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The Fog Around the Cloud- Nathaniel Borenstein
 

The Fog Around the Cloud- Nathaniel Borenstein

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Myths and Realities of Cloud Computing Standards

Myths and Realities of Cloud Computing Standards

Nathaneil Borenstein- Chief Scientist, Mimecast

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    The Fog Around the Cloud- Nathaniel Borenstein The Fog Around the Cloud- Nathaniel Borenstein Presentation Transcript

    • The Fog Around the CloudMyths and Realities of Cloud Computing Standards
      Nathaniel S. Borenstein, Ph.D.
      Chief Scientist
      Mimecast
    • Outline
      Cloud computing isn’t right for everything
      But standards-centric objections are mostly wrong
      Much standards work is pointless wasted effort
      Cloud computing’s needs are specific, not vague
      For most services, there are simpler ways to avoid lock-in
      We need accountable, well-behaved vendors
      Evaluative standards would be helpful, but aren’t critical
      For most applications, there’s no reason to wait for standards
      The Fog Around the Cloud -- Nathaniel Borenstein, Mimecast
    • Cloud Computing: Threat or Menace?
      It’s natural to seek an excuse to say “No.”
      For some paradigms, the cloud really is wrong
      Consider the implantable defibrillator
      No argument could convince me to go cloud-based
      But standards are the least of the problems
      That last fact is surprisingly typical – standards don’t magically solve most problems.
      But yes, it’s pretty cool when they do…
      The Fog Around the Cloud -- Nathaniel Borenstein, Mimecast
    • I Really Don’t Hate Standards!
      Best known as author of MIME, used billions of times daily
      Worked on lots of other standards – difficult, insanely detailed, and often pointless work
      Why work that hard unless you really need to?
      The Fog Around the Cloud -- Nathaniel Borenstein, Mimecast
      From the first MIME message,
      March 11, 1992:
      Me, missing the high note!
    • Godot May Not Be Coming
      Delaying cloud computing – or nearly anything else -- for “lack of standards” is wrong 90% of the time.
      “Standards” are categorically useless. Particular standards can be very useful.
      The generic objection is lazy; for some specific applications, the objection can be valid
      Distinguish two types of standards:
      Definitional standards can be show-stoppers
      Evaluative standards are often desirable
      The Fog Around the Cloud -- Nathaniel Borenstein, Mimecast
    • The Devil in the Details
      Myriad details make standards work excruciating
      Recently: in internationalized email, UTF8 or UTF-8?
      Weeks of discussion behind “US-ASCII” in MIME:
      Content-type: text/plain; charset=“us-ascii”
      Significant “worth the bother?” threshold
      Most worthwhile for:
      Data formats
      Interchange protocol
      The Fog Around the Cloud -- Nathaniel Borenstein, Mimecast
    • What Standards are Needed for Cloud Computing?
      Stated that generically: None!
      What standards might improve the cloud generally?
      Evaluative standards: security/compliance/best practices
      What standards does a particular application need to be acceptably moved to the cloud?
      That depends on the application.
      Let’s look at a couple of examples.
      The Fog Around the Cloud -- Nathaniel Borenstein, Mimecast
    • What Standards are Needed for VM Hosting in the Cloud?
      For a definition of “needed” that stresses portability…
      A clear data format specification
      A clear data model definition
      Addresses situations genuinely new with the cloud
      Probably worth the pain of standards work!
      But still might not justify avoiding the cloud
      Works fine today
      Migration is still possible without it
      The Fog Around the Cloud -- Nathaniel Borenstein, Mimecast
    • What Standards are Needed for Email Archiving?
      Disclaimer:
      Intuitive guess: Data export formats
      But must the cloud be better than current data centers?
      Could standardize on PST (Microsoft) or NSF (Lotus)…
      But… Surprise! It’s the least of your problems
      Moving terabytes between vendors is the hard part
      By comparison, format conversion is a piece of cake
      No new standards are critically needed for the cloud.
      This is typical.
      The Fog Around the Cloud -- Nathaniel Borenstein, Mimecast
    • The Fear of Vendor Lock-in
      Standards are part of the solution for some applications
      But good vendor behavior always matters more
      Can be locked in by terms of service
      Can be verified with past customers
      Can be documented with evaluative standards
      Can become the industry norm or even the law
      “If you ever leave us, we promise to help.”
      A new kind of customer reference – the ex-customer!
      But recognize the essential difficulty of terabyte migration
      The Fog Around the Cloud -- Nathaniel Borenstein, Mimecast
    • Even the IETF is Floundering
      Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF): home of TCP/IP, SMTP, MIME, XMPP, SNMP, etc.
      Has gone nowhere fast with cloud computing
      Can’t even get a BOF approved
      Dozens of ideas, including:
      Telecom net virtualization
      Cloud resource mobility
      HTTP enhancements
      VPN extension to Private Cloud
      Cloud P2P Video Streaming
      It’s a good thing you probably don’t need any of them.
      The Fog Around the Cloud -- Nathaniel Borenstein, Mimecast
    • The Real Role of Standardsin Cloud Computing
      At a minimum: Same as anywhere else!
      Data formats, interchange protocols
      For example, a PST/NSF-like standard is neither more nor less needed than ten years ago
      Service quality evaluative standards, a la ISO 9000
      Possibly some service management standards, e.g. SNMP MIBs
      But in general, nothing that should be holding you up.
      The Fog Around the Cloud -- Nathaniel Borenstein, Mimecast
    • Summary
      Fuzzy talk about “standards” isn’t helpful; there are no shortcuts to real understanding.
      With a few exceptions, standards aren’t a major impediment to migrating to the cloud
      Specific applications will need new standards; a few of these will even be specific to the cloud
      Focus on the vendor: commitment to quality, portability, recognition of data ownership
      Over time, evaluative standards a la ISO 9000 should make it easier to evaluate vendors
      But don’t postpone dinner until every restaurant is reviewed!
      The Fog Around the Cloud -- Nathaniel Borenstein, Mimecast
    • Any Questions?
      The Fog Around the Cloud -- Nathaniel Borenstein, Mimecast
      Nathaniel Borenstein
      <nsb@mimecast.com>
      The first MIME message, with audio: http://www.guppylake.com/nsb/mime.html