Thursday, March 28, 2013

3/27/13 Cloud Seminar: Optimizing for Growth: Cloud Infrastructure Choices

Mark Imbriaco, Operations at GitHub, kicked off our cloud seminar last night at UKTI in Cambridge.  He has a ton of experience with the cloud for companies such as GitHub,, 37Signals, Heroku and LivingSocial. Mark outlined the 3 reasons why people move to the cloud:  
  1. Save money.  Mark debated this one and disagrees that the public cloud will save you money.  He's done the math and expenses are 2 ½ times more running in the public cloud – fully loaded. You can see this across the different providers as vendors are no longer differentiating on price. Too many people have done the math to show it’s no longer a cost savings.
  2. Avoiding IT  - Mark still doesn’t see this as the compelling reason to move to the cloud as it's not going to be the reason to say good-bye to your IT staff
  3. Agility - 100% the reason why people should use the cloud.  It is the path to get things done quickly and optimize for growth.

Following Mark's presentation we had four members present on their cloud of choice and why.  

·      Andrew Kenney, VP of Platform Engineering at Acquia and co-chair of MassTLC's cloud community is running 100% Amazon.  It works for them and they look forward to Amazon's expansion as they expand their own customer base.  
·      Eric Golin, CTO at Carbonite stated that they primarily use their own infrastructure, co-located with Internap.  With the amount of storage required and their growth, they could only contain costs by hosting their own cloud.  They do use Amazon for their labs projects a photo storage application and a new product, Currents. This offers them the ability to get a product up and running quickly and manage the unpredictability of a new application.  
·      Mark Dudman, VP of Engineering and Cloud Ops at Ipswitch, has standardized on Rackspace. It was a tough road for them to get there but they depend on it for agility and predictability of their secure file transfer business.  They also like the more personalized service they receive from Rackspace than from a provider like Amazon.  
·      Lou Guercia, CEO at Scribe is running on Microsoft Azure.  The Windows Azure is running capably but he did express concern over SQL Azure.  It has some nice features but unfortunately, at this time, it is not performing as well as they had hoped.

A great discussion followed on vendor loyalty and how it no longer exists, security and how it is still keeping folks up at night - whether they are running public or private, and the need to architect properly to avoid lock-in.  

For more details on the event, please check out this news analysis posted by Eric Lundquist at eWeek.

What's next?
  • Cloud Pricing Research: Alan Hoffman, Co-founder of Cloudant, and Colleen Smith, VP of SaaS at Progress, who both co-chair the Cloud group, will be hosting an advisory board meeting on May 1st to kick-off research on cloud pricing.  If you are interested in helping shape this research, please email me at or register here
  •  Software development roundtable discussion on 4/25 “Maximizing a Distributed Agile Team
  •  CXO event with Geoffrey Moore on 5/14. 

Thanks to UKTI for hosting, our cloud cluster sponsors AutoDesk, DNY Internap, Oracle, Progress, VMWare, Zuora and DYN for the rogue #DYNtini at Firebrand Saints! 

Christine Nolan @c3nolan
Director of Communities

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