Thursday, August 9, 2012

There are some really nice design templates available now - switched the design and started cleaning up the widgets on the right.

Stay tuned for some real cloud related content coming soon...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Google about to launch its own physical network

Google Network In a blog post Google announced that they are planning to “test” their own high speed ‘fiber to the home’ (ftth) network in selected communities in the US.

While many comments talk about the megalomania of Google’s latest endeavors (after competing in the operating system market and in the mobile / smart phone area they now also going into the ISP space), I think it is very positive for end users that Google is testing out all these different opportunities.

Google has the size and power to actually make a change. Even if Google might not ‘rule’ the market in the end (like they do on the search and online advertising market), the entering of a company like Google can bring back the innovation and advancement into these areas – which is good news for end users waiting for fast networks, better smart phones and better operating systems.

All these activities are clearly targeted towards the creation of an infrastructure to push cloud applications to the next level. Fast networks are a premise for next generation cloud computing apps that can be run on smart phones and low profile laptop computers (like netbooks or iPad like devices).

Clearly Google is working on the fundamentals for Cloud Computing 2.0 here…. looking forward to see this developing!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Will latency kill Cloud Computing (like it did kill ASPs)?

Interesting comments from the TM Forum's Management World Americas event in Orlando (December 2009) around the problematic latency.

The real question here is about the networks and their development in the near future, as this is where the latency comes from (most of the times…). Being located in a remote office and working from my home office from time to time, I experience the issue of latency every day – in my business and private live.
I am an extensive user of Google’s Cloud services and many of our internal applications at Progress Software are also hosted on internal or external servers and made available via a web interface. While Google has many data centers all over the world (and one in Zurich, very close to me…), the applications located on internal or external servers are sometimes only accessible through the corporate intranet and often lack performance.

I am also using which host their services at Equinix (they manage to run their whole IT on just 1000 servers!) but the performance (despite the local data center in Zurich) is rather average.

So will latency kill Cloud Computing??

I think the answer is NO! Because ‘real’ cloud computing and cloud services (where it doesn’t matter where they run) are actually the answer to the issue of latency and poor performance because the computing can happen very close to the user and network latency is reduced to a minimum.
Google is a very good example of how that can work out nicely. I never had major performance issues despite using Google services in various places, on different devices and sometimes with high data volume.

We just have to distinguish true Cloud Computing from hosted Web Applications that run on dedicated servers and do not utilize the real power of the Cloud (or Cloud Services).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chrome OS – the future of computing or just a niche?

image Google announced their Chrome OS on Thursday – which is basically an Operating System that relies on cloud services like Google Apps, Google Mail, YouTube, etc.

The news for me was that the OS will require a modified BIOS and thus support form the device manufactures (probably mainly netbooks). The time to the login screen was demoed with 7 seconds (3 more to get to the apps / browser). That is lightning fast compared to a Windows or Linux boot sequence, but since I never shutdown my laptops or desktops I have similar wakeup times from the Windows 7 sleep mode…

The idea of getting rid of all the unnecessary overhead of a full blown operating system and solely focus on the browser is a brilliant one, though. Google is the only one at the moment that actually has the power to build, spread and maintain both sides – the client side and the necessary cloud services.

With the ever increasing bandwidth available and ubiquitous internet access, more and more data will move into the cloud. Chrome OS is the consequent advancement of this movement and with the reservations regarding security and hosting private data somewhere in the cloud going away, I see this model becoming really popular in the mid-term.

Chrome OS actually might become the standard interface for many cloud services that require more functionality provided by HTML, Ajax or even Flash / Silverlight. With the capability of discovering and adding apps through the built in Apps-Menu, it will become fairly easy for users to add new functionality and applications with a few clicks. The Apple App-Store has shown how powerful this can become…

Good thing is that Google has announced the release of Chrome OS only for the end of 2010, so they will have some time to make sure all the standard use cases for notebook users and at least the basic hardware support (printers, scanners, cameras, webcams, etc.) is covered. Because the acceptance of a pure cloud based OS will stay and fall with the ability to do the stuff that you do on a notebook currently. Very few would accept major cuts there…

My feeling is that we will see many netbooks and small tablet pc before Christmas next year that offer a dual installation of Windows (maybe even Linux?) and Chrome OS. For a quick checking of emails, chatting with friends or updating Facebook with some photos, Chrome OS will be the faster option. Windows will step in for everything that requires a regular operating system. Maybe it will even be possible to launch Chrome OS virtualized inside Windows or Linux. That would safe us some reboots (which we know can take long if its not Chrome OS :).

Very excited to get my hands on this next year!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What about “Virtual Private Clouds” ?

Amazon recently introduced what they call “Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC)”. which basically is a secure and seamless bridge between a company’s existing IT infrastructure and the AWS cloud.

The service is currently in public beta and is supposed to give companies a chance to re-use their existing IT investments while still leveraging the Amazon cloud computing offering. The EC2 instances will be isolated and connected through a secured VPN tunnel.


Graphic from

This makes perfect sense for many companies that have spent big money on their computing and data center and cannot move into the cloud entirely in a big bang. This solution gives them the possibility to take a phased approach and move service by service into the cloud. Additionally the business critical systems (and the data) might be kept in-house if required.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Do “Private Clouds” make sense?

I actually should better ask “is a Private Cloud really Cloud Computing?”

Quite frankly i do not think that what Gartner and many others call a <Private Cloud> is anything near Cloud Computing. Agreed there is a trend towards virtualization and this makes perfect sense for large corporations – but Cloud Computing for me implies that the user (and even the IT department) does not know where the application or service is running and where data is stored.

The reason to use a Private instead of the Public Cloud is most of the times security related, i.e. I want to assure that sensitive data is not leaving the company in order to reduce risk or ensure compliancy with corporate policy or laws. Distributing the available internal computing power and the available storage across many users, apps, departments and locations is more or like a task of clever load-balancing. Some of the technology is probably similar to the one used in the Cloud, but all this is still very much in the control of corporate IT.
The fact that I am sure that the data does not leave the companies firewall shows that I always know where it actually (and physically) is. Isn’t this is an antagonism to the concept of Cloud Computing?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cloud Evolution

Dion Hinchcliffe posted an excellent article about the current state of Cloud Computing.

Interesting to see the evolution of this new service evolve and generate the agility that companies want from their IT infrastructure. I am curious to see who the big players in this arena will be in one or two years from now… Amazon, EMC, IBM? Somebody completely unknown today?

As soon as the market agrees on standards, the fight for market share will start and we will see a huge amount of investments being made… increasing competition will then put pressure on prices, playing into the hands of consumers.