My Life in the Cloud
Avner Algom, IGT CEO (www.grid.org.il)
Grid computing was created to provide a better cost/performance solution for distributed data processing by sharing network resources. Previously both academia and industry had to develop their own Grid software, and to manage their own network resources. Today we have an alternative for our network resources of CPUs and Storage, it’s called Cloud Computing, and we can use it on-demand and pay for it per-use.
I hope that the following story will illustrate the new upcoming reality of Cloud Computing benefits and risks.
It was 9:00 a.m. 2011 when I awoke in the Dead Sea resort near Masada. It is a spiritual location in which, scholars found refuge thousands of years ago to write their ancient books. I went there to find the time and distance from the mundane to develop my new idea for a service that can improve our lives.
I was sitting in front of my $100 laptop, writing a sacred code that would change the world.
Via the wireless connection, I entered the requirements for my application development. Out of the 30 clouds that were on the Coodle clouds broker list, I had to choose the most qualified one.
The US based Alayon Cloud had the best cost/performance I could find. Thanks to my credit card, a development platform (PaaS) was at my service. To reduce the cloud costs, I had to make my application code efficient enough to use a minimum of CPU cycles and storage space.
It took me seven days, but then I was ready for the scalability and performance tests. I ordered 1000 CPUs and 10-Tera storage to make sure that my business application would not collapse once it took off and gained popularity.
I requested a transfer of 30 Gigabytes of test data in 1 minute. I got the confirmation to start the transfer and in one minute and 5 sec (SLA violation!) I had my 30 Gigabytes on the other side of the ocean, on the Alayon Cloud storage. Anyway, I was pretty impressed with the bandwidth on-demand.
Of course, in order to have a secured upload of my application to the cloud, I requested to activate the on-demand VPN in advance
After fixing the application errors, it ran smoothly on 1000 CPUs, but to improve the performance I had to upgrade the CPUs by adding 10 cents per hour per CPU.
Since using 1000 CPUs for one hour costs the same as using one CPU for 1000 hours, I decided to run a long stability test on a smaller quantity of CPUs.
Meanwhile I got a call from my colleague; he could not find a reasonable cloud price for his 1 Terabyte of medical images that needed to be processed by the next day for an important remote brain surgery. Via our open Cloud community, I was able to gather 11 physical locations that in total had enough storage and CPU resources for my colleague. We activated the Cloud of Clouds virtualization system, with a 40Gbit network bandwidth. On top of the Cloud of Clouds infrastructure; we activated the Grid Computing service, so we could process the images as fast as they come.
My colleague also reminded me that next week we have an important board meeting with the national universities cloud counsel. (NUCC). After 10 years we were able to consolidate the universities ERP systems into one unified ERP-SaaS cloud, saving the country a huge amount of money. The ERP-SaaS customization features enabled each university to customize its user interface and its unique features.
Meanwhile, my lawyer forwarded me an email from Alayon Cloud that the government asked to review the data I saved within their territory. I was shocked, but since the data was only test data, I really didn’t care; I asked Alayon Cloud to transfer the data to another country that does not grant the government the legal right to look at my data.
After a month of checks and preparations the new cloud service was ready for public announcement. I registered the service in the worldwide cloud directory with the right keywords and the pricing model. The potential customers that subscribed got an introductory offer to use the new service for a free one week trial.
After a month, my new service got so popular that at peak time Alayon Cloud needed to move Virtual Machines (VMs) to a partner cloud facility with an average transfer of 10 VMs per second! Thanks to the unique IP6 VM addresses, we were able to follow the VMs on every cloud.
The publicity about the new service captured the attention of some bizarre people. The hackers were looking for my application data! Luckily cloud intrusion prevention monitoring system blocked the attempt. It sent instant messages about unauthorized access attempts to the service provider and to me. The International Cloud police were able to locate the hackers – students of a well known college.
Based on my great cloud service success, it was time to make a tough financial decision. Via the Alayon Cloud financial monitoring system, I checked the list of banks that are Alayon Cloud partners, following a short competitive analysis; so the huge revenues went to my bank.
This decision increased the bank popularity and the utilization of the bank’s private cloud. To keep the bank’s private cloud performance, the CIO of the bank used the clouds brokerage system to choose a public cloud for the needed load balancing at peak time.
I read an interesting article this morning; it says that countries that use Arctic or Antarctic clouds reduced their need for energy by 15%.
I am now in Banff, Alberta, Canada, looking at the hologram pictures that I took during my 2 hour flight from Sydney to New York on board one of the new airlines space craft.
I don’t have the view of the Dead Sea, but I can see more clouds coming…..