Posts tagged ‘amazon’

Google and Why the New Standard for Modern Applications is a Non-Relational Database Deployed in the Cloud #CloudWF

Guest Blog with MongoDB

Google and Why the New Standard for Modern Applications is a Non-Relational Database Deployed in the Cloud

Author: Kelly Stirman, VP of strategy at MongoDB

It’s positively raining cloud stories. Sorry. Cloud puns are so over…cast. Regardless, recent months have seen some interesting developments in the high stakes game for control of the foundational layer of your application stack i.e. what database you use and where it’s deployed. In early May Google released Cloud BigTable as a managed NoSQL database. Two weeks later Gartner released its  Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (Cloud IaaS) report.

While unrelated, the two announcements both shine some light on our path to a new, cloud-rich future. While the aspiring cloud giant Google gave further validation, if it were needed, that  NoSQL databases deployed in the cloud are the new standard for modern applications.

You see, the workload from modern applications is quite different from what it’s been in the past. Building your own data centre and installing a relational database was fine when you could predict the size, speed and type of data. Applications in 2015 are a different breed. The growth of social, mobile and sensor data has dramatically altered the way we approach development. Developers can’t tell in advance what any of this will look like in the final production version of their application, let alone future iterations.

Many organisations are already overcoming this by deploying non-relational databases on commodity hardware in the cloud. This approach lets companies gear up for massive scale and gives them enough flexibility to incorporate new data types that will support business processes and provide operational insight.

Google’s BigTable and Gartner’s Magic Quadrant

Google’s announcement highlighted two things. One: the big infrastructure players are looking to diversify and find new ways to wring revenue from the big data stack. Two: BigTable’s release illustrated that all major data innovation is happening away from relational data models.  Relational databases aren’t going anywhere fast, but they are challenged by the requirements of modern applications. In particular the trickiest of the three Vs of big data – variety of data types. BigTable is yet another database-as-a-service offering that is designed to be deployed on the vendor’s own cloud infrastructure, see also Amazon and Microsoft.

From one cloud provider’s announcement, we now look at a broader view of the industry from Gartner. This is from the introduction to the Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide report[1]:

The market for cloud IaaS is in a state of upheaval, as many service providers are shifting their strategies after failing to gain enough market traction. Customers must exercise caution when choosing providers.

The report went on to explain that ‘all the providers evaluated are believed to be financially stable, with business plans that are adequately funded. However, many of the providers are undergoing significant re-evaluation of their cloud IaaS businesses’. In other words, some vendors may not be in it for the long haul.

What it means for you

As well as diversification into database services, the cloud competition is also sparking a healthy price war. Just a few days after the Magic Quadrant was released Google announced it was slashing prices by as much as 30%. Microsoft and Amazon are also fond of aggressive pricing as they try to eat as much market share as possible.

Which brings us back to Google’s launch of NoSQL database-as-a-service BigTable. The release came on the back of Microsoft’s recent Azure DocumentDB announcement and, of course Amazon’s own DynamoDB offering. As the competition for cloud infrastructure drives margins down, the big players are looking up the stack to drive revenue and it’s clear NoSQL technology is one of the most attractive areas.

Though it’s worth pointing out that these as-a-service database offerings generally come with a very narrow set of features. For example Cloud BigTable is a wide column store with a simple key-value query model. Like some other NoSQL databases, it is limited by:

  • A complex data model which presents a steep learning curve to developers, slowing the rate of new application development
  • Lack of features such as an expressive query language (key-value only), integrated text search, native secondary indexes, aggregations and more. Collectively, these enable organisations to build more functional applications faster

Ultimately the cloud providers can relieve users of some of the overhead of running a database but they still will have to deal with the complexity of mastering data models and working around key-value query limitations.

Out of the chaos it’s becoming clear that a non-relational database hosted in the cloud, is going to be the predominant way modern companies deploy applications. Each customer will have varying demands of control. Some will want everything ‘as-a-service’, others will want full control over how and where their database runs and security on each layer of the stack. In the modern world of cloud-ready, non-relational databases, you have more choice than ever. That choice can also bring a risk of vendor lock-in, if you select an offering that is tied to one specific platform, no matter how ‘web-scale’ that platform claims to be.

