Since 2012, UberCloud together with the engineering community has performed 195 cloud experiments together, running engineers’ technical computing applications on different HPC clouds, and published 80 case studies. In the early days, each experiment took three months on average, and had a 50% failure rate. Today, our cloud experiments take just a few days, and have a 0% failure rate. What has happened? Clearly, five years ago, HPC cloud computing was in its infancy, and the users faced several severe roadblocks. But since then we have learned how to reduce or even remove them completely. And while the roadblocks were real five years ago, many of them have turned into myths, with the advent of new technologies, adequate business models, and the growing acceptance of cloud computing in general. Let’s have a closer look.
1. Clouds are not secure
This was the number one roadblock for many years, and it is still stuck in the heads and minds of many users. But over the years, cloud providers have hired the brightest security experts and integrated sophisticated levels of security to protect their customers’ data and applications. And virtual private networks guaranty an end-to-end secure link between user and cloud; and especially HPC workloads are often running on dedicated servers which are ‘owned’ by the user for as long as he rented them, avoiding potential multi-tenancy threads. For security reasons, application installations are only carried out by badged experts, and computing resources and storage are safeguarded like Fort Knox. Any cloud provider who caused a security breach would face the risk to be out of business the next day.
2. I have no control over my assets in the cloud
In the early days of cloud computing, you handed over (directly or through a user interface (“cloud platform”) your application and data to the cloud provider not knowing how they handle it nor what the status of your compute (batch) jobs was. Today, many cloud providers are offering more transparency. And, with the advent of software container technology from Docker and UberCloud, additional functionality like collecting granular usage data, logs, monitoring, alerting, reporting, emailing, and interactivity are putting the user back in control.