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Archive for January 14th, 2009

 

Building a House in the Cloud – Cloudcenters vs. Infrastructure Web Services

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 by

Last week, my colleague Randy Bias, introduced the concept of the “cloudcenter” and it has gotten some good commentary, traction and feedback. Most basically put, a cloudcenter (e.g., GoGrid) is a “datacenter in the Cloud” with features, systems, processes and functionality that sysadmins and IT Operations folks are accustomed to. But I feel that the concept needs to be explored a bit more as well as from some different angles.

cloudcenter-diagram

I attended a technology meetup on Tuesday night in San Francisco where GoGrid is a sponsor. People were packed elbow-to-elbow in the space and I had lots of time to talk about GoGrid and our vision of Cloud Computing to many. A few times, I was asked the common questions “How do you compare to Amazon EC2?” as well as “Are you a competitor to Amazon Web Services (AWS)?” To those people who asked, I gave the following answer (probably not as well articulated though):

Both Amazon and GoGrid are Cloud Infrastructure or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers. We both reside within the bottom layer of the Cloud Pyramid, a term I coined last year to help explain Cloud Computing in an “over simplified” way. Both of our companies do essentially the same thing: providing elastic and dynamically scalable computing resources and infrastructure that is consumed on a self-service basis billed by usage. But how this infrastructure is provided is nuanced differently.

This broad definition warrants further explanation. First, my answer to the “competition” question. Personally, I don’t view AWS exactly as a competitor. They have provided incredible space validation as well as attracted new users to the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model. In fact, I would almost go as far as to categorize them as a “soft partner.” Here are a few reasons why I think this:

  • we share the same generalized space of Cloud Computing,
  • we offer similar feature-sets and functionality within the Cloud, and,
  • we are driving towards a common goal of moving IT infrastructure into a “greener,” more cost-effective and much more efficient environment.

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