Jamcracker CEO Chandrasekhar on Cloud Brokerage, New IT Landscape

By Nicole Hemsoth

September 11, 2010

If there is anyone better positioned to offer realistic, tempered insights about the future of the cloud, not to mention IT in general it’s someone who rode the high tide of the dot com era, only to tumble along the downward spiral with so many others.

CEO of Jamcracker, K.B. Chandrasekhar founded Exodus Communications well before the famous bubble burst and held the data centers of Yahoo, eBay, Google and a host of other major web properties on the Exodus network. Following the collapse of Exodus, Chandrasekhar chose to shift his focus, while integrating past experience from Exodus, to look to the service providers who were struggling with matters of managing and provisioning (not to mention billing) virtual infrastructure. Since its founding a decade ago, Jamcracker has been on the frontlines of this push to better manage cloud resources, albeit somewhat quietly.

As an increasing number of vendors have come into play offering all levels and types of cloud-based services, it became clear to Chandrasekhar that there might be value in having a “broker” manage some of that complexity, either on a simple management level or for all aspects of cloud services. One of the issues that is most problematic for organizations who have adopted cloud in an “ad hoc” or on an “as needed” basis have is managing services across those services.

Jamcracker, a company that develops software for provisioning private and public cloud resources and Eucalyptus, developer of cloud management software joined forces this month with an integration of their software offerings to allow enterprise customers to self-provision hybrid and private clouds. While Jamcracker has been around since 1999 as a player in the cloud space long before the term “cloud” exploded into wide use, it wasn’t until this announcement that they had been on the radar in a major way, at least not for larger institutions considering cloud possibilities.

Jamcracker’s goal is to make using cloud service providers simple as they put all cloud resources “under one roof” to simplify making the leap to the cloud. It is in this way that Jamcracker has become a “cloud broker” since it does not have services of its own, but rather, in its brokerage position, lines up options and allows customers to utilize the appropriate resources. This is the core concept behind what it calls “self-provisioning” of clouds, even though many who have actually handled any larger scale cloud computing initiatives realize that this makes the process a bit simpler than it is.

Via Jamcracker, a customer can use one interface to manage his or her resources due to what Jamcracker calls “unified services delivery and management architecture, which aggregates order management, security and policy management, user and service administration, billing and settlement, usage reporting and auditing, and license management across internally and externally hosted cloud services.”

The company’s service delivery network (JDSN) allows a service provider to bundle its services with that network for instant delivery and in theory allows enterprises to manage the entire span of a cloud service and enforce policies across several different services.

The fact that Jamcracker would emerge to offer such a service is no surprise, given its founders roots in large-scale hosting back in the mid-1990s when this was becoming a critical service for IT departments in both large-scale enterprises and smaller ones as well. We recently interviewed Jacmcracker’s CEO and founder, K.B. Chandrasekhar to discuss cloud brokerage and the coming shape of private clouds for enterprise, among other things.

HPCc: Jamcracker was founded in 1999 well before the cloud was the big buzzword—what were your early experiences with the cloud idea and what failures came early on that reshaped your objectives for the company?

Chandrasekhar: Early stage companies in Silicon Valley were the first adopters of Jamcracker’s services aggregation model, and the model was very successful as it enabled these companies to have access to business-class applications and services with no capital investment required.  However, after the 9/11 attacks there was an implosion of VC funding for these companies and with IT investments in general, so customer acquisition fell off dramatically for us. However, existing customers (who survived the tech down-turn) continued to rely on Jamcracker.  That customer stickiness gave us the confidence on the potential of ‘utility computing’, which has evolved into cloud computing today.    

HPCc: How did you carry over your knowledge from Exodus into the cloud space now, which has (arguably, of course) altered the face of enterprise IT?

Chandrasekhar:  Exodus was a pioneer in cloud computing that provided a highly available infrastructure with elastic bandwidth.  All customers had to do was to bring their computers and the rest was plug and play.  Exodus also created self-service tools to enable end customers to do remote management of their systems.  We provided the data centers that helped spawn the explosion of the ASP model, and the resulting need to aggregate the delivery and management of these services for end-customers.  That became the inspiration for starting Jamcracker.
 
HPCc: Where are you seeing the most momentum—or where is the most need coming from—for enterprise cloud computing? What are customers asking for of their private or public clouds that they still aren’t getting? How can these things be delivered?

