High Availability in the Cloud

    It seems like with the introduction of any new set of technologies we see a sudden rise in the interest of high availability. The concept of high availability has been around since the dawn of the mainframe, but when there are new technologies and delivery models in play, such as virtualization and cloud computing, it almost seems like IT organizations get a lot more concerned about availability.

    Naturally, that in turn drives vendors to promote the high-availability capabilities of their platforms, as is the case with version 3.0 of the Eucalyptus cloud computing platform, released today, that is delivered as an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering.

    Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos concedes that it’s not like users of the company’s cloud computing platform have been experiencing much in the way of downtime. But in the wake of some high-profile outages and the simple fact that cloud computing is still in the early stages of adoption, adding specific high-availability services will go a long way to alleviating some customer concerns.

    As a provider of a cloud computing service, Eucalyptus has been gaining traction largely because many IT organizations do not want to have to go to the trouble of building their own cloud computing management platforms. They would much rather jumpstart their move to the cloud, which in many instances means piloting a cloud application on Amazon EC2 before deciding to deploy it on their own private cloud later. In fact, Mickos says the request for just that capability led Eucalyptus to add support for Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing platform .

    It’s only natural that there should be a fair amount of caution when it comes to cloud computing. But the fact of the matter is that it isn’t a question of if your IT organization is going to embrace the cloud, but rather to what degree. And the nice thing about IaaS in general is that it gives IT organizations a way to gain some cloud computing experience quickly without necessarily having to build everything from the ground up before getting a chance to really figure out just how it all works.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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