Measuring the expansion of Cloud Computing

As cloud computing has grown in recognition, and therefore the marketplace has begun to attract serious cash, some people are starting to put some serious effort into tracking and measuring actual cloud usage. cloud computing technology Here’s a little collection of links that show, with some veracity, the state of cloud computing today. Guy Rosen has the movie of usage for public clouds, which finds that among IaaS providers, Amazon EC2 leads the pack, followed by Rackspace, Joyent, and GoGrid.

But there are caveats to Rosen’s data. Rosen is merely counting websites running within the cloud. The data comes from Quantcast, which Rosen has analyzed consistent with IP location to get comparisons. It’s worth questioning how useful Rosen’s analysis is. Classically, Web servers are a primary use case for cloud computing, but increasingly, processing stacks, test and dev, and similar applications are pitched as potential uses for the general public cloud. With Amazon continually making hay over its use by the enterprise, this analysis could also be accurate, but it's certainly limited.

Another stab at quantifying the cloud comes from those beloved propeller-headed comp sci types, which they dub “Cloud Cartography.” within the course of analyzing multi-tenancy security vulnerabilities, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, and MIT came up with bone-simple thanks to coarsely measure actual servers on Amazon’s EC2 cloud. (Hint: it involved a MasterCard, Nmap, wget and Amazon’s DNS servers.) consistent with their cursory research, the amount of responding server instances on EC2 currently stands at 14,054.

Cloud Cartography promises to be a really entertaining race between cloud providers and therefore the curious, and can doubtless be emulated by others for various sites. I’ll attempt to keep this space updated as new metrics come around. call center technology within the meantime, vendor-neutral suggestions about ways to measure the state of cloud computing are welcome. Let’s make this a haven for learning what’s really happening. Cloud computing: Appeal, origins, and economics while the shift towards cloud computing is an undeniable a part of current and future IT operations, it's unwise to plan for any cloud-related innovations without understanding where cloud computing has evolved from, what it wont to be and therefore the elements that now make it appealing. Jeff Kaplan, Founder, and director of Think Strategies sat down with us to debate the fundamentals of cloud computing.

A lot of individuals point to Amazon, which sells virtual servers that you simply pay for by the hour called EC2 because of the eponymous example of cloud computing. Would you agree? Jeff Kaplan: Absolutely. In fact, Amazon is, for the foremost part, liable for having popularized the thought. Cloud computing was actually most previously promoted by the technology industry itself back within the early a part of this decade, once we were pertaining to it as utility computing and corporations like IBM, HP and Sun were doing all they might to complicate the concept with terms like 'autonomic computing.' This was a time when customers were trying to find greater simplicity and simple use, also as flexibility and agility from a provisioning standpoint, and therefore the utility computing idea just didn't seem to jell thereupon. Then Amazon came along, recognized that it had built some internal competencies that it had the chance to commercialize and basically resell within the way during which it provisions its own internal operations, very similar to Google has done. And with EC2, as you acknowledged, Amazon gave it an attempt to lo and behold, there was a laden marketable to buy.

Is it the simplicity of cloud computing that draws interest? Kaplan: I feel there are three elements. Simplicity is one. information technology degrees Number two is price. And associated with the price is on-demand provisioning capabilities, which not only allow you to shop for on-demand but also decommission those self-same resources almost as instantaneously. and that is really where the innovation has emerged in cloud computing, as against the Software as a Service (SaaS) market, which we at Think Strategies see as a stepping stone to the success that we are now experiencing in cloud computing. Some people I've spoken with who have worked in IT for a variety of years believe cloud computing is the same as time-sharing. What are your thoughts?

Kaplan: Cloud computing is predicated on an equivalent concept as time-sharing. I've heard time-sharing mentioned as shared services before. it had been first talked about within the 60s and 70s. The aerospace industry had excess capacity, very similar to Amazon does today, and tried to resell it. Those companies didn't find yourself commercializing it to its ultimate success; it had been an innovator within the sort of EDS that emerged at that time . The same principles hold true today. If a primary vendor has found out a best practice for managing a knowledge center and may, in essence, resell that competence, why not allow third-parties to require advantage of it? When talking about the economics of cloud computing, what sort of businesses would you say are getting to see value from using these services?

Kaplan: Companies of all sizes and shapes and in various stages of their evolutions can see the value. Obviously, startups are a key target and therefore the most blatant example. Small businesses, if you check out them during a more general sense, also can cash in because they need a chance to ascertain a benefit. But the important surprises come from another category, which is the enterprise. most of the people felt that SaaS and now cloud computing wouldn't sell well into the enterprise, and therefore the enterprise has proven them wrong.

