Billy Marshall

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Billy Marshall's Blog As a technology provider that helps application companies embrace cloud computing by virtualizing the applications to run on any cloud, I was a bit disappointed with Google's AppEngine announcement. It appears that Google is embracing the “walled garden” approach of salesforce.com and Microsoft instead of the cloud approach of Amazon. I believe that walled gardens will ultimately be overshadowed by clouds because you cannot achieve webscale computing if every application has to run on a server owned by Google. Historically, Google has been very good about providing APIs that enable applications to access its web services independent of the computer on which they run. This is an important concept because it is often the case that an application needs to run on a particular network or network segment in order to preserve some critical aspect of per... (more)

rPath Founder & CSO Speaking Next Week at SYS-CON's Cloud Computing Expo November 19-21 in Silicon Valley

Billy Marshall's Open Source Blog The problem with the notion of “Windows for EC2” is that it perpetuates the broken, legacy model of tying your application to the infrastructure upon which it runs. In the legacy model, applications became artificially tied to the physical server upon which they ran, and server utilization was low because it is very difficult to run multiple applications on a single instance of a general purpose operating system. The reason it is difficult to run multiple applications on a single instance of a general purpose operating system is because each applic... (more)

The High Cost of Independence

The acronym ISV stands for Independent Software Vendor. Historically, independence was important to protect customers from the proprietary lock-in associated with third-party components such as hardware or system software. A greater choice of interoperable components gave customers greater flexibility to procure and assemble a system that met their needs. Microsoft alleviated some of this concern with the Windows platform because customers could always choose multiple hardware providers when selecting applications that ran on Windows. Of course, an application that only runs on W... (more)

Will Managing VM Sprawl Lead to Rogue Cloud Deployments?

I just read an interesting article regarding the potential cost pitfalls associated with VM sprawl. Jett Thompson, an enterprise computing architect from Boeing, has developed a cost model regarding the benefits of virtualization and the related pitfalls of VM sprawl. It seems that virtualization is easy to justify, so long as you don't give the users everything that they want. Here is the money quote from the article: However, all of those savings [from virtualization] can be eliminated if sprawl isn't controlled. With virtual servers easy to spin up, users may ask for large nu... (more)

The Virtual Machine Tsunami

Over the past two weeks, I have had a number of very interesting conversations with partners, prospects, customers, and analysts that lead me to believe that a virtual machine tsunami is building which might soon swamp the legacy, horizontal system management approaches. Here is what I have heard: Two separate prospects told me that they have quickly consumed every available bit of capacity on their VMware server farms. As soon as they add more capacity, it disappears under the weight of an ever pressing demand of new VMs. They are scrambling to figure out how they manage the pen... (more)