Tag Archives: cloud computing

Safe Harbour

Barcelona Harbour

Last month the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled the US Safe Harbour treaty to be insufficient for European data protection law purposes. How important this is, is subject to debate. One of the principles of European Data Protection law is that personal and confidential data must be “adequately protected”. The CJEU has stated that the US Safe Harbour agreement offers insufficient and uncertain protection to European personal data.  … » Read more …

Is I.T. a utility?

The power companies are starting to enable homes to act as power sources as well as consumers. People can sell back any surplus. In the UK, about ⅓ of the power generated is lost during the distribution. The UK consumed[1] 647 Terawatts (1012) in 2013. This implies that 219 Terawatts are generated and lost p.a. with a market value[2] of £20bn. The loss is dependent on the distance travelled and so one policy response would be to build community micro- or meso-generators. On the whole older power stations are   … » Read more …

Have the US killed their cloud business?

As the proof that Governments are spying on social media users is found, we should all take measures to make it hard. I am sure that they’ll try and outlaw encryption next, but they might have a problem with that since it’ll kill e-commerce. Talking of killing e-commerce, a number of commentators, including David Kirkpatrick posting at linkedin are asking if this will cause Europeans and their Governments to withdraw from the US cloud providers.

The Swedish Government, for instance have already decided to abandon Google’s web services.  … » Read more …

Stable doors and missing horses, tightening up on personal I.T. security

One conclusion I have come to after the weekend since the securocrats, like the copyright monopolists seem to never give up is that we need to equip ourselves properly. I plan to train myself to use ixquick’s search engine, and open a jabber account. ixquick do not require a login, and thus can’t tie an IP address to an identity and they do not log what is done. They are planning a secure mail service. They are a Dutch company, with a US subsidiary. I wonder where the computers are? Is this over the top, or will Firefox private windows be enough?  … » Read more …

Follow the sun, the moon, the action and money

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a webinar with Cloudsoft, a suggested partner for Citihub in order to evaluate their offering and market positioning. They are seeking to solve the application mobility problem in Cloud Computing and have named their product solution Monterey. I had read their white paper, which they publish on their web site, via a resources page, which you need to login to.

They have a the idea that using their middleware, an infrastructure manager can on a policy basis optimise the deployment of an application for performance, cost, data, or liquidity, which they summarise as

Follow the sun, follow the moon, follow the action and follow the money

In order to offer this scale of applications mobility, they can and do offer wide area mobility; their design goal is clearly intercontinental. They position their product as middleware, although they have a platform in California, which they also describe as a reference architecture.

Their sales entry point is the applications developers. To use Monterey, you must have source code engineering rights and capability, and it works best with an application with a highly partitioned architecture, and possibly limited state. They have a Java API and the application must be architected to exist as multi-nodes, although it’s possible that a multi-node set of 1 might work . The Java IDE used is Eclipse. They have a C language pragma, and others such as C# are planned. Monterey is a truly distributed architecture, so it consumes cycles and memory on all potential application hosts. The partitioned architecture minimises the need for both shared disk and bandwidth consumption. It sees the potential hosts as either hypervisor VMs, such as Xen & VMware or bare metal resources, although since the mobile applications are java objects, there needs to by a JVM; they move the application, not the JVM, nor the OS instance nor the VM.

Their EZ Brokerage demo is awesome, they showed the effect of a follow the action and follow the sun policy rules and demonstrated their interface. I asked them for a Video so others can share its awesomeness.

The reference architecture uses Citrix Xensource, Intel and SuperMicro. They are also using Arista Networks and strongly recommend the use of 10GE network and layer 7 switching, although they and their partner switch vendors, Solarflare seek to position themselves as offering something better and cleverer. It’s another example of the re-coming of the conflated system and switch. If varying the components in the platform architecture, then one will need to ensure that it meets the requirements, especially the required network functionality and speed. One of the differentiators that Cloudsoft have is their appetite and success in selling to the financial services industry’s low latency solutions builders.

I am unclear as to how many of their customers use Monterey to implement co-tenancy.

I think it is a brilliant niche positioning. It’s an important problem to solve, they’re focusing on solving it well, and so meet one of   … » Read more …

Free Wifi in London

Boris Johnson has promised to wifi enable London , speaking at Google Zeitgeist and proposes using lampposts and bus stops.

Fantastic! Some correspondents are suggesting there might be some DE Act constraints, but we’ll see.

The article above also links to this video,

demonstrating the undoubted subtlety of Boris, his mastery of rules and laws and his approach to international relations.

ooOOOoo

Slightly amended in 2013, certaintly there was no London wide WIFI by the Olympics last year, and little sign of any progress. DFL 12 Aug 2013  … » Read more …

Scalable Computing

The “Scalable Computing” section of the Digital Systems Knowledge Transfer Network has published an “article, called “Cloud – why now?” by me, Dave Levy. It is a brief article looking at some of  the thoughts I developed over the last year about why organisations are developing new architectural models for IT delivery and how they’ll do it. It looks at the computer science, the economics and the way in which scale is self fulfilling. The scale of the problem, of which there are three dimensions, (data, complexity & connectivity) inspires scalable IT, which itself enables the scale of the solution, and enables higher levels of scale.  … » Read more …

Why did Amazon take so long to deliver SQL in the Cloud

The storage market has been complexifying, (Is that a word Ed.) over the last few years; I have for a while considered the databases to be just another software abstraction layer between the hardware and the application i.e. completely equivalent to a file system. Also more recently it is clear  that the highly scalable solutions builders have moved beyond relational databases. I conclude, today’s application designers and storage consumers are no longer always prepared to accept the compromises  buying an RDBMS requires, it’s about Storage not SQL.  … » Read more …

Data Centre Economies of Scale

At the Waters:Power09, last week, Bob Giffords argued there are three ‘gravitational’ forces leading to the mega data centres and cloud computing.

  • There’s too much data to move, it needs to stay where its created.
  • Intra system & total latency is still a problem, and hence systems are best co-located with the data.
  • He argues that energy management is a gravitational issue.
  … » Read more …

Some insights into managing the cloud

Dave Cliff, Professor of Computer Sci at Bristol spoke to Waters Power:09 in Canary Wharf yesterday. It is clear from many sources that IT is changing and he examined some of these changes. He woke me up by quoting Carlota Perez  who argues that there are five transformational changes since the industrial revolution, Steam, Railways, Electricity, internal combustion and IT. She also argues that the adoption and maturity cycles are similar, and Cliff argues that “money’s out of IT now”. Her book is called “Technological Revolutions and Finance Capital:The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages”, which gives on an idea of where she’s coming from. Cliff also pointed his audience at Nick Carr’s “The Big Switch”, another pundit that argues that IT is done!  … » Read more …

How new is Cloud Computing?

I have spoken to several of Sun’s customers over the last 3 months about Cloud Computing and have often used the following quote, to show the commonality in distributed computing architectures.  … » Read more …

Managing Tomorrow’s Cloud

An off agenda session on Cloud Computing, kicked off by William Fellows of the 451 Group. I quite like his stacks both of functionality, illustrating what needs to be done and the evolution of the cloud from its partly failed predecessors. The discussion then moved to management  … » Read more …

What will the Cloud do?

I was pointed at the Eucalyptus project, an open-source software infrastructure for implementing “cloud computing” on clusters, by a colleague and decided I needed to check out Amazon first. Several colleagues have given me this advice but have the University really written an open source grid platform conforming to Amazon’s EC2 APIs. if so, it’s a fascinating example of the speed of commoditisation.  … » Read more …