The move to turnkey computing Why everything as a service is inevitable.Wednesday, April 13, 2011Good morning. Today weʼre going to look at the evolution ofclouds, and why I think the inevitable long-term consequencesof cloud computing are third-party platforms, rather than theinfrastructure-centric, public/private deployments we see today.
Some background @acroll firstname.lastname@example.orgWednesday, April 13, 2011I write, organize, and analyze emerging IT trends at Bitcurrent;work on running clouds at CloudOps; and try to share some ofthese thoughts with enterprises and startups.
Within ﬁve years, we won’t care about virtual machines. (Start with a big statement. At least you’ll pay attention.)Wednesday, April 13, 2011Hereʼs what I want to try and convince you of.
One caveat. I don’t mean big tech ﬁrms. Twitter stopped using clouds for a reason. I mean businesses whose core job isn’t the delivery of technology services. Less than 10K machines.Wednesday, April 13, 2011Thereʼ
Five years is a long time.Wednesday, April 13, 2011Hereʼs what I want to try and convince you of.
(Remember, Apple once named its computersafter fruit.)Wednesday, April 13, 2011
There was no Twitter. Overshare h)p://su.pr/1keiymWednesday, April 13, 2011 ere was no Twitter
wasn’t a verb. h)p://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/st3f4n/3951143570/Wednesday, April 13, 2011 Once, we couldn’t look stuﬀ up
So at least hear me out.Wednesday, April 13, 2011Hereʼs what I want to try and convince you of.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/harshlight/3235469361Wednesday, April 13, 2011First, I want to talk about what cloud computing reallyrepresents: the end of a monopoly on IT.
Two reasons why monopolies were OK.Wednesday, April 13, 2011Monopoly isn’t necessarily a bad word. They serve theirpurposes. There were a couple of reasons IT was amonopoly for so long.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/brewbooks/3319730327/ (16MB)Wednesday, April 13, 2011First, the machines were expensive. That meant theywere a scarce resource, and someone had to controlwhat we could do with them.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/argonne/4563394851/Wednesday, April 13, 2011Second, they were complicated. It took a very strangesect of experts to understand them. AVIDAC, Argonnesﬁrst digital computer, began operation in January 1953.It was built by the Physics Division for $250,000.Pictured is pioneer Argonne computer scientist Jean F.Hall.AVIDAC stands for "Argonne Version of the InstitutesDigital Automatic Computer" and was based on the IASarchitecture developed by John von Neumann.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/ebeam/3586287989/Wednesday, April 13, 2011This was also a result of scarcity. When computers andhumans interact, they need to meet each other halfway.But it takes a lot of computing power to make somethingthat’s easy to use;
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/ecastro/3053916892/Wednesday, April 13, 2011in the early days of computing, humans were cheap andmachines weren’t
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/binaryape/458758810/Wednesday, April 13, 2011 So we used punched cards,
http://50ans.imag.fr/images/galerie/Source/IBM-1130-1.jpgWednesday, April 13, 2011and switches,
http://honeynet.onofri.org/scans/scan22/sol/submission/reverse.jpgWednesday, April 13, 2011and esoteric programming languages like assembler.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/ﬂem007_uk/4211743886/Wednesday, April 13, 2011Think about what a monopoly means.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/caveman_92223/3531128799/Wednesday, April 13, 2011A monopoly was once awarded for a big project beyondthe scope of any one organization, but needed for thepublic good.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bell_System_hires_1900_logo.PNGWednesday, April 13, 2011Sometimes, we form a company with a monopoly, orallow one to operate, in order to build something orallow an inventor to recoup investment. This is how wegot the telephone system, or railways.
For much of its history, AT&T and its Bell System functioned as a legally sanctioned, regulated monopoly. The US accepted this principle, initially in a 1913 agreement known as the Kingsbury Commitment. Anti-trust suit ﬁled in 1949 led in 1956 to a consent decree whereby AT&T agreed to restrict its activities to the regulated business of the national telephone system and government work. Changes in telecommunications led to a U.S. government antitrust suit in 1974. In 1982 when AT&T agreed to divest itself of the wholly owned Bell operating companies that provided local exchange service. In 1984 Bell was dead. In its place was a new AT&T and seven regional Bell operating companies (collectively, the RBOCs.) http://www.corp.att.com/history/history3.htmlWednesday, April 13, 2011When monopolies are created with a speciﬁc purpose,that’s good. But when they start to stagnate and restrictcompetition, we break them apart.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/ktylerconk/4096965228/Wednesday, April 13, 2011In fact, there’s a lot of antitrust regulation that preventscompanies from controlling too much of somethingbecause they can stiﬂe innovation and charge whateverthey want. That’s one of the things the DOJ does.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/leokoivulehto/2257818167/Wednesday, April 13, 2011(IT’s been handed many of these thankless tasks overthe years, and the business has never complained.)
