Mr. Simon Ponsford's presentation at QITCOM 2011

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QITCOM 2011 …


Presentation: Qatar Computing Research

Simon Ponsford - Cloud Computing Research Senior Scientist, Qatar Computing Research Institute – QF

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  • The motivations for using the cloud, business situations where the cloud model works, technical considerations, and cost considerations. Where the cloud makes sense and why it is not right for everyone, covering factors such as energy conservation and maximum utilization of computing resources.
  • UK Government Information Source
  • Image Story
  • Image Story Linked In currently has 100 million members
  • More on utilization and cost saving


  • 1. When Does It Make Sense to Use the Cloud?
    Technical, economic and environmental considerations
    Simon Ponsford
    Senior Scientist – Cloud Computing
  • 2. Cloud Computing - Definition
    What Is Cloud Computing?
    Infinitely scalable shared computing resources available on demand via the Internet where the user is charged only for what they use.
    —Simon Ponsford, QCRI
    Public Cloud
    Made available to the general public.
    Private Cloud
    Datacenter of a business or organization e.g. the UK government intends to migrate the 500 existing government server rooms datacenters into 12 datacenters.
    If a business simply virtualizes servers this is not a private Cloud
  • 3. Cloud Computing Advantages
    The Advantages
    Highly available
    On demand – enterprise quality computing resources
    No requirement to employ datacenter staff
    No capital outlay
    Rapid access to resources
    Allows entrepreneurs to build and test new ideas without the need to invest in infrastructure or require set-up expertise
    Who Is Involved Today?
    The main players:
    • Amazon Web Services
    • 4. Microsoft Azure
    • 5. Google
    • 6. A host of smaller localized organizations developing and operating Cloud-based services.
  • The Reality
    Not cheap – probably triple the cost of buying a server, installing and maintaining it.
    Not fast – particularly disk access. E.g. Amazon EC2 usage of EBS storage 18 MB per second, a new HP server, e.g. DL360 with SAS disks, 400 MB per second read and write
    Difficult to estimate pricing e.g. pay per RAM hour, GB storage, CPU Core, disk I/O, database transaction, bandwidth usage and operating system. How do you know how many transactions you are going to do in a month? It is so complex there is a market for applications to calculate costs, and businesses reselling Cloud Services with more traditional cost structures.
    No open standards for Clouds
    Migration between different Cloud providers is difficult
    So where is it a good fit?
  • 7. Case Study – Bumper Sticker
    LinkedIn’s Cloud Computing Experiment
    • LinkedIn wanted to test rapid application development and Cloud scaling.
    • 8. Built an application called “Bumper Sticker” in 2008. Allowed a bumper sticker to be added to a Facebook profile.
    • 9. Used Joynet – Cloud Service provider.
    • 10. Reached 1 million users in first 46 days.
    • 11. 13.5 million installations.
    • 12. At height, 1 billion page views per month.
  • Cloud Computing – Accommodates the Unknown
    If you don’t know, go Cloud
    • Business unknowns
    • 13. How successful will I be?
    • 14. No longer need to overprovision when purchasing IT systems
    • 15. If your requirements level out, you may want to switch to a hosted or onsite solution to save costs.
  • Improve Utilization
    In April 2010, VivekKundra, US Federal Chief Information Officer, said in reference to the 1,200 datacentres run by the government:
    “One of the most troubling aspects about the data centres is that in a lot of these cases, we’re finding that server utilization is actually around 7%.” Industry average is 15-20%.
    Google achieves more than 50%; Amazon is similar. These result in significant energy saving.
  • 16. THANK YOU