The opportunity for lock-in with cloud solutions is huge, and the usual suspects have tried to exploit it. As you might expect, there's heavy competition, with every big-brand vendor inventing a clever and unique spin to lure you to its cloud offering. But the behavior of most of them may surprise you. All the most interesting competitive plays are actually open source. That may sound odd if you think open source is a matter of mass philanthropy, but as Simon Wardley pointed out in Forbes recently, altruism is at best a secondary motivation for the open source cloud computing activity that's evolving.
The cloud computing project landscape is rapidly changing, and there's not a hobbyist in sight. Just this week, we've seen OpenStack form a commercially backed foundation, with player after player folding their hands, joining the project, and putting up big bucks for influential positions in its leadership. Under these circumstances, it will be hard for a private contributor to hold sway with OpenStack.
Some electric (amusing) news: verify how clean your power distribution and power generation utilies are, why? Greenpeace posted a gigantic banner across from Amazon and Microsoft buildings on Thursday asking them how clean their clouds are. Considering tech advances we’ve covered on the podcast like Server on a Chip, optimizing processor utilization and all kinds of capacity with virtualization, commodity computing being leveraged while scaling out by many major cloud providers, not to mention bare metal provisioning (get a clue Greenpeace) I’m assuming that hilarity ensued. It’s like if all the cars on the road were removed and people commuted using several highly energy efficient hovercraft and then Greenpeace got upset because the electricity still came from unclean sources even though it was a massive reduction in energy consumption. I’m going to hear from Greenpeace aren’t I.
The story I’m covering this week:
Appcelerator Delivers Titanium 2.0 With New Cloud Services
“Appcelerator simplifies the process of integrating cloud services into mobile apps—enabling not only Titanium developers but any native or mobile Web developer to quickly create, configure and deploy rich, cloud-connected applications. Developers can use ACS to leverage all of the new Titanium 2.0 features and capabilities or use it as stand-alone services in conjunction with developers’ choice of development environments...”
“Appcelerator’s new solution also enables app publishers using Objective-C, Java, PhoneGap, Sencha and HTML5 technologies to create and configure a server-side backend, add mobile app features without writing server code and easily deploy their cloud-connected app. Tasks that can require server programming or integration with multiple SDKs are performed through one simple interface. Developers need only choose which APIs to use, and Appcelerator takes care of deploying and maintaining a full server stack that includes a database, search engine, file storage and application logic...”
I get asked quite a bit what tools and platforms my teams have used to build our cool mobile applications actually. I haven’t personally used Titanium 2.0 but my advice to the dev listeners is to try it out for me and let me know what you think - if it delivers on the marketing collateral I’m going to give it a whirl.
What’s All The Fuss About Showback v. Chargeback
A recent article by Joe McKendrick referencing a ZapThink piece posted by Jason Bloomberg predicting backlash against chargeback in private clouds. From McKenrick’s piece:
At issue is the fact that private clouds need to rely on chargeback mechanisms for funding, which tend to create more animosity than a sense of sharing. As Jason puts it:
“Everybody hates chargebacks. Not only are they a bookkeeping hassle, but they also demotivate the consumption of shared resources. We went through this problem when we dealt with shared services and SOA, and now we’re sharing cloud resources, but the problem remains: the whole point to the private cloud is to achieve economies of scale across the enterprise, but the only way to make such economies work is if most or all divisions participate. Chargebacks, however, discourage that participation.”
My Take: Posted at http://infocus.emc.com/author/jp_morgenthal/ discusses the underlying intent for showback and chargeback for the business. Historically, these efforts emerged from attempting to turn IT into a profit center. However, IT was so poorly aligned with the business it had the unintended consequence of fostering shadow IT once the business began to understand they had a choice. The result was many IT organizations once again becoming a cost center. We’re now revisiting this trend around cloud computing, but approaching with the same 90’s mentality of the business coming to IT for IaaS and PaaS. If we don’t change our approach we will end up with the same results as last time.
Jeff: Soaring Splunk Shows Public Markets Intrigued By Big Data
Founded in 2003, Splunk’s three founders set out to build a Google for machine data– essentially a search engine for all the data that servers, network switches and any device with a processor spits out when those devices are in use.
Though there are several technologies that power its software, its “schema-on-the-fly” technology more than anything else makes it a big data company. That technology enables Splunk to organize data around when a customer enters in a search term.
The ability to search, chart and graph massive amounts of data, with unknown, changing and confusing structures, isn’t exclusive to Splunk. It’s the promise behind almost all big data companies, and, judging by Splunk’s debut, an intriguing prospect for public-market investors.
Based on the success IPO of Splunk it is obvious that every company these days must have a “big data” association (product, tools or service) in other to be relevant in the technology market. Splunk is a great product for a specific purpose. The company’s product is more of an analytics tool than a big data technology. In other words, its a business intelligence tool for system analytics rather than business analytics.