OT: Cloud Computing is coming to ...

Michael Semcheski mhsemcheski at gmail.com
Tue Jul 20 17:21:58 UTC 2010


On Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 12:51 PM, Marko Vojinovic <vvmarko at gmail.com> wrote:
> Specifically, assuming that I have my own hardware to set the whole thing up,
> what is the difference between having a server (possibly virtualized), and
> having a server "on the cloud"? And what is the main benefit of the latter over
> the former?

Here's an example.  Imagine a University.  The School of Medicine has
10 servers, the Business School has 5 servers, the Engineering School
has 15.  Additionally, Admissions has 1 server which is mostly idle
for 9 months out of the year, but pretty busy during October, November
and December.  The Chancellor has a server, HR has 5 servers, etc.  In
total, there are 100 servers, but no one unit has more than 15.

So, you end up with 20 different units each operating between one and
15 servers.  When they need to buy a server, they have to get the
departmental IT guy to spec out a server and requisition it.  He buys
one or two systems per year, and doesn't have a lot of clout or
experience buying them.  He also has a bunch of other tasks - desktop
support, application development, etc.  And he can't really know how
much RAM, processor and disk they need, and its difficult to add more
later, so they each overbuy a little.  Few of the departments have the
resources to buy redundant servers, since in many cases they only need
one.  Many of the servers end up sitting in inadequate space, plugged
into the wall, without dedicated power management or cooling.

With a private cloud, there'd be one group that does all the servers.
That one group purchases the hardware autonomously, uses fancy tools
to monitor the hardware, has a room with redundant power and redundant
cooling.  Individual departments have a difficult time predicting what
they need, but collectively its a lot easier to plan and make sure
that everyones needs are met.  So there's less overbuying.  And the
people managing the servers are only tasked with managing servers.

Also, for those of you who know me and know where I work, this is a
purely hypothetical situation.

Mike


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