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Questioning the Weatherman…

I seem to be doing a lot of thinking about clouds, dynamic data centres and what it all means. I do believe that the architectures of the future will become increasingly dynamic and virtualised. I was playing with EC2 and AWS at the weekend and I can see a time that I won’t bother the ridiculous amount of hardware that I have at home for playing with virtual appliances and ‘stuff’ * And I can see that it makes increasing amount of sense for a lot of the things we do at work but….I have some questions/thoughts about storage in the public cloud and to a certain extent, the private cloud.

  1. All the pricing is per gig, this is a very simplistic model. I know that people will argue that you wouldn’t put your highest performing apps in the cloud but you do need some kind of performance guarantees. Anyone want to benchmark Amazon’s Storage Cloud, an SPC for Cloud?
  2. Replication between private-public clouds; public-public clouds i.e between cloud providers. Or is this simply done at an application level? As anyone tried using database replication between applications running in different clouds?
  3. Related to the above, redundancy in the cloud? We provision network links from diverse suppliers to try to protect ourselves from a castrophic outage taking out an entire supplier; do you do the same in the cloud or is it enough to have DR between different clouds from the same supplier.
  4. Dedupe in the cloud? Can you dedupe cloud storage? Have people considered writing dedupe appliances to run in the cloud? For example, would Ocarina run as a virtual appliance in the cloud?
  5. Backup in the cloud? How do we back our cloud storage up when running in a public cloud? Would you back-up to a different cloud?
  6. A virtual array? Before you think I’m mad, it might be interesting to be able to prepurchase a storage pool which can be allocated to virtual servers. This storage pool could be thin-provisioned, over-committed etc as per traditional thin-provisioning.

Just my thoughts, any answers? Any questions of your own?

*This is a blatant lie, I have ridiculous amounts of hardware because I enjoy fiddling and hacking about with it. Pretending it is for research is just an excuse I give myself, my wife is aware of the real truth but she humours me!

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Martin Glassborow

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