With JavaOne starting tomorrow I have been waiting to see what kind of interesting things Sun will be launching. If OpenSolaris + EC2 is the best they've got it may be a long week.Some interesting vendors are running their software on the OS-EC2 platform. For example, GigaSpaces provides software for highly distributed, highly available environments and running it as a Cloud application is cool when you consider that most enterprises are not that keen on the fact that servers in the cloud are just part of the distributed network.
BEA's Peter Laird just posted a great overview of Cloud Computing, SaaS, and Platform-as-a-Service PaaS for those who are still struggling to figure it out (and really who isn't?)
As always, the definitions are vague, yet arguable but I think they do a good job in establishing what we are talking about.
Cloud Computing Cloud computing refers to the virtualization of the data center, such that server machines are not thought of individually but as just a commodity in a greater collection of server machines. Cloud computing solutions in general strive to eliminate the need for an application … Read more
Twitter is still an early-adopter application, and if the system is running into scale issues already it's unlikely that it will be able to keep up when mainstream adoption occurs.
Twitter appears to have a fundamental design flaw that's not easily dealt with. It was designed to be a stand-alone system functioning in a multiparty/multiprotocol world. In the current architecture Twitter is an application, where it really needs to be a distributed system.
Maybe Twitter needs enterprise service bus (ESB) functionality that runs in enough distributed locations (Yahoo, Google, Amazon.com, desktop) to ensure that messages are reliably delivered. This could be achieved in a wide variety of ways without having to maintain a massive infrastructure like the carriers do for SMS. It would also enforce pervasiveness and adoption.
The fact that Twitter is based on Ruby on Rails is probably only part of the real issue, though Ruby does require a fair amount of tweaking to run reliably. Scale issues are less likely to happen with PHP or Java, but Ruby apps are generally easier to build.
I came up with a few analogous systems that might help to explain some of the technical ways Twitter-scale could be achieved: … Read more
My other theory is that we can eventually get rid of Outlook. If there is any app that people are more addicted to than Outlook, it's Gmail. And now we've suckered them into using it for business. … Read more
Before I became a marketing wonk I was a knowledgeable technologist, which is probably why I've never once enjoyed any e-mail system that I have used or implemented. Over the last 15 years, I have tried pretty much everything, from Pine to Zimbra, to MS Exchange to Lotus Notes and several different IMAP and POP options. Every time it's the same thing--the system works within reason but is never great. And there is always something that bites you in the rear.
I first started outsourcing e-mail to managed providers in 2003 when I worked for a CEO who demanded MS Exchange and we only had Linux boxes. It was never great and it was too expensive to boot. But the offerings have gotten much better and at this point I can't see a small- or medium-sized business running its own mail server. It's just not necessary.
Here are my fundamental hopes for e-mail:Reliable delivery of mail (dare to dream) Reliable delivery of mail on mobile devices (Blackberry and iPhone) Shared calendaring with administrator abilities (i.e. admin access) Backup and recovery Reliable SPAM prevention Sync across multiple computers and devices