Cloud Camp Atlanta

Posted by Tejus Parikh on January 21, 2009

Cloud Camp was a topical mini-bar camp that was about, of all things, Could Computing. While I’m glad I did attend, I felt it could have been even better and had some reservations about some of the sessions.

I think the biggest disappointment of the night was the panel discussion, which was just some of the sponsors pitching their wares.  To their credit, they did answer the audience’s questions.  However, they seemed more interested in pitching how their products solved the problem.  It could also have used someone forcibly taking the microphone away.  The worst offender was definitely the blue shirted MSFT sales guy of death.  You know somebody brings  zero value when he assumes the entire world runs Exchange and Sharepoint.

While the expert panel was subpar, the individual breakout sessions by Splunk, Puppet, and Jungle Disk were superb and worth the trip.

Splunk’s talk was on their log monitoring tool, which looked incredible.  When wearing my administrator hat, there is nothing as frustrating as shifting through the log directory in attempt to find the root of the problem I’m attempting to track down.  The cloud portion of their talk focused on how using EC2 they were able to prototype ideas that would have never gotten of the ground if they had to buy servers and infrastructure.

Puppet is a system management tool written in Ruby.  It sounds like it lets you do almost anything with configuration.  While not strictly about the cloud, this was the most topical presentation I attended.  Virtual infrastructure still needs to be managed and new instances need to be brought up to speed quickly.  This looks like a great tool for those tasks.

I only caught the tail end of the Jungle Disk presentation on how he built his business.  Jungle Disk stores petabytes of data and does not own a single server.  I find that pretty amazing.

While these sessions were really good, I was a little disappointed in the lack of technical details.  Of course, this was an unconference, so I probably should have asked those types of questions.  A few actual code snippets would have been nice.  While I walked away feeling that I had more knowledge, I don’t necessarily feel I have more knowledge of how to use Cloud computing effectively.

Finally, the organizer (who’s name I can’t remember) and the ATDC can’t be thanked enough for providing these forums and getting these kinds of events organized.  There is a real community in Atlanta and these events keep it healthy.

Tejus Parikh

Tejus is an software developer, now working at large companies. Find out when I write new posts on twitter, via RSS or subscribe to the newsletter: