The Five-Cloud Future Is Now

By Dennis Barker

October 31, 2008

If you accept the premise that the majority of computing will move into the cloud, you might wonder what different types of clouds there might be. Serguei Beloussov, CEO of software vendor Parallels, foresees five types, all grounded in the present and none promising anything like free hover-bikes or time machines.

The first three types fall into what Beloussov calls platform clouds. “That’s the Google cloud and now the Microsoft cloud. Those two are going for the whole world. They have invested millions and millions in their datacenters, and they are providing developers with tools to build on top of their infrastructure and services,” he says.

Then there is the third type, in which vendors provide a cloud-based platform for their customers. Beloussov cites IBM, for example, as building clouds to serve high-end enterprises and enterprise applications. On the other end of the spectrum is Apple, which has built a cloud for consumers with Mobile.Me. Facebook, he says, is a social cloud. And, of course, there is Amazon with EC2 and S3.

Another category is what Beloussov calls “services clouds.” “These would include type 4 clouds, which are the ‘channel’ clouds of service providers, ISPs, telcos, Web hosts,” he explains. “And then there are type 5 clouds, which are in-house clouds that will be built mainly by large companies, to serve affiliates and subsidiaries or different departments.”

“Everybody from consumers to enterprises will eventually move into one of those types of clouds,” he says.

But Beloussov’s eye is mainly on types four and five. “We believe people will be moving into those different clouds, and our business is to provide virtualization, automation, and management for type 4 and 5 clouds. Virtualization and consolidation will lead to clouds with millions of instances of virtual machines, applications, servers and containers, and that will mean a need for automation and extreme efficiency.”

If you’ve ever been on the Internet, there’s a good chance you’ve brushed up against one of Parallels’ products. The company’s broad lineup includes server virtualization, automation and management tools used by some of the world’s major hosting services. Beloussov says Parallels is “No. 1 in a few areas: desktop virtualization, OS-level virtualization and server automation control panels.” (Those rankings come by way of Parallels Desktop for Mac, Parallels Virtuozzo Containers and Parallels Plesk Control Panels, respectively, he says.)

Virtualization Two Ways in One

“There is no silver bullet” when it comes to server virtualization solutions, Beloussov says, so Parallels offers two schemes: hypervisor and container. “In the hypervisor approach, made popular by VMware, the software emulates hardware, and you have the OS running inside the virtualized machines. Our Parallels Server product takes this approach,” he says, “A different approach is OS virtualization or container virtualization. This is the approach of our Virtuozzo Containers product. The software does not imitate the hardware, but rather virtualizes an operating system itself. One fundamental difference is that with the hypervisor approach, customers end up with multiple copies of the operating system on the physical machine, whereas in the container approach, there’s only one OS per physical machine.”

The biggest advantage of using containers is scalability, Beloussov explains. “Some of our customers run 500 containers on a single machine. That’s not realistically possible with a hypervisor approach. Virtuozzo Containers allows you to partition a physical machine into hundreds or even thousands of containers. This type of density isn’t possible with hypervisors because you have to load a complete copy of an OS in the virtual machine. This complete copy of an OS takes resources. You have to have an additional 256 megabytes just for the operating system itself. In the case of a container, there’s no OS to load because the host operating system is virtualized.”

For something like test and development, though, you want to be able to run different operating systems on the same hardware. “You can only do that with the hypervisor approach,” he says. “Legacy server consolidation, too, would be possible only with a hypervisor system.”

The goal is to have the right technology for the job, he says, and toward that ideal Parallels is planning to combine the two approaches into one product. “You’ll be able to integrate containers or full hypervisor virtual machines on a server,” Beloussov says. This “integrated virtualization offering” is slated to be available next year.

Automation tools are the other part of Parallels’ plan to be part of the service clouds ahead. In order to handle service plans for millions of subscribers, providers will need completely automated management tools, he says. In the cloud, automation means provisioning of applications on a large scale, and it means handling workflow — internal and external. Usage charging must also be automated, he adds.

Beloussov believes Parallels has the core capabilities to meet these needs in the cloud now. The company’s catalog covers systems automation (provisioning, application management), business automation (account management, billing), and control panels used by very large hosting providers to manage their sites. Says Beloussov: “We pretty much automate everything: provisioning, Web infrastructure, middleware, physical and virtual infrastructure, as well as business processes.”

Short Timeline for Cloud Ubiquity

As for the timeline for migration to the five clouds, Beloussov says he sees it happening “very quickly,” being spurred on by Google rolling out more offerings and applications, and by Microsoft’s cloud presence. As far as adoption by end users, Beloussov sees (as do most observers) that it already is happening with small to medium businesses. He points out that many SMBs are running their Web sites or e-mail on a host’s servers, as well as increasing number of applications.

“What we see is tiny businesses will host their infrastructure in the cloud. Companies with 10 to hundreds of employees will host part of their infrastructure on a cloud service — for example, e-mail or certain vertical applications — while running other things internally. For companies with up to 500 employees, it will happen in five years,” he states. “For big organizations, it will take probably 10 years before they’re running a major part of their infrastructure in a type of cloud. They have some huge concerns. There are some security objections to moving data offsite, and often resistance from IT. Also sophistication of infrastructure and multiple SLAs makes it difficult to move to a hosted environment.”

But any predictions are up questionable with the global state of affairs, and the current financial situation might actually accelerate the timeline. “It could actually help drive businesses into the cloud because they can avoid all those capital expenses and upfront investments,” Beloussov says. “With technical budgets so tight, that will drive people toward hosted applications and services.”

That could be one small silver lining in the dark financial cloud.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

What’s New in Computing vs. COVID-19: Fugaku, Congress, De Novo Design & More

July 2, 2020

Supercomputing, big data and artificial intelligence are crucial tools in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Around the world, researchers, corporations and governments are urgently devoting their computing reso Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

OpenPOWER Reboot – New Director, New Silicon Partners, Leveraging Linux Foundation Connections

July 2, 2020

Earlier this week the OpenPOWER Foundation announced the contribution of IBM’s A21 Power processor core design to the open source community. Roughly this time last year, IBM announced open sourcing its Power instructio Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Career Notes: July 2020 Edition

July 1, 2020

In this monthly feature, we'll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the high-performance computing community. Whether it's a promotion, new company hire, or even an accolade, we've got Read more…

By Mariana Iriarte

Supercomputers Enable Radical, Promising New COVID-19 Drug Development Approach

July 1, 2020

Around the world, innumerable supercomputers are sifting through billions of molecules in a desperate search for a viable therapeutic to treat COVID-19. Those molecules are pulled from enormous databases of known compoun Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPC-Powered Simulations Reveal a Looming Climatic Threat to Vital Monsoon Seasons

June 30, 2020

As June draws to a close, eyes are turning to the latter half of the year – and with it, the monsoon and hurricane seasons that can prove vital or devastating for many of the world’s coastal communities. Now, climate Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AWS Solution Channel

Maxar Builds HPC on AWS to Deliver Forecasts 58% Faster Than Weather Supercomputer

When weather threatens drilling rigs, refineries, and other energy facilities, oil and gas companies want to move fast to protect personnel and equipment. And for firms that trade commodity shares in oil, precious metals, crops, and livestock, the weather can significantly impact their buy-sell decisions. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Supercomputing the Pandemic: Scientific Community Tackles COVID-19 from Multiple Perspectives

Since their inception, supercomputers have taken on the biggest, most complex, and most data-intensive computing challenges—from confirming Einstein’s theories about gravitational waves to predicting the impacts of climate change. Read more…

Hyperion Forecast – Headwinds in 2020 Won’t Stifle Cloud HPC Adoption or Arm’s Rise

June 30, 2020

The semiannual taking of HPC’s pulse by Hyperion Research – late fall at SC and early summer at ISC – is a much-watched indicator of things come. This year is no different though the conversion of ISC to a digital Read more…

By John Russell

OpenPOWER Reboot – New Director, New Silicon Partners, Leveraging Linux Foundation Connections

July 2, 2020

Earlier this week the OpenPOWER Foundation announced the contribution of IBM’s A21 Power processor core design to the open source community. Roughly this time Read more…

By John Russell

Hyperion Forecast – Headwinds in 2020 Won’t Stifle Cloud HPC Adoption or Arm’s Rise

June 30, 2020

The semiannual taking of HPC’s pulse by Hyperion Research – late fall at SC and early summer at ISC – is a much-watched indicator of things come. This yea Read more…

By John Russell

Racism and HPC: a Special Podcast

June 29, 2020

Promoting greater diversity in HPC is a much-discussed goal and ostensibly a long-sought goal in HPC. Yet it seems clear HPC is far from achieving this goal. Re Read more…

Top500 Trends: Movement on Top, but Record Low Turnover

June 25, 2020

The 55th installment of the Top500 list saw strong activity in the leadership segment with four new systems in the top ten and a crowning achievement from the f Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ISC 2020 Keynote: Hope for the Future, Praise for Fugaku and HPC’s Pandemic Response

