Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Jason Bloomberg, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

What's Really Industry Changing About Cloud Computing?

Four exciting new directions in massively parallel cloud computing

Bill McColl's "Cloud N" Blog

This is an incredibly important time for the cloud computing area. But let’s try and move the discussion of it in the press along from an obsession with new datacenter buildings located by power stations, with the total server numbers at Microsoft and Google, and with Amazon’s hourly pricing for EC2. Interesting though those aspects of cloud computing appear to be to journalists, they hardly represent what is really industry changing about cloud computing
.

What are some of the new directions in the massively parallel cloud computing space? I’ll mention four that I’m particularly interested in, that are exciting and challenging, and that I think will have a huge impact on the industry. If you have others in mind, then feel free to add your ideas.

Here are my four areas for what they’re worth:

  • Cloudbursting. Seamlessly and automatically migrating (parts of) a massively parallel computation back and forth between private and public clouds in real-time driven by changing resource demands, performance demands, hardware availability, and economics. Lots of existing vendors, such as Microsoft, will want/need great solutions to this challenge. I expect it will emerge and become widespread pretty quickly.
  • Libraries and App Stores. Developing apps from scratch in MapReduce is great, but we also need to begin to see application libraries and app stores that provide modules that are massively parallel and ready to run on both private and public clouds (and on both at the same time via cloudbursting). Libraries for major enterprise apps, for machine learning and recommendation, for scientific computing, and for semantic web and Datalog apps would be particularly interesting. Projects like Mahout are a small first step in this direction. As more and more leading universities start to teach MapReduce to their students, and pursue MapReduce-based research projects, we will hopefully see a lot more in this area.
  • Live Data. Massively parallel real-time programming on live data streams (complementing what MapReduce provides for historical/stored data). In addition to the exabytes of private live streams within businesses, web companies, telcos, scientific research centers, and government departments, there are also now torrential flows of live streaming data available from commercial companies such as Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, Nasdaq, Xignite, StrikeIron, Spinn3r and many others. This is the area we are aiming to disrupt at Cloudscale.
  • Domain Specific Development Tools. Eclipse, Visual Studio or even Emacs is probably OK as a development environment for a computer science Ph.D. at a major bank developing a Hadoop application to support algorthmic trading. However, for each one of those CS PhDs working in financial services, there are probably thousands of portfolio managers around the world who could benefit enormously and immediately from the power of massively parallel cloud computing, but today use only basic tools such as spreadsheets. As the demand for the consumerization of software accelerates, there is a tremendous opportunity now for innovation that can deliver the power of massively parallel processing behind very high level user interfaces that are extremely easy-to-use, targeted at specific domains, and where the parallelism is implicit. The gold standard for power and ease-of-use is of course Google’s “one-search-box-on-a-white-page”. Ten years of incredible innovation behind the scenes to deliver improved scale and power, but no change to the ultra-simple user interface. We won’t be able to achieve that kind of ultrasimplicity in very many other areas, but it’s a great target to aim for. Massively parallel processing is great, but hey let’s also try to build some high level interfaces that begin to unleash its power to the mass market. That’s a real innovation challenge, and a real opportunity. I expect it will be at least as hard as (probably much harder than) building the back-end engine. As I noted in a previous blog, “simplicity and ease-of-use combined with scalability and power is the future” in referring to Bernard Lunn’s remark on what we need from software “Usable without a manual within 30 minutes, still valuable for a sophisticated power user 2 years later. That is the mark of greatness. It is a real art. The great ones make it look simple - it is not simple!”

More Stories By Bill McColl

Bill McColl left Oxford University to found Cloudscale. At Oxford he was Professor of Computer Science, Head of the Parallel Computing Research Center, and Chairman of the Computer Science Faculty. Along with Les Valiant of Harvard, he developed the BSP approach to parallel programming. He has led research, product, and business teams, in a number of areas: massively parallel algorithms and architectures, parallel programming languages and tools, datacenter virtualization, realtime stream processing, big data analytics, and cloud computing. He lives in Palo Alto, CA.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Microservices Articles
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...
The now mainstream platform changes stemming from the first Internet boom brought many changes but didn’t really change the basic relationship between servers and the applications running on them. In fact, that was sort of the point. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Gordon Haff, senior cloud strategy marketing and evangelism manager at Red Hat, will discuss how today’s workloads require a new model and a new platform for development and execution. The platform must handle a wide range of rec...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
If your cloud deployment is on AWS with predictable workloads, Reserved Instances (RIs) can provide your business substantial savings compared to pay-as-you-go, on-demand services alone. Continuous monitoring of cloud usage and active management of Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Relational Database Service (RDS) and ElastiCache through RIs will optimize performance. Learn how you can purchase and apply the right Reserved Instances for optimum utilization and increased ROI.
TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is a common and reliable transmission protocol on the Internet. TCP was introduced in the 70s by Stanford University for US Defense to establish connectivity between distributed systems to maintain a backup of defense information. At the time, TCP was introduced to communicate amongst a selected set of devices for a smaller dataset over shorter distances. As the Internet evolved, however, the number of applications and users, and the types of data accessed and...
Consumer-driven contracts are an essential part of a mature microservice testing portfolio enabling independent service deployments. In this presentation we'll provide an overview of the tools, patterns and pain points we've seen when implementing contract testing in large development organizations.
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, contrasted how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He showed how the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He also demoed building immutable pipelines in the cloud ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...