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4 Hot Topics At Cloud Connect

From Amazon to Zynga, cloud leaders at the conference gave some interesting sneak peeks at the future of cloud computing. Take a look ahead.

Charles Babcock

February 15, 2012

3 Min Read

Quantum is such a general-purpose frontend for network services. It would be able to look at an application being uploaded to a cloud and recognize the level of network service needed, the firewalls needed to protect it, and the routers needed to carry its messages. It would then direct underlying systems to set up those resources as virtual services. If the application is only to be enabled to talk to one or two others, the virtual routers created for it would contain those restrictions. If the application needs an Internet gateway, then a virtual server can be designated for the purpose.

In its first-phase implementation, Quantum can supply services "to a simple Level 2 network segment," something like what a single router can manage on a home network, is how Tucker put it. That leaves a lot of limits on what Quantum can do for any given workload, but the baseline functionality is likely to be extended out deeper into the network, if the implementer chooses.

That would mean Quantum might start reconfiguring nearby network devices, and obviously there are some limits to how far any network administrator wants a frontend service like Quantum to reach. But since these are virtual devices, they can represent small chunks of powerful physical devices spread across many users, with each user still making network decisions and setting up connections in his own virtual data center, in isolation from other users.

Zynga Settles On Hybrid Cloud

The fourth hot topic that I ran across at Cloud Connect was Zynga's announcement during its earnings call Tuesday that it's brought much of its online game activity, which means millions of users' simultaneous events, back into its zCloud. Zynga at the start of 2011 was known to be a heavy user of Amazon's EC2. That dependence was cited in Zynga's prospectus as it prepared to go public last summer.

John Schappert, chief operating officer, said during the earnings call Tuesday that "nearly 80% of our daily active users were hosted in [Zynga's] zCloud at the end of 2011 compared to just 20% at the beginning of the year."

Zynga will continue its close relationship with Amazon's EC2 cloud. But Zynga is clearly getting more adept at constructing the data center space it needs or leasing it from wholesale builders--it does both--and tying them together into its internally controlled zCloud.

Zynga CTO of infrastructure Allan Leinwand is scheduled to speak Wednesday at Cloud Connect and he promises to explain more when he gives his talk.

IT's jumping into cloud services with too much custom code and too little planning, our annual State of Cloud Computing Survey finds. The new Leap Of Cloud Faith issue of InformationWeek shows you what to be aware of when using the cloud. Also in this issue: Cloud success stories from Six Flags and Yelp, and how to write a SAN RFI. (Free registration required.)

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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