How Cloud Computing is Like Transforming a ’68 Dodge Dart

How Cloud Computing is Like Transforming a ’68 Dodge Dart

How Cloud Computing is Like Transforming a ’68 Dodge Dart

I’ve spent a lot of time lately in front of customers trying to help them understand what cloud technology means and, more important, how it can help their businesses be more efficient, effective and better able to meet or exceed their goals and objectives. In most cases, prior to speaking, the reactions I see are vacant stares and furrowed brows (sometimes on the same person…which is just a little disconcerting) as there is just way too much conflicting information that these businesses have to deal with. In today’s technology landscape, at least the one where some tech company is trying to sell you something, the overriding buzzword is cloud and it’s attached to just about everything and anything.

Source:Wikipedia

Traditional Datacenter Versus ‘68 Dodge Dart

In order to break down the many different concepts of cloud and cloud technologies, let’s compare a traditionally managed datacenter with a 1968 Dodge Dart. Now the Dart was a workhorse of a car back then, especially the 1968 version when it was available with a normally aspirated (it had a carburetor) 318 cu in 2-barrel engine rated at 230 bhp. Nothing special, nothing fancy but that’s what made it the go-to car for a newlywed’s first car, graduation presents and a family’s second car…simply, it was bulletproof. The Dart could be taken to any mechanic and he would know exactly what was under the hood and likely had a part that fit.  Note that this is very much like a traditional datacenter today…nothing special, nothing fancy but pretty much bulletproof and any admin or engineer walking down the racks & stacks knew what was happening and how to fix whatever fell down.

Virtualization and Fuel Injection

Now let’s go forward in time to the last 5-6 years as virtualization starts to take hold and transform datacenters from how many workloads run per machine to how those machines are managed. If we make a comparison of the transformation of a traditional datacenter to a virtualized datacenter (my definition is at least 40%+ virtualized) to the ’68 Dart, it’s the same as if we took that normally aspirated gasoline engine (leaded of course) and converted it to turbo-charged and fuel injected with a catalytic converter.  What we’ve done is upgraded existing components to be more efficient and effective versions (and some supporting components) but not much else is changed. Suffice it to say that the infrastructure (engine) is now as efficient and effective as possible but that the same guys who worked on it before are still able to work on it now. OK? Does that make sense? In a virtualized infrastructure, the same admins and engineers who were responsible for maintaining the systems before are the same guys who do it now (with some additional training and basic tool changes) just like the same mechanic who worked on your Dart before can work on it now.

Gas Turbines and the Cloud

This is where it gets interesting….suppose you now want to take the Dart to another, altogether different level.  One where you wring out hundredfold gains in performance and the absolute most efficiency from the fuel you are using (gasoline) while simultaneously giving yourself the maximum flexibility (i.e. component parts) as well as the ability to change out those components without significantly interrupting the performance and/or functionality of the car? What changes do you suppose are required? A different fuel injector? Cold intake filter? Ha ha, no, that’s not nearly enough…not even by an order of magnitude.

In order to reach the expected gains in efficiency and flexibility, you will need to replace the piston engine with a gas turbine (the most efficient gasoline fueled power plant) and directly couple that to a DC generator and then install heavy magnet DC motors at each wheel…all controlled by a sophisticated vehicle management system that monitors and actively manages every aspect of the operation of the car. This is the way to take that Dart to the highest realms of performance and efficiency while also having the complete flexibility (elasticity) to replace or upgrade any individual component (the generator, the DC motors, etc.) without adversely affecting the rest of the system. For example; want higher speeds at the wheels (more benefit)? Put in higher horsepower DC motors…the gas turbine doesn’t need to be touched; it’s running a generator.

This is exactly what you do to your virtualized datacenter when you transform it into a cloud infrastructure. Just like in the Dart (by having the gas turbine isolated from the DC motors at the wheels), you need to separate the business benefit of the datacenter’s infrastructure from the operation of that infrastructure so that both can be individually optimized without significantly affecting the performance or operation of the other.  This decoupling” is done via automation and orchestration and by effectively abstracting all of the commodity activities (i.e. commissioning VMs, managing bandwidth and capacity, running multi-process operations, etc.) from the operations that actually provide value to the business.

That Guy’s Not Touching My Car…

In the case of the now super-efficient and powerful Mega-Dart, it is the fastest, best handling, most fuel efficient version of itself you can possible create…but (99% of the importance of every conversation comes after that word)…the same guy who just a while ago was quite successfully working on your fuel injected, turbocharged Dart is now entirely unqualified to work on your Mega-Dart because when he looks under the hood, he sees nothing he recognizes.  And, it’s not just a little different, it is so far removed from his experience and expertise it might as well be a nuclear submarine he’s looking at…so you don’t want that guy touching your car.  It’s the same when you transform from a traditional or even a virtualized datacenter to a cloud infrastructure; the new and entirely different category of technologies, components and processes that are a normal part of what makes it run are just like what’s under the hood of the Mega-Dart; vastly different from what is expected and wholly outside the experience and expertise of those who used to, quite successfully, engineer and operate the place before.

Different management and administration methodologies have to be utilized and different operational processes have to be devised…basically, different ways of thinking about how your business discovers, designs, creates, consumes and manages IT services have to be found.  While there are process frameworks and models to help you (ITIL, CobiT, etc.) as well as organizations (GreenPages is a great example), ultimately—and this really is unavoidable—once you change the way you deliver IT services to your business via a cloud infrastructure, you will need to concurrently change the very essence of how you manage that infrastructure.