First: Monopoly good.Wednesday, April 13, 2011In other words, early on monopolies are good becausethey let us undertake hugely beneﬁcial, but largelyunbillable, tasks.
Then: Monopoly bad.Wednesday, April 13, 2011Later, however, they’re bad because they reduce the levelof creativity and experimentation.
http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/04_01/tornadoDM3030a_800x533.jpgWednesday, April 13, 2011Today, the same thing is happening to enterprise IT,both on the server-side (what we think of as cloudplatforms) and on the client side (with theconsumerization of technology through tablets, domesticWiﬁ and broadband, the use of personal messaging, andso on.)
Infrastructure as a Service Amazon EC2, Rackspace Cloud, Joyent, Terremark, Gogrid, VMWare, and nearly every automated collection of virtual machines.Wednesday, April 13, 2011The most common kind of cloud is Infrastructure as aService (IaaS.)
http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/pricing/Wednesday, April 13, 2011This is what most IT people think of when you say“clouds” – virtual machines I can use for just an hour.Here’s Amazon’s “menu” of machines.
Machine Web Image server Machine instanceWednesday, April 13, 2011In an IaaS model, you’re getting computers as a utility.The unit of the transaction is a virtual machine. It’s stillup to you to install an operating system, and software,or at least to choose it from a list. You don’t really have amachine -- you have an image of one, and when youstop the machine, it vanishes.
DB Machine Storage server Image Machine instance App Machine Server Image Machine instance Web Machine server Image Machine instanceWednesday, April 13, 2011Most applications consist of several machines -- web,app, and database, for example. Each is created from animage, and some, like databases, may use other servicesfrom the cloud to store and retrieve data from a disk
DB Storage server Machine instance Bigger App machine instance Server Machine instance Web server Machine instanceWednesday, April 13, 2011If you run out of capacity, you can upgrade to a biggermachine (which is called “scaling vertically.”)
DB Storage server Machine instance App Server Machine instance Web server Machine instance Load balancer Machine instanceWednesday, April 13, 2011Or you can create several machines at each tier, and usea load balancer to share traffic between them. Thesekinds of scalable, redundant architectures are common-- nay, recommended -- in a cloud computing worldwhere everything is uncertain.
Platform as a Service Google App Engine, Salesforce Force.com, Heroku, Springsource, (and nearly every enterprise mainframe.)Wednesday, April 13, 2011The second kind of cloud is called Platform as a Service.In this model, you don’t think about the individualmachines—instead, you just copy your code to a cloud,and run it. You never see the machines. In a PaaS cloud,things are very different.
Shared components Data Processing platform Storage API Others’ Others’ code code User Auth database API Your Others’ code code Image Image functions API Others’ Others’ code code ... Big Blob Governor Console Schedule objects APIWednesday, April 13, 2011- You write your code; often it needs some customization.- That code runs on a share processing platform- Along with other people’s code- The code calls certain functions to do things like authenticate a user, handle a payment,store an object, or move something to a CDN- To keep everything running smoothly (and bill you) the platform has a scheduler (ﬁguringout what to do next) and a governor (ensuring one program doesn’t use up all the resources)as well as a console.
IaaS and PaaS differences IaaS PaaS Any operating system you Use only selected want languages and built-in APIs Limited by capacity of Limited by governors to virtual machine avoid overloading Scale by adding more Scaling is automatic machines Use built-in storage Many storage options (ﬁle (Bigtable, etc.) system, object, key-value, RDBMS)Wednesday, April 13, 2011To summarize: two kinds of cloud platforms I call“clouds”
Software as a Service (AKA web apps with logins)Wednesday, April 13, 2011The term “clouds” is a broader one, however. Manypeople consider Software as a Service a “cloud”approach, and while it’s not offering platform orinfrastructure, it does represent an on-demand utilitythat’s priced in a fairly elastic way (though usually bytime period, not by consumption, so not a pure utility.)
