Notes from CloudCamp
Posted by David Chandler on October 29, 2009
There were about 100 folks at CloudCamp Atlanta last night. Participatns were mostly interested in Amazon EC2 or the upcoming Windows Azure platform (Microsoft was the primary sponsor). A handful of folks turned out for my “show me the code” presentation on AppEngine and GWT+MVP.
My main takeaway is that I’m really, really glad to be a Google AppEngine user. Most of the sessions and discussions centered around how to grow/shrink your Amazon server pool automatically and how to scale MySQL. These are things I don’t have to worry about at all as an AppEngine user. AppEngine is perfect for my application: launching a one-man startup that could go viral (not to mention it’s free to get started!) I’m just plain tired of sysadmin, and I’m willing to trade the freedom to run any configuration of my choice for the scalability that comes with AppEngine’s constraints.
There was some discussion regarding the cloud and SLAs (or lack thereof). Someone said they needed five nines, not three. I don’t know where they got either number, but .999 reliability is definitely good enough for me. I have a consumer-facing app that doesn’t involve money, and I’ll be ecstatic if I have only 8 hrs 46 minutes downtime in the coming year. It’s clear that cloud offerings (especially AppEngine) appeal more to lone developers and small startups than to enterprises, although Amazon seems to have made great inroads in this area. It’s always going to be easier to start in the cloud than to move an existing data center. What excites me most about AppEngine and the like is that ONE developer can realistically create and deploy a scalable application. This has the potential to unleash a whole new wave of entrepreneurial energy on the Internet, and will make it possible for smaller companies that could never afford a data center to nevertheless get custom software for their needs. Which means we software engineers should get to do more coding and less sysadmin. Yay!
Lots of folks were happily using RightScale to manage Amazon EC2 instances and automatically grow or shrink the server pool based on load.
IBM provides Amazon machine images of its popular products like WebSphere FREE for development use (other than Amazon charges, of course).