Posts Tagged 'cloud vendor lock-in'

What has Happened to Google App Engine for Business ?

Last year Google announced App engine for business. This is the standard App Engine PaaS but enhanced for business so that they can host their internal applications on the App Engine. To facilitate this, Google offered extra features such as

  • SSL on custom domains
  • SQL service
  • Service Level Agreements

It seems that GAE for business has never moved beyond beta stage , with Google announcing that no new applications for accounts are being accepted but that the business features will be available in the next release of the standard GAE. This is both good news and bad. Good in that users of GAE will have improved levels of service and services. But bad because GAE for business was chargeable so the chances are the services will be payable when they become part of standard GAE.

Regular users of GAE will have seen the resource quotas available for free reduced over the last few months so it will be interesting to see what happens over the next release of GAE. There is no doubt that GAE is an excellent environment so payment will not be a barrier to most serious users. However, the changing features and pricing model of Google does raise a more general question for adopters of Cloud Computing. If they choose to move their IT to the cloud, how vulnerable does that make them to being controlled by the cloud vendor when it comes to pricing ? Part of any Cloud adoption strategy must be an analysis of the risk exposure an organisation will have to the selected cloud provider, and then devising a solution that reduces that risk to an acceptable level for the business. This is not an easy task and requires an in depth knowledge of Cloud Computing.

Learning Tree’s Cloud Computing Course considers scenarios such as the one above and introduces strategies for minimising the associated risk. If you are considering using Cloud Computing for your organisation, why not consider attending the course – it will provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions appropriate for your business.

Chris Czarnecki

Red Hat’s PaaS Strategy Avoids Vendor Lock-In

Red Hat have been positioning themselves over the last two years as a cloud product provider. Programs such as their partner program have provided customers with a level of confidence that their partners can deliver safe, scalable and highly supported cloud environments. Last week they announced a comprehensive Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud strategy, so I was interested to see what this is all about.

Claiming to be the only vendor capable of delivering an open source flexible cloud stack, including operating system, middleware and virtualization. Red Hat PaaS allows organisations, cloud providers and Software as a Service(SaaS) vendors to take existing applications and develop new applications then deploy them to a wide range of public and private clouds.

The PaaS is built around the proven JBoss enterprise server. This enables developers to build applications using frameworks and programming languages of their choice including Java, Groovy and Ruby. JBoss developer studio provides a comprehensive development environment for building and deploying applications to cloud instances. A key feature is that developers can leverage their existing skill set and do not have to learn new API’s to work with the Red Hat PaaS.

For deployment, JBoss provides cloud images that are available through a number of cloud providers as well as being able to run on private clouds. Examples of where the images can be deployed include Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Amazon EC2 and Windows Hyper-V. A wide variety of options here offers organisations the ability to deploy existing applications to the cloud without having to rewrite them.

In summary, this is a welcome development into widening the choices available to people moving to the cloud. The reality is that the offering from Red Hat is a serious choice for developers working in the Java or Ruby worlds. If that’s you, then vendor lock-in for a cloud provider is avoided using the Red Hat PaaS for deployment. If you would like to find out more about PaaS offerings from other vendors and evaluate them then consider taking the Learning Tree Cloud Computing course. The course explains the technology and evaluates vendor offerings in a vendor neutral way.


Avoiding Vendor Lock-in In the Cloud

One of the concerns organisations have of moving to the cloud is becoming locked in to a particular cloud vendor. It is refreshing to see a number of initiatives and projects that are looking to provide solutions that avoid vendor lock-in.

One project recently announced is OpenStack. Aimed at creating an open source cloud operating system, the project is based on code that RackSpace uses for its own cloud offering as well as the code that is the basis for the NASA nebula cloud. Although at an early stage, the exciting prospect offered by OpenStack is for organisations to build their own private cloud and integrate this seamlessly with other clouds – maybe from partner organisations or other public cloud vendors including RackSpace. The nearest offering to this so far has been the Eucalyptus cloud which has been built with an interface compatible with Amazon and their professional version allows the integration of private clouds with the Amazon cloud. Being able to do such similar integration with a wide choice of providers and collaborative organisations is certainly an attractive proposition.

Another initiative that takes an alternative approach to vendor lock-in is the Unified Cloud Interface project. This approach aims to create an open and standardized cloud interface to unify all vendors cloud products. An example of working with Enomaly Elastic Compute Platform and Amazon EC2 is available online here.

Whilst teaching the Cloud Computing course for Learning Tree, I get to meet a lot of people adopting or considering adopting cloud computing. Along with security, vendor lock-in is a major concern. It is also one of the concerns I discuss in detail in a white paper I put together recently. You can get a copy here. To learn about the consequences of these new initiatives and what they may mean for your organisation why not attend the Cloud Computing Course or if you are time constrained, the half day overview.


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