Benjamin Grubin

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Top Stories by Benjamin Grubin

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 expert on the subject and someone whose opinion I greatly respect. A Set of Consistent Services Staten's first rule is that you need a set of consistent services that your users can access and use with a limited amount of friction. Staten says beyond this consistent deliverable, the service sh... (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)

SDN: Uncovering Amazon's Secret Sauce

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 ... (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)

One Size Most Definitely Does Not Fit All

Larry Ellison let it be known at the recent Oracle OpenWorld (an ironic name if I ever heard one) that he saw nothing wrong with companies using just Oracle solutions across the entire enterprise. Of course, he would think that given that he runs Oracle. But these days, more often than not, you are going to find multiple solutions from a variety of vendors, and you need a cloud solution that is going to support them all. Once upon a time, a company was an IBM shop with IBM mainframes, software and support services. On one level, CIOs might have found this single vendor view attr... (more)