Thursday, 28 January 2010

Cloud Overbooking - Part 2

Following last weeks post which went into where I think the potential requirement for similar algorithms that are used within the airline overbooking model may need to be used within a Public cloud provider such as EC2, I will now blog with a second part which provides some predictions on where I think that similar software and associated modules that may start to arise within the world of Cloud providers.

As stated in Part 1, I work for an airline, this dosn't mean this post will include industry based secrets, but what I will provide is a comparison of technologies used to ensure the overbooking strategy works. 

The cloud revenue calculation thingy 

Today within the Airline industry are various commercially available software technologies that calculate what an airline can make from various different seating strategies on certain key flights, dont ask how this does it but the companies that have designed this are certainly not short of a bob or two, meaning its very niche and very clever (and works).

Looking to compare this to the world of Public clouds and I think we may see Software ecosystems arise as has arisen within reservation and booking worlds. A couple of thoughts collated that I think may or may not emerge withing the future state of cloud computing include;
Will we see larger customers obtaining a first class citizenship in multi tenancy environment and recieve higher weighting and priority when resources become scarce, the same as Airlines do in similar ways for frequent flyers, or will a model exist where they be exposed and at risk more like Economy travellers are in the Overbooking model where they pay smaller prices for services but run the risk of being bumped off of the core underlying cloud service? I am only speculating here, its difficult to know what really goes on within public cloud business plans but it maybe potentially something that may start to become more apparent as people transition from conventional outsourced models into cloud based environments. 

Screen Scrapers 

Just another crazy thought that i'll leave you with which is completely seperate to overbooking and is in regards the potential role of screen scrapers in "Cloud commerce". In the reservation world, screen scrapers play havoc on travel industry websites if they are not controlled, in a nutshell a screen scraper is basically a third party whom are scraping say a Airline booking site to scour for the best deal. If not controlled correctly, scrapers play havoc with underlying ecommerce environments because they consume transactional space and mean the real humans end user experience who is using the website directly suffers. Screen scrapers can work in an airlines favor though, some airlines have agreements with some third parties to "scrape" and some airlines have partnerships with third parties who provide indirect services. 

So within the world of Cloud services are we going to see an influx of parties screen scraping big players like EC2 and draining ecommerce portals? Imagine hundreds of screen scrapers upon screen scrapers scouring main portals to see if EC2 has a good price, suitable AMI's, suitable SLA's (dont laugh), and many other charateristics within? It would degrade end user services and potentially steer them to competitors......Just more crazy thoughts that i'll leave you with.

Thats all folks until next time


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