Clouds and Enterprises: Lessons Learned

Michelle DeFiore

We’re in a cloud state of mind today. Maybe it’s the cool shirts we’re rocking in the NOC. As the official monitoring and helpdesk provider, we have to spread the love: EM7 – providing silver linings since 2003. Check out the graphic and more details on our cloud monitoring on our website.

But really, cloud computing is of course a big focus of Interop (and every other technology conference) this year. Our first panel today featured executives from companies such as Reddit, Inc., Domino’s  Pizza (how’s that new crust and sauce?), PRN, Escape Media Group, and Mu Dynamics, Inc.

The panel was moderated by Killian Murphy at VMware (which by the way is the coolest name ever).

A few highlights from the panel, snippets really.

  • The cloud is a way to bring things to scale quickly.
  • 7,000 retail stores all have physical machines, looking to move into the cloud (from PRN)
  • Enterprise software is not built for multi-tenancy. You can’t just throw it up on the cloud. It can be hard. There are many benefits – scaling, cost, management.
  • The promise going forward – a more heterogeneous environment.  SLA’s are great from a performance review perspective. But, most important to us – am I up on a Friday night (from Domino’s – hello pizza orders!)
  • For small companies it’s cost and agility, for enterprises it’s resilience.
  • Conde Nast owns Reddit – they have a standard for IT processing and placing orders. Now with Amazon EC2, we can scale up and down as needed, and working around the process. It’s a loophole.
  • We needed to prepare our development team to build an application that can easily move to the cloud. This way the migration was more flexible.
  • You have to get used to nothing being hard coded – nothing will stay where you expect it to. IP’s change, hosts change. If your software is written with the assumption of multiple servers.  The less you expect it to be like your data center, the better off you’ll be.
  • All clouds are not created equal. Make sure you do capacity testing unless you’re using Amazon, Google, etc.
  • No SQL is the way to go when considering moving to the cloud.
  • Started by using the cloud for a few months for certain applications – with a more hybrid cloud. Then moved everything in the data center to the cloud.
  • We all buy infrastructure based on what we think we need at our peak. Domino’s goal is to dynamically provision additional capacity. Because of PCI compliance, they cannot do that in the cloud,
  • Is a VPN sufficient for a hybrid cloud? Yes, but depends on scale.
  • If you consider EC2 and S3 as separate, that is essentially a hybrid cloud.
  • Results: 29% reduction in monthly costs in the first month (Reddit). Continued for the past year, despite traffic quadrupling. The agility, and less overhead makes capacity planning much easier.
  • Pain point – getting used to higher latencies in public cloud. From .3 milliseconds to 1 millisecond. You also don’t control the hardware, so have to get used to that. Things may slow down and you don’t know why. Configuration management also an issue.

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