Fireside Chat with Lew Moorman

The morning of day 2 at the Enterprise Cloud Summit wrapped up with a fireside chat with Lew Moorman, CSO of Rackspace (Mosso). Here are some of the more interesting quotes:

“We believe in the cloud. Sometimes people need to do certain things outside of the cloud (e.g. direct access to the physical drive for optimization). But you should go up as high in the stack as you can.”

“Sometimes you need your own house which you can decorate exactly how you like it”

“You have to decide if you’re going to build or use service providers. Running power & cooling are not core to any company.” Continue reading “Fireside Chat with Lew Moorman”

Paying for It: Cloud Costs and Billing Models

Next up at ECS was a panel session led by Allan Leinwand, Venture Partner at Panorama Capital

The speakers were:

Allan opened with the example of MCI, who owed a lot of its success to the introduction of a “Friends & Family” scheme. No new technology, nothing new, just a new billing model. This is why clouds are exciting, they offer an opportunity to revolutionise the domain with new pricing models.

How do cloud computing models affect budgeting? Continue reading “Paying for It: Cloud Costs and Billing Models”

What Elasticity Really Means

Next up at ECS was a panel session moderated by Ian Rae, CEO of Syntenic.

The Speakers were:

  • Jon Beck, SVP Sales and Client Services, OpSource, Inc.
  • Chad Swartz, Senior Manager, IT Operations, Preferred Hotel Group
  • Geir Magnusson, Consulting Architect, Platform, Gilt
  • Scott Clark, Director of Engineering Infrastructure, Broadcom
  • Josh Litwin, President and CEO, Memento Press

Definitions of Elasticity

Continue reading “What Elasticity Really Means”

Dispelling the myths of cloud lock-in

Over the course of 6 demos, the ECS team have shown how a single application can be moved between clouds with a minimal amount of code changes. Our video messaging application, which is fully detailed and can be tried for yourself at, was first written with a back-end and a front end on Amazon Web Services. We introduced load-balancing of the front and back ends with Rightscale, and tested this with SOASTA CloudTest.

We then showed how the back end can be moved in house with MongoDB, and today (pictured right) we looked at moving the front end to a Google App Engine application, and that this could be done with a minimum of code changes. Later today we’ll be looking at how to handle multiple levels and versions of a cloud application to form a virtual development lab with Skytap.

The Case for Cloud Infrastructure: On-Demand Economics

Day 2 of the Enterprise Cloud Summit kicked off with a panel session moderated by John Willis of Zabovo.

The speakers were:

  • Joe Weinman, Strategic Solution Sales, AT&T Signature Client Group
  • Neil Cohen, Director of Product Marketing, Akamai
  • Paul Mockapetris, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Nominium, Inc.
  • James Urquhart, Product Marketing Manager, Cloud Computing and Virtualized Data Centers at Cisco

What is the return on investment in the cloud?

Continue reading “The Case for Cloud Infrastructure: On-Demand Economics”

Google App Engine; towards an entirely abstracted platform

Mike Repass, Product Manager of Google App Engine took part in a fireside chat with Alistair as the final session of Enterprise Cloud Summit today. A wide variety of topics were covered.

How can people trust their hardware needs to Google?

“The App Engine is a customer of raw Google services the same way Gmail or anything else is. We offer the same security as those raw Google services which are built to scale – e.g. BigTable”

Why did Google take a platform as a service approach?

This approach plays to Google’s strengths. Google’s success has been to build hardware to serve vast amounts of data to millions and millions of people. The value proposition is more about abstracting away the concerns with machines. No instances, no reservation – pay as you go based on usage.

Are you going to make people better developers?

Hopefully! The billing by usage definitely influences the way developers code. There were radical rewrites of code when we moved to the pay as you go model.

Is there a class of application you wouldn’t recommend to put on Google App Engine?

Continue reading “Google App Engine; towards an entirely abstracted platform”

The Business of Clouds and the Risks of Being There

A session at ECS lead by

  • Drew Bartkiewicz, Vice President of Cyber Risk and New Media Markets, The Hartford
  • Robert Parisi, SVP & National Technology, Network Risk & Telecommunications Practice Leader, FINPRO, Marsh USA


Drew: “The profession of a cloudster is yet to be written.”

Bob: “Are you giving someone a threat that they are unable to handle? It’s like giving your 16 year old the keys to the Camaro”

Drew: “Developers are doing things that CEOs don’t know about. The costs are low. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. You need to set guidelines for your developers.”

Slides: “The original assumptions for business risk and liability are no longer valid. However, it appears that the upside outweighs the downside.”

Drew: “Where does contextual marketing stop and surveillance begin?”

Drew: Two words that came up a lot today – Uncertainty (12 times) and Aggregation (I lost count)

Drew: “There are eight examples of companies that were sued not for their lack of professional standards but for the lack of professional standards of their users. Companies need to be aware of this risk.”

Continue reading “The Business of Clouds and the Risks of Being There”

Where can things go wrong?

Greg Ness, Marketing Executive, Infoblox led a panel of four speakers to explore the dark side of cloud computing.

The speakers are:

  • Peter Coffee, Director, Platform Research,
  • Randy Rowland, General Manager, Managed Hosting & Cloud Computing Services, Terremark Worldwide, Inc.
  • Geva Perry, Founder, Thinking Out Cloud
  • Bill McGee, Vice President, Products and Technology, Third Brigade

What types of cloud architectures are there and are they all alike?

Peter Coffee: “It would be a mistake to think that cloud computing is a whole new thing” It’s more useful to look at what they have in common with enterprise deployment.

Geva: Although there are some services such as Hadoop are uniquely tailored to take advantage of cloud architecture. ”

Peter (a bit later on): There are new skill sets, there is experimentation to be done and things to learn. It’s like replacing a horse pulling a horse drawn carriage with a big motor – you need to tailor to the environment you will be running in.

Are all cloud vendors offering the same thing?

Continue reading “Where can things go wrong?”

Is the future of IT managing scripts?

This is the question Alistair Croll first asked Werner Vogels in the fireside chat session at ECS. Werner admitted he’d been caught off guard by the question but admitted that the future is automation for sure and scripts are powerful tools to achieve this.

An example of an enterprise use case for cloud computing

Werner related the case of the NASDAQ which had a lack of capital, which was restricting innovation and making it difficult for them to solve the technical problems around handling complex historical stock queries.

They solved this by having every ticker symbol for 10 minutes written to a text file in Amazon S3. An Adobe Air application was created which allowed you to specify a symbol and a date range. The app would download the text files for that time period – meaning you can do joins, queries etc. The computation is done by the customer’s desktop which means there is no resource investment. They were able to use cloud technology to keep things “nice and simple”

Cost savings can include people

Werner talked about the idea that when assessing the cost of cloud computing versus in-house infrastructure, you have to think about the total cost of ownership not just hardware. Werner talked about the example of the Indy 500. He said they have a very nice website which offers a flash environment with multiple video streams including views from the cockpits of drivers’ cars with audio feeds and telemetry. This is a high load application but it only runs three times a year. They found that they had to move a lot of engineers into data centers to keep their servers up. When they moved to cloud infrastructure they made 75% cost savings, the majority of which was on the people side; now they can manage everything from their armchair at home.

On Amazon direction and strategy

Continue reading “Is the future of IT managing scripts?”