384 GB for $10,339 or is it a typo?

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/100909-cisco-rack-servers.html?hpg1=bn

“UCS C250 M1 Extended Memory Rack-Mount server is two rack units, and has 384GB of memory and eight disk drives. It costs $10,339 and will be available in December.”

Published in: on October 13, 2009 at 7:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

“Internal Clouds rock”- even if it is a fumble, it is our fumble…

Phil Wainewright writes that: “Cloud is no place for amateurs”. He makes the case that recent outages at IBM and T-mobile run facilities proves that big companies overestimate their competence at SaaS and Clouds.

I do not see this as an issue of big versus small, I think it is a matter of how reliable and rugged a system you are able to construct. A small company or an Enterprise could create a reliable cloud with the right kind of fault tolerance built in.

http://blogs.zdnet.com/SAAS/?p=899&tag=nl.e539

Emotionally, incidents like these strengthen the argument for internal on-premises Clouds constructed using SOA Layer and VMWare based fault tolerance.

http://blogs.zdnet.com/SAAS/?p=899&tag=nl.e539

Published in: on October 13, 2009 at 5:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Microsoft can compete, but will it?

Microsoft supposedly has a version of Office ready for the cloud, but does not want to release it, for fear of cannibalizing revenue from the lucrative Office suite. I expect Microsoft to release Cloud versions, once rivals like GoogleApp build steam.

http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=24614&tag=nl.e539

Published in: on September 22, 2009 at 5:36 pm  Comments (1)  
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Do a billion people have interesting things to say to each other?

I am a fan of twitter.  They have invented a category- microblogging. The beauty of twitter is its public nature, and it allows people to do trend mining.

On the other hand,  most interesting things are said when there is some expectation of privacy.  A micro blogging site which will enforce rule and role based security may persuade people to increase the number of microblogs they by one or two orders of magnitude. Many who have never microblogged may be persuaded to do so.

ow many more tweets would people at a conference like VMWorld would be willing to put, if they were restricted to a select group of friends. There was ways of achieving it, but none are satisfactorily friendly and powerful.

What is needed is an ability to define “Circles”- my inner circle of friends may get microblogs about politics- I may not want all my friends, or my work colleagues  to know about the microblogs.   People have strong views on many subjects that they need to share to a select group of people. This can easily be implemented using XACML and role and rule based security.

I would like a micro blogging site in which I can open my heart, and share my innermost thoughts.  Without fear of it becoming public.  At a more prosaic level,  a secure private micro blogging site may offer benefits to businesses and enhance communication.

Women are concerned about security, and therefore are reticent to do any significant micro blogging.  Geeks may think that publishing your GPS coordinates is cool, most women do not. On the other hand, many women would like a select group of people to know their location.

Twitter(or Microblogging) is  expected to  reach  a billion registered users in the future.  Scalability challenges of a site  like this are enormous.  Creating an affordable solution that will work at Internet scale for something like this- It is a problem worth discussing.

Published in: on September 4, 2009 at 8:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Products that I want to discuss…

I am planning to discuss these products:   A memory expansion ASIC from 3Leaf,  A deep diagnostic product from  DynaTrace and a new Networking Software that makes integrating physical, virtual and cloud based datacenters simple.

A new way of creating servers with very large memory using an ASIC from 3Leaf  Technologies.   Terabyte of RAM at an affordable price- How will you use it to save money for your customers even while reducing costs?

Your CRM is in the data center, the Lead Management System is on Force.com, the datawarehousing application is on Amazon AWS Cloud, your Enterprise Portal is partly on Google AppEngine, and partly in the existing datacenter.  There are performance issues- How will you diagnose the problems?  If N-tier systems were a nightmare to debug and troubleshoot, how will you handle the Cloud sprawl?  A product from a company called DynaTrace may offer some answers.

Wondering about how to manage servers in your VMWare environment, and integrate a physical, virtual and a cloud based network?   vEOS Software- a Network software that can migrate servers across these three zones even while maintaining security may offer an answer.

Are there any other products that can simplify life for the IT professional in the Data Center or a hosting provider? Do you want to recommend any products for review?

Published in: on August 27, 2009 at 11:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dramatic and Mild

Are dramatic improvements in levels of virtualization possible with only minor technological improvments?

Are dramatic improvements in levels of virtualization possible with only minor technological improvments?

Talking to clients it seems as if the amount of virtualization that they expect is quite low. Many will be happy with a  3X level of virtualization over current datacenter. Are much higher levels of virtualization possible with relatively minor technological improvements?   Do you want to discuss?

Above: Dramatic and Mild, by Vassily Kandinsky.

Published in: on July 27, 2009 at 2:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Oracle to buy Sun- Will we see a serious competitor to Amazon?

