Daily Archives: May 29, 2009

Economist: Unlocking the Cloud

The Economist is now reporting on the cloud. They’ve picked up on the very real concern of vendor lock-in because of proprietary standards. The article focuses on data portability between SaaS apps, but the same issue arises in IaaS (different proprietary virtualization formats, despite what the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) promises), and in PaaS (google app engine extensions to Python which are hard to ignore and lock you into their platform).

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Video 1/4: The Challenges of Web 2.0 Security

I did a series of videos in the fall of 2008 about Web 2.o, SOA, entitlements, etc. These were on the Layer 7 home page until recently, when we went through another re-design. The videos still exist on YouTube, but we did nothing to promote them so they haven’t been seen by too many people. I’m going to re-post them here over the next week for posterity.

This is the first time I had done this kind of media. I spent the day down at Media2o in Gastown. Bradley Shende and his crew are real pros, and I really enjoyed the whole experience. But I do have to confess: it’s a lot harder than it looks. I’ve done loads of talks at conferences, web casts, etc, and I honestly went in believing that I would knock it off in one take each and be out in time for lunch.

Was I ever wrong. Even with the aid of a teleprompter, it took hours of video to get these four short pieces. We were all pretty tired by the end of the day. I learned an important lesson here. You just can’t underestimate how a different media will impact how you perform. I can still barely watch these without cringing.

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to do this again. And I’m going to practice a lot more in front of a mirror this time…

NIST Perspective on Cloud Computing

Earlier this month, NIST went public with their perspective on cloud computing. This is important because NIST is a well-respected, public standards organization, and there is still a lot of confusion about what cloud really is (the *-aaS affect).

They released only  a short, two page document and a longer, 72 slide PowerPoint (you can find their main page here). They are offering a broad definition based on essential characteristics, delivery models, and deployment models:

Essential Characteristics:

On-demand self-service

Ubiquitous network access

Location independent resource pooling

Rapid elasticity

Measured Service

Delivery Models:

Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS)

Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Deployment Models:

Private cloud

Community cloud

Public cloud

Hybrid cloud

There’s not really anything new here, but that’s fine; it’s more important as a validation of the emerging models and ideas from a public standards body. I do like the three pronged approach, acknowleding that cloud is a lot of things but at the same time keeping it simple and concise. Brevity is the soul of great standards.

It’s worth keeping an eye on this effort.