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James Houghton

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Top Stories by James Houghton

The past week hosted the increasingly popular VMworld 2010 event at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The title of the conference was "Virtual Roads, Actual Clouds", but the undercurrent of the show was all about ‘VM stall' and of course whatever vendor XYZ can do to help you get your VM deployment moving again. While we certainly want to un-stick any optimization effort, it's often prudent to understand WHY something happened before attempting to fix it. It's difficult to generalize the reasons for every situation, but we're willing to venture a guess: failing to understand the workload. The workload is not simply an application name, the programming language it's written in, and the hardware configuration it runs on today. Those things are a good start, but hardly provide enough information to determine the correct optimization approach. And yes, the implicatio... (more)

Business Value and Cloud Computing

In our last post we discussed the positive shift in the Cloud Computing discourse towards actionable steps rather than philosophical diatribes on definitions. And to support that discussion we offered the following list of things not to do: Not understanding the business value Assuming server virtualization is enough Not understanding service dependencies Leveraging traditional monitoring Not understanding internal/external costs In this installment we are going to focus on the first mistake - failing to understand the business impact of leveraging a Cloud delivery model for a g... (more)

Who Really Needs a Blueprint?

A few days ago we facilitated a passionate discussion on the subject of Blueprints (ah, the joys of an emerging market). The gist of the conversation was focused on deciding where limited marketing resources should be applied, and during that exercise a surprising insight came to us. It seemed so counter-intuitive at first, then as we kept exploring it became so blindingly obvious that we questioned our intelligence for not thinking of it before. What was this revelation, you ask – and more importantly, why should you care? An Architect doesn’t need a Blueprint. Let’s step outsi... (more)

Virtualization Does Not a Cloud Make

In a previous post we discussed the positive shift in the cloud computing discourse towards actionable steps rather than philosophical diatribes on definitions. And to support that discussion we offered the following list of things not to do: Not understanding the business value Assuming server virtualization is enough Not understanding service dependencies Leveraging traditional monitoring Not understanding internal/external costs As we continue our discussion of these missteps, in this post we'll address both a mistake and a common misconception. Cloud computing is not about an... (more)

Cloud Computing: What NOT to Do

A shift is finally occurring in the Cloud Computing discourse. Topics like "what is it" have been supplanted by more useful questions such as "should I do it?", "how should I do it?", and "when should I do it?" In appreciation of this new phase of Cloud Computing adoption, we'd like to offer some thoughts on some of the common pitfalls of both public and private Clouds so that you might avoid them as you evaluate and implement cloud solutions. 1. Not understanding the business value It's important to weigh a Cloud solution versus the traditional approach through the lens of busine... (more)