Infrastructure as a service


10 best practices for saving money on IaaS

IaaS is well known for producing benefits such as scalability, flexibility and agility but cost savings are not assured. Companies must follow best practices to optimize their cloud spending and get the most value out of their money.

A private-cloud market assessment in 5 quotes

Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos has been around the private cloud space since its inception. Nearly five years after the company’s launch, Mickos shares his thoughts on a market that rose fast, fell hard and appears to be on the rebound.

Apcera emerges from the shadows to put policy into IT

Derek Collison, who left VMware’s Cloud Foundry effort to start Apcera, has been mum on details on his startup. Until now. The goal is a policy-aware platform that even IT pros can love. Oh, and it will compete with Cloud Foundry.

Does OpenStack understand the value of ecosystems?

Contributor James Urquhart takes issue with recent calls for OpenStack to build its own platform as a service. Citing the commercial success of VMware and Amazon Web Services, he claims the real benefit of any platform is its community.


A field guide to web APIs

A new breed of web API has emerged, delivering a vision of a lightweight, low-cost approach to connect devices and allowing applications to exchange data efficiently.

Google makes BigQuery bigger and cheaper

Google wants more marketshare in the Infrastructure-as-a-Service market, so it’s cutting prices on the BigQuery data-analysis service and adding features to boost the appeal of the larger Cloud Platform.

Spanish startup Besol wants a slice of the cloud-broker pie

Seville, Spain-based startup Besol is trying to take on companies like RightScale with a new cloud-management platform called Tapp. The company is currently honing its skills providing management interfaces for European telcos’ cloud offerings, and will start a push into North America in 2013.

The IT world’s love-hate relationship with OpenStack

OpenStack has had a great week with eBay coming out as a user and Rackspace rebranding around the open source cloud project, but life isn’t all good in OpenStack world. There are still plenty of questions over its governance and development models that keep skepticism strong.

How NASA battle-tested its Mars rover live stream

With millions of viewers expected to watch history Sunday night, NASA couldn’t afford to let the live stream of its Mars rover Curiosity landing go untested. Here’s how NASA put its Amazon Web Services-based infrastructure through its paces to ensure it keeps up with demand.

Head to head: Amazon cloud beats Google on video benchmark

Benchmarking results from Zencoder show that Amazon Web Services beats out Google’s Compute Engine in a test of a specific CPU-intensive workload. Compute Engine’s performance was hindered by a lack of HPC instances, which Google could one day add. But it’s nice to see real-world comparisons.

Well played, EMC.

EMC might be smarter than we thought it was. If it handles the rumored spin-out and the Maritz-Gelsinger transition well, the companies under its banner could do great things. Of course, there are a lot of moving parts here and the transition won’t be easy.

VMware buys DynamicOps to manage Xen, AWS

VMware has acquired DynamicOps, a Burlington, Mass.-based cloud computing startup that spun out of banking giant Credit Suisse’s IT department in 2008. VMware is touting DynamicOps ability to manage resources running on Hyper-V- and Xen-based hypervisors, and Amazon EC2.

PaaS providers, ThroughPuter wants to parallelize your cloud

A startup called ThroughPuter has a message for the world’s cloud computing providers: Come talk to us, we can make your cloud fly for serious applications. The company has built a hardware platform designed from ground up to run parallel-processing applications in a multitenant environment.

Wipro builds global cloud for big business

Wipro’s latest IT foray — a global infrastructure as a service for enterprises — shows how the giant Indian outsourcers are striving to become strategic cloud partners for their business clients and compete for cloud implementation money with IBM, CSC, as well as their in-country rivals.

Innovation isn’t dead, it just moved to the cloud

According to some doomsayers, innovation is dead and Silicon Valley is just a muck pond where social media companies breed and reproduce like mosquitoes. That’s not entirely true, but the face of innovation has changed. Cloud computing has made innovation something anyone can do.

Appfog takes Amazon to task for cloud lock-in

Positioning his company as David to Amazon’s Goliath, Appfog CEO Lucas Carlson blasted Amazon Web Services for locking developers into a closed ecosystem. As AWS adds more services, it’s harder for developers to get out, he said.

Cloud migration still poses mine field for IT vendors

Legacy IT vendors used to dealing with one or two ways of delivering their products and services to market, now must handle four, five, maybe more business models as cloud computing takes off. And many, according to Accenture, are not prepared for that complexity.

Thanks to Piston, OpenStack gets an unlikely ally in VMware

Piston Computing plans to integrate VMware’s Cloud Foundry platform as a service with Piston’s own OpenStack-based cloud infrastructure as a service offering in what the two companies are billing as an integration of “the world’s most popular open source IaaS and PaaS together.”

