Friday, January 23, 2009

Cloud Connect Conference - Wednesday

The Wednesday session began with opening remarks by David Berlind followed by a panel discussion moderated by Stephen O'Grady of RedMonk with panelists: Sam Charrington of Appistry, Alistair Croll of Bitcurrent and Bob Sutor of IBM.
  • ASPs -> SaaS -> cloud computing evolution has been around for over ten years now
  • PaaS is a more recent addition that offers the most open platform for hosting custom and proprietary applications
  • Standards, interoperability, portability and collaboration offer ways to avoid vendor lock-in
  • Companies should experiment with internal and external cloud technologies to gain perspective
  • Challenges in administration, governance, control and ownership of derivative works remain
Some questions from the audience:
  • Acquisitions create myriad application integration issues, how does the cloud help? Coexistence, interoperation and migration offer a range of approaches that are really independent of the cloud. The cloud offers the ability to mashup applications that were not possible before.
  • Larry Ellison and Richard Stahlman have been vocal critics of cloud computing. What's their beef? Some vendors thrive on lock-in and others advocate viral open software. The cloud is already here, it is thriving and it will assimilate everything.
  • Where is the cloud in terms of crossing the chasm? Email and web hosting are already on the other side, with SaaS vendors hot on their heels. Companies are cautiously entering the market but most are still on the early adopter side. Multiple layers of services from bare boxes to enterprise solutions offer many ways for companies to cross as they can benefit from the cloud's economies of scale.
The panel was followed by nine brief technology "Solution Provider Speed Geeking" pitches and demonstrations that were given in the exhibit hall. We formed up in small groups and rotated between presentations on the various vendor products to the sound of Dave's loudspeaker siren. These were then followed by more in-depth sessions by the vendors after lunch. I attended the following sessions:
  • Google App Engine - takes care of automatically scaling my web applications written on top of their Python deployment framework. They support all the tools needed to build new dynamic application involving search, maps, earth, blogs and visualization.
  • Force.com Platform - an extended Java application framework that integrates with the Salesforce.com CRM artifacts. It has a great set of developer tools and rich new applications can be constructed and deployed easily.
  • Amazon EC2 - has released a new administration console that is a huge improvement over its predecessors.
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk - has a huge pool of "artificial artificial intelligence" workers that can be put to work on a fee-for-task basis, doing simple to complicated tasks for a sliding compensation scale from pennies to hundreds of dollars.
  • Google APIs - offer JavaScript libraries for integrating their server side applications in your web applications. Simple yet powerful to use.
Dave threw down the gauntlet to developers by offering some prizes to volunteers who would use some of these technologies to build a demonstration application for the following day. I volunteered and spent some time with a guy from force.com exporing their quickstart.java package to use web services to access some account data to munch with hadoop on EC2.

It took only a few minutes to customize their quickstart application to obtain and invert some account_name and zip_code tuples in memory. I left the conference and by 11pm had a working Hadoop application that would perform the same inversion on terabytes of similar data using a supercomputer. Ironically, both programs were almost the same size!

3 comments:

Aldis said...

That was a nice post useful information. Useful information has been given. By the way have anyone heard of cloud computing conference. I recently attended that conference in online. I gathered more useful information about the cloud computing. I also got an opportunity to meet the world's leading experts in cloud computing world.

Ted said...

Great. Cloud Conferences would be always an excellent event. All the cloud Events are too good. I too had attended a Cloud Conference which was conducted by cloudslam team. Really an extra ordinary moment.

Irene_J said...

I wasn’t aware with this cloud computing before but thank to your post. This can be a big help too.

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