Posts Tagged ‘Private Cloud’

Cloud Computing and EDA – Are we there yet?

Lawrence Vivolo

Sr. Business Development Manager at EMC²

Cloud 9Today anything associated with “Cloud” is all the rage.  In fact, depending on your cellular service provider, you’re probably already using cloud storage to back up your e-mail, pictures, texts, etc. on your cell phone. (I realized this when I got spammed with “you’re out of cloud space – time to buy more” messages). Major companies that offer cloud-based solutions (servers, storage, infrastructure, applications, management, etc.) include Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Rackspace, Dropbox, EMC and others. For those that don’t know the subtleties of Cloud, and the terms, like Public vs Private vs Hybrid vs Funnel, and why some are better suited for EDA, I thought I’d give you some highlights.

Let’s start with the obvious – what is “Cloud”? Cloud computing is a collection of resources which can include servers (for computing), storage, applications, infrastructure (ex: networking) and even services (management, backups, etc.). Public clouds are simply clouds that are made available by 3rd-parties and are shared resources. Being shared is often advertised as a key advantage of public cloud – because the resources are shared, so is the cost. These shared resources can also expand and contract as needs change, allowing companies to precisely balance need with availability.  Back in 2011, Synopsys, a leading EDA company, was promoting this as a means to address peak EDA resource demand [1].

Unfortunately, public cloud has some drawbacks.  The predictability of storage cost is one. Though public cloud appears very affordable at first glance, most providers charge for the movement of data to and from their cloud, which can exceed the actual costs to store the data.  This can be further compounded when data is needed worldwide as it may need to be copied to multiple regions for performance and redundancy purposes. With semiconductor design, these charges can be significant, since many EDA programs generate lots of data.

Perhaps the greatest drawback to EDA adoption of public cloud is the realization that your data might be sitting on physical compute and/or storage resources that are being shared with someone else’s data.  That doesn’t mean you can see other’s data. Access is restricted via OS policy and other security measures. Yet that does create a potential path for unauthorized access. As a result, most semiconductor companies have not been willing to risk the potential to have their most important “golden jewels” (their IP) hacked and stolen from a public cloud environment. Security has improved since 2011, however, and some companies are considering cloud for long-term archiving of non-critical data as well as some less business critical IP.

Private cloud avoids these drawbacks, as it isolates the physical infrastructure – including hardware, storage and networking – from all other users. Your own company’s on-premise hardware is typically a private cloud, even though, increasingly, some of that “walled-off” infrastructure is itself located off-premise and/or owned and managed by a 3rd party. While physical and network isolation reduce the security concerns, they also eliminates some of the flexibility. The number of servers available can’t be increased or decreased with a single key-click to accommodate peak demand changes, at least not without upfront planning and additional costs.

Hybrid cloud is another common term – which simply means a combination of public and private clouds.

In the world of semiconductor design, private cloud as a service has been available for some time and is offered in various forms by several EDA companies today. Cadence® Design Systems, for example, offers both Hosted Design Solutions [2], which includes HW, SW and IT infrastructure, and QuickCycles® Service which offers on-site or remote access to Palladium emulation and simulation acceleration resources [3]. Hybrid cloud is also starting to gain interest, where non-critical data that’s infrequently accessed can be stored with minimal transport costs.

The public cloud market is changing constantly and as time progresses new improvements may arise that make it more appealing to EDA. A challenge of IT administrators today is meeting today’s growing infrastructure needs while avoiding investments that are incompatible with future cloud migrations. This is where you need to hedge your bets and chose a platform that delivers the performance and flexibility EDA companies require, yet enables easy migration from private to hybrid—or even public cloud. EMC’s Isilon, for example, is an EDA-proven high performance network-attached storage platform that provides native connectivity to the most popular public cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and EMC’s Virtustream.

Not only does native cloud support future-proof today’s storage investment, it makes the migration seamless – thanks to its single point of management that encompasses private, hybrid and public cloud deployments. EMC Isilon supports a feature called CloudPools, which transparently extends an Isilon storage pool into cloud infrastructures. With CloudPools your company’s critical data can remain on-premise yet less critical, rarely accessed data can be encrypted securely and archived automatically and transparently onto the cloud. Isilon can also be configured to archive your business-critical data (IP) to lower-cost on-premise media.  This combination saves budget and keeps more high-performance storage space available locally for your critical EDA jobs.

Semiconductor companies and EDA vendors have had their eyes on public cloud for many years. While significant concerns over security continue to slow adoption, technology continues to evolve. Whether your company ultimately sticks with private cloud, or migrates seamlessly to hybrid or public cloud in the future depends on decisions you make today. The key is to focus on flexibility, and not let fear cloud your judgment.

