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IBM Opens New Cloud Computing Laboratory

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the head-in-the-clouds dept.

IBM 66

Rob writes "InfoGrok is reporting that IBM is in the process of opening a new cloud computing laboratory, based out of Singapore. The new lab's primary aim is to help business, government, and research institutions to design, adopt, and reap benefits of cloud technologies. The lab will help IBM's clients deploy first-of-a-kind solutions that increase business responsiveness and performance."

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66 comments

Singapore (5, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107474)

All the other words in the summary are buzzwords.

Re:Singapore (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107786)

It's possible that the initial draft looked more like this:

New lab's primary initial medium-term strategic and tactical aim is to help small business, medium business, and fortune 500 companies, local, state and national governments, private, government, intergovernmental and quasi-government agencies, groups, working groups, and research laboratories, departments and institutions to plan, scope, design, build, implement, adopt, test, maintain, reuse, integrate, extend, embrace, and reap advantages, benefits and possibilities of cloud technologies.

They got it sounding pretty snappy, really.

Re:Singapore (0, Troll)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107974)

I wish I could mod you down, yet still post.

"Cloud computing" is quite real; it's an entirely different paradigm involving ephemeral hosts where you monitor and protect roles/functions, and the machines that provide those functions are completely unimportant. It's unlike anything that the industry has ever done, and whether you call it "cloud computing" or something else, it is in fact something different that deserves some different type name, whatever that name may be.

I can't imagine what else in the post you actually thought was just a "buzzword."

Re:Singapore (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108034)

Cloud computing is old now. Many companies are on it. So, having a company like IBM jump so late in the game is no big deal (they are ran by totally worthless trash). His point is that IBM is moving their operations ELSEWHERE, and he is very correct. IBM is being dismantled and put in Asia at a quick pace.

But I agree with you. I wish that I could have modded you down.

Re:Singapore (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108132)

"Cloud computing" is quite real; it's an entirely different paradigm involving ephemeral hosts where you monitor and protect roles/functions, and the machines that provide those functions are completely unimportant. It's unlike anything that the industry has ever done, and whether you call it "cloud computing" or something else, it is in fact something different that deserves some different type name, whatever that name may be.

Hardware abstraction is new? Here I was thinking that it was a central theme in computing for pretty sizable chunk of time now.

Re:Singapore (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108962)

reading comprehension has gone WAY downhill lately on slashdot...

I said nothing about hardware abstraction. A VM farm from the 90s that tried to heal and move to another VM isn't the same as having a dozen cheap instances that spin up and down on a whim, with no concern about whether one disappears unexpectedly.

Was it a crazy shock, an unexpected development? No, certainly not. But that doesn't in any way mean that it wasn't a change in the way things there done. I don't know what planet you've been on, but 10 years ago on this planet if several of your application servers not only crashed, but completely disappeared never to return again, that would be cause for alarm. Now (due to a coupling of lowered expectations of vendor product quality, thanks to China et. al, and the natural progression of the industry), one just creates the applications with the idea in mind that the roles are what is important, not the devices that may or may not from one moment to the next be fulfilling the roles. It isn't some massive mainframe we're all sharing bits of that, when it crashes, takes down an entire company...nor is it a mostly-manual VM farm where someone restores a backup, blah etc. There has been a real shift. Be contrary if you want, if your vision is too short-sighted to see it; soon enough though, you'll make as much sense as someone saying that the development of GUI layers wasn't a shift in the industry as well. "But but...it was obvious!" So what, doesn't mean it wasn't a change anyway. And that warrants something to refer to it by. You've simply missed the boat if you think the "cloud" is merely a buzzword.

Re:Singapore (1)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 4 years ago | (#32109192)

Probably living on the planet where we actually develop this crap rather than just talk about it, and realize that the only reason for using big words is to try to make people think you are smarter than you really are. Dont try to cast stones when you live in a glass house...

Not to be completely an ass, but your assessment of the situation is laughable. "Cloud Computing" started with SUN micro trying to find a business model, and should have died there. Just think about what IBM is doing... They are creating a center to "educate" (aka market) to people on all of the benefits of outsourcing their server needs. If it was such a wonderful thing, do you honestly think they would have to be doing this? No...

