Links List 4.17.09

April 21st, 2009 by

The cloud is not just for startups anymore… Supercomputing as a service is now being offered by Amazon, allowing big industry to make better use of the cloud. MapReduce provides a supercomputer-like ability to manage and crunch large data sets in Amazon Web Services.

Here’s an interesting test. Tom Henderson and Brendan Allen from NetworkWorld tested four solutions for managing heterogeneous VM environments - basically combinations of VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix Xenserver. The tested products were either add-ons  to existing systems management packages – Microsoft Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager (MS VMM) and CA’s Unicenter NSM with Advanced Systems Management (ASM) – or standalone solutions (and you know how much we like those around here). In the end, the biggest surprise is that there was no surprise. Microsoft handled Hyper-V well but “integrating and patching everything together into a working system proved difficult”. Implementing CA on the test network was “wickedly difficult” (are these guys from Boston?); NSM produced a lot of data but actually stopped short on discovering existing VM infrastructure. Eeek – that would be the basics. What is not “the basics” is just what is important to actually manage when it comes to virtualization management. This Network World test at least takes a stab at defining that.

Are private clouds the same game with a new name? InformationWeek’s Charlie Babcock asserts that even though certain components of the cloud look very familiar, private clouds represent a convergence of tech trends holding great promise for enterprise computing beyond the sum of their parts. He uses the Department of Veterans Affairs’ small internal cloud, used as an early-warning system to analyze data from 100-plus clinics and hospitals and spot outbreaks of infectious diseases, as an example. (Wow, since they’re a customer of ours, I have to follow up and let you all know if we’re actually doing the monitoring on this one!)

Obviously not everyone has embraced cloud computing yet and most organizations are even wondering if it’s the right path for them. If you’re one of these organizations, be sure to check out Cloud Computing Magazine, which has outlined the three network-centric technology challenges when it comes to cloud computing: 1) network automation and management; 2) capacity; and 3) security.

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