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Got Grid?

Steve Loughran left an insightful comment on Dare Obasanjo's post, "Amazon S3 & EC2: What's the Endgame?":

"I think S3 is designed to make it easier to move to EC2...EC2 forces you to use S3 for persistence because when a VM dies, it dies completely. This gives you a clean split between transient machine state and persistent data, and is one of the things you need if you want the ability to deploy 50 servers under peak load, but roll back to 3 servers in times of idleness.

however, it does force you to rewrite every single application, or at the very least every database, because saving state to the filesystem doesn't cut it any more. And EC2 is not a file system, even though there is a user-mode linux filesys driver for it for sale. This is one reason why I'm more likely to use a 'classic' single host Xen hosting service in the near future. "

I agree with Steve, and would one go one further. Having the kind of logistic (both digital and physical) prowess they do, along with exposing their internal services as commercial options, makes them able to drive better deals with partner suppliers in the future. It's not just about chasing startups and web companies that want to scale without provisioning truckloads of hardware. If you're Amazon you'd be nuts to depend on SUNW or GOOG for compute and data grids as and when they come online. The Google angle is interesting; we know they're buying up fibre and power, but Google's see their internal IT as a competitive advantage and are notoriously secret about it. Hence they might prefer people use Google apps, not utility BigTables. Amazon can get to market first because their internal IT is the cost of doing business, and unbundling their compute and data grids doesn't present the same kind of competitive risk. Sun are interesting because of their service nous. They might be where you go to get grid when the others' SLAs and unreliability do you in. Otherwise, HP have grid services, which i haven't looked at, and eventually you'd expect MSFT to offer something.

March 16, 2007 08:49 PM


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