An intelligent combination of the two companies technologies could yet create a good rival to Amazon, or a complement to it at a higher level of the IT and SOA stack. A Times10 frontend to mySQL, can create a database from which you could extract and write data millions of times per second.   A Weblogic Web App that integrates with a Cloud hosted Drupal.  Alternate, key-value like storage engines for  mySQL- to face the challenge posed by other simpler databases.  Tight integration between the fault tolerant capability of Sun Storage and hardware with the fault tolerant capabilities of Oracle or Weblogic. This is quick post, the possibilities for innovation are endless.

Published in: on April 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Close but no Cigar for IBM- No match on memory…

IBM announced a new blade server today. They top out at 144 GB, and they are not even close to having 48 DIMM slots which can easily give 384 GB at a very low price.

Published in: on April 8, 2009 at 7:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Could the Sun Cloud offering be the tipping point?

The Wallstreet Journal article “Internet Industry is on a Cloud”
does not do Cloud computing any justice at all.

Value proposition of Cloud computing is crystal clear. Averaged over 24 hours, and 7 days a week , 52 weeks in a year – many servers have a CPU utilization of 1% or less.  The same is also true of network bandwidth. The  storage capacity on harddisks that can be accessed only from a specific servers is also underutilized. For example, harddisk capacity of harddisks attached to a database server, is used only when certain queries that require intermediate results to be stored to the harddisk.  At all other times the harddisk capacity is not used at all.

Isolated pools of computing, network and storage are underutilized most of the time, but must be provisioned for that hypothetical peak capacity day, or even a peak capacity hour. What if  we could reengineer our Operating Systems, network/storage management as well as all the other higher layers of software to work in a way that we are able to treat hardware resources as a set of “Compute Pools”, “Storage Pools” and “Network Pools”?

Numerous technical challenges have to be overcome to make this happen. This is what today’s Cloud Computing Frameworks are hoping to achieve.

Existing software vendors with their per Server and per CPU pricing have a lot to lose from this disruptive model.  A BI provider like “Vertica”  hosted in the cloud, can compete very well with traditional datawarehousing frameworks.  Imagine, using a BI tool few months in a year, to analyze a year’s worth of data, using temporarily provisioned servers and rented software.  Cost of an approach like this can be an order of magnitude less than traditional buy, install and maintain approach.

I think Sun’s private cloud offering may be the tipping point that will persuade mainstream rather than cutting edge IT organizations to switch to a cloud approach.  With a private cloud, one could share compute, network and storage resources amongst a set of  business units, or even affiliated companies.

You can read a comparison of existing cloud offerings here:

PS: Why do many servers have an average utilization of  1% or less. Consider an IT shop with dedicated set of servers  per application policy. For an application rolled out 8 years ago, the average utilization when in use  was perhaps 15%. With today’s technology the  average utilization when  in use will be 5%.  The average across 365 days, 24 hours,  can certainly be below 1%.


The Sun Cloud…

Sun announced an entry into the Cloud computing space, promising that “Behind Every Cloud you will see the Sun” . By allowing Private onpremises clouds, Sun could persuade mainstream rather than cutting-edge IT organizations to move to the world of Cloud Computing.

“Move over, Amazon. The leading provider of cloud services is about to get some serious competition from Sun Microsystems, which made its entrance into cloud computing Wednesday with plans to offer compute and storage services built on Sun technologies, including OpenSolaris and MySQL.”

Sun’s Cloud offering includes:  Storage based on ZFS- Sun’s distributed file system and an “Enterprise Stack” based on mySQL+ GlassFish Application server.

Unlike Microsoft Azure or Amazon EC2, the Sun Cloud can be created onsite.   This will allow  customers to create their own clouds based on the Sun API.  The Sun’s storage API is portable with Amazon S3 service.

Sun’s cloud is based on the robust pedigree of its proven technologies in the area of Networking and storage, the strong Open Solaris Operating System. It will use the technology acquired from Q ware to do management.

I think customers will like the idea of creating Private clouds using the Sun Technology.  I am disappointed that they have not bundled an ESB product like Mule or WSO2 with their Cloud offering- but may be that is what an independent cloud provider needs to do.  I think that having the Intalio stack preconfigured in the cloud,  may make BPM in the cloud irresistible.

I think Sun’s move of allowing companies to create their own on-site  Private cloud is very  clever. A lot  of companies for legal and emotional reasons simply cannot  allow their infrastructure to be hosted elsewhere.   They will be very happy however to create their own clouds. I see this as a great opportunity.

Where does this leave Azul Systems? I think a vendor could bundle Azul’s Appliance to create a private cloud offering.  The new blade servers from Cisco and competing servers from HP will allow large number of virtual machines to be created on the same blade server, however I still think that the Azul Compute appliance with its pauseless GC and large heaps still has a major role.

I expect Value-added-resellers and other hosting providers to build on top of the Sun Cloud to create extremely competitive Cloud Computing offerings.  For example, an offering could include  JBOSS application server(s), with mySQL  database and WSO2 ESB.  Another offering could include mySQL database for Operational datastore and Vertica for data analysis and OLAP.

I have been trying to figure out what the “Creative Commons” license is? Does anyone know, what it means in practical terms?

Published in: on March 25, 2009 at 9:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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