And yes, "cloud computing" is a buzzword about making your product deployments extremely expensive, and about pretending that outsourcing is a great thing. IBM is not doing this because it is the "next great thing". They are doing it because they realize that their currently service consulting based business model is quickly burning to the ground, and that they need something else to jump to. Just like with SUN micro, it will not work and will be a complete waste of money for them... Dont believe me? Ask any of the guys at Amazon's cloud setup how that is working out for them...

Re:Singapore (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 4 years ago | (#32112288)

And yes, "cloud computing" is a buzzword about making your product deployments extremely expensive, and about pretending that outsourcing is a great thing.

Since i just moved a company's main revenue source from extremely expensive dedicated servers with minimal fault tolerance, to a self-healing, globally distributed, never-down cluster in the cloud...with substantially cheaper monthly costs and substantially easier maintenance...it's your comments that are laughable.

Re:Singapore (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 4 years ago | (#32110450)

I said nothing about hardware abstraction...I don't know what planet you've been on, but 10 years ago on this planet if several of your application servers not only crashed, but completely disappeared never to return again, that would be cause for alarm. Now (due to a coupling of lowered expectations of vendor product quality, thanks to China et. al, and the natural progression of the industry), one just creates the applications with the idea in mind that the roles are what is important, not the devices that may or may not from one moment to the next be fulfilling the roles.

Yup, comprehension sure has gone downhill.

Re:Singapore (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 4 years ago | (#32112402)

yes, they have.

If you bother to look at that to which I was replying, and if you have the ability to follow along, you'll get it.

"hardware abstraction" in the sense of VMs running in your company's datacenter stil puts you at being concerned with hardware - it's not abstracted. The vm hosts fail, and no matter how you try to heal the VM clients under them it still takes extra actions...if you're still using the old methods. It's not just the hardware that's changing, after all - it's also the applications themselves. As a person who worked with Skyld way back when (I was one of their very first clients), building computational clusters that dealt with queue and distributed application tasks, I am prime to think as you do; that this is no different than what was happening before. However, as a person actually using the cloud properly, I end up disagreeing with you - because it is in fact a shift, it is in fact a new way of doing things. Being able to reference the model makes sense precisely because it is different.

I've yet to dispute that it's a natural progression. I've yet to dispute that many people could see it coming long ago. But it being a natural progression does not mean it isn't different, just like it was a natural progression for the end-user experience to shift to GUI-based over text-based. Was the GUI a natural progression? Could we all see it coming? Of course, but that doesn't mean that GUI is a "buzzword" because of it.

So be the person that thinks grabbing 50 instances across 4 different EC2 regions and tying them to a CDN data source is just the same old, run of the mill thing we were doing 20, even 30 years ago. Be that person. See how employable you are 10 years from now.

Re:Singapore (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 4 years ago | (#32112558)

I'll go ahead and pre-empt you, btw.

I no longer need to build a tier4 datacenter, to have tier4-level service. If I run a company with 2 tier4 datacenters, and VM farms in each, not only is it incredibly expensive for me to do it but getting my data to the outside world is incredibly expensive as well.

We're starting to reach a progression in our economy indicating signs of communism - shared resource use. When even Wall Street firms start thinking of making their computing resources available after-hours [slashdot.org] the death of the datacenter becomes something we can see easily. We no longer need them. We no longer need a system administrator per 20-50 servers. I spin up, use, and destroy more in a week than the average sysadmin during the 90s had even touched in several years. My disaster recovery plan no longer has to involve me flying to some bunker in AZ with a laptop, hoping my bgp routes took affect and my stand-by servers are all up to date with recent backups, shipped in from the IronMountain down the road. Fark that noise, for less than the cost of having a single datacenter I can globally distribute my data on not just one CDN, but several.

And you think that's just business as normal? Clearly you've never touched the cloud, dealt with disaster recovery, or dealt with computational clustering.

Re:Singapore (1)

Bill Privatus (575781) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115528)

dAzED1, You're quite right in your facts. This is not something that your average techno-geek (or slashdot nerd) is going to grok or espouse, as you're seeing here. It something that will save enterprises (the larger the better) huge piles of money, while providing all the benefits you cite (and a few you have missed).

I'm riding this wave, too, but from the other side of the table. And Cloud - as an enabler - is bringing fantastic (in a business sense) and fascinating (in a technical sense) technologies to the realm of possibility.

