Monday, March 12, 2012

Condo Computing (Own the base - Rent the Spike)

There's a long standing joke in the cloud space. One that can be summed up as  "All your bases R belong to your cloud provider" a play on the pre-internet meme  all your bases are belong to us The mantra is one of not only lock-in but one that has become a fundamental cloud business premise based upon what has become a central requirement of a complete and total migration to the cloud. One that assumes a binary choice must be made when deciding to use cloud centric services. But the reality is the choice is one that must take a wholistic view of many loosely coupled parts both local and remote. An aggregated (hybrid) approach that understands that key metrics are constantly changing and baseline capacity requirements are no longer as simple as mine or yours. But instead built upon the base of a partnership within a federated group of cloud services yours and mine.

Last week I had the honor of meeting with the director of infrastructure for a major California University. During our conversation he describe a concept he called "Condo Computing" whereby a collective group of campuses are able grain greater efficiencies by grouping together physical server assets into jointly managed racks. Think of it as a  physical collective of servers old school multi tenancy. In essence each cabinet is like a condo complex where each condo unit is a server or blade jointly managed collectively but owned independently, yet enjoy secured access to a shared on premise cloud environment for spikes in demand and disasters avoidance. Continuing this analogy, each resident owns their baseline and has the ability to rent the spike. Yes, it's zynga's mantra of Own the base - Rent the Spike in action in the most unconventional of places.

The concept is ideal for the emerging hybrid federated architectures being adopted by enterprises who are now beginning take their first steps into the cloud. It's an architecture built on the knowledge and abilities they have in house while also allowing the economics and flexibility found in using secure remotely accessible cloud capacity. An evolutionary step forward while keeping one foot on the ground. 

#DigitalNibbles Podcast Sponsored by Intel

If you would like to be a guest on the show, please get in touch.