[1] EDA in the Clouds: Myth Busting: https://www.synopsys.com/Company/Publications/SynopsysInsight/Pages/Art6-Clouds-IssQ2-11.aspx?cmp=Insight-I2-2011-Art6

[2] Cadence Design Systems Hosted Design Services: http://www.cadence.com/services/hds/Pages/Default.aspx

[3] Cadence Design System QuickCycles Service: http://www.cadence.com/products/sd/quickcycles/pages/default.aspx

Breakfast with ECS: Most Wanted Cloud Storage Feature Series – Part 2: Multi-Purpose

Diana Gao

Senior Product Marketing Manager at EMC² ECS

BreakfastWelcome to another edition of Breakfast with ECS, a series where we take a look at issues related to cloud storage and ECS (Elastic Cloud Storage), EMC’s cloud-scale object storage platform.

Hello folks!

Glad to have you back to this educational journey of Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) features.

In the previous blog of this series, you learned the market trend and why Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) is one storage solution that can cater to all of your needs. From this blog, you’ll learn more about the specific features that make ECS so awesome.

As traditional systems capture and store data based on data type, they have to manage different silos of data. While they give you consistency and speed, trying to manage these pools of data is like facilitating a conversation where no one speaks the same language. It’s a path to some serious complexity.

So, here we are! ECS is the one single shared storage that supports billions of files of all types and talks multiple “languages”, such as Amazon S3, OpenStack Swift, HDFS and NFS.

Check out today’s video below to learn more about ECS’ multi-purpose capabilities.

ECS is not only designed for multi-purpose, it is also “smart”. Check back for the upcoming blog introducing ECS’ smart features.

Additional resources:

Breakfast with ECS: Most Wanted Cloud Storage Feature Series

Diana Gao

Senior Product Marketing Manager at EMC² ECS

Welcome to another edition of Breakfast with ECS, a series where we take a look at issues related to cloud storage and ECS (Elastic Cloud Storage), EMC’s cloud-scale object storage platform.

Social media, mobile, cloud and big data are here to stay. Each has brought new opportunities to create more intimate, immediate relationships withElastic Cloud Storage customers, deliver better experiences, enhance business value, and gain competitive advantage. The principal asset that makes all this possible is the insight that comes from data – data that is growing exponentially and without structure.

Burdened by traditional storage systems, IT organizations have struggled to keep up with this explosion of data. This has led to adoption of public-cloud storage platforms like AWS S3, driven by compelling economic advantages over traditional SAN and NAS storage systems. However, public cloud storage platforms involve navigating some fundamental tradeoffs in the areas of data residency, compliance with local laws and regulations, as well as unforeseen costs.

With EMC’s Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS), you don’t have to balance these tradeoffs. It is one storage system that is able to balance the needs between capacity (flat budget for growing data), capability (more demands imposed by applications) and perceived economical alternatives in the public cloud.

Watch the video below and learn more about why Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) is one storage solution that can cater to all of your needs.

With ECS, you’ll enjoy these key benefits:

  • Multi-purpose platform
  • Smart storage
  • Enterprise class
  • Superior economics

What features make ECS such an awesome platform? Stay tuned for more blogs.

Learn more about ECS and try ECS for free.

In Cyber Space No One Can Hear You Scream

Rodger Burkley

Principal Product Marketing Manager at EMC

No doubt you fans of sci-fi and “vintage feature films” out there instantly recognize this famous (and hauntingly memorable) movie tagline.  Hint:  For those of you who regard Hollywood movies and horror futuristic science fiction as being alien to your “core” interests or even remote curiosity…

Yes, “Alien” was a ground breaking, Cyber Space Screammemorable sci-fi horror flick directed by Ridley Scott.
First released in 1979, it was a trend setter for sure… and one that launched a whole bevy of Aliens.  It changed everything in terms of high action, high thrills (and scares) science fiction drama flicks.  Of course, I first saw it much later on VHS when I was old enough to watch it without having nightmares… (at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it…)

And — yes — in the vacuum of outer space sound doesn’t propagate or travel…so indeed no one can hear you scream. Turns out, no one can hear you scream in cyber space either… particularly where the Public Cloud is involved.

As good as the Public Cloud and various service providers are, the simple fact is that you lose control of your storage and compute resources once you get on the Cloud wagon.  More importantly, you lose control and access of your valuable data once you upload it onto some Public Cloud service provider’s infrastructure.

Need some ‘fact checking’ validation here?  Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the biggest Public Cloud service provider, followed by Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and a number of others.  It’s been a tough week for AWS customers.  They’ve had two service outages last week alone!  The dreaded ‘D word’ in IT….Downtime!  The silver lining?  Well, at least AWS customers’ monthly usage service fees will be lower this month… (more…)

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