The reason I'm replying, though, is to cast a bit of a cautionary note: not everything is cloud-ready or even cloud-friendly. Regulatory issues like BASEL II will make some information/applications impossible for public cloud. SPI (sensitive personal information) and 'classified' or 'confidential' information may never be put into a public cloud. And that's as it should be.

However, having said that, there are private cloud solutions and hybrid solutions that can be brought to bear.

"Cloud" is the foundation technology, the infrastructure enabler, as I see it, that will allow and even encourage this 'entirely new paradigm' to grow and flourish into an entirely new generation of technologies.

And the rate of adoption is just terrific; the interest is, as someone described it to me recently, so exciting it's scary. It will be some time before the field settles, but my money's on the global players who can bring virtually limitless resources to the problem.

cloud != "VM frontend" or "Hardware Abstraction" (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 4 years ago | (#32115788)

The problem with many people who think it's a buzzword is that they think the "Cloud" is nothing but VM hosting with a marketing label attached to it. As I mentioned elsewhere, where and how the cloud resources arrive is irrelevant; they could be entire servers, they could be VMs, it doesn't matter. That part is completely irrelevant. Getting stuck on the idea of a machine at all is an immediate indicator that someone isn't getting the idea in the first place.

This isn't a progression of VM hosting, it's a progression of distributed computing - aka, Beowulf clustering, etc. I was building, programming for, and using Beowulf clusters ages ago. I have people telling me that Cloud is a "buzzword" that haven't even heard of Skyld, or worse - don't know who Don Becker is. If someone pretends to be a sysadmin of any level and doesn't know those things, they have no place lecturing me and saying it's a buzzword.

Which isn't to say that people have to know Skyld & Don to grok the Cloud - just that they must know Sklyd & Don to lecture me on whether it's just the same old thing that's always been.

So yeah, it's not for everything...yet. And as a person that has done plenty of DoD work, I agree it's also not for that...yet. But it will be...especially considering there are DoD "Clouds" in the work that will only be reachable via NIPR/SIPR. Within a short amount of time, any application that hasn't changed itself to be usable on the cloud will have evaporated (apologies for the pun...), imo.

Re:cloud != "VM frontend" or "Hardware Abstraction (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 4 years ago | (#32119268)

You keep saying it's not hardware abstraction, and then go on to say how cloud computing abstracts the hardware. Whatever, dude; you clearly get a kick out of lecturing people and talking down to them - I'm glad I don't actually have to work with you in real life.

Btw, are you talking about ScyId? I would get some amusement out of you consistently misspelling what you're name dropping, but it's also possible I just don't know what I'm looking for :)

Re:cloud != "VM frontend" or "Hardware Abstraction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32189612)

The problem with many people who think it's a buzzword is that they think the "Cloud" is nothing but VM hosting with a marketing label attached to it. As I mentioned elsewhere, where and how the cloud resources arrive is irrelevant; they could be entire servers, they could be VMs, it doesn't matter. That part is completely irrelevant. Getting stuck on the idea of a machine at all is an immediate indicator that someone isn't getting the idea in the first place.

This isn't a progression of VM hosting, it's a progression of distributed computing - aka, Beowulf clustering, etc. I was building, programming for, and using Beowulf clusters ages ago. I have people telling me that Cloud is a "buzzword" that haven't even heard of Skyld, or worse - don't know who Don Becker is. If someone pretends to be a sysadmin of any level and doesn't know those things, they have no place lecturing me and saying it's a buzzword.

Which isn't to say that people have to know Skyld & Don to grok the Cloud - just that they must know Sklyd & Don to lecture me on whether it's just the same old thing that's always been.

So yeah, it's not for everything...yet. And as a person that has done plenty of DoD work, I agree it's also not for that...yet. But it will be...especially considering there are DoD "Clouds" in the work that will only be reachable via NIPR/SIPR. Within a short amount of time, any application that hasn't changed itself to be usable on the cloud will have evaporated (apologies for the pun...), imo.

If you look at all the buzz, the standards work etc on cloud computing, they invariably include virtualization. A lot of cloud security topics revolve around virtualization security. This http://anil-identity.blogspot.com/2010/05/summary-cloud-identity-past-present-and.html [blogspot.com] summary has a decent take down on cloud security. One of the topics covered is about virtualization security being totally different from the perimeter security.

Re:Singapore (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32108290)

Cloud computing isn't the fad it was before. It has matured into a tool now that businesses can take advantage of, or just pass by if they so choose.

