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Cisco Unified Computing

January 22nd, 2009 Comments off

So Cisco has decided to enter the server market. They talk about unified computing, i.e. Unified compute management. They want to be the company that provides the oversight of data, network and compute power in your network.

I really thought we would be talking about vmware in that role by now.

I’m not sure that cisco has the right background for this role. Who else might?

Amazon SHOULD be working on that, at least in the AWS space. I’m not seeing it though.

IBM can and probably will at some point. IBM just isn’t the technology leader that they were at one point.

Oracle could do it but we won’t see them here for another 5 years (based on their prior track record).

Sun? Not anymore. MS? Only for Azure?  CA?  Don’t make me laugh.

Yep, vmware really screwed the pooch on this one. Looks like Cisco has figured out a way to make themselves relevant again. And they’re stealing the thunfer of so many companies who are better positioned.

Nice. I own cisco stock. :-)

LewisC

Transparent Clusters in the Cloud

January 7th, 2009 Comments off

3 Leaf Systems is working on a very interesting product that they call the next generation of server virtualization. Basically, they say they can take a pool of low cost commodity hardware and create a transparent cloud cluster.

3Leaf Systems enable a “cloud computing” environment to be built from low-cost commodity servers by providing virtualization of CPU & Memory for an entire server farm. With 3Leaf technology, a group of servers can look like one big server that has one pool of CPU processing and one pool of memory that can be dynamically allocated and/or repurposed to applications as needed, without any modifications to operating systems.

This is a very cool concept and one that I will be watching very carefully. Doing this at all is slick but doing it so that it performs will be a real trick. I can see how you could make this transparent to applications. I mean, even that would take a tremendous amount of engineering but it’s doable. To make it transparent to an OS is just kind of amazing. I’m trying to picture a hyper-hypervisor. A virtual machine that would manage the resources of many computers?

The 3Leaf Systems Virtual Computing Environment™ enables the dynamic allocation of commodity server resources in a manner transparent to existing operating systems, applications, data center operations, and security paradigms.

Using virtualization techniques, enterprise data centers have resolved the problems of over-provisioning and excessive hardware and software platforms. The 3Leaf Systems’ V-8000 aggregates network and storage resources, enabling dynamic allocation of I/O bandwidth when and where it is needed to further enhance virtualization utility and manageability.

You can get some white papers on the concepts and coming products.

I’ve contacted the company and they followed up with me. As soon as I have some available bandwidth, I’m hoping to get a podcast with some of their engineers and get some details about how this works.

I could see something like this really moving cloud computing (especially private clouds) into the mainstream.

LewisC

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Spending Other People’s Money

January 4th, 2009 Comments off

Amazon announced a nice new feature for S3. You can now let Amazon charge a third party for the storage they use on your account. The nice thing about this is that if you offer a storage service (say images or documents), you can provide your service and let Amazon bill them directly.

Bits For Sale – The New Amazon S3 Requester Pays Model

If you read the AWS blog entry, you’ll see that you can use this new feature in two ways: a special, signed request or via devpay. I think the devpay model would probably be the better way to go for an ongoing service while the signed request might be good for one off requests.

Content owners charge a markup for access to the data. The price can include a monthly fee, a markup on the data transfer costs, and a markup on the cost of each GET.

Jeff even provides a little example:

For example, I could create a database of all dog kennels in the United States, and make it available for $20 per month, with no charge for access. My AWS account would be charged for the data transfer and request charges.

Very nice. Jeff says that the latest S3 Developer Guide and latest DevPay Developer Guide have both been updated to cover the new feature.

LewisC

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Looking For Amazon Cloud Computing Book Beta Readers

December 31st, 2008 8 comments

I am writing a book about Amazon AWS and the tools that work with it. It does a deep dive into the various services offered by AWS followed by a deep dive in the tools available to work with those services. I cover the EC2 command line tools, ElasticFox, Cloud Studio, RightScale, S3 Browser and S3 Organizer. I also provide a brief explanation of RDP, SSH and PuTTY.

The book, Cloud Computing with Amazon AWS, is subtitled A Database Geeks Guide to Amazon Web Services.

I am very close to finishing the book and I am looking for some people to read the draft and provide feedback. I would like a few people who are familiar with the tools so that they can fact check me but I would also like some people completely new to AWS so that they can make sure the text is clear enough.

All reviewers get a mention in the acknowledgments (along with your blog if you have one) and a free copy of the e-version of the book.

If you would like to be a reviewer for me, please leave a comment here or email me at lewisc@rocketmail.com.

LewisC

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