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[1] Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide, Lydia Leong et al, May 18, 2015

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MongoDB will be exhibiting at the Cloud World Forum taking place on the 24th & 25th June 2015.

Kelly Stirman is Vice President of Strategy at MongoDB, speaking at the Cloud World Forum on the 25th June at 10.35 in Theatre A: Keynote – Building Business in the Cloud on ‘Escaping Cloud Cuckoo Land: 5 Tips for Making Success a Reality in the Cloud.’

REGISTER YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE.

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Winning with the Internet of Things

Guest Blog with Fujitsu RunMyProcess

Winning with the Internet of Things

shutterstock_265601099Over the last 20 years we have seen successive innovations drive the influence of the Internet into new areas, connecting new kinds of resources, digitizing new interactions and opening up opportunities to challenge the underlying beliefs on which a range of industrial and social activities were based.

Every additional expansion has brought the emergence of new industry leaders – e.g. Amazon, Google, Facebook or Uber – who have used the expansion in connectivity to look at the world with fresh eyes.

Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) promises to drive the boundaries of the Internet further out than ever before, providing connectivity to potentially billions of everyday objects.  The sensors and actuators these objects embed will transform our understanding of real world events and enable us to simultaneously manipulate digital and physical environments in real time.  As connectivity penetrates the real world and transforms the potential of even the smallest and most mundane of everyday objects, huge new opportunities to transform customer experiences across a combination of digital and physical spaces will emerge.

But how do you become a winner in this new environment?  How do you maximize the benefits of these new information sources?  How do you leverage the newly connected things in combination with all of the other digital and human resources that already exist?  How do you go fast enough to stay ahead of the competition?  We believe that there are three principles that can help you drive a successful IoT strategy.

The Internet is the platform

Our first principle states that you can only achieve the full potential of the IoT by stressing the “Internet” over the “Things”.  Despite many waves of technology hype over the years, straightforward connectivity has been the most fundamental driver of transformational change.  It is therefore critical to base your IoT initiatives on existing Internet and Web standards at different layers, leveraging the ubiquitous protocols and patterns of the Internet to maximize connectivity potential and support open innovation.  Protocols such as Bluetooth smart, low power IPv6 and the constrained application protocol (CoAP) are bringing open, web-like access to smart objects while maximising their lifetime through sensible optimisations.

Think small to go large

Our second principle states that meaningful and disruptive innovation on the Internet has rarely been achieved in a top down, centrally planned fashion.  It is the open, chaotic and Darwinian nature of the Internet that has enabled such a high tempo of innovation.  Many discussions of the IoT, however, start with huge, complex and monolithic predictions of smart energy, smart agriculture, smart manufacturing, etc., which are on a scale that has little relevance to your business and which therefore cannot be grasped in terms of the small, actionable steps that you can take to start delivering value today.

To become a winner with the IoT you should ignore large, top down discussions and instead focus on rapidly delivering small, measurable improvements in individual activities and processes relevant to your business and its customers.  The technologies and platforms of the IoT are so low cost and easy to engage with that starting many small experiments is the best way to discover the potential value for your specific business.  In this sense successful approaches to IoT will need to leverage simple technologies and approaches that lower the barrier to entry for each individual case and which do not require the aggregation of many dubious business cases to provide a justification for large scale capital investment.

Connect value in the cloud

Our third principle states that the value of the IoT is meaningless unless you can seamlessly integrate and leverage the data it produces in a way which creates value at scale – for your customers, for your business or for society as a whole.  It’s not about individual sensors or smart devices; it’s about the way in which you combine them with other systems and people to rapidly deliver and evolve compelling, digitally transformed processes and activities.  The IoT should not be seen as a separate technology category – and yet another silo – but simply as an extension of the resources available to you in innovating and optimising your wider digital business processes.

For these reasons a high productivity platform as a service focused on rapid process transformation and integration is an ideal place to unlock the value of the IoT in combination with the wider digital environment.  By abstracting away low level technology, such platforms leave you free to focus on the rapid creation of valuable new digital flows which easily connect the people, systems and sensors necessary to deliver, test and scale systems which transform value for your customers and colleagues.  Most importantly using a high level platform as a service will enable you to deliver, test and scale your new processes faster than competitors who get bogged down in low level technology management of infrastructure and middleware.