Businesses are slowly becoming aware that cloud computing isn't the sure thing it was. This seems to happen every decade. In the 1970s, we had dumb terminals. In the 1980s, we had X stations. The 1990s called, wanted their JavaStations back. And cloud computing is just the same, except it works on a higher level where the dumb/thin clients provide the OS, and the servers the apps and the storage.

Of course, businesses look into it, some find it fits their needs. Others end up going back to packing their own parachutes, keeping their E-mail on their own servers, and their data inhouse, as opposed to storing it offsite [1].

[1]: Storing it offsite means that even with the best SLA and security guarantees, there is always the guy with the Post-It note who can cajole the cloud provider into divulging stored information about a company or data stored. Data stored in house would require a lot more social engineering (or maybe perhaps an honest to God order from a judge as opposed to a request) for it to be seized.

Re:Singapore (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32109190)

Do you by chance work in marketing? BIS graduate? Management?

You speak with the pashion of an advertisement and the vocabulary of someone who memorized the buzzword dictionary but never saw the joke.

Re:Singapore (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 4 years ago | (#32116348)

UNIX sysadmin for the last 16, even if my title has changed during that time. I don't do any sales. My passion for it is due to two things:

1) it makes sense, and is a dramatic framework improvement. An increasing user base will force applications to be geared for it better. I don't want to have to do goofy hacks to make things like mysql failover properly. Instead, I want their RDS service to improve enough for me to be able to use it.

2) I'm an environmentalist. It always bothered me that every single company in a corporate business park would go to the wasteful expense of building their own datacenter - putting in raised floors, redundant power, cooling, blah, etc. I always wished a business park could work together as a community, and build just 1 datacenter that they all use. Due to duplication of effort in all datacenters, having 10 companies share like this would make total resource usage be 75% less than each having their own.

And guess what? That's what cloud computing allows. It's communal resource usage, in the only way it could ever have been feasible. Companies don't want to share with their neighbors in a concrete way, but something abstract like the modern Cloud offerings is ok for them. Which saves resources, which makes me happy.

It's interesting that it's some place specific... (2, Interesting)

tlambert (566799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108428)

It's interesting that it's some place specific...

After all, it's a cloud; if they buy into the theory behind it, shouldn't it be possible to deploy the machines pretty much one per datacenter everywhere IBM operates data centers, and build the cloud up that way? Wouldn't the lab be anywhere there was an Internet connection?

-- Terry

Re:It's interesting that it's some place specific. (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 4 years ago | (#32113744)

yeah, that's more or less my mark of whether people are getting it (or buying in to it, if you wish to say it that way). If you imagine your "cloud" to be in one specific place...it's not a cloud. The difference between a clouds are dispersed, and cover large areas. They're not merely ponds that happen to be up in the air.

One of my growing list of complaints about Ubuntu is their "cloud" [ubuntu.com] concept, where it's nothing more than a front end to the VMs running in your company datacenter, changing nothing from the last 15 years or so. That's not a cloud - if I can walk over and touch the hardware involved, it's not a cloud. If a single failure can take out every application I have, they're not on a cloud. That's just VM host configuration. And Ubuntu's silly idea of calling remote desktops hosted on EC2 "cloud computing" is ridiculous as well; cloud computing is a progression of distributed computing ala Beowulf - the "hardware abstraction" (ala VM hosting) aspect of it is entirely inconsequential. I don't really care if Amazon gives me dedicated servers for my instances, or VMs running on large hosts - it doesn't impact how I use them. If I'm pointing at an application running on one particular machine, then no matter where that machine is hosted...it's not in the "cloud."

Re:Singapore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32110046)

This is insightful? Some muppet on Slashdot reading a post and recognising buzzwords like a monkey recognises bananas?

It makes perfect sense for IBM to invest in finding out what really lies behind the cloud computing hype. Any intelligent investment of research dollars is going to be loosely defined. The implication that a laboratory should have a technically defined or otherwise detailed remit doesn't make sense. The most likely consequence would be that researchers don't explore any ideas outside of the nicely defined box they've been put into. Not necessarily bad in product development, but a very bad culture for research.

So yes, well done, you've spotted the buzzwords. Have a banana.

And? (4, Insightful)

LS (57954) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107486)

Is anyone else here thinking: so what? Sounds like a press release with almost nothing of interest.

