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Cloud Computing Needs To Embrace the Linux Model, Says Rackspace CTO 42

Posted by Soulskill
from the hug-a-penguin dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Companies are rushing to lock customer data into their specific walled gardens, Rackspace CTO John Engates argued in an interview after a Cloud Expo keynote in Silicon Valley. That makes it more important than ever to ensure that the cloud undergirding all the various functions of daily life remains open. 'These companies have grown up in the era of enterprise software and they're addicted to enterprise software margins, magnitudes more profitable than what we make as a hosting company,' he said. 'Now you have software companies embracing cloud computing and taking the same enterprise-software playbook they've had for years and trying to run it in the cloud.' Ultimately, he added, cloud computing needs to adopt the Linux model. 'Linux opened it up and gave you vendor choice, with numerous vendors bringing their own strengths to the table.'"
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Cloud Computing Needs To Embrace the Linux Model, Says Rackspace CTO

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  • GNU model...
    • by fm6 (162816)

      If it's the GNU model, then they have to issue long, sleep-inducing manifestos about how the Cloud Wants to Be Free. I don't think Rackspace and Amazon are up for that.

      They also need a lame recursive acronym....

  • by NemoinSpace (1118137) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:07PM (#41900185) Homepage Journal
    Or did i get it totally?
    'These companies have grown up in the era of enterprise software and they're addicted to enterprise software margins, magnitudes more profitable than what we make as a hosting company,'
    which translates into: I have picked the wrong business model, and someone should fix it for me.
    • by mrbluze (1034940)

      ... I have picked the wrong business model, and someone should fix it for me.

      You have it right. The cloud companies are charging an unrealistic premium for their services without offering genuine security. Should regular hosting companies worry yet? I don't think so, not until someone offers a cloud computing system that does not, by default, leave its encryption keys lying around on the host server.

      • I think he's talking more about how cloud (Specifically OpenStack) needs a Linus Torvalds. Some marquee name to hold it all together and not let it fragment too much. Have a cloud at the core... then openstack/cloudstack/nebula/etc are "distributions" that sit on top. You can make a piece of the software and it will run on any of the distributions since they are all based on a core that works for them all. http://news.slashdot.org/story/12/10/25/0128207/does-openstack-need-a-linus-torvalds [slashdot.org]
        • by Hylandr (813770) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @10:48PM (#41902727) Homepage

          Because it's a waste of time.

          Rackspace is trying to keep everyone focused on the hype of the cloud, to keep racking in your dough.

          One "Cloud Server" with 16Gig of Ram and 4 Procs with rackspace would cost me $700+ .

          I can get a third of a cabinet from CoreNap for less than $400 Month. I can fill that space with vastly more powerful hardware for about 5k. ( Shopping Smart )

          Now lets do the math assuming a hardware life cycle of 5 years.
          400 x 12 == 4,800 ( one year )
          4,800 * 5 == 24,000 ( Five years )

          hardware: $5,000
          52 weeks in a year times 5 years == 260 weeks.

          Spread the cost of the hardware over 5 years. ( Cash outright or lease )
          $5,000 / 260 weeks. == .01923 per week for the hardware.

          Not worth adding to the 24,000 you will spend over the next 5 years, compared to the 42,000 you will spend for a single inferior server instance at Rackspace.

          And you're not eliminating engineers by going to the cloud. You still need admins.

          - Dan.

          • by phoebusQ (539940)
            Your post is like saying there is never a reason to rent a car because you should just buy one. Yes, yes, car analogy. IaaS is not intended to compete with static collocation for identical scenarios.
            • by Hylandr (813770)

              I agree on both your points.

              It's a good place to fire up something to experiment with, and a good place for new companies just starting out.

              But there are large enterprises that have completely missed the memo regarding static collocation vs the cloud.

              - Dan.

  • by Microlith (54737) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:25PM (#41900467)

    I'd love to see some of these cloud storage services start opening up their protocols instead of relying on security through obscurity. I have a dropbox account, and I'd rather like to be able to use it on Linux without a silly proprietary daemon (and also on non-x86 platforms.)

    • You're saying you'd rather do without the rather useful integration that makes your dropbox share look like another part of your file system?
      • by Anonymous Coward

        no he's saying he's tired of the binary blob and would gladly help write portable code that works on more than just x86 linux

        their excuses for why kqueue on bsd isn't suitable are pretty poor but they wont give us the info we need to write our own client

      • Re:"Linux Model" (Score:4, Informative)

        by icebraining (1313345) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @07:02PM (#41900963) Homepage

        The Dropbox share is part of the file system. They don't mount a virtual fs or anything, they just create a directory and sync the files in and to it when anything changes.

  • by interval1066 (668936) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:31PM (#41900561) Homepage Journal
    Didn't Compuserv through AOL try this a long time ago? And didn't it work great until users discovered the internet?
  • why wouldn't he

  • In cloud-speak, we call it "IaaS" ("infrastructure as as service"), but if you need some Linux servers, some Windows servers, some database servers, whatever, there's plenty of competition between commodity providers, including RackSpace, already.

    There are a few dozen large competitors (also including RackSpace) also trying to get people locked in with "PaaS" ("platform as a service"), but by and large companies are either too smart or too poor (no resources for initial development or migration) to jump int

    • by phoebusQ (539940)
      He's not talking about the OS running on the individual IaaS VMs, he's talking about the middleware that supports auth, scaling, provisioning, etc through APIs and applications or portals targeted at them. The case in point for Rackspace is Open Stack.
  • by HPHatecraft (2748003) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:54PM (#41900891)

    Ultimately, he added, cloud computing needs to adopt the Linux model.

    Translation: "Please, please, please don't use EC2. Oh yeah, and Amazon beats its wife."

  • It must be because openess doesn't mean shit in the cloud world. It hosts apps that get dialed up and down. What's behind it is unimportant.

  • The "everyone should run our open (tm) software" plea. I'm not falling for it. No customer is demanding "cloud portability" because customers don't want to change ISP, ever. I just don't think portability of whole VM networks will ever be feasible on a technical level. Even if you could shuffle IPv4 addresses and masses of data around the whole internet between providers without down time, there's no incentive for ISPs to cooperate, or willingly turn themselves into a cheaper sub-brand of Rackspace. It woul

  • Hmm. All of the major cloud vendors support pretty much every platform. I happen to have an MSDN Ultimate subscription through work and we're investigating Azure as a result (1,500 hours per month of computer time for free for each Ultimate account).

    I will admit that I code in C# so the platform integrates well. It only took me two days to learn the platform basics and setup a computational system with queues and a dedicated cache (one WebRole, one CacheRole, multiple WorkerRoles to process work units).

    I

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