Wednesday, April 13, 2011You probably know some of these companies, and otherslike them.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011SaaS and PaaS are blurring, too, with the advent ofscripting languages. Nobody would argue that GoogleApps is a SaaS offering; but now that you can write codefor it -- as in this example of a script that sends customdriving directions to everyone in a spreadsheet -- thedistinction is less and less clear.
My mom’s deﬁnition Cloud = Web = Internet = UselessWednesday, April 13, 2011(Personally, I think this makes the term “cloud”synonymous with “web” or “Internet”, and therefore a bituseless.)
fewer dirty hands Less options, Other services Startup Gov/nonproﬁt Public SaaS Private nontech more headaches Private PaaS Public PaaS More control, Public co. Private IaaS Public IaaS Large web Cloud Cloud Global 2K technology business stack modelWednesday, April 13, 2011We’ve done a bunch of research on this subject; mostrecently, we surveyed over a hundred IT professionalsfrom a wide range of industries to understand theircloud adoption preferences. Here’s where adoption ofthese different technologies is today.
Adoption of cloud models by company type 5 4 Adoption (1=none, 5=heavy 3 2 1 Private IaaS Private PaaS Public IaaS Public PaaS Public SaaS Other public Startup/self-funded Private regional nontech Large web biz Gov/nonproﬁt Public co Global 2KWednesday, April 13, 2011We’ve done a bunch of research on this subject; mostrecently, we surveyed over a hundred IT professionalsfrom a wide range of industries to understand theircloud adoption preferences. Here’s where adoption ofthese different technologies is today.
Ten arguments for clouds as a third-party, turnkey utility.Wednesday, April 13, 2011So now hopefully we’re all talking about the same thing.And here’s my big prediction, which I hope to argue inthe remainder of the time I have: we’re all going to buyour computing in a turnkey fashion, much more like SaaSand PaaS, and nearly none of us will know anythingabout the underlying machines.
The economic argumentWednesday, April 13, 2011The ﬁrst argument is an economic one.
Photo by Alan Cleaver from his Flicker Freestock set. Thanks, Alan! http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/alancleaver/2638883650/Wednesday, April 13, 2011A true assessment of internal IT costs is a painful thing. Not only are power, cooling, andother recurring costs spiralling out of control, but companies don’t properly understand howmuch they spend on ﬁxing things. They don’t know what poor performance or outdatedtechnology does to productivity. Most analysts say it costs about ﬁve times as much to run anapplication as it does to buy it in the ﬁrst place.
http://www.oncloudcomputing.com/en/2009/07/fronde-back-to-proﬁt-by-cloud-computing/Wednesday, April 13, 2011Cloud providers can leverage sharing and economies of scale keep costs down. Cloudproviders are poised to make the most of these economies of scale. Consider that inJuly 2008, Microsoft revealed that it had 96,000 servers at the Quincy facility,consuming "about 11 megawatts"More than 80% dedicated to Microsofts Live Search and the remaining for HotmailIn August, a really good discovery was posted to a blog called"istartedsomething.com": a screen shot of a software dashboard that illustratespower consumption and server count at each of Microsofts ﬁfteen data centers,caught in a Microsoft video posted to their web site.
Idle capacity, lack of automation, etc. IT server costs Ping, power, pipe, Private efﬁciencies cloud costs Public cloud costsWednesday, April 13, 2011Sure, cloud computing will make you more efficient if it’sin-house. But these are short-term gains; even anefficiently run private cloud in downtown Manhattan isstill in downtown Manhattan—not near a damsomewhere. And unless you’re in the business ofproviding IT services, it’s unlikely you can hire the bestin the world.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011It’s in the cloud providers’ best interests to make this asapparent as possible as soon as possible. So they’reintroducing things like spot markets, which undermineany chance you have of looking cheap. Computers arepennies an hour, when you need them.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011Cloud providers are thinking at a scale that nearly everyenterprise can’t compete with. That’s because operatingefficiency, and accounting for everything, are core totheir business; whereas making widgets is core to yours.
The parallelism-drives- spikes argumentWednesday, April 13, 2011Okay, so that proves there’s an incentive to move to public clouds economically, right? Butmaybe you have enough capacity for existing, predictable workloads. Well, that will changetoo, because of how developers will build their apps.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011Most of the time, people think spikes come from sudden ﬂuctuations in demand. That’s true;but parallelism and new ways of coding are changing that.
