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Cloud Computing (was Corporate BS generator)

From: Dan Lyke 
------------------------------------------------------
On Thu, 3 Mar 2011 17:35:55 -0500
Jonathan Calloway  wrote:
> I think it needs to be updated. . . . I didn't see the word CLOUD!

This morning I helped a neighbor set up Flowplayer on Wordpress. One of
the things she was excited about using was Encoding.com

Encoding.com provides two services: You upload your file to it (or run
a service on your computer that uploads new files from a directory, or
give it FTP information), and it converts that file to the formats you
specify, and then gives you a URL to it.

I'm not sure I totally get the whole business model, but it somehow
conflates some scripts wrapped around ffmpeg (quite similar to
http://www.petalumaopen.com/en/Video

=============================================================== From: Dave Brockman ------------------------------------------------------ -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 That's an interesting angle, I'd be curious as to what he includes in the calculation of power consumption for "moving the bits to the desktop". Sounds like an interesting discussion. Regards, dtb -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.10 (MingW32) Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org/ iEYEARECAAYFAk1wKVkACgkQABP1RO+tr2QiJACfT/LiVzcMbglmgP/gVagGhnWm wHkAmwfxMJS1guXXUQQ5NuWg+zbIN8Si =Hr5t -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

=============================================================== From: Eric Wolf ------------------------------------------------------ This assumes that cloud computing is about CPU economy. Where the Cloud really wins is in what it enables, not what it replaces. Will there ever be cloud-based video editing? Probably not for a while. Even cloud-based photo editing is still on the horizon. But text editing, spreadsheets, etc., are already there. (granted, the apps aren't as rich in the cloud as on the desktop, but it's what they enable rather than replace). I'd say it's irrelevant. Even if the economies are such that keeping things local costs less in electricity, the gains from collaboration would justify the increased cost. There may be other factors besides collaboration, like reliability, maintenance effort, etc. that come out in favor of the cloud. -Eric

=============================================================== From: Chad Smith ------------------------------------------------------ - Chad W Smith "I like a man who's middle name is W." - President George W. Bush - February 10, 2003 bit.ly/gwb-dubya You are a touch behind, my friend. If online photo editors are "on the horizon" - it's the one fading into the distance behind us, not the one in front of us. Aviary has photo, vector, audio, and other editors on one site: http://www.aviary.com/ Video: http://www.youtube.com/editor http://www.moviemasher.com/ http://jaycut.com/ Photo: http://pixlr.com/ http://www.picnik.com/ http://www.phixr.com/ http://www.photoshop.com/ http://fotoflexer.com/ http://www.lunapic.com/editor/

=============================================================== From: Mike Harrison ------------------------------------------------------ Based on the reccomendations of a respected IT consultant (whom I still respect), we just put a copy of our system on Amazon EC2 for two weeks with almost no traffic, a few databased dump/loads and playing around with EC2, but nothing approximating real use for even a B.S. website or a serious application. Bill for 2 weeks was about $60.00 So we learned: The system works just fine "in the cloud" and we were actually impressed with the speed/responsiveness of EC2 (but not their control panel). And we learned that it could quickly become expensive using certain resources, like bandwidth in/out of of EC2's cloud. Good $60.00 education.

=============================================================== From: Mike Harrison ------------------------------------------------------ Nice list of Links.. Thanks Chad!

=============================================================== From: Stephen Kraus ------------------------------------------------------ Good links Chad! I am going both ways on this: cloud computing is still not where it needs to be, while there is a lot of promise from what we have seen thusfar, its still hard to replace the control and power of a desktop or local server vs cloud servers. I think it has a lot of promise, but we still have yet to see any real advances that would make me want to move to a cloud enabled device - Chad W Smith "I like a man who's middle name is W." - President George W. Bush - February 10, 2003 bit.ly/gwb-dubya You are a touch behind, my friend. If online photo editors are "on the horizon" - it's the one fading into the distance behind us, not the one in front of us. Aviary has photo, vector, audio, and other editors on one site: http://www.aviary.com/ Video: http://www.youtube.com/editor http://www.moviemasher.com/ http://jaycut.com/ Photo: http://pixlr.com/ http://www.picnik.com/ http://www.phixr.com/ http://www.photoshop.com/ http://fotoflexer.com/ http://www.lunapic.com/editor/

=============================================================== From: Eric Wolf ------------------------------------------------------ I stand corrected. Aviary is a pretty darned good suite for image editing. The magic wand tool tends to get a little choppy - mostly because marching ants in the browser is like rendering 1000s of separate objects... Based on the reccomendations of a respected IT consultant (whom I still So how much would a box cost to setup something similar? How many hours did you spend installing Linux, etc? EC2 works well in two situations: 1. You want to play with a non-trivial configuration and don't intend to run it 24x7 2. You have a medium-to-large system where you're having to swap out servers on a monthly basis. The small-to-medium stuff we normally see aren't the best for EC2, especially if you are concerned with bandwidth costs. But that said, there is a third situation for EC2: 3. You have a small system that may become wildly popular and you'll need to scale rapidly. Provided the system is monetized in proportion to use, EC2 is very reasonable. FYI: I've never had an EC2 bill more than $3/month. Typically it's about a quarter. For that quarter, I have an Oracle Enterprise with Spatial extensions instance whenever I want it. -Eric

