Cloud // Infrastructure as a Service
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4/30/2012
12:20 PM
Doug Henschen
Doug Henschen
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Amazon's 7 Cloud Promises: Hype Vs. Reality

Amazon says cloud computing is an indispensable enabler of seven important computing transformations. We hype-test the promises with a few reality checks.
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It's a given that computer systems fail, so computer scientists have known for years that the way to mitigate risk is to rely on highly distributed, fault-tolerant architectures. But it's easier said than done running all those servers and networks and synchronizing redundant, geographically isolated data centers. With cloud computing, running on reliable, distributed systems "becomes relatively easy," asserted Amazon CTO Dr. Werner Vogels.

It's obvious that tapping into a distributed cloud service is easier than building one from scratch. In Amazon's case, you can spread your deployment across eight global regions, each with multiple Availability Zones, and, within Availability Zones, multiple data centers, each located on separate seismic plates and running on separate power grids. Amazon runs distributed services--including Simple Storage Service (S3), DynamoDB NoSQL database service, and the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)--across multiple availability zones. It also offers distributed Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) processing power and administrative services including Simple Workflow Service (SWF), Simple Queue Service (SQS), and Simple Notification Service (SNS).

Plenty of other cloud vendors have globally distributed architectures, but AWS has a 59% share of the infrastructure-as-a-service market, according to The 451 Group, so its advantages in scale should, in theory, translate to higher levels of overall capacity, scalability, system distribution, and redundancy.

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D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
5/1/2012 | 3:16:24 PM
re: Amazon's 7 Cloud Promises: Hype Vs. Reality
I asked my colleague, Art Wittman, for his thoughts on this gallery, and he offered the following comments on supercomputing: "Most of the SCs in the world are time shared in some way. The five regional centers in the U.S. all have time allocation committees for academia, but the national labs seem convinced they should keep buying their own. One problem they haveGă˘and IGăÍd think the big data crowd would have the same problemGă˘is getting huge data sets in place so that the processing can happen on the right hardware at the right time. You canGăÍt just leave petabytes around in case you need to operate on the dataGă˘imagine a few dozen or a few hundred customers doing that. YouGăÍd have enormous local storage needs even in an Amazon-like distributed environment. Pretty much everything Amazon says is Găúeasy in our environmentGăą isnGăÍt, at least not at scale."

More good insight from Wittman. --Doug Henschen
Leo Regulus
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Leo Regulus,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/1/2012 | 6:50:58 PM
re: Amazon's 7 Cloud Promises: Hype Vs. Reality
Inappropriate format.
Leo Regulus
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Leo Regulus,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/16/2012 | 4:14:45 PM
re: Amazon's 7 Cloud Promises: Hype Vs. Reality
Please, I'm still waiting for the one-click version.
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