4 posts • joined 20 Nov 2007
I contacted Rackspace customer service after reading this article and they didn't have a clue about free "mobile cloud stacks". Would be nice to know the origin of this story...
"Once a month software releases are, by definition, un-tested and as a result not trustworthy in a corporate environment."
I understand you are not a great fan of Windows but many of us (individuals as well as corporates) are using this operating system which has a monthly release cycle for software patches.
Also the trend in the open source space seems like moving towards more frequent release development cycle as per announcement by Mozilla Foundation here http://blog.mozilla.com/blog/2011/04/13/new-channels-for-firefox-rapid-releases/.
"So, basically, what you are saying is that when consuming massive amounts of computing resources, it's OK to not really understand the complexity of the issue until run-time, at which point we can throw money at the problem?"
No, you still have to do capacity planning and estimation but for unexpected situations, such as OperationPayback that took down Visa and Mastercard sites, it can help if you can quickly deploy additional capacity to cope with unexpected issues.
About "...adding another (or more) layer(s)..."
Just testing myself whether I'm able to sell the cloud idea to Jake....
Q1: How, exactly, does adding another (or more) layer(s) to the stack make for better computing?
The concept of cloud as I currently understand it is to offer a pool of resources (cpu/ram/storage/network interfaces/etc).
From this pool we can choose the components that are required to complete a specific job.
For example building a router requires multiple network interfaces and right amount of ram but less cpu and storage.
In contrast building an email server requires large amount of storage and ram but we can probably manage with a single network interface (not the best practice though).
Cloud infrastructure enables us to easily build a machine that fits the specific purpose thus I think it makes for better computing.
Q2: How, exactly, does adding another (or more) layer(s) to the stack make for cheaper computing?
In terms of CPU cycles I don't think it makes for cheaper computing. From the costs perspective it can save you money.
For example let's assume I work for an agile software company that makes a new software release once a month.
On the release day company's web servers are working hard as customers are downloading the new version of the software.
For the rest of the month servers are sitting mostly idle.
Being able to scale up/down when the demand goes up/down can save you money in environments where the charging is done per CPU hour (eg.Amazon EC2).
Q3: How, exactly, does adding another (or more) layer(s) to the stack make for faster computing?
Virtualisation used in cloud computing doesn't directly offer performance gains in comparison to conventional bare-metal computing.
What cloud infrastructure enables us to do differently is to increase capacity when additional computing resources are needed.
As an example when doing cpu-intesive parallel processing in cloud one can quite quickly add 10+ nodes into the cluster which together
will get the job done quicker than 1 bare-metal computer. Deploying 10 new nodes in cloud environment is 100 quicker than deploying 10 new bare-metal computers thus it saves time.
Q4: How, exactly, does adding another (or more) layer(s) to the stack make for more secure computing?
It does not make for more secure computing.
In my opinion security is the number one common concern at the moment that slows down the adoption of cloud computing.
Relationship vanishes along with customers
"The simple fact that we have the customer and billing relationship is a hugely powerful thing that nobody can take away from us,"
I disagree. This relationship vanishes along with customers.
I visited Vodafone branch today to ask about upgrade options as my contract is due to renewal. What they had to offer wasn't satisfying. The advice from the customer service rep was to make a new contract with them and then they give me better deal. The "only" downside is that I cannot keep my old number. That is a problem. But, as my contract period has come to the end I'm free to transfer my number to other operator and get better deal from them. So I thanked the sales rep and walked to 3 shop opposite side of the street. The service in 3 shop was surprisingly good and price plans by far more compelling than VF's. I even witnessed close to flawless Skype-on-mobile demo.
Still yesterday I didn't think I had any reason to browse around and look for better deals but my experience today taught me that as Vodafone is not making any effort to keep existing customers happy why should I be "a loyal customer" and stick with them.
Vodafone is a good brand but as I'm not a big fan of labels (rather paying for services) I think it is time for change and end this "customer and billing relationship".
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