Re:And? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107650)

Of course it is interesting!!! It's IBM and they used an outttttRAGEous accent...

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107858)

I thought IBM was opening a Cloud Laboratory, now that is interesting!

Re:And? (1)

kainosnous (1753770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107964)

This is, after all, Slashdot. Not only does this story make the front page, but will probably generate a ton of comments. Many of them, including this very one that I am posting, complaining about how this is a non-story. I wonder if there is a bit of irony in there somewhere.

Re:And? (2, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108168)

Is anyone else here thinking: so what? Sounds like a press release with almost nothing of interest.

Here's the press release: http://www.ibm.com/news/th/en/2010/05/04/m796788v34229n07.html [ibm.com]
Everything of interest was cut out by "Staff Writer"

If InfoGrok is going to just reprint a cut down press release, they should really say so.

really IBM? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107498)

Cloud computing? What if it rains? All our data will be flowing through the streets!

Re:really IBM? (1)

Kraftwerk (629978) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107800)

Cloud computing? What if it rains? All our data will be flowing through the streets!

Nah, It'll be channeled through a series of tubes.

Re:really IBM? (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107882)

Yeah, then out for all to sea.

Re:really IBM? (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107930)

Sea computing! It's a new paradigm! Instead of threads, we'll have fish!

Re:really IBM? (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108124)

You mean like this [youtube.com] ?

Modern IBM (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107502)

Too little, too late. No way IBM clouds float. More like a fog...

Have you ever had to rack their equipment? That's how I got my first hernia. The second was when I got the bill.

cue the naysayers (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107660)

Seems there's a pattern. Internet starts becoming popular: "That's nothing we can't do with our 9600 baud modems..." Facebook becomes popular: "That's nothing we can't do with email..." GUI's become popular, "That's nothing we can't do with a csh prompt..." javascript and flash become popular: "That's nothing we can't do with html..." Windows becomes popular, "That's nothing we can't do on our Sun workstations". The naysayers dissing something is a surefire sign it'll be huge in 5 or 10 years.

Same now with cloud computing. Enough slashdotters dissing it makes me want to invest in it, because if there's one constant, it's that opinion here is a polar opposite of the public at large. Slashdot: "It means nothing!" --> it'll be the next big thing.

There are always people who want things to remain as they always were, so they don't have to ever change or adapt to new things. But time moves on regardless.

Re:cue the naysayers (4, Insightful)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107776)

There are always people who want things to remain as they always were, so they don't have to ever change or adapt to new things. But time moves on regardless.

When things change, they don't always get better. For things to get better, they always have to change.

Re:cue the naysayers (2, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107824)

You are employing a logical fallacy. The results of a previous event do not say anything about how this one will turn out.

By the way: Using Facebook is still an epic failure in all regards, and still makes you into nothing more than a human battery from Matrix. A product. Cattle. And a fucking subhuman to me.

Also: GUI his what? How old are you? Your whole is of “examples” is filled with things where you act like they are obviously true, while they are just using straw-men or are completely false.

Go back to your pot cave, idiot!

Re:cue the naysayers (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#32111404)

You are employing a logical fallacy. The results of a previous event do not say anything about how this one will turn out.

Except that in the real world, they often do.

Re:cue the naysayers (2, Informative)

wisty (1335733) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107842)

There's a difference - your examples are concrete technologies.

Cloud computing is a buzz-word for clusters and/or client server systems.

Those are really old hat.

There's reasons why clusters and/or client server systems might grow - mobile devices and faster broadband, as well as new VM and parallel technologies; but I wouldn't back a buzzword that doesn't bring anything new to the table.

You might want to back specific providers (Amazon, Rackspace) who are bringing excellent new products to the market, but the cloud "industry" as a whole sounds like a lot of vaporware.

Re:cue the naysayers (1)

anarche (1525323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108434)

I wouldn't back a buzzword that doesn't bring anything new to the table.

Damnmit! I just invested all my monopoly motels in the buzz-market!

Re:cue the naysayers (4, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107898)

You seem to present a false dichotomy between endless pessimism (the naysayers) and boundless optimism (investing in whatever the naysayers say won't work). I prefer a more pragmatic approach.

