Saturday, February 28, 2009

2009-02-28 Saturday - CloudCamp Seattle 2.28.2009

I just got back from spending the day in Seattle at Amazon's HQ building attending Seattle CloudCamp 2.28.2009

This unconference kicked-off just shortly after 12pm, with opening introduction from Dave Nielson, of Platform D (he's also the Cofounder of the CloudCamp conference event).

Local Organizers
- Crystal Williams, VP Professional Services, WorkHabit
- D. James Nahikian
- Bob Marcus
- Dave Nielsen

CloudCamp Seattle 2.28.2009 Sponsors:
MOSSO - the rackspace cloud
Microsoft - Windows Azure
Amazon Web Services
Fenwick West USA
Seattle 2.0
Sun Microsystems

This was the 14th CloudCamp...and 20 more events are scheduled in the future. Today there were about 200 attendees for the Seattle event. The 1st CloudCamp event was held at Microsoft, San Francisco, and had 350 attendees.

The Lightning Talks foll wed (5 minute presentations by representatives of a few of the sponsors):

Jeff Barr
Senior Manager, Cloud Computing Solutions
Amazon Web services

James Conard
Sr. Director, Azure Services Platform
Developer & Platform Evangelism
Microsoft Corporation

Matt Tanase
Slicehost Cofounder
(now part of Rackspace)

Dan Kaminsky
Director of Penetration Testing
IOActive, Inc.

Dean Derrickx

Dave Nielsen's talk: What is Cloud Computing?

What is cloud computing session #cloudcamp on TwitPic

Impressions & Thoughts:

- There is obviously a strong interest in Cloud Computing among the attendees.

- Suggestion: Perhaps it would be better if the conference agenda post-it schedule was hung outside of the main meeting room - so that it is available for viewing at all times - without interrupting a meeting in the main room.

- Jam-packing the conference with vendor demos would actually be very, very, very nice...perhaps at least until the attendees / community have enough Cloud Computing experience to share actual implementation experiences (for the break-out session topics that I attended, just a very few of the attendees had Cloud Computing stories / experiences to share).

- In lieu of vendor demos - perhap just a few detailed case studies to review and discuss would be very helpful to facilitate discussions. (AWS Case Studies)

- great food

- good venue

- sound system was good

- having everything streaming live over the internet is going to take some getting used to...

Even though there may be valid business concerns about the risks associated with performance or business continuity by moving core infrastructure to a Cloud vendor platform - the alternative for most organizations - of continuing to struggle to barely meet their IT objectives with increasingly constrained budgets for resources, hardware, and software - is untenable.

There are very compelling arguments for every organization to initiate a Cloud Computing pilot project this year.

  • IT Budgets are getting compressed, slashed, decimated

  • IT Resources are getting cut, or being asked to do more with less

  • IT Departments are going to have to do more, with less - and they'll be asked to do it faster.

  • IT Operation staff's will be even more challenged to keep up with the manaing, supporting, and deploying newer technologies

Leveraging the investments of a Cloud vendor's platform / infrastructure / technology is the only logical way to meet these off-loading and sharing that burden across a subscriber base.

A few links that I think might be of interest to others interested in Cloud Computing:

Wikipedia article on Globus Alliance

Globus Toolkit

Open Grid Forum (

IBM Grid computing

Towards a lightweight generic computational grid framework for biological research

Above the
Clouds: A Berkeley View of Cloud Computing
Michael Armbrust
Armando Fox
Rean Griffith
Anthony D. Joseph
Randy H. Katz
Andrew Konwinski
Gunho Lee
David A. Patterson
Ariel Rabkin
Ion Stoica
Matei Zaharia

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
University of California at Berkeley

Technical Report No. UCB/EECS-2009-28
February 10, 2009

Amazon AWS Public Data Sets