Saturday, March 12, 2011

The problem with cloud computing

Cloud Benefits:
  • Low Downtime - An entire website server can go up in flames, and be running again on a new server in moments.
  • Easy scaling - Add CPUs, RAM, or Disk Space on the fly - No technician needed.
  • Transparent backups - even to geographically remote locations in case of natural disaster.
Cloud Problems:
  • Shared disks (called a SAN) are very fast, but usually divided between hundreds of customers, resulting in sub-par performance.
  • Shared CPU - The majority of cloud hosts don't tell you what your getting (they might not know themselves, as CPU sharing is a complex calculation).
  • Network connectivity - Most web hosts have 100 or 1000Mbps connections to each node, then that is divided between each customer on that node. Need 10Gbps? Your out of luck.

My lean company idea: The Open Cloud

How can we get all the benefits of cloud computing without the draw-backs? Allow customers the ability to fully customize the cloud:
  • You Choose the HD: Normal; Shared SAN; or a Private SAN
  • You Choose the CPU: Your cloud will always have access to the specific CPU (or CPUs) you choose... No complex sharing calculations.
  • You Choose the Network: Your own, private, 100Mbps, 1000Mbps, OR 10Gbps connection.

Normally to get this amount of flexibility, you would need to build your own cloud, a very expensive proposition, starting at around 15 thousand dollars (and easily reaching hundreds of thousands)

That's where our new company comes into play... We purchase all of the shared infrastructure (like very expensive SAN equipment: ) and rent it to our customers on a monthly basis.

So, now you decide... You can have a Private SAN for $1000 a month, or a SAN shared with one other person for $500, or a SAN shared with 10 other people for $100 / month.

The best of both worlds... You get all the benefits of a custom cloud, without the cost of building out your own infrastructure.

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