June 24, 2020

In stark contrast to past years Thomas Sterling’s ISC20 keynote today struck a more somber note with the COVID-19 pandemic as the central character in Sterling’s annual review of worldwide trends in HPC. Better known for his engaging manner and occasional willingness to poke prickly egos, Sterling instead strode through the numbing statistics associated... Read more…

By John Russell

ISC 2020’s Student Cluster Competition Winners Announced

June 24, 2020

Normally, the Student Cluster Competition involves teams of students building real computing clusters on the show floors of major supercomputer conferences and Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Hoefler’s Whirlwind ISC20 Virtual Tour of ML Trends in 9 Slides

June 23, 2020

The ISC20 experience this year via livestreaming and pre-recordings is interesting and perhaps a bit odd. That said presenters’ efforts to condense their comments makes for economic use of your time. Torsten Hoefler’s whirlwind 12-minute tour of ML is a great example. Hoefler, leader of the planned ISC20 Machine Learning... Read more…

By John Russell

At ISC, the Fight Against COVID-19 Took the Stage – and Yes, Fugaku Was There

June 23, 2020

With over nine million infected and nearly half a million dead, the COVID-19 pandemic has seized the world’s attention for several months. It has also dominat Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Modeling Tests How COVID-19 Spreads in Grocery Stores

April 8, 2020

In the COVID-19 era, many people are treating simple activities like getting gas or groceries with caution as they try to heed social distancing mandates and protect their own health. Still, significant uncertainty surrounds the relative risk of different activities, and conflicting information is prevalent. A team of Finnish researchers set out to address some of these uncertainties by... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Turns Its Massive Crowdsourced Computer Network Against COVID-19

March 16, 2020

For gamers, fighting against a global crisis is usually pure fantasy – but now, it’s looking more like a reality. As supercomputers around the world spin up Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Global Supercomputing Is Mobilizing Against COVID-19

March 12, 2020

Tech has been taking some heavy losses from the coronavirus pandemic. Global supply chains have been disrupted, virtually every major tech conference taking place over the next few months has been canceled... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Simulations Reveal the Fate of the Neanderthals

May 25, 2020

For hundreds of thousands of years, neanderthals roamed the planet, eventually (almost 50,000 years ago) giving way to homo sapiens, which quickly became the do Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

DoE Expands on Role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium

March 25, 2020

After announcing the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium on Sunday, the Department of Energy yesterday provided more details on its sco Read more…

By John Russell

Steve Scott Lays Out HPE-Cray Blended Product Roadmap

March 11, 2020

Last week, the day before the El Capitan processor disclosures were made at HPE's new headquarters in San Jose, Steve Scott (CTO for HPC & AI at HPE, and former Cray CTO) was on-hand at the Rice Oil & Gas HPC conference in Houston. He was there to discuss the HPE-Cray transition and blended roadmap, as well as his favorite topic, Cray's eighth-gen networking technology, Slingshot. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Honeywell’s Big Bet on Trapped Ion Quantum Computing

April 7, 2020

Honeywell doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of quantum computing pioneers, but a decade ago the high-tech conglomerate better known for its control systems waded deliberately into the then calmer quantum computing (QC) waters. Fast forward to March when Honeywell announced plans to introduce an ion trap-based quantum computer whose ‘performance’ would... Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Neocortex Will Be First-of-Its-Kind 800,000-Core AI Supercomputer

June 9, 2020

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC - a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh) has won a $5 million award Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

‘Billion Molecules Against COVID-19’ Challenge to Launch with Massive Supercomputing Support

April 22, 2020

Around the world, supercomputing centers have spun up and opened their doors for COVID-19 research in what may be the most unified supercomputing effort in hist Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Australian Researchers Break All-Time Internet Speed Record

May 26, 2020

If you’ve been stuck at home for the last few months, you’ve probably become more attuned to the quality (or lack thereof) of your internet connection. Even Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

15 Slides on Programming Aurora and Exascale Systems

May 7, 2020

Sometime in 2021, Aurora, the first planned U.S. exascale system, is scheduled to be fired up at Argonne National Laboratory. Cray (now HPE) and Intel are the k Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU: Up to 2.5X the HPC, 20X the AI

May 14, 2020

Nvidia's first Ampere-based graphics card, the A100 GPU, packs a whopping 54 billion transistors on 826mm2 of silicon, making it the world's largest seven-nanom Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

TACC Supercomputers Run Simulations Illuminating COVID-19, DNA Replication

March 19, 2020

As supercomputers around the world spin up to combat the coronavirus, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is announcing results that may help to illumina Read more…

By Staff report

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This