Benjamin Grubin

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Top Stories by Benjamin Grubin

One of the advantages that Amazon's AWS has held is the ability to massively scale its elastic compute cloud (EC2) with nearly hands-free automation.  Amazon, of course, has always been very private about how it does this, but it seems clear that one of the keys has been their substantially customized version of the Xen hypervisor which (among other things) likely has implemented a form of software defined networking (SDN) for a pretty long while.  Capabilities such as AWS CloudFormation, security zones, Elastic Load Balancer, and others have clearly shown that much of what used to be network hardware is implemented in their software stack.  With VPC, AWS has been a leader in SDN, with strong network isolation (including overlapping IP ranges) that are obviously embedded in the hypervisor and supported by a custom hardware stack.  There's little argument that this h... (more)

The Essential Elements of a Private Cloud

Not long ago, Forrester analyst James Staten wrote a report with the compelling title: You're Not Ready for Internal Cloud. What Staten meant, of course, by the term "internal cloud" is what we have been referring to in this blog as a private cloud. Whether you're ready or not probably depends a lot on where you are on the project path. For those just starting on the private cloud journey, it might be useful to get the lay of the land and discuss the essential elements of any private cloud project, and point out areas where my definition diverges from Staten's, as a recognized e... (more)

Cloud Computing: Automation Is the Word

The public cloud definitely has its place. Services like Gmail and Salesforce.com, to name just a couple, can provide a valuable service to any large enterprise. But let's face it: Most large, publicly traded companies probably aren't going to feel comfortable farming out every aspect of their computing infrastructure. Yet in today's tight economic environment, they may be looking for the same kind of efficiencies while still remaining in the relative safety of their own data centers. That's where the private cloud comes into play. You can begin to take advantage of the economie... (more)

Moving Targets: Developing Cloud Apps on Rapidly Evolving Platforms

Butch Cassidy and Sundance are staring over the edge of the cliff: Butch: Alright. I'll jump first. Sundance: No. Butch: Then you jump first. Sundance: No, I said. Butch: What's the matter with you? Sundance: I can't swim. Butch: Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you. What's with the Butch & Sundance quote, you ask?  This classic scene from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" illustrates an issue I see every day when talking to customers: focusing so much on one problem, they fail to appreciate the magnitude of another.  As enterprises and software companies m... (more)

Cloud Computing - Keep It Simple Stupid

End users like to live in a comfort zone. For many that means their work applications should resemble the ones they use at home or the ones on their mobile phones. These programs tend to be simple, consistent and easy to use. And more and more, end users are demanding the same simplicity they find in these consumer tools in the tools they use at work. What's an IT pro to do? One of the basic tenets of private cloud computing is keeping it simple for end users. That means when they access your resource selection tool on the Web, users will find it as friendly to use as, say iTunes.... (more)