Chandrasekhar: There are really two different drivers for enterprise cloud computing.  The first has to do with the consumerization of IT in conjunction with the proliferation of public cloud/SaaS offerings over the past few years.  Increasingly, enterprise end-users are by-passing IT and purchasing subscription licenses on their own when they need some new capability.  Secondly, enterprise IT organizations who are well down the path of virtualizing their data centers are interested in adopting the cloud delivery model to enable similar self-service fulfillment capabilities for their end-users.  What we’re seeing as a result is that enterprise IT groups are wanting to adopt what’s increasingly referred to as a ‘cloud service broker’ model, which means they themselves become an internal services provider for their organization. In this role, they enable departments, business units, subsidiaries, etc. to mix and match best-of-breed services from their own data centers along with public cloud/SaaS offerings from external providers – with a single point of aggregation, delivery and user/service lifecycle management.
 
HPCc: You noted not long ago that the public cloud will be the domain of SMBs while larger enterprises focus on private clouds. Is this a permanent trend and why—or why might the balance change in coming years?

Chandrasekhar:  Larger enterprises that have already made a significant investment in their data centers and virtualizing these assets will tend to focus on enabling private clouds for IaaS delivery, with public IaaS clouds being leveraged for disaster recovery, ad hoc needs such as development and testing or for off-loading non mission-critical workloads.  Smaller businesses who haven’t made a significant investment in internal IT will naturally tend to adopt public cloud offerings.  Over the longer term, we expect that increasing numbers of larger enterprises will offload more and more of their computing needs to the public cloud.
 
HPCc: Describe the cloud service broker model and what will this mean for the landscape in coming years if it catches hold and how will you be involved in this?

Chandrasekhar:  The term ‘cloud service broker’ (CSB) has emerged as a service provider and enterprise IT model for enabling, delivering and managing disparate cloud services within a unified provisioning, billing, security, administration and support framework.  This is equally beneficial to:

– Enterprises that are looking at setting up a vendor-neutral Cloud infrastructure as a natural progression of their virtualization strategy and to consolidate external cloud/SaaS usage.

– Service Providers that are looking at unifying the delivery of Cloud services and positioning their networks as a true cloud computing platform.
 
Different CSB models will emerge, but ultimately we believe it will evolve to a point where large enterprise IT organizations will become CSBs as will Service Providers.  Jamcracker’s platform will enable these organizations to setup and operate their own CSB infrastructures. Jamcracker will also provide a common interconnecting framework that will enable all of these CSB operators and cloud service providers to interoperate and transact with each other.
 
HPCc: What is meant by self-service provisioning of infrastructure and how do you think your partnership with Eucalyptus will bring more customers on board when they can find similar services elsewhere?

Chandrasekhar:  Self-service provisioning is all about extending the ‘consumerization’ of IT to internal computing resources.  Usually it entails presentation of available virtualized services in a catalogue, and from there authorized users can self-select what they need and have it automatically be provisioned for however long they need it.  It can also include enabling IT to ‘charge back’ or at least account for usage by individual departments. 
 
Eucalyptus provides tools that enable enterprises to build out private or hybrid IaaS clouds on top of VMware, Xen and KVM – based hypervisors.  They started out as an open-source provider of these tools, and as a result have built up good traction in the market.  Increasingly we’re going to see a mix of different hypervisors in enterprise data centers, and as a result IT organizations will want to consider offerings like Eucalyptus for building out internal IaaS clouds, and with Jamcracker they can aggregate and unify the delivery of their Eucalyptus clouds along with the rest of their public and private IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and other cloud services. 
 

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!

AWS Embraces FPGAs, ‘Elastic’ GPUs

December 2, 2016

A new instance type rolled out this week by Amazon Web Services is based on customizable field programmable gate arrays that promise to strike a balance between performance and cost as emerging workloads create requirements often unmet by general-purpose processors. Read more…

By George Leopold

AWS Launches Massive 100 Petabyte ‘Sneakernet’

December 1, 2016

Amazon Web Services now offers a way to move data into its cloud by the truckload. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Weekly Twitter Roundup (Dec. 1, 2016)

December 1, 2016

Here at HPCwire, we aim to keep the HPC community apprised of the most relevant and interesting news items that get tweeted throughout the week. Read more…

By Thomas Ayres

HPC Career Notes (Dec. 2016)

December 1, 2016

In this monthly feature, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the high performance computing community. Read more…

By Thomas Ayres

Lighting up Aurora: Behind the Scenes at the Creation of the DOE’s Upcoming 200 Petaflops Supercomputer

December 1, 2016

In April 2015, U.S. Department of Energy Undersecretary Franklin Orr announced that Intel would be the prime contractor for Aurora: Read more…

