"Tweet" clouds

“The Cloud Isn’t Just For Storing Tweets”

"Tweet" cloudsI love the title above.  I saw it in a great article by Derrick Harris in GigaOM where he talks to Amazon Web Services Chief Data Scientist Matt Wood about the symbiotic nature of big data and cloud computing.   While Justin Bieber may disagree, those of us in IT know that the implications of Software-as-a-Service, Storage-as-a-Service, Optimization-as-a-Service, and other cloud initiatives are quite profound, extending well beyond storage for popular social media tools.

But there is one section in the GigaOM article that really gave me pause.  Below is a paraphrase:

“[D]ata generated on in-house systems has to make its way to the cloud over inherently slow connections. The bigger the dataset, the longer the upload time. […]

And if datasets are too large […] customers can just send AWS their physical disks. ‘We definitely receive hard drives,’ Wood said.”

Really?  Is this the 1990s? That seems a bit old fashioned, no?  Stacey Higginbotham, another GigaOM reporter, seems to agree in her article, “When Amazon resorts to snail mail there is a business opportunity”.

Well, guess what?  You can solve the challenge of moving data to and from the cloud quickly, and it exists today in the form of data acceleration software.

Many people don’t always realize it, but the cloud runs on top of the Internet, which just so happens to be a big ol’ Wide Area Network (WAN).  Because it is public (e.g. shared), it also happens to be one of the lowest quality and most unpredictable WANs out there.

Data acceleration software (a.k.a WAN acceleration) solves bandwidth, distance, and packet delivery issues within the Internet, which makes it a key enabler for all cloud offerings.

The challenge, though, is that the best WAN acceleration solutions are symmetric, requiring devices on both ends of a link — i.e. one device on-premise and the other inside the cloud.  When this form of data acceleration is deployed as a physical appliance, there are logistical challenges associated with deployment within the cloud.  But virtualization changes everything.  It enables data acceleration software to be easily deployed anywhere, anytime — including within cloud environments.

In fact, Silver Peak now has an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) available for download, which is a special pre-configured operating system and virtual software that lets you easily launch a Silver Peak virtual machine within the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).  With a few clicks, you can have Silver Peak’s data acceleration software accelerating all IP traffic going in and out of the cloud.  This ensures faster data transfers and faster performance for hosted applications.  In addition, it can reduce cloud data usage costs by eliminating over 50% of traffic being transferred.

It’s OK to have your head in the clouds.  But you shouldn’t need a FedEx account to get there.  With Silver Peak software, you get all the benefits of cloud services without the pain (and cost) of snail mail.

Image credit: Pixabay