Here are my notes from the Legacy apps session on Day 2 at the Cloud Connect Event put on by TechWeb. Thanks to David Berlind and Angela Bole and their team for putting on the event.

Moderating:

Moderated:

  • Question: can you move legacy apps to the cloud?

    • Lew:

      • Yes, move stuff to the cloud where you can.

      • Go to Amazon, set up your servers, and run your stuff there.

      • Sun wants to build many different types of clouds. We get asked all day long by our customers to build private clouds.

      • We’re looking for services that will sere our developer base and our enterprise customers.

      • Sun will be a provider of cloud technologies: hardware,s oftware, service layers, management layers. Theere will be LOTS of clouds.

      • Languages are all irrelevant. All of them have to be supported.

      • Rob Helm: I agree that the language issue is over. Microsoft even shipped a version of Windows where they were so excited that it runs PHP well.

    • David:: Microsoft built common language runtime so that developers can write in any language they want. Java stuck with Java runtimes. Projecting out there will be many runtimes in the cloud. Google is Python. Salesforce is its own runtime. Is that susstainable? Won’t that have to fall away?

        • Lew: Unequivocally yes. Those days are over. You need to allow people to use any application and any technology and any language. Many people don’t even know what thiings are written in. It’s about http exchange between services now. The language the app was written in is immaterial.

        • TCP/IP and http count for everything now, not languages.

    • David: There is a lot of competitive pressure. Microsoft is starting to come out from their cave on cloud computing. What is Microsoft doing to help their customers address thheir prior investment.

      • Rob: we have the entire .NET infrastructure AND we are a cloud provider.

      • Their story is not clear yet because they don’t really know.

      • Small groups inside Microsoft will split off and do various efforts.

      • They have 3 distinct cloud efforts:

        • consumer cloud: MSN/Live. It is not relevant to enterprise cloud but it is giving unprecedented scale experience to Microsoft. It is teaching Microsoft how to build clouds.

        • Business cloud: Microsoft online like Exchange hosting, with 500,000 seats running on a Microsoft hosted email system. That is mostly the story.

          • Several of those apps (Microsoft CRM and Microsooft Dynamics have platform angles that could be hosted as well.

        • Azure: “your legacy apps in the Windows cloud.”

          • compared to Amazon or Rackspace, MS is much less likely to be a “bring your legacy app to us and we’ll run it.”

          • Azure will host apps built with ASP.NET

          • has lots of featuress under the hood to allow for SLAa, self-serve provisioning, and on-demand pricing.

          • But it’s not ASP.NET so we don’t have data access capabilities.

          • The applications run in a very tight sandbox so they can’t harm the MS hosting evnrionment.

          • It’s a PORT, not a move

          • It is not “your app in our cloud” at least today.

    • David: Microsoft layed off 5000 people today. Are you guys moving fast enough? Isn’t this like when Novell made it so hard to move to their next verion that people skipped that upgrade and moved to NT instead.

      • Rob:

        • Separate out Microsoft cloud (Azure) from “Microsoft in the cloud” (Amazon/GoGrid)

        • Microsoft in the cloud and Java in the cloud will persist.

      • Lew:

        • We have clients wanting to run their entire infrastructure in the cloud.

        • Virtualization was about server consolidation in the entierprise.

        • But now it has been bent to be used for moving applications around in thecloud.

        • The enterprise is now grokking that step and realizin gthe importance of virtualizaing their applications where they can.

        • Rob: Virtualization got its start in the enterprise and is now moving to the cloud. Other technologies like TCP/IP found their star on the internet and moved to the enterprisee. Azure’s underlying technologies will find their way into Microsoft’s Enterprise stack. Five years from now, there may be a much smoother transition for apps from Microsoft O/S to the cloud.

    • David: Early in 2008, Amazon announced that they would be supporting the Windows stack and offer SLAs around tthat. I saw no mention in that that Microsoft was ainvolved in that. Was that a slam from Amazon to Microsoft?

      • Rob: Companies have been hosting Microsoft hosting for years. Rackspace has hosted our servers for years.

      • David: You can run a project for 3 days and run a bunch of Windows servers for $6. That is shocking

      • Lew: That is the single most critical interesting thing about cloud is the economics. There is no human interaction in the automation and provisioning

      • That will ripple through licensing. What the heck is per cpu licensing when you oly run the instance for 4 hours?

    • David: in a world where i can spin up and down a Windows or LAMP server, how does that licensing work on the back-end?

      • Rob:

        • At Microsoft, we have not come to grips with licensing yet.

        • Windows licenses are attached to the machines you install them on. Legally speaking it’s hard to move that to another machine on an image.

        • For years, they have sold to companies like BT.

        • But there has to bbe a paradigm change to fix this.

      • Lew: Most cell phone companies figured that out a long time ago. Divide a yearly license into minutes or seconds aor hours and then just bill that.

    • David: pricing aroudn the Microsoft announcements. How is Google app pricing impacting Microsoft? $50/user/year is crazy!

      • Rob: That threat is one of the reasons that tMS is diving into cloud to begin with. Google is threatening MS’ core business which was very profitable.

      • In terms of the impact on pricing, they are bringing down the pircies of Exchange and Sharepoint hosting

      • They think that they’re moving from getting a percenttage of IT software budget (5% of IT budget) to 100% of the IT budget

    • David: will Google apps force an application architecture shift in apps like Sharepoint.

      • Lew: the entire software business model is in chaos. Licensing, support, sales, maintenance are all changing.

    • David: There are layers in the cloud. Sun is widely regarded as an infrastructure and plaatform play. Can you stay clear of the application space? (where MS is playing).

      • Lew:Look at OpenOffice in Sun. It’s an enduser application..

      • Our core value is in providing systems, software, harware, networking, architecture

      • that’s why we want to build private and public clouds.

      • We have a great conduit into tthat particular marketplace.

    • David: Open source has been a key driver for cloud computing right?

      • Lew: Yes, it has been a major driver. You can get amost anything you need for free.

      • Large companies have been built on that ability to build on those stacks.

      • We are almost enitre open source here at Sun now.

      • We will see a variety of different clouds. Amazon We’ll see high-performance computing clouds. We’ll have media streaming clouds. Large scale gaming clouds . Each of them have different characteristics. That is where we’re going.

    • David: knowing how open source deevelopers think and how they work, open source is driven by large numbers of participants.

      • Lew: we will see an increasing push towards open source.

    • Lew: we have not touched on the following:

      • Enterprises have policy issues, privacy, data ownership, that the service providers are going t have to accomodate and figure out.

      • When I joined Salesforce, the first question was “can you protect my data?” By the end of my time there, customers had other issues.

      • Compliance, audit, are all going to have to adapt.

      • Rob: The most successful outsouced industries are regulated. (telecoms for example.)

    • Question from audience: how do we build for the cloud enterprise?

      • Lew: hire people from Facebook, myspace, and other webscale comuters.

      • Most key information is in blog posts. That is where the new architectures exist. It’s not in textbooks anymore.

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