By Jan Rowell

IBM and NSF Computing Pioneer Erich Bloch Dies at 91

November 30, 2016

Erich Bloch, a computational pioneer whose competitive zeal and commercial bent helped transform the National Science Foundation while he was its director, died last Friday at age 91. Bloch was a productive force to be reckoned. During his long stint at IBM prior to joining NSF Bloch spearheaded development of the “Stretch” supercomputer and IBM’s phenomenally successful System/360. Read more…

By John Russell

Pioneering Programmers Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

November 30, 2016

In an awards ceremony on November 22, President Barack Obama recognized 21 recipients with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian honor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Seagate-led SAGE Project Delivers Update on Exascale Goals

November 29, 2016

Roughly a year and a half after its launch, the SAGE exascale storage project led by Seagate has delivered a substantive interim report – Data Storage for Extreme Scale. Read more…

By John Russell

AWS Launches Massive 100 Petabyte ‘Sneakernet’

December 1, 2016

Amazon Web Services now offers a way to move data into its cloud by the truckload. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Lighting up Aurora: Behind the Scenes at the Creation of the DOE’s Upcoming 200 Petaflops Supercomputer

December 1, 2016

In April 2015, U.S. Department of Energy Undersecretary Franklin Orr announced that Intel would be the prime contractor for Aurora: Read more…

By Jan Rowell

Seagate-led SAGE Project Delivers Update on Exascale Goals

November 29, 2016

Roughly a year and a half after its launch, the SAGE exascale storage project led by Seagate has delivered a substantive interim report – Data Storage for Extreme Scale. Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Sees Bright Future for AI Supercomputing

November 23, 2016

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia made a strong showing at SC16 in Salt Lake City last week. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE-SGI to Tackle Exascale and Enterprise Targets

November 22, 2016

At first blush, and maybe second blush too, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) purchase of SGI seems like an unambiguous win-win. SGI’s advanced shared memory technology, its popular UV product line (Hanna), deep vertical market expertise, and services-led go-to-market capability all give HPE a leg up in its drive to remake itself. Bear in mind HPE came into existence just a year ago with the split of Hewlett-Packard. The computer landscape, including HPC, is shifting with still unclear consequences. One wonders who’s next on the deal block following Dell’s recent merger with EMC. Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Details AI Hardware Strategy for Post-GPU Age

November 21, 2016

Last week at SC16, Intel revealed its product roadmap for embedding its processors with key capabilities and attributes needed to take artificial intelligence (AI) to the next level. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

SC Says Farewell to Salt Lake City, See You in Denver

November 18, 2016

After an intense four-day flurry of activity (and a cold snap that brought some actual snow flurries), the SC16 show floor closed yesterday (Thursday) and the always-extensive technical program wound down today. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

D-Wave SC16 Update: What’s Bo Ewald Saying These Days

November 18, 2016

Tucked in a back section of the SC16 exhibit hall, quantum computing pioneer D-Wave has been talking up its new 2000-qubit processor announced in September. Forget for a moment the criticism sometimes aimed at D-Wave. This small Canadian company has sold several machines including, for example, ones to Lockheed and NASA, and has worked with Google on mapping machine learning problems to quantum computing. In July Los Alamos National Laboratory took possession of a 1000-quibit D-Wave 2X system that LANL ordered a year ago around the time of SC15. Read more…

By John Russell

Why 2016 Is the Most Important Year in HPC in Over Two Decades

August 23, 2016

In 1994, two NASA employees connected 16 commodity workstations together using a standard Ethernet LAN and installed open-source message passing software that allowed their number-crunching scientific application to run on the whole “cluster” of machines as if it were a single entity. Read more…

By Vincent Natoli, Stone Ridge Technology

IBM Advances Against x86 with Power9

August 30, 2016

After offering OpenPower Summit attendees a limited preview in April, IBM is unveiling further details of its next-gen CPU, Power9, which the tech mainstay is counting on to regain market share ceded to rival Intel. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AWS Beats Azure to K80 General Availability

September 30, 2016

Amazon Web Services has seeded its cloud with Nvidia Tesla K80 GPUs to meet the growing demand for accelerated computing across an increasingly-diverse range of workloads. The P2 instance family is a welcome addition for compute- and data-focused users who were growing frustrated with the performance limitations of Amazon's G2 instances, which are backed by three-year-old Nvidia GRID K520 graphics cards. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Think Fast – Is Neuromorphic Computing Set to Leap Forward?

