RE: CEO's head in the Cloud

  • From: "Goulet, Richard" <Richard.Goulet@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <troach@xxxxxxxxx>, <moabrivers@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2010 11:40:16 -0400

Having worked in a hosted data center beware of your data privacy if
that means anything to you.  Once that data is in a managed service
hosted by someone else who has access to your data, whether properly or
improperly, is somewhat out of your hands.  Saw one company materially
damaged because a "consultant" took a thumb drive full of data home when
he got fired.

Dick Goulet 
Senior Oracle DBA/NA Team Lead 
PAREXEL International 



From: oracle-l-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:oracle-l-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Thomas Roach
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2010 11:01 AM
To: moabrivers@xxxxxxxxx
Cc: oracle-l
Subject: Re: CEO's head in the Cloud

There are some benefits to running things in the cloud as well as
drawbacks. You have to analyze these things and decide if it makes
sense. I would tell your CEO that it is worth looking into and then look
into it.

At my previous place the COO was really big on the cloud. Said everyone
was doing it so should we. We already were running an Oracle RAC cluster
with all our DB's consolidated. We had VMWARE and then we had things
replicated to other Data Centers for Disaster recovery. In essence we
were already leveraging a "private" cloud model and were reaping the
benefits. The reason the COO wanted to get into the cloud is because he
was convinced that if we don't get on the cloud bandwagon then we would
fall behind our competition and let them gain a competitive edge. He was
also convinced that he now had a dilemma because all the cloud marketing
material kept telling him the cloud was the solution to the dilemma of
the CIO of having inefficient very expensive data centers. He was also
convinced that once in the cloud he would need less people to manage all

So we looked at it. We looked at Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure
(Microsoft just from a cost perspective). Because we already had VMWARE,
we could easily add more capacity and we already had enough bandwidth to
handle a large spike in network traffic. So we did our testing with
Amazon and noticed their storage was slower than ours. Running some
things here and some things there were slower like bringing back data
sets to our application servers here. Let's put it this way, Amazon
offers flexibility like Matt mentioned but in trying to add more memory
without needing more CPU was difficult. Maybe it changed but Amazon only
gave you a few configurations and to go to the next one you had to get
other resources you really didn't need.

Last but not least, we looked at the cost. To run our data center at
Amazon was drastically more expensive. We also looked at Windows Azure
to run our 300 windows guest and that alone was over a million dollars
on top of the other costs. Our costs, we took into account our
electricity costs, our rent, our licensing costs, and networking costs.
So the whole TCO and ROI thing I take with a grain of salt. All the
cloud marketing material is assuming that we are all idiots and that our
data centers are inefficient. Some are, but not all, and we all
certainly aren't idiots. Lets just say, when we showed the cost
comparison to our COO his jaw dropped. Felt like he been had. Asked us
if we were sure? We ran the numbers again and he felt kind of foolish
that he drank the Kool-Aid.

Cloud offers some flexibility, and if you are a startup or need to
position certain apps globally then it makes sense. If you don't have
room for a data center or rent is extremely high then it can make sense.
You just have to do your homework and see what works best for your
business. Private cloud could be more cost effective than a public cloud
like EC2 or Azure. At the end of the day, Cloud is just another tool in
the tool shed, another option.

Good Luck in your assessment.


On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 5:12 PM, LB <moabrivers@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

        My CEO just came back from a technology conference where his
head became filled with lots of ideas including the idea that we should
abandon our hosted datacenters and push everything into the Cloud,
specifically Amazon's.  A cursory review of the offerings for this show
that the databases are hosted on Amazon virtual machines that aren't
officially supported by Oracle and thus require a premium support
contract from Amazon.   

        Aside from my personal feelings on the matter (that I'd much
rather have a tangible set of servers that are under direct control),
what are your pros/cons for pushing or not Production level OLTP
databases into the cloud.  I notice right now that they currently only
offer 11g1 on 64-bit an not 10g 64-bit or 11g2 64-bit so it would appear
they arent covering all of their bases.  Presently we're RAC on
64 bit and use dataguard to a different datacenter for geographic
redundancy.  I note also that Amazon doesnt support RAC instances at

        His driving push is that somehow Amazon's cloud will mean better
performance throughout the world as somehow the network throughput will
be magically enhanced so someone in Iraq will get the same speed hitting
the application as someone in California.  I don't agree with that
either but I dont have empirical proof.  Our databases presently are
highly available, highly optimized, and highly redundant.  But, they
aren't buzz word stamped "Cloud."  Sigh.

Thomas Roach

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