=============================================================== From: Dan Lyke ------------------------------------------------------ On Thu, 3 Mar 2011 16:54:21 -0700 Eric Wolf wrote: So one of the interesting things about the discussion this morning was that encoding.com appealed because it wasn't a rich experience. She's got the full Adobe Creative Suite on the machine, but fire it up to show her how to use it to transcode video and she says "yeah, way too daunting". And whatever Apple video tools were on the machine were either way too daunting, or required some plug-ins that it would take her too long to track down to use. So they managed to take the slow storage issue and turn that into a plus ("We'll host your video"), and the other thing that we traditionally see as a problem, lack of a rich interface, is also a plus: She's got someone else who shoots and edits the video, she gets it in high quality, and her decisions are where on the site it goes, what the accompanying copy is, and how much resolution tradeoff she's willing to accept. I think this also means, whether Dropbox or Amazon ends up winning the game, that never having the data local, or that the asynchronous nature of DSL and cable, is only an issue for the actual data creators. Dan

=============================================================== From: Eric Wolf ------------------------------------------------------ Just looked at Photoshop.com - mostly from an image management point of view. Lightroom Online blows away PicasaWeb (and integrates with it!). At about $1/GB/YR, it is a little pricey if you are a professional photog. Even I would want to cull my images before uploading. But it's really close to my plugging an EyeFi into my camera, setting it upload to Photoshop.com, and never worrying about local storage again. So there's a bit of the collaborative element as well. I think this also means, whether Dropbox or Amazon ends up winning the Except that it won't be Dropbox vs. Amazon. They'll both win since it's Dropbox+Amazon+Adobe+Google vs. Microsoft. There was an article a little while back where someone said that IBM's Watson (the person, not the computer), when he said that there was a world market for maybe five computers was actually too high by four: http://blogs.sun.com/Gregp/entry/the

=============================================================== From: Dan Lyke ------------------------------------------------------ On Thu, 3 Mar 2011 17:39:24 -0700 Eric Wolf wrote: I'll have to look at how much I've got in images. I suspect that it's gone up dramatically since last time I checked because megapixels have risen (even though I'm not sure image quality has), but my gut feel is that my image library right now is about 50Gb, and if I buy a new drive every few years at about a hundred bucks... It also makes Apple's play even smarter. Hmmm... Dan

=============================================================== From: John Aldrich ------------------------------------------------------ Ok... I'm gonna jump in here and ask a silly question... would Amazon EC2 work for something like a domain controller? My guess is probably not, still, would it work as a BACKUP domain controller, a last-ditch, "Oh, crap...both DCs just bit the big one and we don't have a backup" sort of thing?

=============================================================== From: Mike Harrison ------------------------------------------------------ We're pretty good at it, and have spare hardware.. :) Agreed. It's a beautiful way to play with things or "borrow" them. Working more with Oracle is on the future list "just because" it won't cost me as much as doing that in-house. Scaling and offsite backup / disaster recovery seems to work really well. We might also do more just because the other parts of a project are also in a cloud, and the server to server bandwidth is "free".

=============================================================== From: wes ------------------------------------------------------ My company uses it as a Domain Controller. I had to fight with Amazon engineers to get them to unblock the ports to allow this to work, and it is STILL blocked on some ISPs, but it does work. -wes

=============================================================== From: Billy ------------------------------------------------------ Why not VPN the EC2 to the LAN(s) and forget about opening ports? --b neers to get them to unblock the ports to allow this to work, and it is STIL= L blocked on some ISPs, but it does work.

=============================================================== From: wes ------------------------------------------------------ a) at the time, EC2 didn't support VPNs and we didn't want to set up openVPN just for this purpose b) the theory was that we could have users working at home with domain-based permissions. nevermind that it didn't really work out that way -wes

=============================================================== From: John Aldrich ------------------------------------------------------ Nifty. I'm assuming you still have to pay Mickeysoft their pound of flesh for the server O/S license?

=============================================================== From: wes ------------------------------------------------------ Depends on the license. The cost of the OS license itself is built right into EC2's pricing. I did have to buy Terminal Server license for all the users I wanted to allow to connect. By the way, my domain controller running on EC2 is a linux instance. This was set up before EC2 offered Windows instances. -wes

=============================================================== From: John Aldrich ------------------------------------------------------ Sweet... I've had trouble getting linux to talk to an active directory, so I'd probably go ahead and set up a Windows A/D controller, just to be on the safe side. :-) Might have to look into that... Much as I love linux, I can't really see trying to use it to run an active directory. :-)

=============================================================== From: Dean Warren ------------------------------------------------------ Dang John you sure know how to spew them fightin' words...Linux can't interface w/ AD....Really? Hope you have a great day, Dean Warren

=============================================================== From: wes ------------------------------------------------------ it's not that Linux can't do it, it's just that John can't do it with Linux. -wes