IaaS funding resurfaces as SingleHop raises $27.5M

In a cloud computing market dominated by large, well-known companies such as Amazon Web Services and Rackspace, it’s difficult to find much upside investing in the competition. However, Battery Ventures has done just that, leading a $27.5 million round in SingleHop, a Chicago-based infrastructure-as-a-service provider.

Amazon and the network effect: Why would ISVs go elsewhere?

The marketplace concept does a good job of bringing the simplicity of the Apple App Store model to server applications. It has the potential to revolutionize IT consumption. And if no one else steps up, Amazon is going to own this part of the cloud, too.

How the cloud could boost Amazon’s slow-moving margins

According to analysts at Morgan Stanley, Amazon’s cloud computing division could be a shining star (even if not too bright) on the company’s long road toward increased profit margins. While margins are flat, there’s opportunity for growth as Amazon Web Services keeps evolving.

Already awash in cloud cash, Virtustream raises $15M more

Cloud computing provider Virtustream, a hot player in the enterprise cloud space, with a cloud platform designed for mission-critical and heavy-duty enterprise applications such as SAP, has raised another $15 million in investment capital. The money brings Virtustream’s total funding to $75 million.

Cloud Foundry lets apps span cloud providers

Developers concerned about confining their apps to a single cloud need worry no more. If they’re willing to utilize Cloud Foundry, the open-source PaaS project, developers can now run apps that move seamlessly between any infrastructure already running a Cloud Foundry-based service.

New OpenStack member AT&T has developers on the mind

AT&T has decided to build another cloud, this one focusing on developers and, ultimately, incorporating elements of the open-source OpenStack project. It’s an ambitious undertaking as AT&T tries to prove it can hang with the big boys in delivering cloud infrastructure to the masses.

Cloudability gets $1.1M, could save you tens of thousands

Cloudability, a startup that bills itself as “ for the cloud,” has raised $1.1 million in seed funding for its service that helps companies keep an eye on their cloud-computing spending. It recently let one user spot an exploit that could have cost the company dearly.

Virtustream buys cloud pioneer Enomaly

Virtustream, a fast-growing enteprise cloud provider, is buying cloud-computing pioneer Enomaly for an undisclosed amount. Enomaly, which launched in 2003, sells one of the first private-cloud management products, Elastic Computing Platform, and in the last year launched an infrastructure resource exchange called SpotCloud.

Will cultural pushback kill private clouds?

If a recent blog post by Gartner analyst Lydia Leong is telling, it looks as if cultural hurdles are impeding private cloud adoption as well as public cloud adoption — at least when it comes to doing it right. It takes sacrifice to operate like Google.

First OpenStack cloud now open for business

Managed-hosting provider turned cloud provider Internap now has an OpenStack-based cloud ready for public consumption, beating even OpenStack founder Rackspace to the punch. It’s a big day for OpenStack, the open-source cloud computing platform, but it’s likely only the first of many.

Don’t look now, but AWS might be a billion-dollar biz

“Other,” the revenue category in Amazon’s reports that encompasses Amazon Web Services, is growing like mad — 70 percent over last year, in fact. This matters because it likely means AWS is outpacing its projected growth and is rapidly approaching a $1 billion run rate.

Cloud Cannibalism: Is PaaS Killing SaaS?

The cloud is a killer. Other than the microprocessor, OutSystems’ Mike Jones believes we would be hard-pressed to find another technological innovation that has so effectively killed off its predecessors. Though SaaS had once been the savior of businesses, XaaSes are rapidly stealing the spotlight.

With OpenStack Foundation, the devil’s in the details

The OpenStack community is pleased that RackSpace will relinquish control of the open-source cloud infrastructure effort, but many OpenStack Conference attendees want to see the details before they fully endorse the effort. The foundation is expected to be operational next year.

Rackspace gives up the OpenStack reins

Rackspace will be giving up control over its OpenStack cloud computing project to an indepedent foundation. OpenStack is the open-source cloud computing platform that Rackspace and co-founder NASA began pushing last year, but it has been somewhat plagued by concerns over Rackspace’s control of the community.

Savvis brings license-free Oracle, SQL Server to the cloud

Managed-hosting veteran and now enterprise cloud-computing provider Savvis is trying to woo even more big-name customers with its new Symphony Database service that features Oracle Database 11g and Microsoft SQL Server with their usual cumbersome enterprise licenses.

