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Two Primary Factors of a Perfect Cloud

By John | March 19, 2008

  1. Abstraction of the hardware from the service

  2. Abstraction of the software from the service

Topics: 3tera, cloud computing | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Two Primary Factors of a Perfect Cloud”

  1. Marc Says:
    March 19th, 2008 at 7:22 am


    Could you elaborate a little more on these two points? I am curious what your definition of abstraction is in this model.


  2. John Says:
    March 19th, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    In a basic cloud the hardware is hidden from the service. For example on Amazons EC2 you have no idea what the hardware is or where it is running and you don’t care. Same for Mosso and most other vendors. Hardware is no longer part of the discussion in a basic cloud. However the difference between what I call level 2 and level 3 cloud provider is if the abstraction of the software infrastructure as well. Level 2 cloud providers like Amazon EC2, Mosso, hide the the hardware but not the software infrastructure. Level 3 providers hide the hardware and the software infrastructure for the service. For example, EC2 is what I call a level 2 provider. The hardware is not part of the equation but the infrastructure is. Meaning you need to create a service on an instance by instance basis. You need to have separate virtual images for your firewall server, load balancers, Apache server(s), database servers, and anything else you need, A complex cloud based service could be 7 to 10 different virtual servers with hundreds of instances This means you are re-arranging virtual images similar to the way you manage instances on a VMWare server. However, the big difference is the hardware… In a cloud the hardware is electricity. Level 3 players like 3Tera and Rightscale and others I can’t talk about until Tuesday allow you to define your application (i.e, your service) as a single image that is made op of multiple virtual systems and instances depending on the complexity of the service offering. You can start or stop this template/instance which maybe a total of 7 to 10 or more servers with one command. In this model you have truly taken the software infrastructure out of the equation and made it like electricity as well. Theoretically you could stop a level 3 instance and start it in another cloud provider without making any changes to services hardware or underlying software. That is what I mean by a holly grail cloud.


  3. Cloud Review | John M Willis ESM Blog Says:
    March 30th, 2008 at 6:56 am

    [...] Two Primary Factors of a Perfect Cloud [...]