CloudFair Seattle 2012
The cloudFair was held at the Seattle Sheridan Hotel April 17th-19th. There were about 500 people attending the conference. From the looks of it, the biggest players
are AWS (Amazon), SalesForce and a few others.
I attended one of Eucalyptus’ workshop, Eucalyptus provides IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), and they had a good description of what Cloud computing is. The Cloud is
where a customer can’t specify the physical location of the server or organize the equipment hosting resources they are going to be granted to use. There’s no purchasing or maintaining any hardware. Elasticity is the keyword here, meaning the user is able to virtually increase/decrease the processing power/data storage to
their needs. And, after they are done with their cloud server, they can return it back to the cloud.
An example of this would be, let’s say a company notices that there’s an increase of user transactions on their site at a particular point in the week. The company is able to schedule their servers to have more “horse power” to handle the increased user tranactions, then during the normal user transactions, the server will go back to
its normal computing power. You’re also able to increase/decrease data storage. What I’ve found is that requesting RAM to be increased is not supported, or widely
supported. With IaaS, the user is able to create Virtual images of their server configuration, save it up in the cloud, just like how we do it locally with VM ware. This is
nice because you can blow away your current image, and start with a fresh image, and of course the data is kept in the cloud, so always accessible to working with new
I’ve been hearing people mentioning the “Local Cloud”, which is your data being uploaded to the cloud and replicated across the global network, where, let say you
uploaded in your hometown, Seattle, but you’re able to access your data in the “Local Cloud” in let say Hong Kong, because your cloud provider has replicated your data
to their servers around the world. This sounds interesting, but while having lunch at the CloudFair, we discussed “Cloud Sovereignty”. The big issue facing cloud/Local
Cloud computing is that each country has a different policy on privacy laws, and if the customer is a government, big corporation, etc, it’s data could be subject to
legal control of another nation. This could be a big issue moving forward, if the international community can’t formulate and enforce a good set of rules to follow.
As I was listening to the cloud presentations, I agree that moving to the cloud for server needs as a Site owner is an exciting thought, especially its elasticity nature. But on the other end of the spectrum, is the consumer, who can consume a lot of data, such as images, sound/video files, going to be a driving force in the success of the Cloud? If so, I started thinking about the slow speed on which normal people like me would be using while trying to upload my data to the cloud. My cable company will throttle your upstream connections with payloads over 150megs, it would take hours to upload a 1 gig worth of hi res jpg’s let’s say. That to me seems kind of ridiculous, a minium fiber optic connecton costs $800 a month. How are people going to upload huge data payloads? I’m sure we’ve all experienced a timeout while uploading, and having to upload again, and again, could frustrate users for sure. Will people start to use their employer’s high speed connections to upload their huge files from the office late at night while no one is watching, which would be unacceptable from a business point of view?
Someone at the cloud fair mentioned that AWS (Amazon) will take your harddrive and upload it to their cloud for you, I’m sure for a price. Wow all this hi tech cloud stuff with low tech means of getting your data up to the cloud, sounds kind of strange to me.
Hey AT&T maybe should put a data kiosk at your AT&T stores so your customers can upload/download their data to the cloud!