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Virtualization & Cloud Computing: Perfect Together

Will the amount of cloud capacity double every 18 months?

Reuven Cohen's Blog

Recently I've been asked about the benefits of cloud computing in comparison to that of virtualization. Generally my answer has been they are an ideal match. For the most part virtualization has been about doing more with less (consolidation). VMware in particular positioned their products and pricing in a way that encourages you to use the least amount of servers possible. The interesting thing about cloud computing is it's about doing more with more. Or if you're Intel, doing more with Moore.

At Intel's core, they are a company driven by one singular mantra, "Moore's Law". According to wikipedia, Moore's law describes an important trend in the history of computer hardware: that the number of transistors that can be inexpensively placed on an integrated circuit is increasing exponentially, doubling approximately every two years. The observation was first made by Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore in a 1965 paper.

Over the last couple years we have been working very closely with Intel, specifically in the areas of virtualization. During this time we have learned a lot about how they think and what drives them as an organization. In one of my early pitches we described our approach to virtualization as "Doing more with Moore" A kind of play on the common phases "doing more with less" combined with some of the ideas behind "Moore's Law" which is all about growth and greater efficiencies. They loved the idea, for the first time someone was looking at virtualization not purely as a way to consolidate a data center but as a way to more effectively scale your overall capacity.

What is interesting about Moore's law in regards to cloud computing is it is no longer just about how many transistors you can get on a single CPU, but more about how effectively you spread your compute capacity on more then one CPU, be it multi-core chips, or among hundreds, or even thousands of connected servers. Historically the faster the CPU gets the more demanding the applications built for it become. I am curious if we're on the verge of seeing a similar "Moore's Law" applied to the cloud? And if so, will it follow the same principals? Will we start to see a "Ruv's Law" where every 18 months the amount of cloud capacity will double or will we reach a point where there is never enough excess capacity to meet the demand?


More Stories By Reuven Cohen

An instigator, part time provocateur, bootstrapper, amateur cloud lexicographer, and purveyor of random thoughts, 140 characters at a time.

Reuven is an early innovator in the cloud computing space as the founder of Enomaly in 2004 (Acquired by Virtustream in February 2012). Enomaly was among the first to develop a self service infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform (ECP) circa 2005. As well as SpotCloud (2011) the first commodity style cloud computing Spot Market.

Reuven is also the co-creator of CloudCamp (100+ Cities around the Globe) CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas and is the largest of the ‘barcamp’ style of events.

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Most Recent Comments
MiamiWebDesigner 08/22/08 06:32:35 AM EDT

Kudos to the Cloud Crowd for Re-Inventing the Wheel!

One thing 30 years in the IT industry has taught me is that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Another is that the only memory we seem to access is short-term. A third is that techno-marketeers rely on that, so they can put labels like "revolutionary" and "innovative" on platforms, products and services that are mere re-inventions of the wheel ... and often poor copies at that.

A good example is all the latest buzz about "Cloud Computing" in general and "SaaS" (software as a service) in particular:

Both terms are bogus. The only true cloud computing takes place in aircraft. What they're actually referring to by "the cloud" is a large-scale and often remotely and/or centrally managed hardware platform. We have had those since the dawn of automated IT. IBM calls them "mainframes":

The only innovation offered by today's cloud crowd is actually more of a speculation, i.e. that server farms can deliver the same solid performance as Big Iron. And even that's not original. Anyone remember Datapoint's ARCnet, or DEC's VAXclusters? Whatever happened to those guys, anyway...?

And as for SaaS, selling the sizzle while keeping the steak is a marketing ploy most rightfully accredited to society's oldest profession. Its first application in IT was (and for many still is) known as the "service bureau". And I don't mean the contemporary service bureau (mis)conception labelled "Service 2.0" by a Wikipedia contributor whose historical perspective is apparently constrained to four years:

Instead, I mean the computer service bureau industry that spawned ADAPSO (the Association of Data Processing Service Organizations) in 1960, and whose chronology comprises a notable part of the IEEE's "Annals of the History of Computing":

So ... for any of you slide rule-toting, pocket-protected keypunch-card cowboys who may be just coming out of a fifty-year coma, let me give you a quick IT update:

1. "Mainframe" is now "Cloud" (with concomitant ethereal substance).

2. "Terminal" is now "Web Browser" (with much cooler games, and infinitely more distractions).

3. "Service Bureau" is now "Saas" (but app upgrades are just as painful, and custom mods equally elusive).

4. Most IT buzzwords boil down to techno-hyped BS (just as they always have).

Bruce Arnold, Web Design Miami Florida

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