|By Lori MacVittie||
|May 25, 2011 01:30 PM EDT||
Turns out that ‘unassailable’ economic argument for public cloud computing is very assailable
The economic arguments are unassailable. Economies of scale make cloud computing more cost effective than running their own servers for all but the largest organisations. Cloud computing is also a perfect fit for the smart mobile devices that are eating into PC and laptop market. -- Tim Anderson, “Let the Cloud Developer Wars Begin”
Ah, Tim. The arguments are not unassailable and, in fact, it appears you might be guilty of having tunnel vision – seeing only the list price and forgetting to factor in the associated costs that make public cloud computing not so economically attractive under many situations. Yes, on a per hour basis, per CPU cycle, per byte of RAM, public cloud computing is almost certainly cheaper than any other option. But that doesn’t mean that arguments for cloud computing (which is much more than just cheap compute resources) are economically unassailable. Ignoring for a moment that it isn’t as clear cut as basing a deployment strategy purely on costs, the variability in bandwidth and storage costs along with other factors that generate both hard and soft costs associated with applications must be considered .
MACRO versus MICRO ECONOMICS
The economic arguments for cloud computing almost always boil down to the competing views of micro versus macro economics. Those in favor of public cloud computing are micro-economic enthusiasts, narrowing in on the cost per cycle or hour of a given resource. But micro-economics don’t work for an application because an application is not an island of functionality; it’s an integrated, dependent component that is part of a larger, macro-economic environment in which other factors impact total costs.
The lack of control over resources in external environments can be problematic for IT organizations seeking to leverage cheaper, commodity resources in public cloud environments. Failing to impose constraints on auto-scaling – as well as defining processes for de-scaling – and the inability to track and manage developer instances launched and left running are certainly two of the more common causes of “cloud sprawl.” Such scenarios can certainly lead to spiraling costs that, while not technically the fault of cloud computing or providers, may engender enough concern in enterprise IT to keep from pushing the “launch” button.
The touted cost savings associated with cloud services didn't pan out for Ernie Neuman, not because the savings weren't real, but because the use of the service got out of hand.
When he worked in IT for the Cole & Weber advertising firm in Seattle two and a half years ago, Neuman enlisted cloud services from a provider called Tier3, but had to bail because the costs quickly overran the budget, a victim of what he calls cloud sprawl - the uncontrolled growth of virtual servers as developers set them up at will, then abandoned them to work on other servers without shutting down the servers they no longer need.
Whereas he expected the developers to use up to 25 virtual servers, the actual number hit 70 or so. "The bills were out of control compared with what the business planned to spend," he says.
But these are not the only causes of cost overruns in public cloud computing environments and, in fact, uncontrolled provisioning whether due to auto-scaling or developers forgetfulness is not peculiar to public cloud but rather can be a problem in private cloud computing implementations as well. Without the proper processes and policies – and the right infrastructure and systems to enforce them – cloud sprawl will certainly impact especially those large enterprises for whom private cloud is becoming so attractive an option.
While it’s vastly more difficult to implement the proper processes and procedures automatically in public as opposed to private cloud computing environments because of the lack of maturity in infrastructure services in the public arena, there are other, hotter issues in public cloud that will just as quickly burn up an IT or business budget if not recognized and addressed before deployment. And it’s this that cloud computing cannot necessarily address even by offering infrastructure services, which makes private cloud all the more attractive.
Though not quite technically accurate, we’ll use traffic sprawl to describe increasing amounts of unrelated traffic a cloud-deployed application must process. It’s the extra traffic – the malicious attacks and the leftovers from the last application that occupied an IP address – that the application must field and ultimately reject. This traffic is nothing less than a money pit, burning up CPU cycles and RAM that translate directly into dollars for customers. Every request an application handles – good or bad – costs money.
The traditional answer to preventing the unnecessary consumption of resources on servers due to malicious or unwanted traffic is a web application firewall (WAF) and basic firewalling services. Both do, in fact, prevent that traffic from consuming resources on the server because they reject it, thereby preventing it from ever being seen by the application. So far so good. But in a public cloud computing environment you’re going to have to pay for the resources the services consumed, too. In other words, you’re paying per hour to process illegitimate and unwanted traffic no matter what. Even if IaaS providers were to offer WAF and more firewall services, you’re going to pay for that and all the unwanted, malicious traffic that comes your way will cost you, burning up your budget faster than you can say “technological money pit.”
