Cloud Computing


Cloud mobility: normalizing the enterprise

Enterprises typically consider more than one public-cloud provider so that they can minimize risk. But without standards and tools, moving workloads from one cloud provider to another is complex and expensive.

Mimecast scores big dough to push beyond email archiving

Mimecast, which bills itself as a unified email specialist, has $62 million in new Series C funding from private equity firm Insight Venture Partners. The UK-based company plans to build more applications that tap into customers’ unstructured data and boost its presence in North America.

Amazon offers faster, more flexible database IOPs

Amazon Web Services is adding a flexible IOPS storage option to its Relational Database Service. People setting up new MySQL, Oracle or SQL Server instances can take advantage of the new option now. Later, they can move legacy instances over.

Amazon’s attempt to commoditize cloud resources falls short

With its new marketplace for reserved instances, Amazon Web Services has taken another step towards turning cloud computing into a commodity. But Dr. James Mitchell, CEO and founder of the cloud broker-dealer Strategic Blue, thinks AWS needs to implement more commodities market best practices.

Amazon tests tricky spot market for cloud

Amazon — which knows a thing or two about online marketplaces — is launching one for Amazon Web Services customers who may have over-provisioned their EC2 reserved instances. Now they can buy or sell those instances with other AWS customers

Why corporate strategy needs to change with the cloud

Prabhakar Gopalan looks at how the skill sets and mindsets of corporate strategists need to change in the cloud computing era. This means everything from learning to accept new revenue models to being technologically savvy enough to actually build new products.

Marketing is dead, long live marketing

In the era of cloud computing and big data, chief marketing officers can either sink or swim depending on their ability to recognize the importance of the consumer information available to them and are able to capture and put it to use.

Amazon takes aim at IO bottlenecks

High-performance web applications are often hamstrung by sluggish IO. Amazon is now attacking that problem with new Provisioned IOPS block storage volumes and the ability to direct-connect those volumes to select EC2 compute instances over a 1000 Mbit/sec pipe.

Amazon will keep on raising its cloud spending

Amazon didn’t wow the street with its Q2 earnings news but the company will definitely keep investing in its cloud infrastructure. For its upcoming quarter, it plans to spend a strapping $800 million to $900 million capex money on technology, said CFO Tom Szkutak.

Will Amazon outage ding cloud confidence?

A big AWS outage late Thursday, which took down some sites for hours, shows the risk of putting too many loads in one data center — and that is not a cloud specific problem. Experts advise better planning of workloads to run across Amazon regions.

The 5 biggest mistakes users make in Amazon’s cloud

An awful lot of people use Amazon’s cloud services for an awful lot of things. And many of them have pretty awful implementation practice. Here are the top 5 mistakes their making in AWS, according to Newvem, a startup that tracks such things.

Data sovereignty issues still weigh on cloud adoption

Large enterprises that embrace cloud computing for many tasks, still refuse to use public cloud infrastructure for key jobs because of what they see as restrictive data sovereignty regulations.These laws mandate that a company keep a customer’s data in that customer’s home country.

Top 4 IT takeaways from Tata’s tech guy

Dr. Gautam Shroff, VP of Tata Consultancy Services and the head of the TCS Innovation Lab in Delhi, recently shared his thoughts on the hottest trends in IT. From his vantagepoint he sees the cloud computing discussion as yesterday’s news.


After Amazon, how many clouds do we need?

With news that Google and Microsoft plan to take on Amazon Web Services with infrastructure services of their own, you have to ask: How many clouds do we need? Legacy vendors IBM, Microsoft and HP are hoping at least a couple more.

How big is Amazon Web Services? Bigger than a billion

If you parse Amazon’s first quarter earnings, you could be forgiven for thinking that Amazon Web Services (AWS) is now a $2 billion-a-year business. Revenue from Amazon’s “other” category was $500 million for the quarter, although “other” does include revenue from other things.

SOASTA, the granddaddy of cloud testing, gets $12M

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.

