Executive Summary: Infrastructure as a Service consists of physical or virtual computers. The virtual machines form what is commonly known as “the cloud” through simulating the processes of physical servers. Estimates of the space savings from the virtualization of physical servers range anywhere from a factor of 20:1 to 40:1. This software simulation allows the ability for a company to have massive scalability, through higher uptime, lower legal exposure, greater efficiency, lower cost, and the concentration of critical infrastructure in a facility supported by economies of scale, such as SingleHop’s military grade data centers with mission critical 100% uptime.
Data from Google Trends shows that IaaS trending continues to grow unabated. The demand for cloud services has driven a significant expansion in both the creation of new data centers, as well as the “virtual trajectory”, of the expansion of virtual servers as they are brought online to help facilitate consumer-driven demand for increased cloud storage capacity.
A typical scenario for driving cloud service growth is a startup that can hit the ground running, quickly and more efficiently, through rapidly deploying new servers to meet demand, or taking servers offline that aren’t needed. This applies to conventional websites, as well as app-driven demand on smartphones. Aside from the cost savings, efficiency gains and greater continuity that the cloud provides, it is a near perfect incubator for startups, resulting from the virtualization of capital-intensive data centers. Beyond these conventional costs, there is also certainly the typically unquantified gain of reducing power consumption — conventional data centers without virtualization could be reasonably regarded as the most power hungry instances of IT infrastructure.
In short, physical infrastructure is rapidly being replaced by virtual infrastructure. And though this virtual infrastructure is still contained within conventional data centers, Moore’s Law still applies, in regards to the increase in capacity — as physical processors increase in power and memory and processors become cheaper, there is an according increase in capacity for virtualization.
On the software side, innovations lead to a virtual Moore’s law, where business process and code can help to reduce the time it takes to deploy servers, as well as increase capacity and sophistication. It would be reasonable to say that in the data center of the future, there will be a parallel increase, much like helical DNA strands, with the complementary, concentrated increase in capacity of both physical and virtual memory and processing, where the physical and virtual worlds run in tandem, like a race.
The Implications – save money, save power, be kinder to the environment
Figures will vary, but you can basically compress things down 20:1 – 40:1. In other words, to review, you might be able to fit anywhere from 20 to 40 virtual servers in the physical space that it formerly took to occupy a single server, including the according reductions in electricity and carbon footprint.
PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE: DAN USHMAN, CMO, SINGLEHOP
One individual computer maintained at SingleHop’s military grade data center can hold 20 to 40 servers. For example, I talked to a Chicago area CTO who has 60 servers. In his case many of them are virtual, but let’s say they were physical. I could take those 60 servers and squash them into 3 of our computers. And it wouldn’t be me doing it – it would be him, using the LEAP interface, a “system administration” tool that is used for deploying and managing a virtual data center. With advances in technology, this can be done on a desktop, laptop, or smartphone iphone. It’s a bit like driving an entire armada of cargo vessels from the palm of your hand. -Dan Ushman, CMO
And the amazing thing is that by virtualizing, not only are you saving a lot of money over time, you are massively reducing risk. That’s what Infrastructure as a Service does.
Sample IaaS Value Proposition: Out of the Closet and into the Cloud
In another simple, very ubiquitous current scenario, there are hundreds of thousands of closets like this spread throughout the world at mid-sized businesses. that have servers sitting on them, and probably a slushee that’s slowly melting and about to fry the motherboard. Until I get a better picture, please use your imagination here.
And at enterprise businesses, the closet is a little bigger and called a data center.
Questions? We’ve Got Admins (and Technical Sales Engineers)
If you’re just looking to get some questions answered, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email email@example.com – they won’t try to push anything on you, but they will listen, and can point you to helpful resources, like Cloud 101. I didn’t write it, but it’s nice. It was helpful to me.
See http://www.singlehop.com/support/resources-data-sheets – there’s some important information there. You can also look at the data center sheets, print them out for your CTO or CFO or investors, or yourself, and I believe they will inspire confidence. If it was up to me, I’d turn our military grade data center into a theme park, sell tickets and sit back and watch the new customers rack up with us – because we’ve found that seeing that data center closes the deals.
PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE: TODD KELSEY, SCM, SINGLEHOP (Social Comm Mgr)
One of the many nice things I’ve discovered about about SingleHop is that there’s a unique support system – they are all techs. So when you submit a ticket, the person on the other end knows exactly what you’re talking about. Even though we have 100% uptime, issues come up where people get in hot water with the wacky world of open source CMS, or they make the completely understandable mistake of configuring something wrong – the techs here are world class, fast, competent, and helpful. And fun. I wish I was a tech. But I’m happy to be a fan. But they are the real resource here, and it’s a powerful one. -Todd Kelsey, PhD
Conclusion – Straight Talk about the Cloud: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, the Beautiful
This article is directed towards IT people at mid-sized or enterprise customers who are trying to get a better understanding of the implications of cloud growth. For further exploration, you might like to review http://twitter.com/singlehop, and look for #cloudedu posts.
If you have any questions, please reach out to our highly- competent staff. One thing I’ve appreciated is that it’s not about the technology at SingleHop – it’s more about the people. Whenever someone comes to see our military grade data centers, and sees the industry leading competence of our people, the very serious redundancy, high availability, flexibility of our data centers, this tour helps to close deals. It’s not pressure, it’s just the truth. And our people are what make things run like they do.
If you’re out there fishing for information, trying to size up the options, we recognize them. Consider the fact that we threw the gauntlet down with the Operational Transparency page. First time anyone did something like that in the industry. Total, 100% transparency. The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, the Beautiful. And what’s been beautiful is that we have 100% uptime.
So the bottom line is that there’s no pressure play, we are about education. Challenge us, ask us things, ask hard questions. Be real. Maybe you are in IT procurement and you want to go into the cloud, but you like your boxes and and you’re frankly worried about losing your job – either that you’re replaced by the cloud, or that you make a big gamble and it goes down in flames and it’s your responsiblity. Your company, your family, is relying on you. We get it.
You’re definitely invited to share this blog post on social, share with your CEO, CTO, CFO, tell us what you think here on the blog, or hop over to http://facebook.com/singlehop and sound off there, or ask any questions you might have – think of it as free consulting. that’s right. no catches. just information and opportunity.