• 60 seconds per page Desktop EC2 • 200 machine Pages 17,481 17,481 instances Minutes/page 1 1 • 1,407 hours of virtual # of machines 1 200 machine time Total minutes 17,481 • Searchable database Total hours 291.4 26.0 available 26 hours Total days 12.1 1.1 later • $144.62 total costWednesday, April 13, 2011 A great example of these clouds in action is what the Washington Post did with Hillarly Clinton’s diaries during her campaign. They needed to get all 17,481 pages of Hillary Clinton’s White House schedule scanned and searchable quickly. Using 200 machines, the Post was able to get the data to reporters in only 26 hours. In fact, the experiment is even more compelling: Desktop OCR took about 30 minutes per page to properly scan, read, resize, and format each page – which means that it would have taken nearly a year, and cost $123 in power, to do the work on a single machine.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/sharif/2423144088/ Wednesday, April 13, 2011 What that means is that applications will be written to solve for time. A Hadoop cloud will use as many resources as possible, for as short a time as possible. This will dramatically amplify spikiness, even for existing applications. And companies that can’t burst up parallel machines will get results—building plans, traffic congestion, feedback on a marketing campaign, terror threats—slower than their competitors.
The everyone-hates-making- sausage argumentWednesday, April 13, 2011So economics are better—and get better the longer out we project—and the next generationof applications will make things spikier than ever, requiring access to a pool of machineslarger than any one company.But why not public IaaS?
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/gezellig-girl/4351078755/Wednesday, April 13, 2011To understand this, we need to talk for a minute about “composed designs.”
Query language Let’s just call this a database, Software ‘mmkay? Operating system Computer hardware Storage mediaWednesday, April 13, 2011When IT architects want to build something, they have a set of proven designs for doing so. Adatabase is an example of this—it’s a combination of storage (disk) and a particular way ofarranging things (tables and indexes) and language (structured query language, or SQL).We’ve learned that a database is a good prefab building block, so we use it. The alternative isto build it all, from scratch, writing to the disk itself.
Pork, now in a convenient cube format.Wednesday, April 13, 2011Often, we don’t want to know what’s happening under the covers.
Blood sausage, anyone? http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/avlxyz/4560146695Wednesday, April 13, 2011Making sausage is no fun. It’s messy, and the underlying parts aren’t very nice to look at.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/avlxyz/4560146695Wednesday, April 13, 2011There are some companies that should focus on the making of sausage. UPS, for example,deﬁned the market and made new things possible by applying IT to shipping logistics. Itneeded to invent new sausage recipes.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/mynameisharsha/4092086880/ The glass is a lie.Wednesday, April 13, 2011We like the idea of virtual machines. They’re convenient ways to think about compuGng in easy, universally understood ways.
The British pint.Wednesday, April 13, 2011They’re like the British pint.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011Know what this map is? It’s the countries in the world that don’t use the Metric system.Liberia, Burma, and the US.(I’ll set aside the irony that the imperial system is named after the empire you celebrateleaving.)
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/prosto/367231552Wednesday, April 13, 2011Europe loves the Metric system. But the British love theirpints. It’s no fun to day, “I’ll have 0.63 liters of beer,please.” This became a massive sticking point withBritish merger into the Euro.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011In the end, the European union had to capitulate, letting the British sell pints as an officialmeasure. We’re the same way: virtual machines are a convenient unit of measure, left overfrom an old system that we should shed for efficiency.
Providers love separation.Wednesday, April 13, 2011Cloud providers do better the less their customers knowabout the underlying infrastructure. The more cloudsresemble data centers, the more the provider has toexpose.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/mac-ash/4534203626/Wednesday, April 13, 2011At its most simple, this is all about a “stack” of services. Stacks are a common idea incomputing and networking. Basically, they’re a separation of different tasks.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/easternblot/126112823/Wednesday, April 13, 2011We’re familiar with the idea of a stack. There’s a stack in the postal service.
Your virtual platform Layer of separation Their physical infrastructureWednesday, April 13, 2011You worry about the address, and the stamp. The postal service handles the rest—it doesn’tcare what’s inside your envelope; and you don’t care what route your letter takes to itsdestination, as long as it gets there.
Cell towers. http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/serdal/5099121696Wednesday, April 13, 2011Do you choose which cell tower to use when you make acall?