What cloud boils down to for the enterprise

As I find myself honored with the opportunity to contribute regularly to GigaOM’s cloud coverage, I find myself thinking a lot about what I’ve learned in those five years. So, for my first post, I thought I’d walk through my most important observations to date.

DataSift launches in U.S., opens San Francisco headquarters

DataSift, the British company that built its business filtering and sorting through reams of Twitter data in real time, has brought its act to the U.S., opening a San Francisco office. Businesses use DataSift to glean information about user impressions of their products and services.

Amazon supersizes compute cluster

Amazon Web Services on Tuesday beefed up its Cluster Compute family with an extra-large CC2 iteration that packs in two eight-core Intel Xeon processors each connected to a 10-Gigabit network, 60.5 GB of RAM, and 3.37 TB of instance storage.

Abiquo gets Chef integration, customizable portal

The next release of Abiquo’s enterprise cloud management software will integrate with the Chef configuration management tool and sport a customizable user interface. Before moving workloads to the cloud, businesses want the sort of management tools they’re using now in their own data centers.

SolidFire gets $25 million to boost flash-fueled cloud storage

SolidFire, which wants to bring all-solid-state storage to cloud providers serving you, raised an additional $25 million in venture capital bringing its total to $37 million. New investors in this second round include Data Domain veterans as well as former Sun Microsystems CTO Greg Papadopolous.

Google deal with L.A. sours

Google’s deal to supply the city of Los Angeles and police force with Google Apps and email has soured. A letter from Los Angeles CTO Randi Levin to Google prime contractor CSC shows that the two-year-old deal is even more troubled than previously thought.

Google Translate conversation mode expands to 14 languages

Google Translate conversation mode, which allows two people to speak in different languages and have their words translated in near real time, is now expanding beyond English and Spanish to 14 new languages. The service is also getting some additional features that help facilitate conversations.

HP CEO: Should he stay or should he go?

If Hewlett-Packard really ousts CEO Leo Apotheker barely a year into his tenure, no one can say the move—however drastic—was unexpected. Apotheker presided over a disastrous period for the venerable computing giant, but many say the HP board should follow him out the door.

IBM begets more little blue clouds

To build its new business cloud services, IBM melded Coremetrics’ web analytics, Sterling Commerce’ supply chain, and Unica social media marketing smarts acquired last year with its home-grown middleware. Then it optimized it all for the Power7 hardware running IBM’s cloud.

Why Intel put $24M behind cloud, big data

Intel Capital announced $24 million in new investments, and cloud computing and big data companies were the big beneficiaries. They underscore Intel’s understanding that it has to prop up software partners to keep Intel dominant as computing evolves.

Amazon Start-Up Challenge goes global

The economic impact of AWS is much bigger and wider than most think, as it is crucial to the startup revolution. In order to push that philosophy, Amazon holds an annual contest, the AWS Startup Challenge, which is now back for its fifth year.

Go Daddy poised to sell out to KKR and Silver Lake

Go Daddy, the largest domain registrar and a web hosting provider, is reportedly close to being sold to a group of private equity firms including KKR and Silver Lake Partners. The purchase price is about $2-2.5 billion, according to several news outlets.

Cloud legislation takes center stage on Capitol Hill

Today the Brookings Institute will host a panel discussion about proposed legislation called the Cloud Computing Act of 2011. I spoke this morning with panelist Dan Reed of Microsoft about his thoughts on the draft legislation, based on what he has seen of it.

AWS, GoGrid Empower Users, ISVs with Rights Management

Amazon Web Services and GoGrid both made some significant strides this week toward addressing digital-rights management issues. Neither feature is particularly sexy by cloud computing standards, but both are very necessary for bringing certain user and software-vendor communities into the fold.

Take Our ‘Future of the Cloud’ Survey, Win a Prize

GigaOM Pro, North Bridge Venture Partners and the 451 Group are looking for readers to take a survey on “The Future of Cloud Computing,” the results of which will be presented live at Structure 2011. Respondents will be entered to win a ticket to Structure 2011.

