Thursday, September 7, 2006

Amazon EC2 Killer Apps - Meet 3Tera

Earlier I wrote about Amazon's new Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and some of the Killer Apps needed from a virtualization management perspective to really get it to take off. Let me add one to the list.

Back in August 2005, I came across 3Tera through a conversation with my buddy Adam Messinger (then of Gauntlet Systems and recently acquired by Borland). 3Tera is a software company building virtualization management software for what they call a "Grid Operating System". I don't like the marketing message (the "grid" word really makes me twinge), but I do like the progress the company has made from a technology perspective in the last 12 months. Well done! Take a look at their Flash-based product demonstration to see what I'm talking about.

3Tera comments on the Amazon EC2 solution in their blog.

For me, it is the combination of 3Tera's AppLogic and Amazon's EC2 that is most interesting. Adding virtualization management that includes the ability to plug in firewalls, load balancers, web servers, app servers, database servers (and whatever else you desire) in a typical N-Tier IT web-based fashion, as 3Tera has done, really makes it a lot easier to deploy truly real and scalable applications. The logic is simple:

  1. Amazon's got the infrastructure and a start on the provisioning management software, but doesn't have anything more.

  2. 3Tera has got some decent looking (I've never touched it) software for building the higher-level blocks of a real application, but could never build such an infrastructure.

  3. Seems like a match made in heaven. Amazon... Make them an offer!

Now, that doesn't seem likely - Amazon could certainly build out the management pieces itself over time. 3Tera's configuration GUI looked nice, but I didn't see anything for run-time scaling during production (though, arguably, that part is pretty easy to tack on if they don't have it now).

However, for my money, I think 3Tera has got better prospects than being acquired by Amazon. I don't like their current business model, but I'll save those comments for them directly.

Note: Jon Udell does talk of 3Tera in this week's InfoWorld, including a quick clarification that the 3Tera business model is, indeed, not the same as Amazon's EC2.

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  1. [...] written quite a few stories about Amazon Web Services, including their EC2 and S3 offerings. They are heading in [...]

  2. [...] , Software , Startups , Technology , Virtualization Leave a Comment I’ve written a couple of articles about the Amazon EC2 service. It’s the Elastic Compute Cloud that lets you build very scalable [...]

  3. [...] with their AppLogic release in the next 12 months and things were really starting to look good, so I wrote my first article about them in September 2006. A couple weeks later, ReadWriteWeb called them out as [...]


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