Vern Burke, SwiftWater Telecom
I was just reading a piece about what keeps companies off of public cloud computing services. How much do you have to bastardize a cloud before it isn’t cloud computing anymore?
This issue is the same old cloud computing security red herring. People will share network bandwidth and storage space just fine, but there’s just something sinister about sharing the physical compute power. What you end up with is a lot of vague “well it might happen!” with no specifics and no examples where it has happened, despite massive use of public cloud computing services for sometime now.
So what’s the fix for this? If someone orders a single virtual machine, dedicate them an entire physical server so they can be all warm and fuzzy that nobody is close enough to do something malicious to them with those unspecified hypervisor security holes.
Does anyone else see anything wrong with this idea? Sure, you can probably make a cloud automatically carve out a physical chunk of itself for one customer. Unfortunately, when you do that, it’s not “cloud computing” anymore. At the very least, you lose most of the characteristics that make it “cloud” and turn it into a standalone virtualization server or, heaven forbid, effectively an old fashioned standalone dedicated server. It just simply isn’t cloud anymore.
Do this and now you lose the utilization and energy efficiency that make cloud computing a much more cost effective proposition. Is the customer with one virtual machine going to be willing to pay the cost of a dedicated server for the privilege of segregating a physical cloud host for their private use or are they going to expect cloud pricing because you’re still calling it “cloud”? If they’re paying dedicated price for a single virtual machine and their own private physical server, why not just do a separate dedicated server?
The one sole advantage that this idea has is automation. It would certainly be easier to dedicate and undedicate a physical server in a cloud environment. On the other hand, this would be likely to be an operations nightmare, trying to keep enough excess cloud servers available to accommodate losing an entire physical server when you provisioned a single VM. Of course, keeping that much excess capacity running also kills the heck out of your efficiency and, by extension, your costs.
Nice try but this idea is a swing and a whiff.