Here’s What Amazon’s Outage Looked Like

Amazon Web Services has put the outage behind them and now are getting back to normal, according to the latest status update from Amazon Web Services on its Service Health Dashboard. Performance data from Cedexis shows what it meant in terms of network latency.

AWS Claims ‘Significant Progress’ on Hours-long Outage

Amazon Web Services claims to be making significant progress in restoring functionality to a large number of EC2, Elastic Block Storage and Relational Database Service instances that went down due to a “networking event” in the early-morning hours and affected a number of popular web sites. Claims Cloud Transcoding in Half the Time is introducing a new, faster way for its customers to process files into as many formats as they need. Its “Instant Encoding” feature cuts the time it takes to transcode large files in half, giving it an edge against other cloud encoding firms.

Big Data Could Be Cloud’s Killer App

At our Structure: Big Data conference, CA Technologies CTO Donald Ferguson suggested that big data might actually be a driving force behind the adoption of cloud computing because variable workloads are ideal for utility billing models. More of his thoughts here.

How Amazon Is Following Apple’s Lead to Rule Cloud Computing

Their story arcs aren’t exactly the same, but the strategies employed by Apple and Amazon Web Services to reach their respective pinnacles seem very similar, with result being that users are willing to pay a premium and accept some lock-in as consequences of choosing either company.

OpSource Really Wants Your Enterprise Cloud Business

OpSource stepped up its enterprise cloud push again today, bundling advanced networking and security capabilities into its public cloud offering free of charge. Giving away what once commanded a relatively high fee seems like a bold move, but it has everything to do with staying competitive.

Mobile Cloud Startup Blaast Raises Seed Money

With the number of cloud-based mobile services expected to explode in the next few years, Finnish stealth startup Blaast — which says it is working on the world’s first true cloud operating system for phones — has raised a substantial seed round from European investors.

Is SpotCloud Google AdSense for Cloud Computing?

Enomaly’s SpotCloud cloud-computing brokerage is now available for public beta, and Enomaly Founder and CTO Reuven Cohen thinks it can be for cloud computing what Google AdSense is for web sites. In fact, he says AdSense was the inspiration for SpotCloud.

The Trick to Government Clouds? Cowboys, Apparently.

A new video from government IT network MeriTalk and IBM illustrates how it takes a special kind of vendor to corral cloud servers and make them suitable for cloud computing at the federal level. Apparently, it takes a “cloudboy” to wrangle servers and FISMA regulations.

Will the Cloud Be Comic-Con’s Superhero?

After two massive server crashes in November wrecked online ticket-sale launches and infuriated hopeful badgeholders, Comic-Con International has moved its ticketing engine to Amazon Web Serviced-based startup TicketLeap in anticipation of its third attempt — tomorrow morning — to sell badges for this summer’s event.

Jan. 13: What We’re Reading About the Cloud

Here are a couple of “what-ifs” to chew on: What if a supercomputer beats two super humans at Jeopardy ? What if Steve Ballmer is the next executive to leave Microsoft? We’ll know the answer to at least one of those questions in February.

What Won’t Happen in 2011: Mass Cloud Adoption, For One

Given the myriad technological, political and cultural obstacles, what chance is there that cloud computing or Green IT will be there within the next 12 months, or that something will convince Apple to open up? I’d say “minimal,” but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Dec. 10: What We’re Reading About the Cloud

Amazon’s new 5TB object limit in S3 made quite a splash, as has EC2 in Ireland, where it now accounts for one-third of all web-facing servers. While AWS is attracting new users, others, like Cisco with cloud developers and Datameer with data analysts — are trying.

Amazon Woos Android, iOS Developers

Amazon Web Services jumped on the mobile-application development bandwagon today with software development kits for both the Google Android and Apple iOS operating systems. The move underscores the need for cloud providers – even the mighty AWS – to target the increasingly important mobile-developer market.

