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Botchanmics: The Dimmer Switch

By John | July 12, 2008

We were able to catch up with Botchagalupe, the international IT man of mystery, and pin him down long enouth to get his thoughts about whats going in IT.

Johnmwillis: Hello, Botchagalupe, its good to have you back again.

Botchagalupe: Yea, yeah, sure, sure.

Johnmwillis: What have you been up to?

Botchagalupe: Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback.

Johnmwillis: The last time you were here you were talking about Botchanomics.

Botchagalupe: Nah, I am getting a little tired of the whole IT thing. These days I am just throwing rocks.

Johnmwillis: Throwing Rocks?

Botchagalupe: Your obviously not a bowler.

Johnmwillis: Surely you have something to say about all this “Cloud” talk that is going on.

Botchagalupe: Yea, yeah, sure, sure, Clouds, yea, yea.

Johnmwillis: Please do tell.

Botchagalupe: Dude, Nick Carr has brain washed us all. He has everyone thinking that there has to be some kind of big switch that has to occur when it comes to the cloud. In the enterprise the debate always centers around will the enterprise switch to the cloud or won’t they. Carr’s got everyone thinking it has to be an all or nothing. I prefer to call it the “Dimmer Switch” when it comes to the enterprise.

Johnmwillis: Hey come on, you got that “Dimmer Switch” from my Cloud Cafe Podcast with Micheal Crandall the CEO of Rightscale.

Botchagalupe: Dude whatever, the point is that the enterprise will migrate into the cloud the same way they have always migrated into new technologies. They will use applications on the edge and once they get the warm on fuzzy on those they will move up the stack. I remember working with VMWare back in 1998 and now 10 years later it’s pervasive in the enterprise. It took a lot of trail and error and guerrilla projects to get VMWare accepted in the enterprise.

Johnmwillis: There has been a lot of discussion about security concerns and how the enterprise might not be ready for the cloud. Are there enterprise companies using the cloud today?

Botchagalupe: There is an under the radar groundswell of enterprises activity in the cloud. Wall Street companies are begging for advice on which applications should go to the cloud first. GigiaSpaces, well positioned in the financial services space. has recently put their application on EC2. It’s only a matter of time before their customers start using the cloud.

Johnmwillis: Then why are we not hearing about the large enterprises in the cloud.

Botchagalupe: Dude, sometimes I wonder about you. Of course the large enterprise are not going to broadcast their use of the clouds. I have been at some large companies that won’t even let you take a picture of their building. Do you think they are going to give competitors and hackers the blue prints to where their applications are running. A lot of the vendors and customers that I have talked to tell me that the enterprise is definitely using the cloud.

Johnmwillis: What is the enterprise doing in the cloud?

Botchagalupe: In the enterprise there seems to be an “Ask-for-forgiveness-later” kind of attitude happening when it comes to emerging technologies. Administrators seem to be deciding to go outside the firewall and pull out their own credit cards when it comes to getting tasks done rather than waiting on internal resource provisioning.

Johnmwillis: Yea but can you give me an example.

Botchagalupe: The classic example of this kind of attitude, although not a cloud initiative, is the Blue Shirt Nation (BSN) dude Gary Koelling of Best Buy. Koeling was in advertising at Best Buy and was going to each local Best Buy store to talk to different sales associates to get their feedback. He and and BSN co-founder Steve Bendt pulled out thier own credit card and spent $100 for a domain outside of the firewall and installed Drupal. Now 20k sales associates latter Best Buy senior management is being heralded by the industry as social networking innovators.
Johnmwillis: How about a cloud example?

Botchagalupe: Probably the best known cloud story is of Derek Gottfrid of the NY Times. Gottfrid was tasked with converting 11 million old TIFF format scanned articles from 1851 to 1922. Gottfrid had already been playing outside the firewall with S3 and decided to pull out his own credit card and give it a crack on EC2. Two hundred and forty dollars latter he had converted over 4 Terabytes of TIFF files into PDFs. He wound up using 100 EC2 AMI instances to accomplish the task. I am guessing he decided $240 dollars of his own money was worth it versus the headaches he would have encountered trying to request inside the firewall provisioning.

Johnmwillis: That’s a great story; however, everyone has heard that one already. Who else?

Botchagalupe: I was recently told a story about a large Telco that plans on moving their customer support help desk software over to EC2 in order to provide better agility and delivery to their customers. Unfortunately I can’t disclose the customer nor the vendor. Let me just say it is one of the top customer support software products on the market and it is a huge US based Telco.

Johnmwillis: Gartner claims …

Botchagalupe: Dude Gartner? Gartner Smrtner, don’t let the analysts of the world fool you. Insurance companies, banks, and pharmaceuticals that traditionally have an insatiable appetite for computing resources are experimenting with the cloud. I have heard stories of EC2 being used for insurance claim analysis. Analytics, modeling and Monte Carlo simulations are natural fits for clouds.

Johnmwillis: Are there any other documented cases where the enterprise is using the cloud?

Botchagalupe: Yea, yeah, sure, sure. Rightscale is helping ESPN with the cloud. Joyent has helped Major League Baseball get on the cloud. Nasdaq is even using the cloud.

Johnmwillis: What about inside the firewall cloud activity or what some call a fog.

Botchagalupe: Dude, a Fog? Anyway, if you look at 3Tera they are leading the way for private clouds. One of their big customer’s is British Telecom. JP Rangaswami, the CIO of BT, has been a huge advocate of emerging and disruptive technologies. Rangaswami is a CIO who not only blogs, but he communicates on twitter and Facebook. How cool is that? More than 10k BT employees are on Facebook. Nearly 16k of BT employees use a Wiki. It;s no wonder that they would be using 3Tera as a private cloud.
Johnmwillis: Wow, Botchagalupe … again you never disappoint my friend.

Botchagalupe: Yea, yeah, sure, sure.

Topics: 3tera, amazon, botchanomics, cloud computing, other, rightscale | No Comments »