The recent CloudCamp event in London was well put together and it was interesting to view new propositions, new entrants (Microsoft) and in general seeing the cloud market gathering pace. As usual the best presentation of the night was Simon Wardley’s ! If you want a full detailed review check out Gojko Adzic’s blog entry here.
If you’ve followed my blog before you will have followed me talking about the EC2 offering by GigaSpaces which takes the GigaSpaces Scale out, low latency platform into the cloud (check out also the cloud tooling built into the 6.6 GigaSpaces release). Recently I have had more direct experience of moving existing GigaSpaces customers towards the cloud and bringing new GigaSpaces customers to the cloud. It’s interesting that the reasons for doing this are diverse and not the same, namely:
Pay-On-Demand – The ability to bring a business model to life using an Enterprise scale solution by being able to pay on demand. In many cases Enterprise Software has enterprise price tags so that smaller businesses and individuals have to look at potential OpenSource alternatives. Using GigaSpaces on the clouds bridges this gap and allows new business ideas models to come to life without the hundred’s of thousands of dollars price tag it can take to put together all the software license and hardware required to host such solutions.
Testing / Scale- For businesses who are unable to, or having organisational restriction to deploying in the public cloud, EC2 provides a fantastic way to be be able to test throughput and scale. It is incredibly difficult for organisations to be able to, for example, requisition a hundred or two hundred servers to test scale. Ideally you want to do this early in the application lifecycle but the reality is that for many projects this either occurs late or does not occur and a scaled up estimate is used.
Reduce Adminstration / Operational Issues – Many organisations outsource some part of their development for either a service or an application. At some point this needs to be implemented in the organisation and has to go through an ops sign off which invariably is complex and time consuming, as well as expensive. More organisations are looking at providing service interfaces that can be used as an entry point into their apps / services but in which the outsource app/service is hosted in the cloud. Not all apps and service fit this model but it’s clear to me that many organisations see the current economic crisis as an opportunity to test this model.
Provide burst capabilities – To handle spikes and bursts. The ability to bring on servers that exist in the cloud to help out when needed is now very much a reality and it helps save money by preventing over-provisioning and still having the operational capacity to handle these peaks.
It’s Cheaper ! – Simply put it can be cheaper deploying apps / services using GigaSpaces EC2 and the cloud than it is building and hosting in a datacentre. All organisations need to reduce costs, but not reduce quality or services, during the current economic crisis so this is proving an apt time to test this model.
If you are interested in the economics of cloud computing I would strongly suggest checking out “The survival guide to IT during the economic meltdown” whitepaper that is available in draft format here.