Enterprises have found that there are tremendous opportunities to require advantage of with SaaS. Now they're increasingly watching cloud computing also, initially as a test-bed for brand spanking new applications, an area where they will more economically pilot new ideas. They're 'kicking the tires' to work out whether or not these cloud computing vendors can really scale to satisfy their ongoing productivity or production needs. They're also looking to seek out ways to dump or what we call 'out task' ongoing pieces of their operations to those cloud computing environments. as an example, there could also be trade cycle reasons where a corporation must proportion its operations periodically but doesn't want to form the permanent investment in additional hardware and software, which might lock the corporate into a capital investment that it doesn't need throughout the year. Is this the start of a period where computing power is becoming sort of a grid of resource to be used like electricity -- generalized and straightforward enough to consume, without having to form an investment?

Kaplan: Absolutely, but there's another aspect of this. If I'm a longtime company that has made an incredible investment in IT, albeit that it's working on behalf of me today (although I do not know of too many organizations which will say that they're totally satisfied with their IT operations) it doesn't give me the competitive advantage it wont to give me. Today, anyone can access Amazon and obtain some computing power, obtain a myriad of enterprise applications on a pay-as-you-go basis called SaaS and mix it all with on-demand resources. There is a variety of the way to urge to plug faster, easier and more economically and become a competitive threat to established firms. The ways during which the barriers to entry are being knocked down by cloud computing are enormous.

VMware extends vCloud with self-provisioning, APIs
VMware Inc.'s new vCloud Express cloud brokerage service, announced today, was designed to compete for head-on within the public cloud market. The service offers self-service provisioning of virtual machines (VMs) through the company's vCloud portal to hosting partners. Also at VMworld 2009, the corporate discussed the overall release of its vCloud application programming interface (API), paralleling other public cloud providers like GoGrid, Rackspace, and Amazon.VMware is pitching the vCloud Express service as a cheap and efficient way for enterprises that already use VMware virtualization to start out extending their deployments into the cloud, with a minimum of pain and suffering and therefore the ability to settle on among competing vendors offering VMware cloud services.

"When you hear vCloud Express, think fast and cheap, or fast and cost-effective, I should say," said VMware CEO Paul Maritz at his VMworld keynote address, delivered from San Francisco. Maritz said that VMware is releasing its API for vCloud and would strive for broad functionality and acceptance by cloud users, saying the corporate would hew to as-yet-undetermined standards for cloud computing. The vCloud API has been submitted to standards organizations to urge a standard we will all rally behind," Maritz said. He didn't specify which standards bodies those were, but it's likely that the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) is going to be involved. VMware may be a long-time DTMF member vCloud Express that will function as VMware's gateway to hosting companies running public clouds supported VMware infrastructure. Currently, five hosting companies have signed on to vend through vCloud Express: Logica, BlueLock, Hosting.com, Terremark and Melbourne IT. the power to aggregate hosting providers into a "cloud brokerage" service is seen by some as a positive step
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These cloud providers are getting to compete on price and repair levels," said Tony Iams, senior vice chairman, and Senior Analyst at Australian analyst firm Ideas International. Prices for the for computing resources reportedly start as low as $0.05/hour, undercutting Amazon's cheapest EC2 instances by half. Australian IT services firm Melbourne it'll begin offering single CPUs with 500MB RAM for that price, and costs graduate upwards counting on performance. Other vendors haven't released pricing details, and it's unclear whether VMware takes a stop the highest of what providers charge, makes money from additional licensing fees or both. Alex Barrett, SearchServerVirtualization.com news director, contributed to the present report.

XCP aims to standardize open source virtualization new initiative launched Monday by Xen.org, home of the open-source hypervisor, which aims to standardize virtualization across a broadening spectrum of cloud vendors. The Xen Cloud Project (XCP) will reportedly standardize "virtual appliances" -- software stacks built for specific purposes -- around standards like the Open Virtualization Format and push for the adoption of other standards to permit interoperability between different virtualized environments. Early backers include Citrix, which maintains XenSource and XenServer, also as Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Novell, and Rackspace.

The stated aim of the XCP is to clarify and simplify choices for patrons using public clouds and make it easier for data centers to settle on a virtualization platform. An unstated goal is to supply something of a unified front against the steady progression of proprietary technology into cloud computing. VMware released vSphere and vCloud as fully supported, proprietary ways for enterprise customers to develop their data centers into internal, private clouds. They also help entrench VMware because of the foundation for cloud providers.
 VMware's approach is basically almost federation," said Xen.org founder Ian Pratt. VMware is aware that its enterprise customers will want to use external virtualized resources, and it wants to seek out ways to securely string together those virtualized environments, he said. Pratt's goal with XCP is to extend interoperability in order that VMware users won't necessarily be limited to VMware-only cloud or service vendors.

"There are tons to be gained by having standardization at this layer," he said. VMware was designed with the enterprise data center in mind, without the peculiar flexibility and delivery model of public cloud infrastructures like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Rackspace Cloud Servers, Pratt said. Sticking to a comprehensive and open standard for all virtualized infrastructures could turn cloud computing into a "VM-hosting appliance" rather than a set of discrete, fenced off reserves, he added