Tune into: a cloud mindset
One of the tenets of the cloud religion is that it should be possible –
through the use of intelligent software – to build reliable systems on top
of unreliable hardware. Just like you can build reliable and affordable
storage systems using RAID (Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks). One of
the largest cloud providers even evangelizes to its application development
customers that they should assume that “everything that can go wrong, will
go wrong”. In fact their SLA only kicks in after a minimum of two zones
becomes unavailable. Quite a surprising but none the less a typical cloud
Nowadays most of the large cloud providers buy very reliable hardware. When
running several hundred thousands of servers a failure rate of 1 PPM versus 2
PPM (parts per million) makes quite a difference. And using too cheap memory
chips can cause ... (more)
Tune into: the need for speed
By now it is widely acknowledged that cloud enables a fast (agile) start. But
more important than a fast start is getting results quickly. We are talking
then about high productivity platforms, a category of PaaS. Funnily enough,
several cloud providers – such as Microsoft and Google – launched a PaaS
platform first and only later – when they saw how quickly the virtual
machine based IaaS services from Amazon were becoming popular – technically
did a step back to launch a lower level IaaS service.
Achieving cloudiness aspects such as scalability, ela... (more)
Tune into: cloud margins.
One of the most famous quotes of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is “Your Margin is
My Opportunity”. This illustrates nicely how in the world of Amazon (and in
the words of UK’s pop idol Jessie J*): “It’s not about the money³, we
do not need your money³, we just wanna make the world dance!”
In the cloud this – a bit unworldly – attitude is fairly normal. Think of
Facebook buying WhatsApp for about $ 16 billion, only to make it available
for free to large parts of the world via Internet.org. For more traditional
competitors this kind of “semi-philanthropic” way of ... (more)
In the first part we discussed lessons that IT can learn from a hundred years
of manufacturing best practices and the possible role of cloud computing in
that endeavor. We now continue with what may very well be the area that IT
can learn most from manufacturing: Costing.
Costing. Many feel that the billions that the industry invested in ERP
systems can be justified by the improved planning capabilities that such a
global perspective gives. Reality however is that the benefits of ERP – if
any – come more from improved financial visibility. By being able to
compare costs, prices a... (more)
It seems like every week another sizing of the cloud market is published, and
– maybe as to be expected - none of them seem to agree.
Let’s have a look at who is saying what, and whether we are comparing
apples to apples, or apples and oranges.
We will start by looking at SaaS. The most recent numbers from IDC claim that
SaaS revenue will grow 5 times faster than traditional packaged software.
This would mean little if traditional packaged software is expected to no
longer grow (five times zero would still be zero). Joe McKendrick at ZDNet
took IDC’s numbers and extrapolated from t... (more)