Today’s keynote was given by Zhaohui Wu of Zhejiang University in which he gave a comprehensive survey of the Services industry in China, noting how it is still very underdeveloped compared with many other countries (accounting for a much smaller percentage of economic activity – just over 40%, compared with 60-70% in other countries) while simultaneously being very advanced with deep penetration of new services, Tencent and Alibaba being notable examples. He highlighted how the cloud can be a facilitator of significant growth in the services sector in China.
The panel discussion focused on Enablement for Cloud Computing. This had a few interesting speakers and covered a broad range of topics. Wu Chou from Huawei’s Shannon Labs again highlighted the impact of big data, talked about the importance of SDN (close to our heart!) and put forward ideas around how the Data Centre can be just one big computer. Carl Kesselman from ISI/USC gave an interesting perspective on the grid/cloud story, noting that everything that exists in cloud today has existed in the grid world for some time: the essential difference is that the cloud world was based on a solid economic model which was basically lacking in the grid world. Also, the big challenges in grid – multi-vendor, multi-provider – have not really been solved properly in cloud. Finally, Alan Sussman from University of Maryland gave an interesting talk on software testing in the cloud highlighting how the cloud use case can give opportunity for some kind of crowd-sourced software testing – quite a compelling idea.
As well as the keynote and the panel session, we attended sessions on Performance Modelling, Cost Optimization, Cloud Applications. Highlights here included a talk by Feng Yan who had done work in HP Labs on how to optimize Map Reduce for the context of heterogenous cores in a single package. In the Cost Optimization session, Santiago Gomez Saez presented some work on behalf of his colleagues at Uni Stuttgart which described a nice TOSCA based tool which can recommend the best cloud configuration for a given application. The final talk which piqued our interest came from NECLabs and focused on a PaaS (so-called MediaPaaS) for distribution of Live video content which has nice hooks for video transformation and into different CDNs.
Another interesting day with some interesting discussions, although being the penultimate day, the energy is beginning to dissipate. Looking forward to giving our talk tomorrow!