From the Founder and CTO of CloudSwitch

John Considine

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Top Stories by John Considine

While there is no “official” definition of cloud computing, I believe programmatic access to virtually unlimited network, compute, and storage resources is an essential characteristic.  Even though many users access cloud computing through consoles and third-party applications, the foundation of a cloud is a solid Application Programming Interface (API). Since CloudSwitch works with many cloud providers, we have the opportunity to interact with a variety of cloud APIs—both active and soon-to-be-released versions.  After working closely with both the APIs and those implementing them, I’d like to share some impressions: Despite all the discussion about standards, clouds are still very different.  The important takeaway here is that cloud APIs have to cover a lot more than start/stop/delete a server, and once the API crosses into provisioning the infrastructure (networ... (more)

Opinion: "Cloud in a Box" Gets Boxed In

Just a week after our blog post on the telcos, we find another big company joining the cloud computing tsunami – Oracle’s announcement of its “cloud in a box” offering as well as new offerings of Oracle software running on Amazon’s EC2. For a company whose leader shunned the term “cloud” last year, this is a lot of cloud announcements in one week.  Oracle’s new Exalogic Elastic Cloud is perhaps the first “cloud in a box” solution that is actually delivered in a box (of hardware).  Unlike the offerings we have seen from Eucalyptus, Nimbula, Azure, and VMware, the Exalogic product... (more)

Image Conversion and VM Imports in Amazon

Amazon has announced another important tool in their ongoing platform innovation for EC2 – the VM Import tool. This converter allows you to “bring your VMware images to the cloud.” As we’ve seen extensively at CloudSwitch, this is a primary use case for most enterprises – the ability to take images you’ve already built (likely in VMware) and migrate them into the cloud. It’s great to see Amazon continue to innovate around these gaps in their offering, as this continues to drive the overall market growth and enterprise adoption. But it’s important to understand what this means f... (more)

Cloud Computing Standards – Not This Year

I started out writing a blog about the state of cloud computing to review how things have evolved in the cloud space over the last year (2010 was a good year for cloud computing) but I got sidetracked thinking about how clouds are converging, or in reality, not converging. It’s clear that end users of cloud computing would like to see true interoperability.  Companies want the freedom to pick a cloud that meets their needs, without worrying that choices made today will cost them big in the future or lock them in.  Interoperability would mean that a company could choose a cloud fo... (more)

CloudFormation – Cool, But Who Is It For?

A few weeks ago Amazon released a new feature for Amazon Web Services (AWS) called CloudFormation.  This allows a user to organize the process for provisioning and operating resources in the AWS environment and is an evolution of the AWS model of “some assembly required.”  We have often viewed the features and functions within AWS as a box of parts, from which users are left to build their own creations.  This model is highly biased towards developers, the kind of people who like to have a box of parts and are willing to put in the effort to build new and interesting creations fr... (more)