We’ve all heard the expression “what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is mine.” Maybe we’ve said it. Maybe we’ve had it said to us. My boss says it all the time, usually referring to my time <grin>.
Anyway, it’s generally not considered a very positive expression, bringing back memories of school yard bullying, “might makes right” and what not.
However, if you think about it, that’s what we’d like to be able to say to cloud providers. A savvy cloud provider would in turn love to be able to say right back “what’s yours is yours, and what’s ours is yours as well. For a nominal fee, of course.”
This may initially seem backwards. We often think about cloud computing as getting rid of stuff we currently own. Maybe it’s just a few under-utilized servers. Maybe it’s an application or two (SaaS apps, baby). Or, maybe it’s an entire datacenter. So initially, we think about cloud computing as “I have this stuff that’s mine, and I want to make it yours.” But then we start thinking about all the repercussions of this. We’d love to move to virtualized servers in the cloud, but then we start thinking about giving up our network topologies, having to move our data, moving or replicating our directories, etc. Suddenly the cloud has taken everything. And we’re not ready for that.
This may in fact get to the heart of why business people see cloud computing one way, but we see it another. We see an off-premise cloud data center, and we start to think “I’m going to give these guys control of all my… ?” The business sees what is de facto an infinite amount of low-cost capacity available for the taking at SoftLayer, at Carpathia, at Rackspace et. al., and their immediate reaction is “I want some of that!”
If you’re starting from scratch, like a lot of the social media, gaming and mobile application start-ups that are so aggressively using the cloud “taking some of that” is fairly straightforward. For enterprises, given how intertwined all of our systems and processes are, it’s really hard — if not impossible — for us to get rid of the things we’d rather not deal with without also having to turn over a bunch of things we want or need to keep.
NetScaler Cloud Bridge is all about making the cloud act like part of our infrastructure, rather than making our infrastructure part of the cloud. In essence making the cloud look to our applications, and more importantly to the users that access our applications, look like a natural extension of our own on-premise data centers. Pete Downing talks in more detail about how we do this here.
The net effect of this is it simultaneously makes more clouds available to us, since NetScaler Cloud Bridge makes networks appear like our own networks. It makes it easier for us to use cloud capacity across a greater spread of our application portfolio since we can more easily move separate pieces of a given workload to a cloud datacenter without having to worry about the app breaking. And due to the sophisticated traffic management NetScaler offers, we can move things around completely transparent to the end-users, so we don’t have to worry about altering how they behave.