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Eating the full cloud pie – highlights from Randy Bias' guest apparance

There is no half-steppin’ in cloud, guest Randy Bias of Cloudscaling, IT Management and Cloud Podcast #087 – Transcript

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Going full-tilt on cloud is a lot different than just installing some cloud products and stacks. That’s the take-away from reviewing a conversation I had recently with Cloudscaling’s Randy Bias, the full transcript is in the above PDF (or go to the original IT Management & Cloud podcast show-notes for the plain-text transcript).

Here are some highlights from that conversation (all from Randy):

On “Enterprise Clouds”

I have had this kind of like rant about the enterprise cloud lately is because, I really figured out lately that this whole approach to building sort of these “enterprise clouds” is fundamentally broken from the ROI point of view.

I mean, you have sort of got this weird disconnect or you have got the larger service providers, I don’t want to name anybody’s name, they are pretty obvious when you go out there and look at them, they have got these big enterprise spaces and they are saying, “hey, enterprises don’t want what Amazon has got, they want something different, they need to support all these legacy applications.”

So they are trying to build these very complex, very expensive clouds that are not going to be anywhere near cross-competitor with Amazon. And at the same time you look at the centralized IT department and they are making a decision. They are like, “well, are we going to outsource all these legacy apps and our jobs go away, or do we just build our own internal private cloud?” Most of them are choosing to go down building that internal private cloud route.

So you have got centralized IT going to the enterprise vendors to build an infrastructure that looks exactly the way these external public enterprise clouds look, same people, same technology, same management processes. And I don’t understand how there’s — I don’t see success in the future for either of those paths, and they are inherently competing with each other as well, and Amazon has kind of run away.

On security

Security is sort of a nonstarter. You can build a cloud to be as secure as you want, doesn’t matter what techniques you use. I just pretty much ignore that.

On what cloud operations looks like

Any kind of infrastructure cloud is basically going to look a lot like Amazon. Your CAPEX costs are going to be reduced by something like 75%. Your operational costs are going to be reduced similarly, at least for the infrastructure side. And you will probably see a change of a factor of 10 or a 100x in the number of infrastructure people you need to run a successful private cloud.

Any kind of IT that provides simply basic services to the business probably shouldn’t be run by the internal IT department. The internal IT department should be focused on those parts of the business that are fundamentally differentiating and that should be what your private cloud is focused on.

On the need to be transformative, not just install things

[T]he things there that people are still looking at this as sort of a product problem instead of a transformation problem, and I have literally had senior enterprise people say to me, “wow, we are buying this new automation software, we are going to put it in our data center and we are going to turn our data center into a cloud,” and I just tragically fell off my chair laughing it was like, there is no software you can buy to automate your data center and turn it into a cloud, if there was somebody would have been successful with all the attempts that have happened over the past 30 years to automate data centers. I mean, that’s not what’s happening.

…people look at it as sort of being solved by products, and I don’t think it can be solved by products, it has to be solved by a combination of products, architecture, and cultural change.

On standardization, simplifying IT

How has Amazon got 400 engineers and data center techs basically running 80,000 plus physical servers? I mean, it’s because they are doing things very differently [than traditional IT]….

And part of the economies of scale is like very homogenous environments. Like Google is reputed to have five hardware configurations across one to two million servers, whereas in a typical enterprise environment I have seen hundreds of hardware configurations across a much smaller footprint.

If you liked the above, check out the full episode, it’s chock-full of nice cloud commentary.

Categories: Cloud, IT Management Podcast.

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