my musings on technology

IT and The Cloud: Introduction

Posted by on Nov 29, 2010 in Musings | 0 comments

I have begun researching Cloud Computing vendors that host infrastructure as a service solutions (IaaS) to examine the validity of migrating traditional IT Infrastructure services (and applications) into the Cloud.

There are a number of large players in this space, from the veteran that is Amazon Web Services (AWS) to the Rack Space Cloud and to new players like Microsoft’s Azure platform and they are all vying for marketing dominance in the space I believe is the future of computing.

My first impression while researching the AWS solution is that it is very much a Linux focused (or Linux derived solution) that was extended to Windows as a result of the Cloud technology becoming more mainstream and socially acceptable as an infrastructure solution.  It also appears to me that AWS was created to address a software development audience, rather than a traditional infrastructure type audience.

I’m drawn to AWS primarily because it is the oldest (around since 2006) and probably most mature solution for your money currently.  The environment I am looking to build will be a Windows environment, and I am meeting with the Azure team tomorrow to get details on their offering but with anything Microsoft, I am cautious for their first release of anything!

AWS offers a number of solutions – many of which I won’t use, but nonetheless a very impressive menu of items you can implement!  I am looking to build out a small environment of non-web based applications that will be accessed via a thin client that will run some critical business applications.

My initial concerns are:

  • Latency – since these are non web based apps, how will responsive will access from Australia to the AWS data centers be?
  • Availability – AWS targets a 99.95% uptime which is fantastic, but I worry about the availability of my key business applications.
  • Viability – How viable is it to run traditional (non web based apps) in an environment like AWS?
  • Cost – Ironically enough I worry about the variable costs associated with the AWS environment (bandwidth, IPs, load balancing, VPNs, etc)

Over the next few weeks I plan on detailing my journey and discoveries of IaaS and whether I feel a traditional IT department could leverage a solution like AWS, Rackspace or Azure.  I plan on getting my head around the concerns listed above and will walk you through the solutions of each vendor I examine.

I would also love to hear about your experiences in this area, what you have learned and how you have overcome any roadblocks you might have had.  Please drop me a comment below!

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