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May 5, 2008

A Few Insightful Nuggets from Interop

Derrick Harris

I stopped by the Interop show here in Las Vegas last week hoping to catch some enlightening discussion about grid and/or cloud computing. As it turns out, however, we’ve featured, or at least covered, just about every cloud service provider at the show (including Enomaly, Elastra and Amazon Web Services), so there wasn’t a whole lot of insights that would be new to regular readers of this publication.

However, Google’s Rajen Sheth did offer a little insight into just how massive the company’s infrastructure is when he noted that Google got a partner company with millions of users up and running on the Google cloud in just two days. He added that anyone who needs to run services will just be “a drop in the bucket” at Google. When asked the same question (about how expansive their server farms are), Amazon Web Services’ Jinesh Varia stated plainly that Amazon is constantly adding capacity.

There were a few other nuggets I gleaned which seem worth passing on, as well:

  • When asked about security, Sheth pointed out that Google has seen every possible type of attack, and its infrastructure is built to withstand them all — and it becomes more hardened as Google fends off each additional attempt to cripple its operations.
  • Amazon’s Varia cited a particularly telling case study involving the New York Times. Using EC2 in a grid computing model, the Times was able to cut the rendering of decades worth of articles into PDFs from an estimated 14 years down to a few days. The best part? It cost just $240 thanks to the pay-per-use model.
  • Amazon is trying to work out licensing issues so it can offer a Windows machine image on EC2 — something that is among the most-requested possible features. On a related note, based on the show-of-hands vote in the room, users would rather run Windows in Amazon Web Services than on any potential Microsoft cloud. According to panel member Chris Boscolo, founder and CTO of network security provider, and Amazon customer, Napera, his company would love to run Windows in the cloud, but they trust Amazon more and they aren’t too keen about dealing with multiple cloud providers.

Moving on to this week’s issue, we have three very good features addressing various aspects of how businesses are adding flexibility to their datacenters. First, we look at 3Leaf Systems’ mission to virtualize everything with its Virtual Compute Environment strategy. Then we look a little deeper at 3Tera, who makes deploying a utility environment as simple as can be, and who is now attempting to bring its agenda into the cloud computing world. And, finally, we have an article from Woven Systems Founder Dan Maltbie, who tells us why Ethernet fabrics are ideal for managing high-performance Web 2.0 environments.

In other news (and there’s a whole lot of it), the following items should pique your interest: “Digipede Grid-Enables Stochastic Modeling Software”; “eXludus Launches SimpliGrid for Life Sciences Apps”; “GemStone Evolves Data Fabric with Gemfire Enterprise 5.5”; “Kaavo Releases ‘Infrastructure and Middleware on Demand’”; “Elastra Previewing Cloud Server On-Demand”; “SAP, Microsoft Form Banking Industry Architecture Network”; “Nortel Simplifies Network Virtualization”; “Banks Adopting Wide Variety of Virtualization Technologies”; and “HPC Vendors Investigate Going Green.”


Comments about GRIDtoday are welcomed and encouraged. Write to me, Derrick Harris, at

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