Cloud services

IBM highlights a growing Watson ecosystem and API collection

IBM has announced a long list of new Watson customers and startup partners, ranging from standby industries such as health care to new ones such as cybersecurity and nonprofits. Perhaps more importantly, the company also gave developers a handful of new Watson-powered APIs.

Funambol gets $5.75M to fuel mobile carriers’ cloud services

Funambol’s first round of funding in four years comes just as mobile operators are mounting a challenge against the cloud storage services offered by Google, Microsoft and Apple. Funambol provides a white-label cross-platform service, which several of the big carriers have already tapped.

1010data builds a big data bartering platform in the cloud

1010data has launched a new service called the Analytical Dataspace, which is essentially a marketplace for buying and selling data and accessing analytics applications. 1010data has been providing a cloud-based analytics service for years, but this is a chance to add value by adding data.

The new opportunity for PaaS vendors: cloud services curation

As the PaaS market transitions from nascent to mature, a new opportunity is emerging: cloud services curation. Peter Sonsini, general partner at NEA, predicts that cloud services curation will help PaaS players broaden their reach and amplify their strategic impact within the technology landscape.

Google brings BigQuery down to earth with Excel connector

Google designed BigQuery as a cloud service for running fast queries against massive datasets, but with lofty ambitions there’s always room to take a step back. Now, users that don’t require super speed can run batch queries, and can connect to the service using Microsoft Excel.

Splunk targets cloud-server data with Storm

Splunk is taking its machine data show to the cloud with a new SaaS offering called Storm. It’s essentially Splunk’s flagship software tuned for cloud-generated data, but it plays into a big opportunity for fusing cloud computing with big data.

HP earnings: 6 lowlights

It’s slow going for the HP turnaround Meg Whitman is trying to engineer. There’s softness in the PC business, in printers, in servers — just more bad news atop the $8 billion write-down of enterprise services that HP pre-announced. Not a pretty picture.

Flurry buys Trestle to get into mobile backend market

Flurry, which has helped developers measure and monetize their mobile apps, is now poised to help them build their apps too. The company announced it has bought Seattle-based Trestle, a provider of mobile backend services, and will offer a set of cloud services for developers.

Cloud computing for the people? It’s called SaaS.

Cloud-based servers simple enough to be at the beck and call of every Joe Schmo are a compelling vision, but presently not a realistic one. At this point, in fact, one could argue that the holy grail of the consumer cloud has already been realized.

Is the Internet going down the Tubes?

In this brief video, Andrew Blum, the author of Tubes: The Journey to the center of the Internet, addresses some of the things he discovered in his global tour of the physical components that are part of the vast, unseen infrastructure that underlie the Internet.

Will using Dropbox put your CEO in jail?

With everything moving to the cloud, companies suddenly find themselves confronted with a whole new set of challenges. For example: Is that stuff even legal? And who calls the shots when companies move to the cloud – IT, or the people that actually need things to work?

Datahero aims to turn us all into analytics stars

A startup called Datahero launched on Thursday with a new cloud service that makes visualizing data as simple as a few mouse clicks, and $1 million in seed funding. The company’s ultimate goal is to make big data something you or I could do.

EMC buys Syncplicity to serve as Dropbox for business

Storage giant EMC has acquired cloud-storage startup Syncplicity in an attempt to compete with consumer-focused offerings such as Dropbox and for storing business users’ files. Cloud-based storage has become the primary villain in the move toward BYOD , but is also an area of strong growth.

Fileboard adds Box support to cloud file-management iPad app

From a single app, Fileboard lets users manage documents on a number of cloud services, including Gmail, Microsoft Exchange, Dropbox, SharePoint and Salesforce. The newest partner to get added to the list is Box, which has also integrated some key Fileboard capabilities into its own app.

Gartner to IT: Get a grip on cloud services, or else

A new Gartner list of cloud computing trends shows how nervous the burgeoning use of cloud makes IT departments, which traditionally controlled what applications and data ran and on what devices. That’s all changed and now IT has to change too.

Cloud lets small businesses catch up on big data

Cloud technologies still lag behind on-premise tools in some key ways, but are unbeatable in enabling “one single guy” to complete large BI projects, We Are Cloud’s Rachel Delacour said at Structure:Data today.

