The Colo vs the Cloud

Ken King (Yammer), James Sheridan (
Operations Mission City B1
Average rating: ***..
(3.09, 11 ratings)

The Cloud vs The Colo.

45 minute session.
Tract: Impact on the bottom line
Audience: Startups

We have been building yammer for the past few years.

Yammer started in the colo world. We didn’t put a lot of thought into where to set up after we had a initial version of our product. If we did it over again we may have started in the Cloud.

We are a young company that employees a large development team that moves rapidly.

We have developed a hybrid approach that uses both EC2, S3 and a colo facility. We see advantages to using both the Cloud and the Colo.

Make the right decision early is important. The pain of moving from the colo to the cloud or from the cloud to the colo at scale can be painful.

We will present

  • Real world cost numbers of the colo vs the cloud
  • Power, pipe, networking and servers
  • Hidden costs of the colo.
    -The cost of shipping
    -Time spent unboxing, racking and stacking
    -The cost of cabling
    -The cost of inventory
  • Rapid growth requires an inventory of spare servers. How do we determine what we need.
  • Advantages we see in using the Colo.
  • Advantages we see in using the Cloud.
  • How our customers perceive data security in the Cloud vs the Colo.
  • Working with partners.
    We have partners that are located in the cloud
  • How and why we are using a hybrid approach for our production and disaster recovery sites.
  • How does our deployment strategy differ in the colo and in the cloud.

*How do our monitor and alerting strategies differ in the colo and in the cloud.

Ken King


Ken King started his professional life with a Degree in Forestry working for the US Forest Servers as an Operations Research Analyst. After a few years of mathematical modeling work he became bored and ended up in graduate school pursing a graduate degree in computer science. He ended up at Chevron where he started in work in Operations, supporting a global, unix based oil trading system.

Ken is currently the Director of Operations and Systems Engineering for Yammer.

Ken has lead operations organizations and has build large scale systems for Digital Island, VISA, Hi5, Loomia and Yammer.

Photo of James Sheridan

James Sheridan

James started his career as a web designer in the mid 90s. It didn’t
take long before the designing became developing, and then developing
became administration. The 90s is pretty much where his web design
skills still lie. His systems experience took him to leading the
Infrastructure team of UK e-retailer Ebuyer, and he has plied his
trade for the UK Government and most recently at The Times
newspaper. His core expertise is in building highly-available,
fault-tolerant infrastructure for all kinds of businesses, whether
hosted on bare metal or in the cloud.

James heads up Yammer’s EMEA Foundation Services Engineering team.

James lives in London, where he fosters a life-long love-affair with
Tottenham Hotspur FC.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Mani Chandrasekaran
07/05/2012 7:19am PDT

Where can I find the presentation material for this talk?


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