Posts Tagged ‘IaaS’

CloudCamp experience

November 11, 2010

I wanted to drop a note about an unusual cloud event I recently attended in San Francisco.

CloudCamp is a half day conference related to trends in cloud technologies. It’s held throughout the world and supported by well known experts and companies in the cloud industry.
It was a 4 hour event packed with a lot of interesting content and discussions. I liked the idea that attendees could submit topics for discussions and a self nominated panel of cloud experts could pick up any questions they felt comfortable answering over the beer :).
The event started with vendor sponsored enlightening talks. Speakers were teaching the audience what’s unique about the cloud restraining from pitching their own tools.
Scalr and RighScale shared VM pattern based approaches they use to efficiently scale cloud applications up and out. Jeremiah Peschka from Quest Software raised the importance of NoSQL databases and explained how Toad for Cloud Databases can help developers interact with cloud databases in the way they’ve been doing with traditional RDBMs.
Adrian Cockroft from Netflix talked about the company’s experience with the recent infrastructure migration to Amazon EC2 (which turned out being a complete rewrite) and what they would like to see provided by yet to mature NoSQL databases. Other presentations were delivered by guys from IBM, Tropo and Twilio.

Everyone agreed that security, reliability and NoSQL will continue being the cloud buzz words throughout 2011.

The break out session on PaaS held by Sebastian Stadil was of particular interest to me. Today most of the cloud derived value comes from IaaS while PaaS still has to go a long way to become an attractive alternative to traditional development platforms.
The group was debating when leveraging PaaS can make sense today. The agreement was the PaaS might be a good start for a “two guys in the garage” startup to quickly spin up their startup project. It becomes more difficult to stick with the PaaS of choice when the service grows and you have to keep up with the increasing demand at the same time staying profitable and not locking yourself into a single platform vendor.

This is when open source projects can play very important role to bridge the gap. Announced at the event the project typhoonae is an open source implementation of Google AppEngine API that can run in any virtual environment. Its flexible architecture let’s you plug in any NoSQL database as a storage backend while making transparent the migration from Google AppEngine PaaS to your choice of IaaS. So, if down the road you’ve learned that for your type of application immediate data consistency can be traded off in favor of constant data availability you could easily switch from say Google Big Table to Cassandra or MongoDB running in Amazon EC2.

Apparently, over the course of the next couple of years we’ll continue seeing the convergence of IaaS and PaaS . For cloud providers this is the only viable way to provide a rapid development platform for highly available, massive data processing applications and cut the cost of on premise applications migration. What an interesting age we’re living in!