Liveblogging GigaOM's Structure '08.

  • 8:26 AM Just arrived. Spent 25 minutes held hostage in a cab whose credit card terminal wasn't working. Thank you nice UCSF police officer for reminding Mr. Psycho Cabbie that he had alternative means of processing.
  • 8:40 AM Jonathan Yarmis from AMR Research - going on how important facebook is for hiring young employees into companies. A very broad over view of social networking and cloud computing from an economist, feeling like I'm getting preached to by somebody from my father's generation. (I ended up meeting Jonathan later on and was blown away by how intuitive and spot-on he was about social media. Entirely different from his speech)

Fireside Chat Igniting the Clouds: Virtualization Catalyzes Infrastructure On Demand

  • 8:50 AM somebody's asking how America's fractured mobile mobile network market is going to impact our competitiveness in the global market. The answer, in short, was "that's a pessimistic view, but we don't know". 8:55 AM Fireside chat with Om Malik, Marty Rosenblum, and Arnie Berman. OM is asking Rosenblum for an overview of virtualization and how it's impacting computing. Long answers about decoupling hardware, and easier migration tools with virtualization; much boasting about vmware's ubiquity in modern hardware.
  • 9:01 AM Marty Rosenblum doesn't particularly like Arnie Berman's statement that virtualized, outsourced, managed infrastructure is a better idea than having to manage little clouds.
  • 9:02 AM Om is commenting on the current lack of market penetration for Desktop virtualization.
  • 9:04 AM Arnie is asking if desktop is virtualization a market opportunity that's ready for primetime? Marty emphatically said yes, and that was VMWare's initial goal. He believes that once the packaging and distribution model for desktop software becomes virtualized machines, that it will become ubiquitous.
  • 9:05 AM Om suggests that using virtualization as a way to sell spare compute cycles might be a great way to increase penetration. Marty agrees.
  • 9:08 AM Om asks where virtualization and VMWare is going next. Marty wants to turn it more into a cloud-like pool of computing resources, as well as building a better fault-tolerant hypervisor to increase reliability. Also on the horizon is increased security for virtual machines.
  • 9:09 AM Arnie is asking how VMWare is going to deal with competition. Mentioning Microsoft's Hypervisor. Keeps hinting back at whole datacenter management and VMotion... ignoring Citrix (Xen) as a competitor.
  • 9:11 AM Arnie asks Marty what makes him feel underappreciated. Really wants to emphasize that he feels VMWare is a better option, and will become a real competitor to the cloud within the next year.

    Keynote with Werner Vogels, CTO Amazon

    • 9:14 AM played a silly video by . Animoto uses AWS and is one of Amazon's poster children utilizing S3, EC2, and RightScale. Launched their Facebook app on April, went from 25k users to 25k new users per hour, and had to provision 5k+ AMIs.
    • 9:19 AM Werner is a very animated speaker, very refreshing. Showed an article from Computer World about AWS being like crack, and that's why Amazon hired a CTO from Amsterdam.
      • 1.3m seller accounts.
      • 370k web services developers.
      • 17k employees.
      • 30 fulfillment centers.
      • 28% of units sold by third parties.
      • AWS is now using 40% more than amazon's global websites.
      • Amazon has almost no third party software left in production.
    • 9:23 AM Target coming to Amazon in 2001 was a catalyzing event from a point of load.
    • 9:25 AM Amazon moved to a mainframe model for their databae for a year, it was disastrous.
    • 9:31 AM "We put datacenters in the same places where we put trailer parks, and for some reason they attract tornados."
    • 9:32 AM He's being too nice to 365 Main right now. Mission Bay's A/V crew needs help. 4 or 5 significantly noticeable bloopers so far, and we're just over an hour into this thing.
    • 9:38 AM The guy sitting in front of me, Bob Lozano, is reading my twitter stream!
    • 9:40 AM Werner is quoting 37 Signals as saying "Once you start thinking about how to scale your application, 70% of your mindshare will go towards scaling rather tha building your service".
    • 9:41 AM This has devolved into an Amazon infomercial.
    • 9:49 AM Werner ended with a picture of Voltar, and said for a dime he'll answer all of our questions for us
    • 9:50 AM Fabio from Peer1 (Headline Sponsor) is introducing Peer1 to an audience that is only somewhat familiar with them. I met Fabio last night during the pre-conference party, good guy to talk to.

      Panel Working the Clouds: NextGen Infrastructure for New Entrepreneurs

    • 9:52 AMGeva Perry GigaSpaces, Jason Hoffman Joyent, Tony Lucas Flexiscale, Lew Moorman Rackspace, Christophe Bisciglia Google, Joe Weinman from AT&T. Moderated by Alistair from BitCurrent Jason is saying cloud computing versus Grids is single systems image versus running batch jobs. Joe says Grid vs Cloud difference is the notion of pay per use, private versus a service. A Cloud that isn't billable is a grid. Christophe says Google's SSI lets them not have to think about infrastructure.
    • 9:55 AM Are we selling our souls? Or should we not worry about lock-in?
      • Tony says it's a big problem that people come to him with.
      • There are no standards and you really need to worry about lock-in when coding, but the cloud is a must-have in terms of explosive growth.
      • Joe says it's a trade-off based on your business model whether you need a quick scaling solution, or whether you want to leverage standards when possible. The key is price pressure.
      • Geva says that the Open approach versus the Virtualized approach
      • Google guy is defensive about not actually AppEngine being proprietary by saying how well the API is documented, and that something called AppDrop allows you to seemlessly port to Amazon.
      • Jason interrupts Google guy "except the question is about seling one's soul".
      • Everybody is beating up on Google. Cristophe is reiterating that AppEngine is just a developer preview right now, and that it will be a very open platform. Nobody likes the answer that a well documented API is the same as being open.
      • Guy from XCalibre asks Christophe straightly, why doesn't Google open-source bigtable? Nobody will give Christophe a chance to speak. Christophe sort of diverts the question.
    • Alistair: Asking the rackspace guy if Mosso is giving a cloud user's bill of rights.
      • Lew - We have a vested interest in standardizing and improving cloud tools.
    • Alistair points out that Microsoft has a vested interest in causing problems with the cloud.
  • I wish Amazon were on this panel.
  • Google - How much of the cloud lives outside of your infrastructure?
  • Christophe: Without being specific everything is geographically distributed. Generic set of answers.
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