This is not to say that both types of firewall services are not a good idea in a public cloud environment; they are a valuable resource regardless and should be part and parcel of any dynamic infrastructure. But it is true that in a public cloud environment they address only security issues, and are unlikely to redress cost overruns but instead may help you further along the path to budget burnout.
HYBRID WILL DOMINATE CLOUD COMPUTING
I’ve made the statement before, I’ll make it again: hybrid models will dominate cloud computing in general due primarily to issues around control. Control over processes, over budgets, and over services. The inability to effectively control traffic at the network layer imposes higher processing and server consumption rates in public environments than in private, controlled environments even when public resources are leveraged in the private environment through hybrid architectures enabled by virtual private cloud computing technologies. Traffic sprawl initiated because of shared IP addresses in public cloud computing environments alone is simply not a factor in private and even hybrid style architectures where public resources are never exposed via a publicly accessible IP address. Malicious traffic is never processed by applications and servers in a well-secured and architected private environment because firewalls and application firewalls screen out such traffic and prevent them from unnecessarily increasing compute and network resource consumption, thereby expanding the capacity of existing resources. The costs of such technology and controls are shared across the organization and are fixed, leading to better forecasting in budgeting and planning and eliminating the concern that such essential services are not the cause of a budget overrun.
Control over provisioning of resources in private environments is more easily achieved through existing and emerging technology, while public cloud computing environments still struggle to offer even the most rudimentary of data center infrastructure services. Without the ability to apply enterprise-class controls and limits on public cloud computing resources, organizations are likely to find that the macro-economic costs of cloud end up negating the benefits initially realized by cheap, easy to provision resources. A clear strategy with defined boundaries and processes – both technical and people related – must be defined before making the leap lest sprawl overrun budgets and eliminate the micro-economic benefits that could be realized by public cloud computing.
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to 'DevOps at Cloud Expo 2016' as Conference Chair The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited t...
Jul. 1, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 524
[session] The Factory of the Future, Today By @Cisco | @ThingsExpo #IoT #BigData #DigitalTransformation
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
Jun. 30, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 689
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
Jun. 30, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 469
"We work in the area of Big Data analytics and Big Data analytics is a very crowded space - you have Hadoop, ETL, warehousing, visualization and there's a lot of effort trying to get these tools to talk to each other," explained Mukund Deshpande, head of the Analytics practice at Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jun. 30, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 617
Edge Hosting has announced a partnership with and the availability of CloudFlare, a web application firewall, CDN and DDoS mitigation service. “This partnership enhances Edge Hosting’s world class, perimeter layer, application (layer 7) defensive mechanism,” said Mark Houpt, Edge Hosting CISO. “The goal was to enable a new layer of customer controlled defense and compliance through the application of DDoS filters and mitigations, the web application firewall (WAF) feature and the added benefit ...
Jun. 30, 2016 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 730
[session] Redis Functions and Data Structures By @DaveNielsen | @CloudExpo #Cloud #Redis #Containers
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it is the most popular among the new wave of databases running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Advocate, Redis Labs, will share the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
Jun. 30, 2016 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 395
"SpeedyCloud's specialty lies in providing cloud services - we provide IaaS for Internet and enterprises companies," explained Hao Yu, CEO and co-founder of SpeedyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jun. 30, 2016 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,030
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
Jun. 30, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,015
Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discusse...
Jun. 30, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,171
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Jun. 30, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,013
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, a Developer Advocate with IBM Cloud Data Services, discussed...
Jun. 30, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,047
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profession...
Jun. 30, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 451
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jun. 30, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 396
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists discusse...
Jun. 30, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,000
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Jun. 30, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,275
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
Jun. 30, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,359
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
Jun. 30, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 727
What does it look like when you have access to cloud infrastructure and platform under the same roof? Let’s talk about the different layers of Technology as a Service: who cares, what runs where, and how does it all fit together. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, an IBM company, spoke about the picture being painted by IBM Cloud and how the tools being crafted can help fill the gaps in your IT infrastructure.
Jun. 30, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,028
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Jun. 30, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,520
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jun. 30, 2016 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 618