Sunday, September 27, 2009

Standards for Clouds - Unit of Compute Power
Cloud or utility computing has been frequently compared with electricity. Nick Carr, in his very popular book Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google, painted a very compelling picture of large utility-like computing centers built to host applications and data and compared it with power utilities. The comparison resonated with the readers and his book became a big hit. A significant reason for the creation and the success of power utilities was standardization.

There is a strong consensus on the fact that to deliver to true value of cloud computing, we need standards. However, most people assume that standards imply portability. While that is clearly an ideal state, looking at how clouds are evolving using multiple virtualization technologies, I find the task of achieving true portability daunting and potentially impossible.

I propose that one of the first goals should be creation of a standard unit of computing power - something comparable to KWHr in electricity. This, in conjunction with bandwidth (MBPS) as applied to data transfer rates between the consumer, cloud compute units and storage will provide a simple way to compare, acquire, consume and bill cloud infrastructure. It will also immediately simplify software product licensing.

My initial thought is that this will be a TPC like benchmark that each cloud provider will have to specify and meter.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Collaborate, Innovate ... Succeed
7th Annual Washington Area CTO Roundtable Summit
The event (on Sept 24th) was a huge success. Doug Solomon (IDEO, Apple, Plam) and Vint Cerf (Google, Father of Internet, MCI, etc.) were exceptional. Collaboration is a hot topic and the two of them led a very thought provoking and interactive discussion.

Doug shared how IDEO launched a very successful internal collaboration platform. Key takeaways: Keep it simple, make it useful, eliminate friction and reward participation. It is obvious why IDEO is one of the leading design firms in the world.

Vint started with a brief talk on what one must think about in the context of enabling collaboration. He did not use any slides. He is a very engaging and insightful speaker.

Vint and Doug then led a discussion directed by questions from the audience.

We got very positive feedback during networking. This is the third event we held since I took over as President of this invitation-only group. I believe that it was clearly one of our best!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Turning Information into actionable knowledge
Just read this WSJ article about Palantir Technologies, they help analyze and triangulate data from multiple sources to find fraudulent financial transactions and terrorists! I believe that well designed analytics can completely transform a business. They key, obviously, is to get the business owners take the driver's seat - only the right metrics make a difference.