Cloud Computing in the Focus of ZendCon 2011

ZendCon 2011, the seventh annual Zend PHP Conference, ended yesterday.
You missed it? Some really interesting live speech recordings are available online…

The front and center theme of this year’s ZendCon was – not very surprisingly – cloud computing. All large web players are now working hard to open their platforms and provide IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) offers that are interesting for a wide scale of projects.

Here are some cloud centric speech recordings from ZendCon 2011 that I really recommend to take a peek at if you are developing for the web. They probably show how you will deploy your work within the not so far future:

PHPcloud – Zend’s Cloud Offer
Kent Mitchell, Zend’s Director of Product Management
(starting at 1:15:00 after Andy Gutmans’ keynote)

Kent gives an impressive (and risky) live tour through Zend’s upcoming cloud service PHPcloud. It is fully integrated with the new Zend Studio 9 and basically allows to seamlessly deploy your code from your local system into the cloud, providing something like an elastic Zend Server. While PHPcloud is running on Amazon’s AWS it ultimately feels like a system on its own.

AWS – Amazon’s Cloud Offer
Jeff Barr, Amazon Web Services Evangelist
(spare yourself the trivial history lecturing and start at 29:00 where it gets interesting!)

After a really verbose half hour prelude Jeff finally gets to the real stuff and demonstrates some basics of the Amazon cloud service AWS and here it really gets interesting. He shows how to define and deploy a complete web server infrastructure by uploading some simple JSON configuration file. This includes server instances, storage, networking, load watchers and load balancers,… While this infrastructure is virtual it works very much like physical hardware, but scales seamlessly with the server load and ramps up within seconds. Infrastructure changes can take place within minutes instead of days or weeks. Cost starts as low as 0,02 USD/hour (~15 USD/month) for a “Micro” instance. (Be warned though that Micro is actually a very small server with less than 1 Gb of memory that has no elasticity whatsoever. Most additional features will bring extra cost, so when you really wanna go cloud you will easily end up with some 100 bucks/month.)

Stratus – eBay’s Cloud Offer
Hugh E. Williams, ebay’s Vice President of Search, Experience and Platforms
(starting at 06:20)

If you wanna learn about how to deliver an impressive dynamic speech that absorbs the audience, have a look at this one!

Hugh delivers extremely interesting details about the technology behind eBay. They are shifting towards an IT service company that combines proprietary commerce solutions with Open Source solutions (see in a hybrid approach. eBay’s cloud service Stratus will be launched in the near future.

Hugh has a great way of explaining how the internal hardware provisioning at eBay has changed over the last decade and now opens up to become a public cloud service offer. If you have not yet understood what IaaS and PaaS do mean, this speech is your entry into the subject!

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