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Software and IT Infrastructure architects have long aspired to the values of engineering and aesthetics; we have been scientists; we have been artists. In the age of cloud computing we need to start thinking and acting like economists, econometricians and dare I say it hedge fund managers. We must be guided more by the prices we see for the resources that we use than by our more traditional arbiters of system efficiency. We should be as adept at taking advantage of price inefficiencies as we are at taking advantage of new algorithms, spindle configurations or patterns of design. Today’s architects need to spend as much time in Excel as they do in UML, modelling and optimizing the costs of the systems they propose to build. This session discusses these topics. What factors drive the build and operation costs of cloud based systems? What trade-offs do we make? How does load variability affect our use of fixed vs pay-per-use services? Where are long run costs going and why? Are there limits to the downward march to zero?
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