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The weekend review: the cloud, with a European twist

It’s no surprise that the cloud is big – and it’s an especially hot topic in Europe, where we just held our second Structure:Europe conference in London.In light of the two-day show, our most popular research content this week is wholly focused on the cloud – and especially the changing cloud and infrastructure market in Europe.

First, in “The state of Europe’s homegrown cloud market,” a report released in conjunction with this week’s Structure:Europe conference, Rene Buest and Paul Miller take a look at the unique circumstances affecting Europe’s cloud market. While the usual global providers – Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, and Microsoft Azure – all have dominant market position in Europe, “a growing number of local companies are developing cloud computing offerings in the European market.” In addition, recent security concerns about US providers, spurred by the PSIRM leaks, have brought about the rise of native European cloud providers. Buest and Miller provide an overview of European concerns with internaltion (and especially US) cloud providers, a rationale for developing cloud solutions within Europe, and a look at some of the unique circumstances within Europe – such as an interest in national or regional clouds – that are currently influencing the European market. They also provide profiles of major European cloud providers before sharing key takeaways for the current market climate.

Next, in “Self-service BI: next-generation analytics for the cloud,” Andrew Brust digs into business intelligence (BI) technology, which has been around for more than four decades but has only recently come into wide scale use, as big data tools and analytics software have become more prevalent, more reliable, and easier to use. A key trend is “BI technology that is more compact, more embedded, often cloud-hosted, and used more frequently in a self- service capacity,” eliminating the need for a specialist to identify data sources, set parameters, and create interactive data visualizations. Brust provides an extensive overview of the current BI market, including embedded, self-service BI, cloud BI, and cloud models. He also provides some end user stories to illustrate a variety of use cases, and concludes with his analysis of what the market holds for the near-term future.

Last, in “How object storage tackles thorny “exascale” problems,” Mark Staimer takes a look at “exascale problems, which involve more than 1,000 petabytes (PB) or 1 million terabytes (TB) of data” as they impact the storage market. This is an increasing concern especially to enterprise-IT organizations, as data storage growth continues to increase at near-exponential rates. Staimer’s report provides an in-depth overview of exascale problems for IT professionals and IT buyers, and a comparative look at four potential solutions – OpenStack Swift, Ceph, Cleversafe dsNet, and Scality Ring – with rankings and detailed comparisons of service levels.

Also popular this week:

What developers should know when choosing an MBaaS solution

The wearable-computing market: a global analysis

Survey: How apps can solve photo management