HP earnings: top 3 takeaways

Hewlett-Packard continues to be rocked by a flood-induced hard drive shortage; its go-to printing business is sputtering; the company as a whole continues to spend too much on too many products; and it needs to get its design-and-execution mojo back.


Let the battle for the smart thermostat begin

The often-ignored and hardly ever programmed humble thermostat is morphing into a unique and undercover gateway into the smart home — that is, the dream of the fully connected house where all the objects can talk to one another and be controlled remotely. In 2012 there will be a growing number of companies across sectors — from device makers to analytics firms to utilities to telcos — that are now suddenly looking at the networked, digital thermostat as an important way to connect with consumers. Here are the players and what you need to know about working with them.

Who knew? Data center segment is hot, hot, hot!

People think of data centers as a big, clunky category, but in the cloud computing era it shouldn’t be a surprise that the sector has been hot, with more hotness to come. As more cloud services come online, demand for webscale data centers will keep growing.

The secret behind all those shiny CES gadgets? Cloud computing

As usual, a big chunk of the news out of the Consumer Electronics Show this year revolves around bright-and-shiny devices. But this time out, those devices are acting as the Trojan horses for the hardware makers’ cloud vision. The battle’s all about cloud services now.

More cloud computing M&A ahead

The wave of M&A activity swelling the cloud services sector won’t stop with in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) arena. Internap’s $30 million purchase of Voxel, announced early this week, signals a land rush for cloud services, with many smaller, capable cloud providers now in play.

5 New Year’s perils and perks for IBM’s new CEO

On New Year’s Day, Ginny Rometty took the reins at IBM. Big Blue is on a roll: its stock outperformed Google and Apple this year, and Warren Buffett is a fan. But the IT giant faces perils as well as opportunities going into 2012.

Amazon makes its VPCs more agile

With its new Elastic Network Interfaces, created by separating IP addresses and some key attributes from EC2 storage instances, Amazon is making its Virtual Private Cloud more flexible for companies that want to bring legacy applications to Amazon’s cloud computing infrastructure.

How to set up iCloud on your iPhone or iPad

Setting up iCloud on your iOS 5 device is actually pretty easy, especially because Apple gives you the option to either use your existing Apple ID or set up an entirely new account to get the process started. Here’s how it works, from beginning to end.

Can cloud computing spur ubiquitous broadband?

Buried in the talk about security, privacy and transnational data laws, it looks like the federal government’s cloud computing push also could bring progress on broadband accessibility. If Congress actually does push more, faster broadband, I think the promise of economic growth will drive it.

Andreessen leads $15M investment in GoodData

Software-as-a-Service startup GoodData has raised a $15 million Series B funding round for its cloud-based business intelligence product. Andreessen Horowitz led the round, along with other existing investors General Catalyst Partners, Fidelity Growth Partners and Windcrest Partners. GoodData has now raised $28.5 million overall. melds SaaS, big data for job searches is getting into the cloud-computing mix with a new “semantic search and analytics platform” service called SeeMore. Merging two hot capabilities — cloud-based delivery and analytics — makes a lot of sense for Monster, which no doubt supplies many companies with a lot of data.

Has Dropbox set the stage for a privacy revolution?

When the smoke clears, Dropbox’s newfound focus on transparency could turn out to be a great thing. Especially if it triggers an avalanche of other web-service providers following in its footsteps, making life easier for consumers and getting the federal government off their backs.

Meet Cloudability, ‘ for the cloud’

We’ve all heard stories about cloud-service fees run amok, only spotted when the bill comes due. Cloudability, part of Structure 2011 LaunchPad, wants to keep companies abreast of what they’re spending in the cloud with a free app that shows them what’s being spent and where.

HPCC Systems promises Big Data as a Service

Being able to crunch terabytes of data is great, but having someone else do it for you is even better. HPCC Systems, which launched last week to challenge Hadoop’s big data dominance, is planning to do just that with a cloud service for big data processing.

