Cloud News Recap: March 25, 2014

By Colby Dyess | March 25, 2014

Starting with this entry, we'll be kicking off each week with a round-up of current news about Eucalyptus and the cloud industry as a whole, as well as an overview of recent Eucalyptus blog posts. We'll touch upon main topics such as public, private and AWS hybrid cloud, controlling IT costs, DevOps and agile development. Without further ado, let's recap some of the highlights from last week.

The Cloud and Downtime: How Can Companies Mitigate Cost and Maintain Continuity?

In an article for Network Computing, Frank Ohlhorst examined the complex economic calculations that organizations have to make when they move operations to the public cloud. While the cloud is often associated with more easily managed spending, Ohlhorst argued that customers may not be seeing the full picture regarding costs, with downtime in particular a frequently overlooked risk that must be accounted for.

Downtime is just one of many financial considerations to make when deciding whether to run workloads on-premises, in a data center, in the public cloud or through some combination thereof. While Eucalyptus doesn't directly do DR or backup, our private cloud solutions give customers more flexibility in handling data and processes. Since workloads can be run on Eucalyptus-powered infrastructure even during a disruption in public cloud services, users have less exposure to these outages.

Private Versus Public is the Wrong Question: Hybrid is Increasingly the Way Forward

It's easy for organizations to get caught up in the public versus private debate because there are important security and performance issues at stakes when choosing a cloud platform. However, writing for Wired, Red Hat vice president Timothy Eaton proposed that "public or private?" was actually the wrong question. Instead, he argued, companies should be figuring out how to use agile cloud infrastructure to fulfill specific business needs.

As IT and dev/test teams look for new ways to streamline processes, they're likely to benefit from using a blend of public and private cloud services that sets them to handle evolving workloads and requirements. For this reason, a solution such as an AWS hybrid cloud through Eucalyptus is an ideal option since it provides high performance, granular control over assets and deep compatibility with Amazon Web Services APIs.

"[M]ost organizations will find themselves wanting to take advantage of the benefits presented by both public and private clouds, without having to completely commit to one or the other singularly," wrote Eaton. "They may appreciate public clouds' capital expense benefits and the potential for greater elasticity at peak times, but prefer to avoid the security, regulatory, and cost concerns that going completely public may present."

Falling Public Cloud Prices and the Issue of Performance

Over at ReadWrite, Matt Asay took a look at the inexorable decline of public cloud prices. He cited Bernard Golden's estimations that providers can continue wringing significant efficiencies from operations and pass lower prices onto customers.

Still, not all providers are cutting prices, as David Linthicum has noted. Plus, pricing isn't the only thing to consider when choosing a cloud platform.

For example, public cloud instances often exhibit meaningful performance differences even under the same tests, as we pointed out in a post about the problematic comparison of speeds between AWS, Google Compute Engine and Windows Azure. In a more recent entry, we responded to Asay's article and examined the need to consider the entire ecosystem when choosing a cloud solution.

Eucalyptus VP Greg DeKoenigsberg Talks About Benefits of Private Cloud, Open Source

Eucalyptus vice president of community and product Greg DeKoenisgberg talked to Open Source Delivers about cloud adoption. Topics discussed included the private cloud's role in meeting business requirements, the merits of open source software and whether there's any such thing as an "open API" right now.

Read the original interview with Greg and then check out our follow-up post, which contains some extra material and additional context for Greg's thoughts on Eucalyptus and the cloud in general.

Building a Private Cloud to Rival the Hyperscale Operators

Cloud Technology Partners senior vice president John Treadway has some advice for improving enterprise private clouds. Many companies' implementations can't rival public infrastructure at the moment, but Treadway lays out five steps he thinks can help these organizations build a similarly efficient cloud stack.

The advice includes a call to spend more, keep operations teams at bay and go all-in on automation, especially in testing. However, rather than construct a private cloud that tries to outdo AWS, companies can use Eucalyptus to do something with similar benefits and much less hassle and cost.

Eucalyptus' AWS API compatibility enables the usage of a environment with the benefits of the AWS ecosystem at-large. At the same time, it is easy to deploy on Linux and has support multiple hypervisors, plus its open source nature and broad hardware compatibility ultimately keep expenses down.

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