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)

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)

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)

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Cloud

The web is chock full of both hype and fear surrounding the challenges of cloud adoption. When you're talking about the public cloud, there's a lot of truth in that fear. In some ways, focusing on access control and user security obscures impossibly tangled issues, such as who is responsible for security and data protection in the cloud. Deploying a private cloud - and attacking these problems within the safety of your own network - can mean the difference between success and failure in the public cloud. These are tough problems to solve, and are well beyond the scope of a single ... (more)

The Improbability of Resource Planning

Imagine you run an eCommerce web site, and you know that on "Black Friday," that magical day after Thanksgiving when retailers drop prices and rev up sales, you would require substantially more servers to accommodate the anticipated spike in online traffic. If you were operating in a private cloud, you could go to IT and request a dozen more servers for the day, and IT could have them ready to roll on Black Friday. What's more, IT could arrange for the machines to be shut down on Saturday, so it wouldn't cost you a penny more than you need to spend. If you were in a traditional I... (more)