OpenStack adds UI, virtual networks with ‘Diablo’

In its new Diablo release, the OpenStack cloud OS gets perks including a dashboard to give IT a peak into what’s happening in the cloud, better authentication that ties into existing directories, and an API to ease integration into big, dynamic networks.

HP unveils cloud services with an OpenStack flavor

On Wednesday HP released its first two public cloud computing services for private beta, based in part on the open-source OpenStack code. The services, some details of which were leaked in the spring, are HP Cloud Compute and HP Cloud Object Storage.

Eucalyptus refreshes IaaS platform, isn’t dead yet

Eucalyptus Systems released the third generation of its pioneering private cloud computing software on Wednesday, complete with high-availability capabilities to ensure maximum uptime. Rumors of Eucalyptus’s demise have been circulating since OpenStack launched its open-source cloud project last summer, but the company isn’t slowing down.

Amazon gives users direct connections to its cloud

Amazon Web Services announced a trio of features designed to lure in enterprise users, including dedicated 1- or 10-Gigabit links to its cloud data centers. AWS is doing everything it can to make its services as flexible, reliable and secure as possible for enterprise users.

Citrix buys to step up VMware competition

Citrix Systems has bought hot private-cloud startup, a move that immediately makes Citrix a leader in the quest to help companies build on-premise Infrastructure-as-a-Service clouds à la Amazon EC2. brings an impressive list of customers that includes Bechtel, GoDaddy and Zynga.

How today’s cloud services foretell a post-aaS world

At last week’s Structure conference, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels used his “State of the Cloud” keynote to highlight how cloud computing is evolving beyond its traditional IaaS, PaaS and SaaS layers. I’m not so sure it’s outdated yet, but it’s getting there.

With Terremark, Verizon’s cloud isn’t “one size fits all”

After purchasing Terremark in January for $1.4 billion, Verizon today announced an expanded suite of cloud infrastructure services for enterprises. Bob Toohey, President of Verizon Business, says the company knows it has to give some control and flexibility in order to attract customers to its cloud.

Is SaaS the key to cloud revenues?

IDC today released the results of a report finding that the cloud services market by $72.9 billion by 2015, drive almost entirely by Software as a Service. This suggests — likely accurately — that SaaS is the key to cloud computing ubiquity.

The final piece of Zynga’s Z Cloud revealed

Zynga has been releasing details about its innovative hybrid cloud deployment, called Z Cloud, over the past year, and it has finally revealed the final piece of the puzzle. Namely, that the private cloud component of its infrastructure was built using’s CloudStack software.

GoDaddy unveils its take on cloud computing

It looks like web hosting giant GoDaddy is getting ready to launch a new cloud computing service called Data Center On Demand that could potentially make a dent in the market share of providers such as Amazon Web Services

HP wants to challenge Amazon for cloud developers

Systems giant HP today announced a slew of new enterprise cloud products and services, but it won’t be until later this summer — when it unveils its public cloud services — that we’ll see just how big a role HP will play in the cloud computing space.

RightScale brings Zynga-like hybrid clouds to the masses

Cloud-management platform provider RightScale is launching a service to help customers manage private and hybrid clouds similar to what RightScale customer Zynga does with its vaunted Z Cloud infrastructure. Hybrid cloud computing is hot, and MyCloud might represent a better way of thinking about the model.

Clouds Are Like Buses: Public Isn’t Always Better

Since the concept of “private cloud” was introduced, there have been efforts by certain people to prove it “wrong” or show that it doesn’t make sense when compared with the public cloud. This seems like a silly crusade — both provide tremendous value.

GoGrid Says Huge Growth to Blame for New CEO

Earlier this week, cloud provider GoGrid announced that founder and original CEO John Keagy is leaving that post and transitioning into a new role, a decision Keagy told me this morning is the result of the company growing too fast.

RightScale the Latest to Provide App Store for Infrastructure

The new trend in cloud computing appears to be app-store-like marketplaces where software vendors and infrastructure experts can share their operational know-how. Cloud-computing management platform RightScale became the latest to hop on the trend today with its MultiCloud Marketplace.

Fujitsu Brings Its Cloud to North America

Server vendor and services provider Fujitsu is bringing its global cloud computing platform to North America beginning May 31. The offering will be an Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud complete with computing, storage and networking delivered via a self-service portal.

Red Hat Launches IaaS, PaaS Cloud Offerings

Red Hat today is launching two new cloud computing offerings, IaaS software called CloudForms and PaaS software called OpenShift. CloudForms helps users configure, deploy and manage virtual resources, and OpenShift is Red Hat’s incarnation of the Makara technology that it bought it November.

