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-   -   Google Cloud: Is this serious? (https://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/51-home-computing/204490-google-cloud-serious.html)

four 2014-03-25 12:17 PM

Google Cloud: Is this serious?
 
This guy is behind the "world computer" called Google
http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise...-google-story/

And he's giving a keynote today at a Google Cloud gathering
https://cloud.google.com/events/goog...platform-live/

This can get very interesting very fast...

905shmick 2014-03-25 12:27 PM

Is Google Cloud real? Yes, very much so.

https://cloud.google.com/products/compute-engine/

Not sure what's so interesting though. It's just another public cloud offering. There's plenty to choose from already.

four 2014-03-25 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 905shmick (Post 2069890)
Not sure what's so interesting though.

Scale.
What Google had so far, looks more like me-too (to Amazon).
By the sound if it, that's what they want to change.

905shmick 2014-03-25 04:00 PM

HP, Microsoft, Rackspace, SoftLayer all scale.

four 2014-03-25 04:51 PM

Thanks. Good to know.

four 2014-03-25 06:21 PM

The three biggest "cloud providers" - Amazon, Google, Microsoft - are in a price war for a few years.
And Amazon - the biggest and oldest player in this space - was the driver most of the time
http://searchcloudcomputing.techtarg...loud-rate-cuts
http://venturebeat.com/2013/07/10/am...gle-microsoft/
http://www.geekwire.com/2014/cloud-s...ervices-price/

Google seems to be determined to change that
http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise...-cloud-prices/
http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/25/goo...use-discounts/

http://regmedia.co.uk/2014/03/25/goo...march_2014.png

Amazon is expected to follow up with similar cuts later this week.
And MS' new CEO seems to be pushing the company to play a bigger role in this space.
Pretty soon VMs in the cloud might compete with TCO of having your own box... :)

In a week GMail will celebrate its 10th anniversary. The cloud might be Google's next GMail battle...

audacity 2014-03-25 09:02 PM

When evaluating various cloud providers to host a SaaS application, I found that Google's App Engine was the worst of the major providers (Amazon, Microsoft, Google).

A couple of they key points I remember from that investigation (off the top of my head):

- Google's App Engine restricted what your app could be written in where as Microsoft and Amazon will host almost anything. Amazon in particular has a "anything goes" environment, which is great because you can pick best-of-breed tools/components based on your specific needs. It's also easier to switch to a new provider if you write your app to use generally available webserver and database software. Google seems to encourage you to build your app to their custom environment.

- The price of relational database storage on Google was quite high, especially when you consider that with Google you were getting a MySQL "Cloud SQL" instance. Microsoft in particular has a better deal with Azure SQL Database as it's both cheaper and more capable.

Of course, I love it when one provider makes substantial price cuts, this usually means that the other providers quickly follow suit.

One key consideration I found was when you're selecting a cloud hosting, many potential clients seem to recoil if they learn you're using a cloud provider which is either in the US or owned by a US-based company. Governments in particular are paranoid because of the patriot act, and perhaps rightly so. So I also was investigating high quality cloud providers located in Canada, of which there are surprisingly few.

Of course, I have no doubt that if the US government wanted data hosted in a Canadian data center, they could probably hack in and get it, or call up CSIS who would likely be more than happy to turn over data, and would have the jurisdiction to go get it.

hugh 2014-03-26 08:30 AM

Quote:

There's plenty to choose from already.
Agreed.

My guess is IBM is much bigger in this area than commonly thought thanks to its prevalence at so many of the world's biggest companies and their new "Bluemix" initiative into which they've invested a billion dollars.

Related this week: Cisco joins cloud computing race with $1 billion plan

Add in all the existing vendors and massive investment in "cloud services" by IBM and Cisco and its clear that offerings are quickly becoming commoditized.

Frankly, I think its going to be a bit of a blood bath (in terms of profits) in coming years for vendors but should be great for firms looking to drive down the cost of computing.




audacity 2014-03-26 01:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hugh
Frankly, I think its going to be a bit of a blood bath (in terms of profits) in coming years for vendors but should be great for firms looking to drive down the cost of computing.

This is true for many commodity services such as compute, bandwidth and storage. I know in the case of Microsoft Azure that there are specific services like their "Media Services" (i.e. video transcoding), "Mobile Services" (REST API, notification services), and their Biztalk Service Bus that are far from commodity pricing. While Microsoft's pricing for Blob, Table, and Queue storage is dropping every time Amazon lowers their prices (since Amazon is the acknowledged market leader), these other services with a more proprietary software stack have a lot of margin built into them.

As a app developer there is a lot of incentive to roll my own software to deal with stuff like push notifications, or to design around Storage Queues rather than require something like Biztalk because of the massive price difference. Like always, I want to commoditize my compliments so I can easily run my software on any cloud provider.

