Posted by: Greg Ness | January 16, 2010

The Cloud Elasticity Myth

I love reading cloud pundits talk about the power of elastic, cloud computing.  You get as much processing power as you need, on demand.  Wow.  Enterprise IT types beware: the cloud is coming.

Indeed it is coming, but on the way to the dream there are plenty of anxious wake up calls.  Check out Chris Hoff’s blog on the difference between over capacity and over subscription.

“On the other hand, the sad truth is that we will have over capacity issues in cloud; it’s simply a sad intersection of the laws of physics and the delicate balance associated with cost control and service delivery.”                                                       Hoff, Rational Survivability, Jan 2010

After a few Tweets with the Hoff I was inspired to call it the “elasticity myth.”  He was quick to point out that the problem is that systems are more elastic than networks.  Yes.  That is the core problem.

When I hear cloud pundits talk up their elasticity I will hear the Hoff in the background bringing the over marketing down to earth.  There has been enough noise about infrastructure 2.0 thus far to put any cloud “elasticist” on notice.  In the words of the Who: “Don’t get fooled again.”


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