What do you do when your IT storage and processing growth requirement demands a tremendous increase in servers and data center space, but your IT budget is shrinking? What do you do when disaster recovery requirements demand geographic backups with near zero time recovery point and recovery time objectives?
Ask Bert Armijo at 3tera. 3tera is a young, rapidly growing company based in Aliso Viejo, specializing in cloud computing - specifically the provisioning of cloud computing.
At the last CTC meeting (22 Jan) Bert gave a great presentation on the future of data processing as we know it. While talking with the audience on a very human level, he was actually passing a level of complex knowledge to the audience that left everybody wondering what had hit them. And burning many, many brain cells trying to wrap their minds round the implications of computing in the "cloud."
The presentation started out simple enough. A high level explanation of how virtualization works in a compute environment. Bert then proceeded to touch on the history of GRID computing, software as a service (SaaS), and the marriage of both into a concept we now know as cloud computing.
That's when the fun started. He gave a real-time interactive presentation which used actual cloud resources in several cities within the US, and Amsterdam on the international side of his "federation" of cloud providers. The presentation walked through the process of defining each component of a virtual network, down to the ports and operating system used within firewalls and switches.
To 3tera, provisioning a LINUX or windows server is simply a matter of defining the size and type of operating system, applications planned for use on the system (he explained setting up the profile for an application is actually quite easy), and then letting his program (AppLogic) virtually prepare his network, servers, applications, storage, and even IP addressing. The actual network connection is still a physical connection provided by the cloud host, which may be the only limitation. We'll see what happens when companies like Foundry/Brocade have integrated Infiniband into their switching platforms...
The final treat provided by 3tera was a demonstration on the dynamic provisioning of virtual networks that exist in multiple geographies. With a simple command, the demonstration network Bert prepared in a Dallas data center was replicated in Amsterdam - with live network connections from that data center into the Internet. As a distributed processing model, or disaster recovery model, this pretty much rewrites the rules.
His parting revelation was the soon-to-be-released integration of IPv6 into the AppLogic provisioning architecture. Wow...
We do not sell 3tera at the CTC, however just due where just due is deserved. This was a wonderful presentation, which inspired heated discussions and debate, as well as inspiring visions into the future of virtual and network computing.
Check out Bert's company at www.3tera.com