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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 Management Could Change the CIO's Role

It's no secret that cloud computing has been on the minds of a lot of IT executives. Conference agendas are filled with cloud talk and the Internet is abuzz with it. As more enterprise IT departments move to the cloud, it begs the question: How will it affect the traditional role of the CIO. It's fair to say that there will be changes if the department shifts from a service provider to utility model with usage-based metering. This will cause a shift in core tasks from developing applications and user interfaces and so forth, to a new set of tasks involving defining service-level... (more)

A Clear SLA Now Can Save a Lot of Headaches Later

If you're like a lot of IT pros, you probably are tired of arguing with business units about service issues. The beauty of the private cloud approach is it lets you run IT like an external business. That means you set up a service-level agreement (SLA) with your business units just like any vendor in the public cloud, setting expectations and outlining responsibilities. What this approach does is provide a process for defining the interface between IT and the business units in your company. The SLA should include several key components: It lists the components necessary for a giv... (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)

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)