|By Colin Clark||
|March 22, 2010 11:45 AM EDT||
I reread this article from time to time just to make sure that I stay within some boundaries – 21 Experts Define Cloud Computing. Among the 21, there are a couple that I really like; I’m going to cite a few of them over the next few days, and tell you what I like and don’t like about them (Also – remember, the title reads “21 Experts…” – it didn’t say “21 Experts in Cloud Computing…” – details matter). This article was brought to my attention in a blog post, “Rumblings in the Cloud,” by Louis Lovas at Progress Apama.
Dynamic Cloud Resources – While You Wait (or “I’ll have an EC2 grid, monster that, please”)
“What is cloud computing all about? Amazon has coined the word “elasticity” which gives a good idea about the key features: you can scale your infrastructure on demand within minutes or even seconds, instead of days or weeks, thereby avoiding under-utilization (idle servers) and over-utilization (blue screen) of in-house resources. With monitoring and increasing automation of resource provisioning we might one day wake up in a world where we don’t have to care about scaling our Web applications because they can do it alone.”
I like this quote for a couple of reasons – but there’s something missing here, and it’s missing in the rest of quotes in the article as well. There’s no mention of accountability. If an organization is making use of cloud resources, where is the demand coming from? There are a couple of broad categories that this could fall into, 1) outsourced apps like email, project management, analytics, google apps, etc. (for a great list, see Bessemer’s Rules for the Cloud), 2) operational stuff – development, testing, storage, and 3) REVENUE producing activities.
About 15 years ago, I went on a rampage through one of the companies I was managing. The exercise was simple, if an activity, report, spreadsheet, fax, etc. couldn’t be tied to a client deliverable (read that ‘REVENUE’) then it was chucked in the bin. This seemingly simple process elicited sometimes visceral responses; yelling, kicking, and even screaming on occasion. There was more to this than met the eye.
Nice story, what’s this got to do with dynamic cloud resource allocation. Easy answer – if resources are being requested in the cloud, what are they for? If resources are being dynamically scaled, what incremental revenue was produced? Notice that I make no distinction amongst compute, storage, or network here – it doesn’t matter. The big question is how do dynamic cloud resources help my company make money?
And that is Accountability – if a resource can’t be tied to a necessary, sponsored, or revenue producing activity then it is cut. And the cloud makes it all that more easy to ‘chuck stuff in the bin.” Or, just because your web site can now scale automagically, so what?
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