Imagine spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on transforming that ‘68 Dodge Dart into the Mega-Dart; the most efficient, fastest and flexible car conversion available, yet, it sits in your driveway gathering dust because no one knows how to operate it let alone turn it on.

Contribution By Trevor Williamson /GreenPages

Follow Us!

CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the excellent CloudTweaks articles are provided by our own paid writers, with a small percentage provided by guest authors from around the globe, including CEOs, CIOs, Technology bloggers and Cloud enthusiasts. Our goal is to continue to build a growing community offering the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more...
Follow Us!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Join Our Newsletter

Receive updates each week on news, tips, events, comics and much more...

Can I Contribute To CloudTweaks?

Yes, much of our focus in 2015 will be on working with other influencers in a collaborative manner. If you're a technology influencer looking to collaborate with CloudTweaks – a globally recognized leader in cloud computing information – drop us an email with “tech influencer” in the subject line.

What is the 12/12 Program?

This program is designed to better handle the thousands of requests we receive from people looking to submit articles. The 12/12 program is the commitment of 12 articles delivered over a 12-month period.  

Wait! What if I just want to submit one article?

Our popular pay as you go sponsorship program provides the flexibility to submit as you wish and is designed for all budgets.

Contributors

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips for Successful Business Intelligence Implementation The cost of Business Intelligence (BI) software goes far beyond the purchase price. Time spent researching, implementing, and maintaining your BI investment can snowball quickly and mistakes are often expensive. Your time is valuable – save it by learning from other businesses’ experiences. We’ve compiled the top ten

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

How Do These Two Compare? In Boy Scouts, I learned how to tie knots. The quickest knot you can tie is the slipknot. It’s very effective for connecting one thing to another via the rope you have. It was used in setting up tents, mooring boats to docks temporarily and lifting your food up into

What Ever Happened To Google Glass?

What Ever Happened To Google Glass?

What Ever Happened to Google Glass? It was supposed to be the next big thing in tech so where did it go? Last year you could not go anywhere without hearing about some insane new use for the product and now it seems to have vanished in a plume of smoke. A Lackluster Rollout Back

Posted on by

Big Data

To Have and Have Not: Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries

To Have and Have Not: Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries

Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries The poor of the developing countries are becoming increasingly connected, to the point where they too are part of the Big Data revolution that’s happening across the globe. It didn’t come with laptops, though, as some supposed it would. Whereas it costs a fortune to connect broadband to a

Big Data In Your Garden: Initiatives For Better Understanding Nature

Big Data In Your Garden: Initiatives For Better Understanding Nature

Big Data in Your Garden Big Data and IoT initiatives are springing up all across the globe, making cities, protesters–and just about everything else–smarter. However, thus far there’s been little attention paid to the interactions between these bizarre technologies and living things other than humans. Biology, that is, human biology is one field where Big

Who Holds the Key to the City: Big Data and City Management

Who Holds the Key to the City: Big Data and City Management

Big Data and City Management Cities like New York, Madrid, and especially Rio de Janeiro are augmented with Big Data-powered initiatives that range from combating crime with predictive analytics (New York & Madrid) to providing real-time data for improved management. Although Big Data is no panacea and is mainly used in conjunction with a greater

Internet of Things

Where’s the Capital of the Internet of Things?

Where’s the Capital of the Internet of Things?

Where’s the Capital? We all know the capitals of fashion are London, New York and Paris, while the capital of film is Hollywood (or Bollywood!) – but what’s the new capital of the internet? Specifically, the internet of things? The answer – according to new research by Ozy – might surprise you. It’s not Tokyo, Seoul,

Smart Cities – How Big Data Is Changing The Power Grid

Smart Cities – How Big Data Is Changing The Power Grid

Smart Cities And Big Data As Anthony Townsend argues in his SMART CITIES, even though the communications industry has changed beyond recognition since its inception, the way we consume power has remained stubbornly anachronistic. The rules of physics are, of course, partially to blame, for making grid networks harder to decentralize, as opposed to communication

Aggregated News

Popular News Sources

An Entrepreneur Ate a Smart Pill to Show How to Track Your Data

An Entrepreneur Ate a Smart Pill to Show How to Track Your Data

SYDNEY — One entrepreneur from Melbourne is putting his health on the line for the love of his new app. Chris Koch ate a device inside a tablet at 12 p.m. local time on Monday as part of a competition to promote his business, Pop!, to prove you can keep track of your data anywhere. Even

Q&A with Futurist Martine Rothblatt

Q&A with Futurist Martine Rothblatt

If computers think for themselves, should they have human rights? Bina48 is a robotic head that looks and speaks like a person—it moves its lips and runs conversational software. Although the robot isn’t alive, it’s hard to say there is no life at all in Bina48. In conversation, it sometimes says surprising things. Google’s director

SAP Cuts Outlook

SAP Cuts Outlook

Enterprise software provider SAP AG lowered its earnings outlook for this year, even as it reported a 15% increase in third-quarter net profit, boosted by growth in subscriptions for its cloud-based software products. Read the source article at online.wsj.com About Latest Posts Follow Us!CloudTweaksEstablished in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in