Camping in the Cloud - An Unconference

Hi, This is Alka Gupta of Sun Microsystems. I work in the area of Cloud Computing and WebScale in helping align Sun's initiatives in this space from partner perspective.  On this blog, I plan to discuss subjects related to the industry buzz "Cloud Computing".

Recently I attended a very interesting event called CloudCamp. As the name suggests, it was  an event where best effort was made to keep it most informal and interactive. The organisers like to call it an "Unconference", in that there is no planned agenda. The attendees meet at a venue and volunteer topics for discussion.  And Bingo, very soon an "on-the-fly" agenda is generated.

CloudCamp Unconference Agenda

Let me talk a bit about the topic "What is a Cloud?" that seemed like one of the most popular discussions of the evening. We were about 50 people in a room, analysing and disecting what CloudComputing is supposed to be, how it differentiates from Grid and Utility Computing et al. Below are several attributes of a Cloud that were thrown out:

Cloud Computing is:

1. A virtualized environment that can elastically scale up and down on demand

2. Instant easy access to aggregation of resources

3. Common Interface (API) hypervisor

4. Outsourcing of Data, compute and infrastructure

5. Enables Peak Demand

6. Grid is a multi-tenant environment where nodes are shared between applications. Cloud is a multi-tenant environment as well but users get a dedicated virtualised private set of nodes.

7. Results in Cloud vendor specific API lockin

8. Many startups to emerge to help seemless migration of apps from one cloud to another

9. Likely be specialized clouds

10. No commitment, pay for it with a Credit Card on use basis.

11. Its yet another name for Utility Computing

12. 90% of the applications being deployed in the cloud are Web 2.0 apps, rest are enterprise

13. Most large enterprise IT deployments in future would be hybrid, partly private, partly in the cloud.

Punch line was: We need to get a lot more cloudy before we are cloudy enough. :-) 

There were some other interesting sessions like:

  1. Cloud Storage
  2. Hadoop in Cloud
  3. Testing with Cloud
  4. Google App Engine
  5. Database engineering for Clouds
  6. Real performance numbers from EC2 and GoogeApps.





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