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Re: [ Cloud Computing ] Re: 5 Key Lessons for Customers of the Cloud


Miha Ahronovitz Apr 25, 2011 9:10 AM
Posted in group: Cloud Computing
Ray, why should I know, as a principle the insides and the misbehavior of an element from my providers architecture, designed to give service a customer who does not work there ?

If you remember we defined a long time the cloud from the customer perspective. Customers have the "illusion of infinite resources" (elasticity, meaning constant quality of service), they pay only what they use (billing predictable) and they have no idea - and want to have no idea or have steep learning curves - to learn the cloud internals.

AWS - because of EBS - violates this definition of a cloud many times over. A well designed cloud does not require it's customers to learn nothing new. They simply must take their apps, as they run them today on their physical servers, and place it on the cloud. Are they providers like that? Yes they are, but they are not as big as AWS. For now.

Miha



From: Ray <rnu...@yahoo.com>
To: cloud-c...@googlegroups.com
Sent: Sun, April 24, 2011 9:26:16 PM
Subject: RE: [ Cloud Computing ] Re: 5 Key Lessons for Customers of the Cloud

Miha, the problem with EBS is that, like all other parts of the AWS architecture, it’s shared. So the question is, if you know this and don’t design you app or at least your DR strategy with this in mind, what’s broken? AWS or your app’s architecture.

 

I would argue it’s the later and it reminds me of the first move from mainframe to client/server apps. There was much experimentation and invention before multi-tiered, distributed application stacks came to be. That’s what’s happening now with the cloud. The learning curve is steep and teams like reddit and Quara are getting hard lessons now.

 

The lesson here is that lessons will be the norm for some time until popular design patterns emerge and people understand how to build apps for the cloud.

 

Ray

 

From: cloud-c...@googlegroups.com [mailto:cloud-c...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Miha Ahronovitz
Sent: Sunday, April 24, 2011 7:32 PM
To: cloud-c...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [ Cloud Computing ] Re: 5 Key Lessons for Customers of the Cloud

 

Adrian thanks. It is magic what you guys did. Thanks for teaching us it does not cost so much more to run in three zones.

However, as you twitted, Netflix was lucky that all AWS failed during the night. It appears during the peak day hours,  the operation the reduction from 3 to 2 zone might not have had gone so smoothly.

Also in the immense flow of explanations and article coming from all directions, how come such smart teams like Zencoder , reddit or quora did not do the same as Netflix?  Actually reddit said " "EBS also has reliability issues. Even before AWS fail, we had random disks degrading multiple times a week".

This EBS blues is also a subject of your blog entry from March 18,  "Understanding and using Amazon EBS - Elastic Block Store"
http://perfcap.blogspot.com/2011/03/understanding-and-using-amazon-ebs.html

You write


" The problem with EBS is that it doesn't have a particularly steady state. To explain why we need to look at the underlying architecture. I don't know the details of how EBS is implemented, but there is enough information available to explain how it behaves."


You recommend some pragmatic tests to  " collect response time and throughput and plot your data over time. You need to run long enough that the performance shows steady state behavior." How many enterprises have teams to do these experiments  with a product offered by most prestigious IaaS and PaaS provider in the known Universe?

So my remark of the definition of the engineer, fits best the the team who designed the EBS product to begin with. This is not a finished product. There must be a way to " provide a reliable place to store data that doesn't go away when EC2 instances are dropped," without mounting EBS volumes on a single EC instance until is crashes"

BTW, other providers have persistent storage, You know them.

I do recognize your team contribution, you passed an extraordinary test. But, AWS has some intrinsic problems, EBS is one of them, that in spite of the warnings coming from all directions, it was not fixed. We are all humans, we err, sure we understand that.

It is not engineering. If AWS opens and invites third parties to develop solutions to make persistent storage in EC instances, we will be surprise what the worls can come with. But if they keep it in house, invoking a monopoly. People who believe they can do everything themselves, are punished by then Divine, whom we can not ever replace. They loose their gift of prophecy, and may fall down like an apple froma tree.

2 cents and thanks for keeping the debate interesting.

Miha




On 4/24/2011 3:18 PM, AdrianC wrote:

Miha,
  
If you think it costs 3X to be in three availability zones then you do
need better engineers...
  
We run a third of our systems in each zone
 normally, to avoid the bad
zone we moved to be running half our systems in each of two zones.
About the same number of systems total, and the cost of the systems is
the dominant cost.
  
Since the cloud is elastic (remember, that was the point :-) we don't
need to pre-allocate capacity in each zone to take the extra load,
unlike a datacenter DR solution.
  
The cost of running in multiple zones is a minor increase in network
cost, slightly more latency, and that you have to decide to do it up
front. This works for any scale, nothing to do with running large
scale. If you don't have enough instances to spread three ways, use
smaller instances.
  
Adrian
  
  
On Apr 24, 10:08 am, Miha Ahronovitz <mij...@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
On 4/23/2011 5:31 PM, kowsik wrote:>   Netflix, for
example, runs in 3 different regions (see @adrianco's tweets).
  
  Sure, this a good thing , but how much this costs? Netflix footprint
on AWS is huge and cost a huge X (Netflix repeatedly refused to disclose
how much they pay AWS for hosting their Data Center at each meetup
gathering where their top technical people spoke)
  
Now if they host on 3 regions, quite simply this means a cost is 3X
versus 1X. Say they got a deal. They still pay , say 2X, and it should
be two HUGE Xs.
  
Netflix
  has a group of rock stars that claim credit for the success of
Netflix port to AWS and now their survival of AWS failure. But not every
company has the same capabilities. And even if they have the same
capabilities (like Zencoder and Quora, both with superb engineering
talent)  they do not have the same $ to spend.
  
The Zecoder blog entry is must readhttp://blog.zencoder.com/2011/04/22/skynet-ec2-and-zencoder/
  
As a trainee engineer, I was told the following definition of an
engineer: "An  engineer is someone who can build  with $1M the same
thing that any fool can with $100M"
  
Cheers,
  
Miha
  
 mij123.vcf
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 1KViewDownload
  

 

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