Friday, December 14, 2012

maRunga, in the sky

Everyone picked up on Google’s clouds misfortune, but back on July 2, 2012, New York Times reported: “On Friday night, lightning in Virginia took out machines that were part of Amazon Web Services, which hundreds of companies use for data storage and computation. Well-known sites like Netflix, Pinterest and Instagram were not accessible for hours.”

On October 22, 2012, GIGAOM reported: “Here we go again. Problems with Amazon’s Elastic Block Storage (EBS) service have brought down Foursquare, Reddit, Heroku, and other popular websites. Once again, Amazon’s U.S. East data center in Virginia is ground zero for these issues”

Back in 2011 Earnst&Young published a paper “Cloud computing issues and impacts”, as part of their Global Technology Industry Discussion Series. Interesting reading:,_impacts_and_insights/$File/Cloud%20computing%20issues%20and%20impacts_14Apr11.pdf

So, unguarded clouds may get us all in trouble? I think that. What about the guarded ones? HP Clouds program does not address NonStop participation in the solutions. Not yet. We hope to change that with maRunga!

We spent a few hours last week discussing the name for a new InfraSoft product that will provide a shield against unexpected failures of the computers that are providing the resources as part of the cloud. It is no longer “pie in the sky”; it is a well-defined project, with plans, deliverable and a name!

Choosing a name is always fun; it needed to be an Australian Aboriginal word so that it is clear that the product comes from the same company that brought uLinga to market; yes it will share the underlying framework with uLinga, of course. The Team voted, and it will be maRunga, a word based on the Aboriginal word for cloud.

Building maRunga will not automatically promote NonStop systems to playing a prominent role within enterprise clouds and may only attract a select few – but after reading the reports being generated following the outages we have all seen recently, there certainly cannot be any harm in equipping NonStop to play a role in Clouds, so stay tuned and watch for more details in the coming year.

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