Sharing some bits that I found interesting during the last week while reading about cloud computing.
Windows Azure Platform
This is a nice video on the hardware used in Microsoft latest generation datacenters. It is really inspiring to see hardware and software innovations creating extremely elastics environments opening up a world of new opportunities.
You want strongly types blob IO on Windows Azure Storage? Check this out: http://lokadcloud.codeplex.com/
- Queue Services as a scalable equivalent of Windows Services.
- Scheduled Services as a cloud equivalent of the task scheduler.
- Strong-typed blob I/O, queue I/O, table I/O.
- Autoscaling with VM provisioning.
- Logs and monitoring.
- Inversion of Control on the cloud.
- Web administration console.
WOW! Do you wonder what Project Dallas is all about? It’s the Data Grail: http://blogs.msdn.com/dallas/archive/2010/03/24/the-data-grail.aspx
This took only a few minutes to create using “Dallas” and Tableau Public.
Other Cloud related news
I spoke at CloudStorm Antwerp this week. Slides and pictures will be made available here later: http://www.cloudstorm.org/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=19628848
I was really inspired by the Kai-Mook baby Elephant case. This is a marketing story about a campaign the zoo ran when a baby elephant was born. Cool stuff.
Of course this event lent itself extremely well to make use of the public cloud:
- It was very unpredictable when the birth would happen. Then knew they had a window of about 6 months.
- It wasn’t even sure the birth would happen. There was a chance of about 50% the baby would be born dead.
- They weren’t sure how popular/successful the campaign would be. They expected to have a need for 20 virtual machines in the Amazon cloud but the campaign ended up being so successful that at one point in time they were using 180+ machines.
- After the peak the scaled back to a much lower number
Also the questions from the audience were very interesting. Most of the debate was about cloud vendor lock in. Every vendor has to deal with that all of the time. It is not a new concern. I think about it this way:
- Standards are important and at Microsoft we are fully engaged in developing the necessary standards.
- There hasn’t been a major way of innovation that started with developing standards, though. First vendors compete to be best of breed and then standards arise based on the requirements customers communicate to the vendors.
- Interoperability and openness of a platform go a long way to dealing with these concerns. Windows Azure for instance lets you run .NET code but also Java code, native code etc… It uses rest protocols for communication and so on… This openness is as important as standards.
As always it was very inspiring to be there.
See you next week at TechDays or on my blog.