Where is compute (physically) headed in the near future?

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Where is compute (physically) headed in the near future? CTO [email protected] Bryan Cantrill @bcantrill

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My talk at Structure 2014. Video is at http://new.livestream.com/accounts/74987/events/3000203/videos/54252606/

Transcript of Where is compute (physically) headed in the near future?

Page 1: Where is compute (physically) headed in the near future?

Where is compute (physically) headed in the near future?

[email protected]

Bryan Cantrill

@bcantrill

Page 2: Where is compute (physically) headed in the near future?

History of computation as oscillation

• The history of computation is one of repeated oscillation between centralization and decentralization

• These oscillations are driven by economics:

• Economies-of-scale drive towards centralization

• Disruptive innovations drive towards decentralization

• These oscillations can also be seen as the tension between control and freedom — with each having economic advantages with respect to the other

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Cloud computing as centralizing force

• By the 1960s, pundits foresaw an ultimate centralization: a compute utility that would be public and multi-tenant

• The vision was four decades too early: it took the internet + virtualization + commodity compute to yield cloud computing

• Public cloud computing is a centralizing force in that providers realize economies-of-scale — especially with respect to human capital and commodity hardware

• But is it also a decentralizing force?

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Cloud computing as decentralizing force

• While the public cloud broadly is a centralizing force, inside the enterprise, cloud computing acts as a decentralizing force

• The cloud presents disruptive price/performance that allows for freedom from internal IT schedules and pricing — and from legacy enterprise hardware providers (e.g. “blades and SANs”)

• The net is reduced time-to-market for enterprise developers — which is especially important in emerging areas like mobile...

• ...but growth of the cloud in the enterprise has reduced level of control — and can compromise its economic advantage

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A heterogenous future

• Enterprises want to retain the economics and freedom that the cloud represents, while reasserting the economics and control of a centralized IT organization

• This points to a heterogeneous future: much enterprise compute will remain on-premises — but the public cloud will remain critical, driving both innovation and economics

• The centralization/decentralization oscillation will remain, but the oscillations will not be in the technology itself, but rather in its deployment: public or on-premises

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Whither compute?

• There are three key determinants for public v. on-premises:

• Economics: Rent vs. buy; OPEX vs. CAPEX

• Risk Management: Security/compliance — and also risk factors associated with operator-as-threat

• Latency: The speed of light is a constant!

• These are all factors, but economics dominates: “private cloud” efforts that do not deliver public cloud economics will fail!

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The public/on-premises disconnect

• There are surprisingly few stacks that run both a multi-tenant public cloud and are available as a software product

• AWS doesn’t (appear to) believe in an on-premises cloud — and leading public clouds are not based on OpenStack

• For us at Joyent, both operating a public IaaS cloud and shipping its orchestration software (SmartDataCenter) has led to better engineering discipline and a superior artifact!

• Viz.: many of our architectural decisions came from the kiln of unspeakable pain that is operating a public service

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From heterogenous to hybrid?

• To make the leap from a heterogenous cloud to a hybrid one, must have a common substrate that is run both on the public cloud and on-premises

• Not enough to have mere “API compatibility”; for workloads to truly straddle the cloud, gritty details like authentication/authorization/accounting matter a great deal

• This implies not just technical hurdles but organizational ones — and as a result, “true” hybrid cloud computing does not feel close at hand...

Page 9: Where is compute (physically) headed in the near future?

So where is compute headed?

• As it always has, economics will chart the course

• Public versus on-premises will not be one decision, but many — and many large enterprises will choose both

• The common substrate will be elastic infrastructure and commodity hardware; it is not a choice between cloud computing and legacy enterprise glop!

• We believe that there will be more unified providers that make available both infrastructure-as-a-service and the software to run infrastructure-as-a-service!