On-Demand Computing presentation at the Value Studio (10)
Last week at Kaavo we were fortunate enough to attend the value studio organized by Thornton A. May of the IT Leadership Academy. Value Studio is an invitation only event attended by about 40 top IT executives. Unlike large conferences, the way event is organized gives opportunity to know the attendees really well and engage in thought provoking dialogues in smaller groups after each presentation. Our presentation was on on-demand computing, especially the concept of having large scale datacenter running outside the corporate walls at the economies of scale that can’t be matched within the corporate walls. Amazon with its EC2 offering is the first vendor who is providing this capability to companies. Individuals and business can rent computing resources on an on-demand basis at hourly rates without requiring any contractual obligations. Most likely other vendors, especially Microsoft and Google are going to follow Amazon and provide similar capabilities.
During our presentation we covered the current state of cloud computing and the eco-system that is emerging around cloud computing. Among other companies we also talk about Kaavo as a part of this emerging eco-system. We challenged the attendees to discuss three things:
1) Merit of cloud computing as an alternate way of getting computing resources
2) Pitfalls of using cloud computing
3) How likely they are to use cloud computing
The discussion was very engaging and we found out that two of the attendees were already using cloud computing at their organization. Attendees pointed out that for trying out this type of approach one has to consider the security aspects of data, i.e. how safe it is to have the data outside the corporate walls, also need to consider if there are regulatory requirements to keep the data within the corporate boundaries. One of the attendee pointed out that for applications which consumes a huge amount of data it is very slow to send terra bytes of data on the wire to the Amazon datacenter and process it there; to overcome this shortfall they are considering approaches for generating the data at the Amazon datacenter so they don’t have to send it over the wire for processing. Another interesting point brought up by Thornton was that given that carbon tax is going to be a reality companies in the future will be looking for greener and more efficient way for running their datacenters. As datacenters consume huge amount of power companies can reduce their carbon foot-print by out sourcing their datacenters to someone who is running them more efficiently. The carbon footprint is an interesting point as it helps connect the dots why Google is heavily investing in alternate technologies for producing electricity. If Google can achieve its goal of producing green electricity at same or lower cost as electricity by traditional means it will gain a huge competitive advantage over rivals.
One of the take away from the meeting for us is to put together a list of criteria that can used for quantitatively deciding what type of applications are best fit for running on the cloud (Amazon EC2).
Amazon is first vendor providing this capability and is doing a great job in promoting the use of EC2 at the grassroots level. It will be interesting to see how Google, Microsoft, and other players will respond to this.
I believe the market for cloud computing will be huge and eventually on the supply side there will be a small number of successful players who will running very large datacenters for providing on demand computing resources. There will be a large number of service and tools providers in the eco-system of cloud computing for providing value added tools and services to the end users on top of raw cloud computing resources. The future will be very empowering as anyone in any part of world with internet connection and credit card can run and manage servers in the state of the art datacenters managed by Amazon, Microsoft, alt.