Kettles. http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/leehaywood/4141300920/Wednesday, April 13, 2011Do you insist on choosing a generator when you boil akettle? Nope. Imagine how much less efficient the phonecompany or power company would be if they let you. Inthe same way, the more the cloud provider lets you playwith the sausage—because you’re addicted to metaphorslike computers—the worse things are.
The data-has-surface- tension argumentWednesday, April 13, 2011There’s more. There are good reasons that the world willbe more centralized, with a few big providers, than itwas in the past.
“Compared to the cost of moving bytes around, everything else is free.” Microsoft technical fellow Dr. Jim Gray, 2003http://www-users.cselabs.umn.edu/classes/Spring-2009/csci8980-ass/Jim%20Gray.pdfWednesday, April 13, 2011This is the late Jim Gray, one of the smartest people ever to think about data. He’s the guythat famously said, “never underestimate the bandwidth of a stationwagon full of tapesdriving down the highway.”
Hairy, smoking golf balls. http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/onigiri_chang/4791909127/Wednesday, April 13, 2011He described the CPU of tomorrow as a “smoking, hairy golfball” – a tiny computer bristling with wires and generating a lotof heat. He also said that, compared to the cost of movingbytes around, everything else is basically free.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011Want proof? Look at the latest series of servers that bigvendors are offering: they have a lot of storage, a backplane,and an army of processors. They look like mainframes.
Data in the middle.Wednesday, April 13, 2011Thatʼs why Amazon launched S3—their storage system—sixmonths before they introduced the EC2 virtual machineoffering. Because having all the data centralized is key. Oncethe data is somewhere, putting other computing around it ischeap.
The focus-on-why-you-rock argumentWednesday, April 13, 2011Okay, let’s review. Public clouds are cheaper, and spikydevelopment patterns mean demand for more machinesat once. Dealing with the underlying infrastructure isn’tfun, and we mostly want to because it’s familiar. Thephysics of networking mean it’ll all be centralized in afew places.But wait; there’s more. The business will insist onresults.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 Utility computing means you can focus on what matters. That means heightened expectations for IT. Already, many of the CIOs I speak with tell me they’re viewed as service bureaus by the line of business that has found Big Data religion.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 Once we ﬁnd new ways of doing things, we won’t want to do the crap work anyway.
The doctor’s-not-safe argumentWednesday, April 13, 2011But people don’t trust clouds, right? And the less visibility you give them into the sausage,the more they’ll care about where it came from.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011This is my daughter, Riley. She’s nearly 8 months old. Andsince she arrived, I’ve learned about a lot of new things.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011(she’s also a bit of ageek.)
Wednesday, April 13, 2011One of the things I’ve learned is that we’re afraid of nearly everything.
Security is a... Reason to avoid clouds 23% Reason to move to clouds 43% No opinion 34% http://www.thewhir.com/web-hosting-news/102309_IT_Firms_Skeptical_About_Cloud_PEER_1_StudyWednesday, April 13, 2011But security is both a reason to love—and a reason to hate—clouds.
Quick survey.Wednesday, April 13, 2011How many of you use a SaaS-based email for all yourpersonal communications?How many of the services you rely on include passwordrecovery via that email?Why do you trust the cloud?
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/zeusandheraWednesday, April 13, 2011I was at the doctor’s ofﬁce last week. They had a wall full ofﬁles. They had 11 doctors and 5 support staff. None ofthem were particularly technical. As I waited in the lobby, Iwatched two cases of mis-placed or mis-ﬁled data.How long before the government mandates that thisinformation be stored in a secure environment?
Explain why it doesn’t have to be in the cloud?Wednesday, April 13, 2011At some point in the future, the cloud will be the default.We’ll need to justify why we do things on-site. I’ll wantfederated access to those medical records, and whateverother services are out there.
The we-don’t-need-choice- anyway argumentWednesday, April 13, 2011Okay, let’s talk about the diversity of platforms.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/dok1/4547024596/Wednesday, April 13, 2011Henry Ford’s invention wasn’t the car—it was mass production. Giving people a much more limited set of choices, in return forwhich, they got a much better, more affordable, offering.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/blakespotWednesday, April 13, 2011Once, there was a huge variety of computers from which to choose. Acorn, Altair, Atari,Apple, Commodore, Sinclair, Apple, IBM. Not just vendors—entirely different architectures.Then that changed; a few won. There wasn’t any value in the variety of hardware.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/trekkyandy/345649669/Wednesday, April 13, 2011Then we moved up the stack. We could choose all kinds of devices: video cards, disks, audiodrivers, network cards.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/presbyteer/243436122Wednesday, April 13, 2011Then we chose an OS for its application variety. Wordstar, Wordperfect, Microsoft Word, andplenty of others lost to the recycle bin of history.
