Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Program: Intro to Cloud Computing

Speaker:  Fred Stluka, Founder and CEO of Bristle Software, Inc

Summary: Cloud Computing Presented by Fred Stluka

See the presentation slides, which contain additional website links, at http://bristle.com/Talks/CloudComputing 

Fred uses the Amazon Cloud Computing for many of his present projects. When faced with the prospect of needing to purchase significant additional computer hardware for a project, he checked the cost of doing the project “in the cloud”. Cloud facilities were much less expensive and also provided attractive flexibility. The negatives of this approach were acceptable.
What: What's new, what's old but re-packaged, why now? 
The technology is not new, but offering this service to the public over the INTERNET is new. There are advantages for big companies, but Fred also has personal knowledge of the advantages for the “very small” (one) user community. 

Why: Pros/Cons, costs, scalability, etc. 
Cost: You should count on about $25-75 / month for a moderate sized system. Fred quotes $32/month for the services he uses.
Pros: All you have to do is use the service – no worries about maintenance, virus, malware, etc. 
You can scale disk space and computer power up or down easily. 
Cons: Do you trust the vendor?? Also, you are stuck with the applications or platforms the vendor offers — no upgrades or changes. 

Public – Security of your work is not a big issue
Private – Computing is internal, security a big issue – or 
Hybrid – some of both. 

DaaS (Desktop as a service – Use the vendor as your desktop computer) – or,
SaaS (Software as a service – Use the vendor's software applications) – or
PaaS (Platform as a service – Use the vendors operating systems for your own applications – or
IaaS (Infrastructure as a service – Run your own server) – or
Any combination of the above. 

New Possibilities:
Stop your service when not in use – don't get charged
Develop the idea of “disposable server”. Contract for a server for a project, terminate contract when finished. 
- IaaS via AWS: EC2, S3,EBS, RDS, etc. – There are a variety of use packages when using the Amazon Cloud. 

Getting Started
Details of how to set up a server – Fred gave a short lab for some who stayed after the talk. The objective was to set up an Amazon account. For those who missed this lab, Fred has provided a step by step procedure on his website: 


Bio: Fred Stluka is founder and CEO of Bristle Software, Inc., with a mission statement that says:
Bristle Software thrills its customers via the rapid development of quality software to solve real-world business problems. Expert in Web, Mac, Linux/Unix, and Windows. Focus on secure, "filthy rich client", user-friendly Web apps using robust, scalable, supportable architectures via Java, JavaScript, CSS, XML, and Ajax.
He has been a professional programmer for 27 years, and still springs out of bed early every morning because there are so
many cool architectural and programming things to do, and he can't wait to get started. His wife hates this about him,
but tolerates him because he's nice to the cats and builds beautiful walls and staircases out of massive stones.
Check out Fred's resume, links, tips, presentations, open source libraries at http://bristle.com and his mailing lists at