The simple fact is that "cloud computing," as defined by those people selling space on clouds to external clients, is nothing more than a logical evolution of "software as a service". It is, at its core, technology outsourcing. While the term "cloud" connotes an amorphous blob through which data can move freely, the actual mechanics of a cloud are unimportant to the end user. I could be running a "cloud", by this definition, on a big server farm with virtual servers migrating between hardware devices as needed, totally transparent to the user. Or, I could be putting each client on his own dedicated piece of hardware and not including virtualization at all. Either one of these could be called a "cloud" as far as the client is concerned. The whole point of an external cloud is the client doesn't know or care what the underlying technology is or how it works.

The more interesting definition of cloud, to me, is the internal cloud. By this definition, the cloud is explicitly a collection of servers that host multiple virtual machines, which can be moved essentially at will (and even automatically with no input from the operator) as individual virtual machines require more or fewer resources. This type of cloud has also commonly been called a "grid", although grid is another one of those terms with several not-very-well-understood meanings. In this kind of cloud, you optimize the use of compute power while (in theory) reducing administrative overhead. Of course, this depends on a lot of technology that's fairly new and requires a great deal of automation and excellent management software in order to actually make administration easier, and most implementations so far tend to increase, rather than decrease, administration costs. Even so, this type of solution can save a lot of money in terms of hardware, space, and power required to support the IT needs of a business.

I've been deeply involved in developing and implementing internal clouds for a couple of years now, and the technology really does hold a lot of promise. I'm not sold at all on the external Amazon-style clouds as the future of computing, but the "blob of virtual machines" internal cloud seems to hold a lot of promise, especially in larger data center environments.

Re:cue the naysayers (2, Interesting)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107982)

I like your post, and while I think your preferred definition is on the right track, it's a bit too narrow for me.

To me, one of the best current examples of cloud infrastructure is Google's AppEngine. Not only do I know nothing about the underlying hardware, I also know nothing about virtualization, operating system or anything else. All I know is that I've got an API that defines how I can access it externally, how I can program it (Python or Java) and how I can store data. I don't have to worry about anything; it just works.

My application is immediately available throughout the Google infrastructure, and as long as I'm willing to pay for it, it doesn't matter whether I get one hit an hour or 10 million.

"Cloud" could certainly encompass virtualization farms as you've described, but I see it as even one layer more abstract.

Re:cue the naysayers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32108270)

I agree with part of what you said except the bit about internal clouds. Isn't that how people are currently using public clouds? Why wouldn't you be able to monitor your instances in a public cloud and act accordingly based on certain metrics (scale out/in)? Aren't Amazon-style clouds a "blob of virtual machines", if not, what are they then? It apparently uses a well know virtualization product. How is an "internal cloud" any different from a public cloud? Why wouldn't a public cloud reduce administrative overhead? You don't have to worry about building out the bare metal, racking, cabling... This is abstracted away in a public or private cloud. You deploy when you need it and can tear down when you don't. "cloud" is a pretty loosely used term these days but when I think of a "cloud", I should have the freedom to scale out/in at will, whereas in a "grid" I think of a many nodes with a common goal, for instance a render farm, distribute a large set of data across all available nodes.

Re:cue the naysayers (1)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108296)

An internal cloud is one that your own IT department manages, which is why I went into all the technical detail on that one. It's the opposite of outsourcing, whereas an Amazon-style cloud is basically another way of saying "IT outsourcing".

Re:cue the naysayers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32108400)

Correct and in that sense, you haven't reduced administrative overhead but it has just increased because now your IT department will have to strategically plan an infrastructure build out. Not only will they have to deal with building out the infrastructure for the bare metal, but also the ever scaling "cloud" portion. You'll have to think large scale. How will they manage thousands of hosts that serve up a couple thousand on top of that, what will the network look like? How about your storage? DHCP, DNS? Will you be leveraging a directory? I only see private clouds being of interest to those companies that don't want another organization handling their data. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of a private cloud and have been experimenting with open solutions because it makes me think about "how would I do this on a large scale?", it's a ton of work.

Re:cue the naysayers (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108076)

could computing == terminals.

how are the poor marketing people meant to sell it if they can't dress it up? fo shame...

Re:cue the naysayers (1)

anarche (1525323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108416)

There are always people who want things to remain as they always were, so they don't have to ever change or adapt to new things. But time moves on regardless.

But why are these people all on slashdot? isn't this a geek site?

