Tuesday Nov 25, 2008

Managing Torrow's Cloud

An off agenda session on Cloud Computing, kicked off by William Fellows of the 451 Group. I quite like his stacks both of functionality, illustrating what needs to be done and the evolution of the cloud from its partly failed predecessors. The discussion then moved to management, with contributions from IRMOS and the Autonomic Internet project, which sounds a bit IBM'ish but isn't. There's obviously some thinking going on about Service Management for Clouds and networks, looking at life cycle issues (is this just job management, probably not because of birth and death), self functioning, SLAs and QoS issues. It seems to me that Robert Holt's experimentation with SMF is exactly the right thing to do. The features that Sun's Systems Management Facilty add to the operating system are a foundation on which a number of features can be built which meet the need of Cloud managers. The BREIN project which says about itself,

"BREIN takes the e-business concept developed in recent Grid research projects, namely the concept of so-called "dynamic virtual organisations" towards a more business-centric model, by enhancing the system with methods from artificial intelligence, intelligent systems, semantic web etc."

I love the etc. It always makes you think people know exactly what they're doing. They have published a white paper here.... Despite this, these projects and this approach might well enable the automated SLA negociation. Can we create a semweb for SLAs? It always been the fact that sustaining and management science comes after the invention stage, but this was a jolly interesting session, and addressing issues identified by both myself and colleagues at Sun and leading industry commentators as crucial. If we don't/can't automate this stuff, we are going to run out of people.

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