For example, while Mobile Services on Azure isn't super expensive, the real cost is that if I were to build software around its proprietary interfaces it could cost a lot of developer time if we were to later decide to move to another cloud provider. My cloud hosting allegiances keep their bags packed.

four 2014-03-31 08:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by four (Post 2070201)
Amazon is expected to follow up with similar cuts later this week.

And so they did a day later
http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/26/in-...3-ec2-and-rds/

Microsoft did, too
http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/31/mic...ew-basic-tier/

A few more rounds and the "basic" tier will be free...;)

Neild 2014-03-31 11:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audacity (Post 2070313)
So I also was investigating high quality cloud providers located in Canada, of which there are surprisingly few.

Just curious why this part surprised you. I would think that is pretty much to be expected. Which (if any) serious cloud providers did you identify in Canada?

Wayne 2014-04-01 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audacity (Post 2070313)
When evaluating various cloud providers to host a SaaS application, I found One key consideration I found was when you're selecting a cloud hosting, many potential clients seem to recoil if they learn you're using a cloud provider which is either in the US or owned by a US-based company. Governments in particular are paranoid because of the patriot act, and perhaps rightly so. So I also was investigating high quality cloud providers located in Canada, of which there are surprisingly few.

This is very true - I know the company that we work for is very wary of using services based in the US.

This becomes more of an issue with MS' new Office 365 for the iPad that is pushing you towards using their cloud services. How do you know that your documents are not being browsed by MS? Don't forget that two weeks ago there was a story about MS trolling through the Hotmail, OneDrive, etc of a user trying to find a leak of some MS owned code. MS said "We don't need a search warrant to look at data on our own servers" (They have since somewhat recanted on this)

But still, if you are a company that has highly confidential documents do you trust them with MS as opposed to your own servers? And do you trust the US govt, which has no issue with monitoring friendly heads of state liek Angela Merkel, to not troll through your data?

audacity 2014-04-01 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Neild
Just curious why this part surprised you. I would think that is pretty much to be expected.

It surprised me because there is a good chunk of the market that doesn't want to host in the US, or perhaps cannot if they're the federal or a provincial government due to the patriot act. That is, when interacting with different customers or doing work for a provincial government I learned that this market exists (for a "Canadian Cloud"). Usually in efficient markets (as I'd certainly describe "web/internet hosting" as an efficient market) needs are met rather quickly.

Now, there are hosts like Cirrus Tech I found that would more than meet the needs for the specific cases I found - but they're not like Microsoft or Amazon when it comes to "cloud". But, if you can deploy specialized VMs running the software you need, what's the difference really?

If I was hosting a solution with a given cloud provider, would I care of my provider had 1,000 servers or 100,000 servers, provided they meet their SLA?

Anyway, my point is that these companies do exist, they're just small potatoes compared to the US hosting companies - and sometimes you need a "hosted in Canada by a non-US company" stamp if you want to get certain contracts.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wayne
But still, if you are a company that has highly confidential documents do you trust them with MS as opposed to your own servers? And do you trust the US govt, which has no issue with monitoring friendly heads of state liek Angela Merkel, to not troll through your data?

How do you know that the Canadian agencies (CSIS, CSEC) aren't just as bad or worse? I haven't seen any promises from the Canadian government that they don't engage in such activities, and I've seen news reports in the past couple months that suggests that they do they very same things that the NSA does, sometimes at the request of the NSA.

At a high level what I tell companies is:

- By far, the most likely way that your data will leak is through your employees.
- It doesn't matter where your data is hosted if you're using insecure services like Email. SMTP is not encrypted, so sending a email is like sending a post card. Yet lots of people still transmit passwords this way.
- The reason the USA (and many other governments, I'm sure) can have cost-effective mass data collection schemes is because many of the Internet standards default to insecure settings.

Most websites are HTTP by default, not HTTPS. If all internet traffic was encrypted by default, it would be monumentally more expensive for the NSA to do what it does. They (NSA et al.) would have to resort to targeted attacks to get specific nuggets of data. In my opinion HTTP / port 80 should be stripped from the standard.

Unfortunately this is beyond control of individuals and even big companies. They may "feel good" by selecting a host which is within Canadian borders thinking that it affords some level of protection. In reality, it probably doesn't.

ExDilbert 2014-04-01 01:21 PM

Using a US host is probably more secure from the NSA than one in Canada. Individuals and businesses in the US have some constitutional protections from domestic snooping. Individuals and businesses outside the US have absolutely no protection under US law from NSA snooping. The only real privacy protection is a high level encryption method that has not been broken plus the use of a very long password that would take more than a lifetime to crack.

Wayne 2014-04-01 08:21 PM

Remember that when the PRISM program was first disclosed the US government replied that "it cannot be used on domestic targets without a warrant". That seems to imply that if you are not an American, and my company is not based in the US, then you are free game for the NSA to do as they please without any court orders.

I don't think the US constitution protects Canadians at all.


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