Re:cue the naysayers (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#32110664)

There are always people who want things to remain as they always were, so they don't have to ever change or adapt to new things.

Yeah, if only this were a new thing.

Cloud computing == grid computing. Hell, here in Alberta, there was a project to build a large scale grid computing network at least six years ago, and I'm certain the idea predates that. The only difference is cloud computing has brought the idea into the mainstream.

Which really makes the Slashdot naysayers look even sillier. This is an *old idea*. Heck, the idea of buying CPU cycles on large computers goes back *much* futher than that, all the way back to the days of the first mainframes. The idea of leasing/buying time on a large, distributed computing network is, quite honestly, really frickin' obvious to anyone who's been paying any attention at all.

My boss will be happy to hear this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32107724)

He was always lost as to where things are located "in the cloud". Now I can just say "It's all in Singapore."

In my times, we called that a... (-1, Flamebait)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107770)

opium den. ;)

Seriously... are all those “cloud” circle-jerkers on drugs?

Re:In my times, we called that a... (0, Offtopic)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108820)

You may mod me Flamebait, but 99% of all /. users agree with me anyway. Hence it’s not a bait for anyone flaming.
The remaining 1% is PHBs and 4channers who got lost and ended up here. They aren’t relevant anyway.

Don't we already have this with the Internet? (1)

joelsanda (619660) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107792)

Don't we already have this with the Internet?

Re:Don't we already have this with the Internet? (3, Interesting)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107994)

We had this LONG before the internet ( as we know it ) came into being.

Back then it was called dial up time share or (DUTS).

There is a guy that has a tiny warehouse space and inside it lives an HP-3000 that is as maxed out as he could get it when he purchased it used from Stanford University. Instead of Dial up you connect to it over the net and it runs legacy applications that are still considered to be quite valuable. He makes himself enough money to pay for the bandwidth, the space and the electric bill AND all his hobbies since he retired from, you guessed it, HP.

Press Release (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32107848)

This is about as blatant as it gets here.

Don't disappoint me, slashdot - tell you you've got sumth-sumth for this post.

Thomas Watson is spinning in his grave (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108014)

Palmisano and Loughridge are gutting that company. It is time for American Feds to cut their losses and kill all contracts with this worthless company.

Re:Thomas Watson is spinning in his grave (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32108138)

1wsnow.com
this is!

Advertising masquerading as news (3, Insightful)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108044)

Thanks for that but I get all the ads I want from Television.

IBM outsourcing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32108088)

Now IBM has an excuse of why they're hiring more employees overseas than in the US. I, Cringely has been talking about this for years. There's also the IBM employee organization page (Alliance@IBM) mentioning a lot of interesting facts about IBM.

Re:IBM outsourcing (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108808)

If Alliance is smart, they will hook up with the professionals that have been laid off and create a company to compete against IBM. In particular, Geithner is suppose to deliver a report on countries that manipulate their money. When that comes out, it SHOULD implicate China, but if honest, it will also point to India, AND for that matter, most of the Asian countries. As such, the new company (MBI?) could make an argument to feds to exclude IBM from all contracts, OR to simply make sure that all IBM contract are below the floor of the lowest country that manipulates. For example, if China has the lowest, right now, most economist are saying that China has their money devalued 50%. As such, IBM's contract would have to be below 50% of the next highest to win.

"ephemeral" is still hard to deal with (2, Informative)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108120)

I'm currently working out a way to deal with the fact that on EC2, instances disappear, IPs disappear, IPs can't be reallocated for heartbeat situations (no, elastic-ips don't work for that, too slow).

4 options:
1) elastic IP failover
2) dns change (I don't like this since many things don't do lookups after startup, otherwise they'd be horribly slow)
3) the MMM plugin that tries to trick dns resolution changes
4) the special extra I did instead (iptables rewrite of NAT table, which only affects NEW sockets, not ESTABLISHED, etc - meaning whatever is hanging up the first server gets a chance to finish)

I've got #4 working semi-well now, which is great. I have self-healing m1.small spot instances that cost 3 cents an hour, and can keep up large sites. People rag on the m1.smalls, but I get good performance out of them after a few minor tweeks.

In short, "cloud computing" is a very different paradigm than anything the industry has ever seen before, and as a person who has been a UNIX admin/engineer/architech/etc since the early 90's...I'm pretty turned on by the whole thing.