Internap Building First OpenStack-Based Public Cloud

Managed service provider Internap (s inap) has announced that it will be offering a public infrastructure-as-a-service cloud built atop the OpenStack platform. The service will be available in the third quarter of this year, and also features the option of running applications on VMware-based virtual infrastructure.

Rackspace Shutters Slicehost for OpenStack Future

Rackspace has informed Slicehost customers that it will be shutting down the popular cloud-hosting service. Rackspace bought Slicehost in 2008 to serve as the foundation of its Rackspace Cloud business, but Rackspace now betting its cloud computing future on the OpenStack platform.

Why Cloud Is Forcing Cisco to Embrace Open Source

Cisco’s cloud computing ambitions might be judged by outsiders as being centered around selling servers and networking gear to cloud data centers, but recent developments show that such an assessment might not be entirely fair as Cisco comes around on open source software.

Open Cubed: Meet the New Cloud Stack

After years of debate over the role of open source in cloud computing, the possibility of a top-to-bottom, open-source, infrastructure stack now looks very real, with much of the designs and code needed to build a cloud from the ground up available free of charge.

Watch Out, World: IBM Finally Offers a Real Cloud

After years of talking about cloud computing but offering services that bore little resemblance to the public infrastructure-as-a-service clouds with which most people are familiar, IBM is finally offering a cloud that will compete with those from Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and other major cloud providers.

Cisco Buys NewScale for Self-Service Clouds

Cisco said it plans to buy newScale, a software provider that allows more control and visibility inside a compute cloud. The deal highlights the rise in M&A activity among cloud vendors as well as the need for more accountability in corporate cloud environments.

Is There a Real Market for ‘Enterprise PaaS?’

Cloud provider Tier3 announced this morning that it has secured $8.5 million from Ignition Capital and Madrona Venture Group to fund its “enterprise platform-as-a-service” offering, a term that might not be entirely accurate, but that might actually be indicative of a forthcoming trend in cloud marketing.

AWS Ramps Up Enterprise Push with CloudFormation

We can cross off another item from the list of features that Amazon Web Services doesn’t offer, as this morning it announced an automated template feature called CloudFormation. It might not be the be-all, end-all of cloud templates, but it might not need to be.

How Swiss Import CloudSigma Plans to Compete in IaaS

Switzerland-based cloud provider CloudSigma opened a U.S. office this week, the first step in what could be a successful attempt to bring its unique brand of cloud computing to the United States. CloudSigma’s “freedom through technology” approach stands out in its resemblance to traditional colocation services.

Why Verizon Bought Terremark for $1.4B

Verizon has agreed to buy Terremark, a provider of managed and cloud services for $1.4 billion. The deal is an aggressive move to gain customers in the red-hot cloud computing market, and makes sense, as the network and the computer are moving ever closer.

GoGrid Fuses Cloud Capabilities to Dedicated Servers

Cloud provider GoGrid has expanded its Infrastructure-as-a-Service catalog by launching a Hosted Private Cloud that maintains all the features multitenant clouds, but on dedicated physical servers. It’s an interesting tactic, and it highlights the different value propositions and visions of the leading cloud providers.

Can a New IaaS Cloud Really Compete?

New cloud provider NephoScale announced its presence among IaaS providers earlier this week, touting itself as “an advanced cloud service for serious programmers.” However, I’m afraid its message might fall upon deaf ears, as there’s little evidence the world is clamoring for another IaaS cloud.

Why Labor as a Service is as Cloudy as it Gets

Often overlooked is the tool that made high technology possible: the human brain. But as it turns out, that’s something we can access via the cloud too. Some call it “labor as a service,” others call it “labor-on-demand,” but everyone should call it cloud computing.


Cloud Computing Reaches the Final Frontier

The much-hyped benefits of cloud computing are of interest to a growing number of industry sectors, each of which brings with it a particular set of requirements. Possibly more esoteric than most, exploration of the cosmos presents diverse challenges for those working with the constant streams of data beamed down from distant sensors. Inside NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), separate teams are working to understand how — if at all — cloud-based infrastructures might aid in furthering understanding of the worlds around us.

It's Cloudy, But When Will It Rain?

The innovation coming out of the cloud computing market has, in many ways, made infrastructure startups interesting to venture capitalists again. Despite our…

Not Everything Is a Cloud

Cloud computing may be the most overhyped information technology term in recent memory, surpassed only by the ubiquitous Web 2.0 moniker. As a…