http://shravan15.wordpress.com/Wednesday, April 13, 2011The same thing is true of servers. A relatively small set of OS and machine options is goodenough, because variety below the programming language isn’t particularly useful any more.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/avlxyz/1193082725/Wednesday, April 13, 2011That means the cloud provider can offer a relatively limited menu of offerings, but a rich setof APIs, and people will be OK with it. Choice is overrated.
The vertical-specialization argumentWednesday, April 13, 2011Today, clouds are fairly generic. But as the computingneeds of speciﬁc industries become more clear—HIPPAfor medical, PCI for ﬁnance—and with them the sets ofAPIs a cloud offers will change.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011Salesforce’s Force.com is already specialized for front-office, CRM-centric apps.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011Google is specialized for building startups, web-tierenvironments, and APIs like emailing, authentication,and payment.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011Intuit is good for SMB and accounting applications, withproducts like its QuickBase.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011This is all about targeting and focus for speciﬁc sets ofcustomers. As providers get more focused—which they’llhave to do, to survive the coming consolidation—manyof the objections raised by industries and complianceofficers will be overcome.
The cellphone-builds- accounting-in argumentWednesday, April 13, 2011Because running environments is a full-time job for the providers, they have much bettermonitoring and tracking than enterprises will build themselves. Let me give you a quick tourof Google’s App Engine dashboards.
http://googleappengine.blogspot.com/2010/03/easy-performance-proﬁling-with.htmlWednesday, April 13, 2011I can even ﬁnd out what parts of my code are consumingthe most CPU, across all machines.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011And even their latency when served to people.
http://www.computerhok.nl/JSPWiki/attach/GoogleAppEngine/GAEQuota.pngWednesday, April 13, 2011It’s a true, pure utility because you pay for what you use.Remember this picture; we’ll come back to it.
http://code.google.com/appengine/articles/load_test_screenshot.jpgWednesday, April 13, 2011 Here’s a shot of some code running in Google AppEngine. I only know that I’m paying by CPU-hour, or forunits like bandwidth, email, or storage. This could beone machine whose CPU was used 8%, or a hundred, or athousand. I don’t know.
http://code.google.com/appengine/articles/logs_admin.pngWednesday, April 13, 2011I can see the logs for my application. But these aren’t fora single machine -- they’re for the application itself,everywhere.
That’s all free. Want some?Wednesday, April 13, 2011And those are free. FREE. Anyone here have that level ofvisibility into their application or infrastructure, fromanyone, for any amount of money?
The genie’s-out-of-the-bottle argumentWednesday, April 13, 2011Okay,
Expense reports can no longer enforce IT policy.Wiley GAAP 2010: Interpretation and Application of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (By Barry J.Epstein, Ralph Nach, Steven M. Bragg)Wednesday, April 13, 2011IT has enjoyed a high coefficient of friction that hashelped slow the adoption of rogue applications. In thepast, IT was a line item, and the cost of acquiring it at ahigh upfront cost stopped all sorts of internal initiatives.
Airfare DNS Cloud Public transit Important research HotelWednesday, April 13, 2011These days, supercomputing is easier (and cheaper) thanbooking a ﬂight.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011PaaS isn’t common today, but it will catch on fast.Consider a recent hackathon we ran: 55 coders, 18 apps,12 hours. Several are live now. I’m betting there arealready a ton of rogue PaaS apps running on Force.com,being built for the front office without IT’s involvement.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011This is the Microsoft rich text editor. Gates once ﬁredsomeone for not including it in a build of Windows,apparently. He understood what that ill-fated programmanaged didn’t: give developers an easy way to edit ablock of text, pick a color, print a document, movesomething to a clipboard, and they’ll use it. They’ll eveninherit your ﬁxes and improvements to it. The same istrue of cloud providers.