Re:"ephemeral" is still hard to deal with (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108650)

"In short, "cloud computing" is a very different paradigm than anything the industry has ever seen before"

No it's the natural incremental evolution of mainframe/supercomputer time sharing with a catchy new name. The paradigm shift occured at least half a century ago when computers moved from single user purpose built machines to general purpose time share machines where resources were rented to users.

Since that time pretty much all of computing has been about how to efficiently abstract and share the hardware resources between applications and/or users and to this end there have been several rounds of centralization and decentralization. The evolution of the current centralized cloud has taken us from a propritary box the size of a room (and the power of a pocket calculator), to a whole bunch of modern comodity boxes the size of a warehouse.

In other words, the basic pardigm of shared abstract resources hasn't changed but the implementation of it has progressed in amazing leaps and bounds.

Re:"ephemeral" is still hard to deal with (2, Insightful)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108908)

The paradigm shift occured at least half a century ago when computers moved from single user purpose built machines to general purpose time share machines where resources were rented to users.

Prior to 50 years ago, computers were only for personal use?

Listen, I know it's fun to be contrary, but you didn't respond to what I actually wrote at all. It's not a paradigm shift because we're sharing resources, it's a shift because the machines themselves no longer matter. I am still having to remind people constantly that monitoring systems is nearly useless, at this point - one monitors services and response time of the services, with little regard to the hosts those services are running on. The shift was in how applications bounce from one physical machine to another - and no matter how much you want to pretend that everyone had personal computers in the 50s and then BOOM, mainframes came after PCs, you're just bloody wrong. For once in your life, don't be contrary just for the sake of being contrary. It's a completely different set of problems and solutions, due to being a different environment - and the fact that you don't agree strongly indicates that you've merely not done much with it yourself.

Re:"ephemeral" is still hard to deal with (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#32110458)

"...it's a shift because the machines themselves no longer matter....The shift was in how applications bounce from one physical machine to another"

Yes, that's called hardware abstraction. The data center can be considered as a single machine that can allocate storage and processing resources as required, wich is exactly what time sharing on mainframes was designed to do.

"It's a completely different set of problems and solutions, due to being a different environment"

No it's the same problem (resource allocation) with the same solution (hardware abstraction) but I agree the implementation has evolved along with the hardware.

"Prior to 50 years ago, computers were only for personal use? Listen, I know it's fun to be contrary, but you didn't respond to what I actually wrote at all....and no matter how much you want to pretend that everyone had personal computers in the 50s and then BOOM, mainframes came after PCs, you're just bloody wrong."

I said nothing about personal use. I said single user purpose built; ie: the machine was built to solve a specific problem for it's owner, such as computing artiliery tables for the military. How you can build that into claiming I said PC came before mainframes I'm not sure, but it looks like you had fun jumping to the wrong conclusion.

Larry Ellison would have a field day with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32108130)

Cloud computing? Give me a break.

Buzzword complement (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108780)

Distributed computing was around for years. Someone decides to call it "Grid computing". Nope.. Not sexy enough. Someone calls it "Cloud" and it takes off.

Winning definition from Stackoverflow was:

"Cloud Computing. n. Yet another buzzword for services on the internet to trigger silicon valley VC's 'NextBigThing(R)' reflex, thus attracting some money which otherwise be spent on a new yacht."
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1349894/difference-between-cloud-computing-and-distributed-computing [stackoverflow.com]

clouddot?
hmmm.....

If there's money to be made... (1)

herojig (1625143) | more than 4 years ago | (#32108886)

As a retired IBM developer, I can tell ya if there is money to be made, they are going to go there, and you could call it Cumulonimbus .Calvus or DogPoopV1 - no one in their cloud-like management cares as long as it will bring in bucks. If there is 8Bil of low hanging fruit for 2013 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/10097450.stm), then it would be prudent for IBM to open a division and start selling it, whatever it is or isn't. I'm just hoping for stock's sake that those customers keep falling for the scam (or as some would say "business").

Cloud of obscurity (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32109252)

What IBM meant to say was that with the obscurity provided by The Cloud, more resources can be moved out of the US and somewhere, anywhere, where they can get a better tax and salary deal. The Cloud IBM is referring to is not the cloud of cloud computing, it the Cloud of Global Management where resources can be shifted to the area of Least Responsibility.

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