NetApp founder: Confusion about the cloud is ‘bogus’

Enterprises that express unwillingness to use cloud services are probably already using the cloud — they just don’t realize it, said Netflix founder Dave Hitz at Structure today. But instead of avoiding creating policies around new services, they need to embrace them for the future.

Xeround enters GA, tests the SQL-in-the-cloud water

Xeround’s cloud-based MySQL service enters general availability today, becoming the first cloud-based third-party MySQL distribution that actually requires customers to pay for the service. If it’s successful, there are plenty of other cloud database startups waiting in the wings to ride the SQL-in-the-cloud wave.

Papertrail cloud logging service opens for public consumption

Web service creator Seven Scale today opened its Papertrail cloud-based log-management service to the general public. Log files have always been important for troubleshooting, but are seeing increased interest with the advent of big data because companies can draw business-level insights from the data, too.

iCloud Is for Developers, Too

iCloud is mostly being looked at as a potentially ground-breaking consumer cloud service suite. But Apple is introducing it at WWDC, where it shows off new tools for developers to use in their apps. iCloud, then, could be a huge deal for developers, too.

What We Know About iCloud, and What We Don’t

Apple is now the confirmed owner of, as originally reported by GigaOM. Trademark applications are also underway, and reports of what’s in store for Apple’s cloud service are gearing up ahead of Monday’s announcement. Here’s what might be in store for consumers.

ScaleXtreme Opens for Early Access

Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup ScaleXtreme’s cloud-based server management service is now available for early access users. We covered the company in February when the final product was still being built, but it has come a long way since then.

ServerDensity Launches App Store for Server Monitoring

Server monitoring startup ServerDensity will launch an app store for plugins to its popular cloud-based service. Like many SaaS startups, ServerDensity provides a collection of core components, but is hoping to rely on its user community to address the longtail needs of certain customer segments.

New Relic Now Monitors User Experience in Real Time

Software-as-a-Service startup New Relic has added a new, and free, capability to its application-performance management product that lets customers monitor their users’ experiences in real time. The bigger picture is how New Relic continues to show the way to do SaaS in a cloud-computing world.

Apple’s iCloud Referenced in Mac OS X Lion

Apple does indeed appear to be planning big changes to its cloud services package, according to references found in the latest developer preview of Mac OS X Lion. French blog Consomac discovered code referring to something codenamed “Castle,” described as an upgrade to MobileMe.

What Should Apple’s iCloud Look Like?

Friday morning, John Paczkowski of Digital Daily confirmed Om’s report earlier this week that Apple acquired the domain name Apple has acquired and not used domain names in the past, but if Cupertino is planning to use the iCloud brand, what should that trademark encompass?

Does Apple Even Have a Cloud Strategy?

Despite building a massive data center and the expected launch of cloud-based music storage, the troubled history of Apple’s online services suggests the company has yet to come up with a plan for the cloud. How can Apple provide the kind of experience its customers expect?

How To Upgrade Your MobileMe Calendar Safely

Since my business runs on iCal, I approached the CalDAV upgrade for MobileMe Calendar users (which becomes mandatory May 5) with reluctance and some healthy fear. Here are my recommendations and a walkthrough of the process that should hopefully make the task less daunting for you.

Why Microsoft and Google Are Fighting Over Uncle Sam

Microsoft today accused Google of lying about its Google Apps for Government offering being certified for use by federal agencies, which is just the latest salvo in an ongoing war to be the premier provider in the lucrative market for cloud-based collaboration tools.

Incapsula Launches Cloud-Based Web App Firewall

Incapsula is trying to democratize web site security and performance by utilizing the distributed, yet centralized, nature of cloud computing. In some ways, its namesake product is the epitome of a cloud service because it utilizes both crowdsourcing and centralization to create the best-possible experience.

New Relic Gets Another $10M, Proves SaaS Profitability

SaaS startup New Relic has received an additional $10 million in funding for its application performance management offering that targets both data centers and the cloud. That brings its total to $20 million, which the company says is far more than it needs to be profitable.

Putting the Cloud to Use for Video Encoding

Device proliferation combined with the desire to deliver clean video is giving rise to a new market for hosted video encoding. The goal is simple: provide the right format to the right screen at the right time without requiring content producers to invest in infrastructure.