News for Nerds: Supercomputing and the Champagne Lounge

written by troyangrignon on April 17, 2009 in Cloud with no comments
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Vendors surprised the market this week by shutting the hell up about thought leadership and actually getting some actual work done. THIS is the real work of building a cloud computing economy. Congratulations to Microsoft, WiPro, Zetta, and Computational Research Laboratories for rolling up their sleeves and shovelling shit. It’s not as fun as writing “white papers” or Manifestos but it’s a lot more useful.

  • Microsoft To Amazon: We’ll Fix Windows Licensing
    Troy’s comments: This is GREAT news. Virtualization rolled through the enterprise software industry and affected licensing on a massive scale over the past few years but as we are moving from virtualized (but controlled) environments to wildly dynamic environments where servers are spun up by the thousands for short periods of time, licensing once again has to make a quantum leap forward to keep up. To their credit, IBM got in early and addressed this on Amazon. It’s great to see Microsoft following suit. Now for the rest of those laggards!
  • Why ‘Private Cloud’ Computing Is Real — And Worth Considering
    Troy’s comments: This is an excellent article by Charles Babcock at Information Week on the issues around private, public, and “hybrid” clouds. We agree wholeheartedly that there will be many clouds with many different performance characteristics and that they will be internal, shared, or even “public” like Amazon’s cloud services. Being able to have users and systems programatically provision and deprovision resources based on demand flexibly and instantly will take businesses a few years to figure out and this will be the massive experimentation phase where a lot of ideas and approaches are tested. To poo-poo this as “old recycled ideas” misses the larger point. Hell, all of IT goes in 10 year cycles and much of what has been done before loops back again on itself. That doesn’t invalidate it. That’s a logical fallacy (we’ve seen it before, therefore it’s not important now.) Excellent article Charles. Keep it up.
  • Online Office gives Microsoft Open Web religion
    Blog source: Webware.com
    Troy’s comments: Microsoft is often characterized as “not getting it” but they have insane marketshare and they get that the world is moving to a mix of online/offline operation and ubiquitous computing. It’s interesting that their Office 14 team is taking the pragmatic approach of supporting the broadly used but less capable Javascript and then extending functionality with Silverlight. That seems new and far more pragmatic than the old Microsoft. Since they no longer control the environment (the users will be using a variety of machines, platforms, and browsers), it’s forcing a more open approach and if they take that approach, they’re going to be significant competition. Let the online office software wars begin. It will be good for the users.
  • Supercomputing Takes to the Cloud
    Blog source: GigaOM
    Troy’s comments: I agree with Stacey Higginbotham that one of the interesting segments is in moving traditional HPC (high performance computing) to the cloud. It makes sense. HPC customers have massive data sets, massive computational requirements, and who better to play with the idea of being able to spin up 20,000 (or 200,000) servers at a time to do some financial modelling? In my conversations with the various cloud vendors, we have heard of Monte Carlo simulations, aeronatic and hydrodynamic modelling, and of course animation rendering – all very traditional HPC/grid computing types of use cases. If you’re interested in these types of cases, check out The Platform Computing Company’s platforms and some of the new startups like “Render Rocket” (http://www.renderrocket.com).
  • Wipro To Enter Cloud Computing Market
    Troy’s comments: Welcome to the cloud Wipro! John Foley, Editor, Information Week interviewed Wipro CTO Vijaya Kumar to understand how they see the market. Their assessment? There will be many different types of clouds and the big cloud providers will not have enough vertical expertise to cover deeply complex verticals.

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BIO: Troy Angrignon, UTR conference co-chair, posted this April 27, 2009 after reading way too many press releases claiming that Vendor X has “established thought leadership” in cloud computing and thinks that more doing and less thinking would be a good idea for a while. :-)