« Products vs. Features | Main | Virtual Trade Show »

October 31, 2007



This reminds me of my early EMC days being the lead technical guy for this huge ISP in northern VA whose name I will protect :-)

Anyway, in one datawarehouse environment they had 6 large Symmetrix arrays attached to - gulp - ONE big honkin host. This is not the model you're describing, but back then it turned the entire Symmetrix equation upside-down. The premise back in those days was 1 array, many hosts. This was 1 host, many arrays, and a scale that was eye-popping. I clearly remember the customer saying "the challange our vendors face is not the complexity of the environment, it's the scale."

Your blog clearly says "welcome to level 2".

marc farley

Nice post Chuck,

I've spent some time thinking about the integration of SOA with storage networking and you hit on a number of interesting points. I'd suggest that plasma is a better word than cloud because it infers a free and highly dynamic association of components within the system.

The applications would be web-enabled and developed using Javascript or something similar. The applets that comprise what used to be traditional brick and mortar applications could run on any virtual system located dynamically on any number of physical machines in the grid. Data would be accessed over a storage network that provides the means for any applet to access whatever data it needs. A back-end database or transaction system for all this is the lynchpin - and will probably take numerous iterations to work out the kinks.

Progress will occur in baby steps, because people won't want to take big leaps. In such an extended evolution there will be opportunities for new software companies to provide key parts of the puzzle. Crash consistent data protection for plasma computing would be a good example of a major software opportunity.

Bert Armijo

The early adopters of "clouds" built their own infrastructure from necessity. No vendor could help google, because because no vendor had never seen a customer with such needs. Yahoo, Amazon, eBay, YouTube, Skype, MySpace, and Facebook have all had to build it themselves. An effort that took years and hundreds of staff. As you might expect, each considers this a strategic investment and a barrier to entry.

New Web 2.0 companies don't have years, though. The experience of iLike shows they can reach internet scale in weeks or months. Even if they had the time and wanted to build it, the skillset required is so rare they probably wouldn't be able to find the people.

A new set of services has sprung up to service these companies. Amazon's EC2 is the most well known, exposing the system they used to build Amazon to other developers. At 3tera, we took a different approach. We leverage the hundreds of thousands of servers in the hosting industry, giving our users the ability to select and/or switch data centers whenever they choose. As more folks begin to recognize the space, I suspect we'll see more business models.

Chuck Hollis

I tend to see more of Bert's view than Marc's view.

The serious "cloud" folks really don't think about database the way the IT 1.0 crowd does. More simple indexing of metadata, rather than sophisticated data processing.

Bert's right about one point -- the variety and complexity of business models we'll see in this space will be staggering.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
Enter your Email:
Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

General Housekeeping

  • Frequency of Updates
    I try and write something new 1-2 times per week; less if I'm travelling, more if I'm in the office. Hopefully you'll find the frequency about right!
  • Comments and Feedback
    All courteous comments welcome. TypePad occasionally puts comments into the spam folder, but I'll fish them out. Thanks!