Forecasting in the clouds and Lokad.Cloud
Cloud computing will be the no1 buzzword in software industry in 2009. Among forums, blogs, even traditional news papers, cloud computing is the new rage; and we, at Lokad, are no exception.
Yet, for us, cloud computing is not a buzzword, it’s a very real technology addressing a very critical aspect of our technology: scalability.
In short, delivering forecasts is a rather bumpy process: for one week, we wait, and then, suddenly, a customer sends us a (very) large amount and (rightfully) expects forecasts to be delivered within 1h.
Traditional computing infrastructures do not deal efficiently with those sorts of needs: servers are rented for at least one month with strong pricing incentive toward longer engagements. For Lokad, traditional server hosting means that our processing power is vastly underused; yet during peaks, there is never enough processing power available.
Thus, we have started migrating toward the cloud, and more specifically toward Windows Azure (special thanks to Steve Marx and Yi-Lun Luo from Microsoft for their assistance to get us started with Azure).
For those who rely on us, cloud computing means that we will be able to serve you better through:
- unrivaled and unlimited scalability: no matter how large your data, we will address your needs, on demand, real time.
- better forecasts through more complex statistical models that are presently too expensive CPU-wise to be put in production.
Although, cloud computing is still a rough field lacking many commodities usually taken for granted by developers when dealing with non-cloud apps. This is why we have started a new open source project named Lokad.Cloud that provides a .NET framework to speedup the development of back-office apps built on top of Windows Azure. We expect an alpha release in July. Stay tuned.