August 15, 2016

Steadily advancing neuromorphic computing technology has created high expectations for this fundamentally different approach to computing. Read more…

By John Russell

The Exascale Computing Project Awards $39.8M to 22 Projects

September 7, 2016

The Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) hit an important milestone today with the announcement of its first round of funding, moving the nation closer to its goal of reaching capable exascale computing by 2023. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Gobbles SGI for Larger Slice of $11B HPC Pie

August 11, 2016

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced today that it will acquire rival HPC server maker SGI for $7.75 per share, or about $275 million, inclusive of cash and debt. The deal ends the seven-year reprieve that kept the SGI banner flying after Rackable Systems purchased the bankrupt Silicon Graphics Inc. for $25 million in 2009 and assumed the SGI brand. Bringing SGI into its fold bolsters HPE's high-performance computing and data analytics capabilities and expands its position... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ARM Unveils Scalable Vector Extension for HPC at Hot Chips

August 22, 2016

ARM and Fujitsu today announced a scalable vector extension (SVE) to the ARMv8-A architecture intended to enhance ARM capabilities in HPC workloads. Fujitsu is the lead silicon partner in the effort (so far) and will use ARM with SVE technology in its post K computer, Japan’s next flagship supercomputer planned for the 2020 timeframe. This is an important incremental step for ARM, which seeks to push more aggressively into mainstream and HPC server markets. Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Debuts Power8 Chip with NVLink and Three New Systems

September 8, 2016

Not long after revealing more details about its next-gen Power9 chip due in 2017, IBM today rolled out three new Power8-based Linux servers and a new version of its Power8 chip featuring Nvidia’s NVLink interconnect. Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

Vectors: How the Old Became New Again in Supercomputing

September 26, 2016

Vector instructions, once a powerful performance innovation of supercomputing in the 1970s and 1980s became an obsolete technology in the 1990s. But like the mythical phoenix bird, vector instructions have arisen from the ashes. Here is the history of a technology that went from new to old then back to new. Read more…

By Lynd Stringer

US, China Vie for Supercomputing Supremacy

November 14, 2016

The 48th edition of the TOP500 list is fresh off the presses and while there is no new number one system, as previously teased by China, there are a number of notable entrants from the US and around the world and significant trends to report on. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Launches Silicon Photonics Chip, Previews Next-Gen Phi for AI

August 18, 2016

At the Intel Developer Forum, held in San Francisco this week, Intel Senior Vice President and General Manager Diane Bryant announced the launch of Intel's Silicon Photonics product line and teased a brand-new Phi product, codenamed "Knights Mill," aimed at machine learning workloads. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CPU Benchmarking: Haswell Versus POWER8

June 2, 2015

With OpenPOWER activity ramping up and IBM’s prominent role in the upcoming DOE machines Summit and Sierra, it’s a good time to look at how the IBM POWER CPU stacks up against the x86 Xeon Haswell CPU from Intel. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Beyond von Neumann, Neuromorphic Computing Steadily Advances

March 21, 2016

Neuromorphic computing – brain inspired computing – has long been a tantalizing goal. The human brain does with around 20 watts what supercomputers do with megawatts. And power consumption isn’t the only difference. Fundamentally, brains ‘think differently’ than the von Neumann architecture-based computers. While neuromorphic computing progress has been intriguing, it has still not proven very practical. Read more…

By John Russell

Dell EMC Engineers Strategy to Democratize HPC

September 29, 2016

The freshly minted Dell EMC division of Dell Technologies is on a mission to take HPC mainstream with a strategy that hinges on engineered solutions, beginning with a focus on three industry verticals: manufacturing, research and life sciences. "Unlike traditional HPC where everybody bought parts, assembled parts and ran the workloads and did iterative engineering, we want folks to focus on time to innovation and let us worry about the infrastructure," said Jim Ganthier, senior vice president, validated solutions organization at Dell EMC Converged Platforms Solution Division. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Container App ‘Singularity’ Eases Scientific Computing

October 20, 2016

HPC container platform Singularity is just six months out from its 1.0 release but already is making inroads across the HPC research landscape. It's in use at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), where Singularity founder Gregory Kurtzer has worked in the High Performance Computing Services (HPCS) group for 16 years. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Micron, Intel Prepare to Launch 3D XPoint Memory

August 16, 2016

Micron Technology used last week’s Flash Memory Summit to roll out its new line of 3D XPoint memory technology jointly developed with Intel while demonstrating the technology in solid-state drives. Micron claimed its Quantx line delivers PCI Express (PCIe) SSD performance with read latencies at less than 10 microseconds and writes at less than 20 microseconds. Read more…

By George Leopold

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This