Amazon Automates CloudWatch Monitoring Service

Amazon Web Services is taking its CloudWatch monitoring service to the next level, announcing on Friday morning a half-dozen new features. Cloud monitoring is becoming big business, so anything AWS can do to keep those dollars in-house is probably worth the effort.

Cisco Buying LineSider For Network Virtualization

Cisco this morning announced its intent to acquire LineSider Technologies, a purchase that will give Cisco advanced capabilities in managed virtualized network resources. As Cisco evolves its cloud computing capabilities, especially, technologies that make network management more dynamic will make Cisco a more-appealing choice.

Morphlabs Tries to Reinvent Private Cloud Pricing

Los Angeles-based startup Morphlabs is rolling out two new features designed to bolster sales of its mCloud line of cloud computing offerings in a crowded field of management platforms. In doing so, however, it might actually be helping show the future model for internal-cloud software pricing.

Nov. 1: What We’re Reading About Infrastructure

The choice between cloud computing offering keeps getting more difficult as providers continue to up the ante. Today, we have a debate between Microsoft, Google and AWS, IBM targeting governments with its cloud, and a discussion on how network gear could affect cloud data centers.

SpotCloud: It’s a Market, Not a Cloud

Enomaly, a provider of software to create compute clouds, today announced SpotCloud, a brokerage service that allows Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers a way to sell their excess compute capacity, and buyers a way to find smaller regional cloud providers for batch jobs.

Oct. 29: What We’re Reading About Infrastructure

There’s a lot of talk about speed today: SSDs will speed consumer devices, China’s new supercomputer is the fastest ever, Microsoft AppFabric for Windows Azure will get upgrades faster than on-premise users, and SAP wants to speed up the resolution of its lawsuit with Oracle.

The $20 Million Club: 10 Well-Funded Cloud Startups

After a few months of big funding news, I thought it was worth looking into which cloud computing infrastructure startups have raised the most money thus far. Countless dozens have been funded, but, by my count, only 10 have hit the $20 million mark.

Can Intel and $50B in IT Budgets Achieve Open Clouds?

Intel is targeting cloud interoperability via a trio of new initiatives designed to make the cloud more open, interoperable and intelligent. Taken as a whole, Intel’s vision has much potential, but pulling off such an ambitious undertaking can be a real challenge.

Oct. 25: What We’re Reading About Infrastructure

Cloud computing is about more than technology — it’s also about establishing and delivering upon an entirely new business model. This was reinforced today, with Ray Ozzie contemplating Microsoft’s role in the cloud, questions about HP’s cloud strategy, and further discussion of why AWS gets cloud pricing.

AWS Looks on Pace for That $500M in 2010

Weeks like this past one remind us just how big Amazon Web Services is in the world of cloud computing. Customer wins, financial results and new features rolled out could matter a great deal when it comes to improving Amazon’s bottom line and AWS’s market share.

Will Amazon Become The King of Web Hosting Too?

Amazon’s web services are on track to being a half-a-billion dollar business. They are home to some of the hottest startups on the planet. Ironically, the company which put Cloud in computing has found a new opportunity in a decidedly old fashioned business – web hosting.

How Can Hollywood Utilize the Cloud?

Cloud computing, as touted by its evangelists, is going to revolutionize the way organizations do business and leverage technology. The ultimate potential of this remains to be seen, but one industry that is in a unique position to take advantage is the media and entertainment industry.

Quarterly Wrap-up

Infrastructure Market Overview, Q1 2010

When we’re discussing cutting-edge topics like cloud computing and web infrastructure, it is easy to let startups and niche vendors dominate the discussion. After all, these are often the companies driving innovation and issuing case studies that illustrate entirely new methods of computing. In the first quarter, however, the IT infrastructure market was all about the big boys.

In cloud computing, the big news was general availability of Microsoft Windows Azure and its related suite of services. Microsoft had been touting the platform since October 2008, and the reaction when finally hit the ground was overwhelmingly (but not entirely) optimistic, thanks in part to Microsoft’s smart strategies around partnerships and attracting traditional businesses. Actually, Microsoft also had a hand in the quarter’s second-biggest cloud trend, which was the call for deeper looks into the legal aspects of cloud computing. Microsoft’s Brad Smith called for congressional action on existing laws to account for the cloud.