Service What it does Elastic Compute Cloud Virtual machines, by the hour Elastic Mapreduce Massively parallel data processing Virtual Private Cloud On demand machines within internal IT Elastic Load Balancing Trafﬁc distribution Cloudfront Content delivery acceleration Flexible Payments Service Funds transfer & payments SimpleDB Realtime structured data queries Simple Storage Service Eleven nines redundant storage Relational Database Service On-demand RDBMS Elastic Block Store Block-level storage (ﬁle system) Fulﬁllment Web Service Merchant delivery system Simple Queue Service On-demand message bus Simple Notiﬁcation Service System for sending mass notiﬁcations Cloudwatch Monitoring of cloud resources Mechanical turk Humans as an APIWednesday, April 13, 2011This division between PaaS and IaaS is a bit of a ﬁction. In fact, virtual machines are just oneof around twenty “cloud services” Amazon offers – called EC2.
Service What it does App Engine Executing Python or Java code Bigtable datastore Store data for very fast retrieval Calendar Data API Create and modify events Inbox feed API Read a GMail inbox Contact data API Interact with someone’s GMail contacts Documents list API Manage a user’s Google Docs OpenID single signon Use Google authentication to sign in Secure data connector Link Google Apps to enterprise apps Memcache Fast front-end for data Image manipulation Resize, rotate, crop & ﬂip images Task queue Queue and dispatch tasks to code Blobstore Serve large objects to visitorsWednesday, April 13, 2011The same is true of App Engine - though these are functions called from code, rather thanservices you pay for separately, they’re still more than just the code.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/jackol/133765382/Wednesday, April 13, 2011These services let developers and the line of businessstand on the shoulders of giants. The ecosystemsurrounding the cloud environment provides a rich set ofAPIs—just as the windows ecosystem, years ago, gavedevelopers a set of foundation classes.
The risksWednesday, April 13, 2011There’s a downside to all this, of course. I ﬁrmly believethat we’ll use computing, not computers, in the future.But I remain concerned about one aspect of it,particularly in free-market environments where there’sno regulation.
The cloud neutrality problem. http://jimvoorhies.com/?p=1942Wednesday, April 13, 2011 It’s the same risk that we face from net neutrality. Asmall number of providers, whose users are dependenton them for their environments and charge a recurringfee, can signiﬁcantly limit the choices—and competition—in the market.
The lesson of the answering machine Making Steve Wozniak really angryWednesday, April 13, 2011Iʼm going to ﬁnish with a story about monopolies andinnovation, but with a different point this time. Itʼs a story SteveWozniak used to illustrate the perils of an unregulated publicInternet, and I believe it applies to a computing-as-a-utilityworld too.
Dial-a-joke.Wednesday, April 13, 2011Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak liked to dabble in a lot of things. In1972, he wanted to set up a dial-a-joke service:
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/deeleea/369701296Wednesday, April 13, 2011People would call his number, and get a “joke of the day” from arecorded message.
“This was 1972 and it was illegal in the U.S. to use your own telephone. It was illegal in the U.S. to use your own answering machine. Hence it also virtually impossible to buy or own such devices.”Wednesday, April 13, 2011But there was a problem. The phone company—AT&T, again—wasalso the company you bought equipment from.
$700/monthWednesday, April 13, 2011And this cost a lot of money.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011While AT&T offered a service that was useful, it didn’t allow Woz toinnovate by building something new atop its existing products. Itwas an example of a service gone too far.
The balance you have to strike. Leverage cloud models, but control your destiny.Wednesday, April 13, 2011And this is the downside of clouds. As IT professionals, you need toembrace the changes that computing as a service offer—but at thesame time, keep control of your own destiny when it comes todifferentiating your business. This is the balance you have to strikebetween public and private, dedicated and on-demand, proprietaryand standards-based. It’s why you need to control what makes youspecial, and optimize everything else.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/sparkys/3434382326/Wednesday, April 13, 2011In the end, clouds will look like airlines. Every countryhas one (plus a second for government and the military.)They’re regulated for safety, pricing, and other things—though that varies by country. They have somestandards, particularly when they connect to oneanother, for stuff like connecting passengers andforwarding luggage. But below the level of the individualﬂight, they’re free to do what they want, and passengersdon’t have that much insight or say in how things arerun. In big markets, there are several competitors. Thereare vertical offerings for things like medical evacuation,or rental, or private pilots, or densely populated urbanareas.
Within ﬁve years, we won’t care about virtual machines. (Did I change any minds?)Wednesday, April 13, 2011Thatʼs my argument, in roughly 45 minutes. Howʼd I do?
Thanks! @acroll email@example.comWednesday, April 13, 2011