquickly » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2010, 08:33:12 AM »

vibratingquickly, I am a one man show and I'm using Rackspace's Cloud Sites to host all my sites. They just upped the pricing for new customers to $149/month, but that's still on par with most dedicated server pricing. I also have an account at mediatemple and their cloud offering is only $20/month but it comes with much less.

It's nice not having to worry about load balancers, multiple servers, redundancy, and all the other headaches that come with getting surges of traffic. You just setup your domain and then focus all your time on getting the traffic instead of handling it.

And if you're already paying $200/month for 1 server, it only makes sense to pay $149/month for "unlimited" servers. Sure you pay more if you go over certain thresholds, but they're pretty generous, IMO.
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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2010, 08:37:30 AM »

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Does this mean that only middle to large size companies can benefit from this cloud thing

No.  Cloud computing provides for a level of elasticity that doesn't necessarily mean that you need x amount of horsepower right now.  What it means is that you can promise the world that you can handle everything thrown at you regardless of size, and you will be able to deliver on that.  It means that businesses can grow at their own pace, such as a SaaS business, and only incur costs commensurate with the traffic being handled.

Here's a good intro article: http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2009/11/the-cloud-a-short-introduction.ars.  From the article:
Quote
Few terms have been as simultaneously hyped and reviled as "cloud computing," but there's definitely more to the phenomenon than just a buzzword and some vague talk of "efficiencies" and "agility." We've put together this short, simple introduction to cloud computing that you can send to your CIO the next time you catch him abusing "the cloud" at a meeting.

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perkiset
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« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2010, 08:42:13 AM »

Ditto the above.

It is true that it's more complicated than what I've described, and the software to run/manage the whole shebang has a not trivial learning curve. But NBs and I are donating a few machines from our respective racks to create our own cloud even outside of the current job, and it will be on normal old pizza boxes.

You can run with free, open source software like VirtualBox, but I'd imagine that we're going to go with the more expensive but rocking VMWare suite.

Where we might save money, however, is to build an open source SAN rather than purchase one ... I'm currently looking at OpenFiler.

<add>
There's no inherent reason why this should only be for big companies. There are open source and free (as in beer) ways of creating something similar, although maybe not as end-to-end powerful.
</add>
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 08:44:20 AM by perkiset » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2010, 09:17:44 AM »

Ah, I get it. So, in a nutshell cloud computing makes it easier to adopt Saas as a business model. Size doesn't matter, one can get started with very little resources.

If this thing actually picks up desktop apps are gonna be sooo dead.

I've wanted to create web apps for some time now but always drop the idea thinking of the potential maintenance and scalability (if the app actually becomes popular, but i'm an optimist Smiley) problems. I think this info is just what I needed to get started.

@cdc thanks for the rackspace link, checking it out now.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 09:19:15 AM by vibratingquickly » Logged

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