CA and VMware both made big splashes in the internal cloud space. Systems-management giant CA did so by announcing an aggressive cloud strategy marked by intriguing acquisitions. After buying NetQos and the floundering Cassatt in 2009, CA kicked off 2010 by folding Oblicore, 3Tera and Nimsoft into its cloud mix. However, just when it looked like CA was set to run away with cloud systems management, VMware executed a coup d’état by acquiring parent-company EMC’s Ionix business. Now, VMware will be able to match CA (and others) across a variety of core functionalities, including the very important ability to manage and provision both physical and virtual infrastructure.

The cloud-based collaboration space also saw VMware play a big role by acquiring Zimbra. VMware certainly is not the big fish in that pond, though. During the first quarter alone, IBM updated its Lotus Live strategy and convinced Panasonic to move some 300,000 personnel to the system, and SAP finally got its cloud act together by announcing its StreamWork collaboration and corporate-networking service.

Elsewhere, Cisco dominated network discussions with both big announcements, like its CRS-3 router, and with its continuously deteriorating relationships with HP and Dell. For those interested in network fiber rather than network gear, however, Google made plenty of its own noise by unveiling its plans to bring 1 Gbps broadband to a select group of municipalities around the country. Intel and AMD owned the processor market during the first quarter, with each vendor rolling out new families of high-performance, energy-efficient multicore processors to much fanfare. And the January approval of the Oracle-Sun deal sent shockwaves throughout the IT world, as product strategies clarified and Sun personnel began jumping ship almost immediately.

Not surprisingly, perhaps the only place major vendors and providers did not make their marks during the first quarter was in the sometimes contentious debate over open-source software. Discussions over the role of open source in cloud computing and web data centers inspired many different theories about both business and technology, but it became clear quickly that proprietary vendors – especially large proprietary vendors – have little to no place at the infrastructural level in these brave new worlds. The database tier provided a prime microcosm of this attitude, as developers debated the merits of open-source NoSQL tools versus open-source MySQL.

Forecast for 2010: The Rise of Hybrid Clouds

For companies protective of their IT operations and data, wholesale public cloud computing adoption can be a difficult pill to swallow. Enter the hybrid cloud–a panacea of sorts, letting companies maintain a mix of on-premise and off-premise cloud computing resources, managed through common frameworks.

Compelling Cases for Clouds

What are cloud services uniquely good for and why? After all, CIOs aren’t going to leverage online services offered on demand just…

Defogging the Cloud in IT

Another word for a low-hanging cloud is fog. I think that pretty accurately describes where the IT industry is when it comes…

How Clouds Can Complement Consolidation

As businesses try to grow and remain viable, they need to know that money isn’t everything. CIOs need to take advantage of cloud services in order to balance what I’ll call the six FACETS of IT: flexibility, availability, cost, experience, timeliness and security.

NSF Grants $5M for Research on Google-IBM Cloud

University researchers from around the country today received nearly $5 million from the National Science Foundation to help them run their high-performance…

The Open Cloud Manifesto Is Nothing But a Vapor Tiger

The Open Cloud Manifesto has caused a lot of heartache and generated a lot of controversy. Its lack of importance is reflected by the fact that Amazon and Google, two companies that know a thing or two about Cloud Computing, have not endorsed it. Should we label it D.O.A.?

The 10 Laws of Cloudonomics

Public utility cloud services differ from traditional data center environments — and private enterprise clouds — in three fundamental ways. These three key differences in turn enable the sustainable strategic competitive advantage of clouds through what I’ll call the 10 Laws of Cloudonomics.

VCs Back Tools to Look Inside the Cloud

As computing clouds become part of the corporate information technology environment, making sure software hosted in the cloud is delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible will become increasingly important. And that has venture firms taking a fresh look at an already mature industry known as WAN optimization.