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Summary:

Rackspace VP of Technology Nigel Beighton shared his thoughts on the most important tools in the cloud at Structure: Europe. If you want to get the most out of the cloud, virtual servers alone won’t cut it.

Nigel Beighton Rackspace Structure: Europe 2013
photo: Anna Gordon/GigaOM

Rackspace Vice President of Technology Nigel Beighton took the stage Thursday at Structure: Europe to talk about the five most important tools for any company deploying infrastructure in the cloud. Infrastructure-as-a-service is a great thing, he told the crowd, but it’s also full of potential land mines.

How good is the cloud? Well, Beighton explained that an online travel company he worked for during the dot-com boom used to spend about £100,000 every year to scale up for the post-Christmas travel-booking spike. Once that demanded subsided, his team put those extra servers to use playing Doom. Come the next year, they’d do the same thing.

Now, he said, scaling up to meet the same post-Christmas demand would cost about £200 in the cloud. But if you’re not careful, IaaS can burn you, or at least deliver a less-than-optimal experience.

Here are the five tools Beighton thinks are essential for getting the most out of the cloud:

  • API management, because you can’t do everything from a GUI.
  • Automation, because the cloud should make people’s lives easier.
  • Scaling and monitoring, because you need to know where your bottlenecks are and be able to fix them.
  • Security, which must scale along with applications in the cloud.
  • Financial control, because you don’t want a huge, unexpected cloud bill at the end of the month. You probably don’t want any unused cloud servers at all.

Check out the rest of our Structure:Europe 2013 coverage here, and a video embed of the session follows below:


A transcription of the video follows on the next page
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  1. HAHA Rackspace … this is what AWS does; not you!

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  2. Should be on the list IMO: A better more transparent way to provide governance, rationalization of usage, and ROI. Better management tools will feed into adoption, better decision making in terms of impact and responsibility toward finances. A management interface allowing companies to tune services based on needs vs cost etc will go a long way towards deploying the right infrastructure vs having a ton of unused services sitting in the cloud yet racking up the bill.

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  3. Patrick Cummings Monday, September 23, 2013

    A better more transparent way to provide governance, rationalization of usage, and ROI. Better management tools will feed into adoption, better decision making in terms of impact and responsibility toward finances. A management interface allowing companies to tune services based on needs vs cost etc will go a long way towards deploying the right infrastructure vs having a ton of unused services sitting in the cloud yet racking up the bill.

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