Another Vote for the Apache Hadoop Stack

The two primary commercial providers that signed on for the proprietary files systems – IBM and EMC (via partnership with MapR) – have retrenched.
As we’ve noted previously, the measure of success of an open source stack is the degree to which the target remains intact. That either comes as part of a captive open source project, where a vendor unilaterally open sources their code (typically hosting the project) to promote adoption, or a community model where a neutral industry body hosts the project and gains support from a diverse cross section of vendors and advanced developers. In that case, the goal is getting the formal standard to also become the de facto standard.
The most successful open source projects are those that represent commodity software – otherwise, why would vendors choose not to compete with software that anybody can freely license or consume? That’s been the secret behind the success of Linux, where there has been general agreement on where the kernel ends, and as a result, a healthy market of products that run atop (and license) Linux. For community open source projects, vendors obviously have to agree on where the line between commodity and unique value-add begins.

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Generating New Revenue Opportunities with Cloud Computing

“We are embarking on a critical journey where identity information becomes the key asset of the digital age,” declared Andy Land, Vice President of Marketing at UnboundID, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. Land noted that “Facebook and Google make tremendous amounts of money just by accumulating and selling identity information.”
Cloud Computing Journal: Agree or disagree? – “While the IT savings aspect is compelling, the strongest benefit of cloud computing is how it enhances business agility.”

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Layer 7 Technologies to Exhibit at Cloud Expo 2012 Silicon Valley

SYS-CON Events announced today that Layer 7 Technologies, a leading provider of Application Gateways for SOA integration, cloud connectivity and API management, will exhibit at SYS-CON’s 11th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 5–8, 2012, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Layer 7 Technologies helps enterprises secure and govern interactions between their organizations and the services they use in the cloud, across the Internet, and out to mobile devices. Through its award-winning line of SOA Gateways, Cloud Brokers and API Proxies, Layer 7 gives enterprises the ability to control identity, data security, SLA and visibility requirements for sharing application data and functionality across organizational boundaries. In 2011, Layer 7 was named the 71st fastest-growing private or public technology company in North America on the Deloitte Fast 500 list. With more than 150 customers spanning six continents, Layer 7 supports the most demanding commercial and government organizations. Layer 7 solutions are FIPS compliant, STIG vulnerability tested and have met Common Criteria EAL4+ security assurance.

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Big Data and the Cloud at Cloud Expo New York

Organizations in every industry, regardless of size or geography are embracing cloud computing as a way to reduce the complexity and costs associated with traditional IT approaches. This reality is driven by three related shifts:
Customer, employee and partner expectations are changing as self-service consumption of technology and services becomes the norm.
The economics of computing are changing as organizations access world-class computing power, now available anytime, anywhere.
Faster delivery of higher-value products and services is now mandatory to address formidable competition and escalating customer and shareholder expectations.

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The Rise of The Vertical Cloud

While some are happy to debate definitions of cloud computing, I prefer to focus on the characteristics that make successful companies, successful. Lately there seems to have been a shift from the anything for anyone cloud to the industry or vertically focused cloud. Adding to this is today’s piece of news from Zynga who announced what they describe as “the beta release of,  a new service enabling third party developers to create and publish games on the Zynga Platform.” Yes, that company that brought you farmville is now going to be a cloud service provider enabling a whole new crop of game companies, which I can only assume they will acquire when the time is right.

So why is this news important? It’s another great example of a trend in the cloud computing sector of “Vertically focused” cloud products and services. In the early days, there was this mentality of just build it and they would come. Problem was that for most, they never really came. Instead you had a handful of very large players and everyone else fighting over the table scraps. What those who survived learned, is that in order to be successful it isn’t about being the best funded or even the best performing, but instead it is about being the most focused on the needs of a particular customer vertical. Those who focus on a particular problem, be it for a particular enterprise sector, application or customer need will have a clear and distinct differentiation in a market dominated by me-too cloud services.

This trend certainly isn’t unique to the cloud space, look at Facebook as an example. In an early market they were able to quickly gain a dominate position as a fairly generic social network. As the social market began maturing you started to see the most successful companies becoming more and more laser focused. A great example  is Instagram who according to Mashable now has more than 50 million users and is gaining about 5 million users per week, not to mention it was recently acquired by Facebook for 1 billion dollars. They succeed because of their ability to focus on a vertical. This trend seems to be gaining momentum recently with apps like SocialCam seeing astounding growth by focusing on the vertical niche opportunities over looked by their larger, better funded competition..  TechCrunch reported that SocialCam jumped from 12 million users last week to 20 million users today. Yes, 8 million new users in 1 week. Focus Focus Focus. Where’s youtube?

So what does a consumer focused app and a gaming company have to do with Cloud computing? Everything, as our market matures we are beginning to see the same sort of vertical focus for  the most successful new bread of cloud companies entering the scene. No longer is it acceptable to want to be a clone of Amazon or who ever you consider to be the leader in a particular sector. Nor is it wise. Those who focus on the industry sectors neglected by the largest players will see the most success and will be selling themselves for an Instagram or two.
(1 instgram = $1 Billion USD)

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Oxfam CIO: Cloud is a philosophical challenge

2nd May 2012

In the build-up to the Cloud Computing World Forum in London this June, BCN editor, Chris Ward, interviews one of the event’s keynote speakers and CIO of Oxfam, Peter Ransom, to discuss the benefits and concerns of placing a major not-for-profit organisation in the cloud.

MySQL in the Cloud

MySQL is probably the most popular open source database. While there is a wealth of discussion online for MySQL database encryption,doing it right in a cloud computing environment is tricky. The discussion here is quite long, and contains a lot of interesting details. So if you want a spoiler: it is possible to achieve true […]

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Cloud Expo New York: Leverage Cloud Technology to Power Your Office

Want to save your business money? Of course you do. What if we could show you a way to use the cloud in and around your office, get your workforce mobile, make communication faster and easier, and reduce OPEX? We can.
In his session at the 10th International Cloud Expo, Jason Silverglate, CEO of Fortress ITX and its subsidiaries, will present a “how to” analysis of what cloud technology can do for the modern office, of any size. He will show how incorporating hosted PBX, hosted email, and even hosted desktop (virtual desktop infrastructure) methodologies can help optimize office efficiency and save your enterprise money.

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