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Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform as a service (PaaS) now supports Node.js, the popular server-side JavaScript development framework. That could give Azure more traction beyond the Microsoft .NET faithful. Also new: a limited trial of Hadoop-based distribution for Azure. Read more »

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stress test

SOASTA has raised a $12 million Series D round as a throng of competitors jockeys for position behind it. SOASTA’s vision of using cloud resources for load testing is very relevant today as new applications web, mobile and even Facebook applications pop up by the minute. Read more »

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The cloud-based SAP Social Media Analytics service aims to bring more consumer-centric smarts to SAP’s enterprise customers. SAP will sell and provision NetBase semantic search and analytics capabilities and provide a user-friendly dashboard to display the results on an iPad or other device. Read more »

Jason Hoffman (Joyent), Guido Appenzeller (Big Switch Networks), Martin Casado (Nicira Networks), Dante Malagrino (Embrane) - Structure 2011

Embrane, the not-so-stealthy startup that’s one of several hoping to make it big on the concept of virtualizing the network, launched Sunday. The company, founded in 2010 by Dante Malagrinò, has raised $27 million to provide firewalls, load balancers and more via distributed software. Read more »

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The world of words gets in the way of conversations between IT and the business all the time. Cloud computing is no exception. Words such as “application” and “service” mean different things to different people, but perhaps there’s room for consensus on some core principles. Read more »

Facebook Data Center

When data centers can be built anywhere and accessed from anywhere, how much does location matter? CentriLogic’s Jim Latimer identifies four key characteristics needed for a cost-effective data center location and suggests five places to build. Read more »

speed

Never content with good enough when it comes to speed, Facebook has taken its open-source PHP-boosting HipHop technology to the next level for programmers. With the new HipHop Virtual Machine, Facebook claims it has improved upon HipHop interpreter performance by 60 percent. Read more »

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shopping mall

IBM plans to acquire retail data analytics company DemandTec in an all-cash deal valued at $440 million, continuing Big Blue’s buys in big data businesses. DemandTec has two especially compelling elements for IBM: It adds to its big data expertise, and it’s vertically focused. Read more »

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LexisNexis is pressing MarkLogic’s technology into service for its just-launched Lexis Advance legal service. MarkLogic’s document storage, search and analytics technology replaces legacy home-built code as part of a platform modernization and big data push. Read more »

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Greenplum has announced its Unified Analytics Platform, a packaging of the Greenplum Database and Hadoop distribution along with its long-awaited Chorus software. Chorus is really what ties everything together, providing a platform to explore both types of data and to share interesting data sets and findings. Read more »

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Amazon is scheduling what looks to be a significant number of reboots to customer EC2 instances in the coming weeks. Customers started getting letters informing them of the instance restarts on Tuesday, according to Cloudscaling. It is unclear what issue the patches address. Read more »

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As companies move to the cloud, DevOps — the practice where developers work with the operations side of the house — becomes more important. That collaboration could lead to more satisfying IT implementations and the best — and sanctioned — use of cloud resources. Read more »

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Digital Reasoning, a somewhat shadowy specialist in big data analytics for the U.S. intelligence community, announced B Series funding and named industry vet John Brennan to its board. Funding came from CIA-backed In-Q-Tel, as well as some Silver Lake Sumeru partners and other unnamed investors. Read more »

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IBM has made three breakthroughs that could help chips continue following Moore’s Law, resulting in more performance or memory at lower prices. These breakthroughs may also allow us to take advantage of new spectrum for mobile broadband and make better batteries. Read more »

Michael Bloomberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and Charles Schumer at Facebook NYC

Facebook announced Friday it will establish engineering operations in New York City in 2012. This will be the social networking company’s first engineering office outside of the west coast. “We want the next Facebook to start here in New York City,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. Read more »

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Online games powerhouse Zynga is shooting to reap $1billion in its IPO, according to an amended prospectus filed on Friday. The company behind Farmville, Mafia Wars and other games expects to offer 100 million shares of common stock at $8.50 to $10.00 per share. Read more »

Clouds

Bessemer Venture Partners’ Byron Deeter shares his firm’s Cloudscape, a visualization of the leading companies in the cloud computing revolution, which Bessemer presented at its annual CEO Conference on cloud computing. Read more »

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Node.js is following in Ruby on Rails’ and NoSQL’s footsteps to become the next hacker technology to be embraced by the enterprise. Just ask Flotype, the Berkeley, CA. startup which built its NowJS architecture atop Node.js, the server-side JavaScript-based toolset. Read more »

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Silk, the browser for Amazon’s new Kindle Fire, utilizes Amazon’s cloud. But don’t think AWS is the Kindle Fire’s only cloud connection. In a post on Tuesday, Pulse’s Greg Bayer explained how his company’s news-reading app actually runs atop Google’s App Engine Platform-as-a-Service offering. Read more »

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