And the winner is…

The IoT is bringing huge new opportunities to integrate information spanning the physical and digital worlds, opening up a whole new set of activities for digital disruption.  While grandiose concepts and technical language can make the subject seem overwhelming, use of these three principles can put you in a position to experiment and deliver at extremely low cost.

To prove the point we recently used our own principles to experiment with ways of improving the response to cycling accidents, connecting wearables, sensors, cloud services and mobile devices within a new digital flow.  By using CoAP, focusing on the improvement of a specific outcome and using our PaaS to connect across the whole environment we were able to help a small partner create significant value in just a few days.

The first key step to winning with the IoT is therefore to actually move; the low cost of experimentation and importance of gaining insight into this disruptive new area all make it critical to start shaping your future now – otherwise someone, somewhere will shape it for you.

Ian Thomas

ian thomasIan Thomas is a Fujitsu strategist and thought leader currently serving as Chief Marketing Officer of Fujitsu RunMyProcess.

Ian is an active writer and contributor to both Fujitsu thought leadership content and to external peer-reviewed conferences.  Most recently he has published a range of papers on the evolution of the Web and on the convergence of the Internet of Things, cloud and social infrastructures.  In this context he has also delivered a number of invited talks in various events around the world.

Fujitsu Run My Process

Fujitsu Run My Process is our Visionary Sponsor at Cloud World Forum, taking place on the 24th – 25th June 2015 at Olympia Grand in London.

Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of all the knowledge and networking opportunities presented by EMEA’s only content-led Cloud exhibition.

Register for your FREE exhibition pass here!

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Microsoft’s Most Clever Critic Is Now Building Its New Empire #cloudwf

mark_russinovich_MKANE_03edit-660x440Before joining Microsoft and becoming one of its most important software engineers, Mark Russinovich was in the business of pissing the company off.

This was the late 1990s, when Microsoft dominated the tech world, its Windows operating systems running so many of the world’s computers, from desktops and laptops to corporate workstations and servers. During the day, Russinovich built software for a tiny New Hampshire software company, but he spent his evenings and weekends looking for bugs, flaws, and secrets buried inside Microsoft’s newest and most important operating system, Windows NT. Sharing his findings with the press or posting them to the web, he frequently pissed off Microsoft, but never so completely as the time he exposed Windows NT as a fraud.

Windows NT represented Microsoft’s future–its core code would underpin the company’s operating systems for years to come–and at the time, it was sold in two flavors. One was for corporate workstations used by engineers, graphic designers, and the like, and the other was for servers. NT Workstation was much cheaper, but, unlike NT Server, it barred you from running web serving software, the software that delivers websites to people across the internet. Microsoft said that NT Workstation just wasn’t suited to the task. But then Russinovich reverse-engineered the two OSes and showed that the truth was something very different. NT Workstation, he revealed, was practically identical to NT Server. It wasn’t that the OS couldn’t run web serving software. Microsoft just didn’t want it to.

“The story shows that Microsoft is capable of change–however long that change might take”.

The ruse was typical of the software giant, a way of artificially shifting a market in its own favor. It could force all web serving onto a more expensive OS while still selling a cheaper version for other tasks. And after Russinovich exposed the practice, releasing a tool that let anyone transform NT Workstation into NT Server, the company responded in typical fashion. Days later, when employees from his New Hampshire company flew across the country to participate in a Microsoft event, Microsoft barred them from the building. But at the same time, the incident managed to bring Russinovich closer to the software giant. Even as his colleagues were shut out of the company, the head of Windows offered him a job.

Told by the six-foot, five-and-a-half-inch Russinovich in his wonderfully straightforward way, it’s a tale that lays bare the unapologetically ruthless attitude that pervaded Microsoft in the ’90s and on into the aughts, an attitude that brought it enormous success but also landed the company in hot water with regulators and ultimately hampered its ability to compete in the more open and collaborative world of the modern internet. But the postscript to the tale–where Jim Alchin, the head of Windows, tries to hire Russinovich–also shows that Microsoft is more complicated than you might expect, that the company is capable of change, however long that change might take.

When Alchin offered him the job, Russinovich didn’t take it. But after several more years spent running his Sysinternals site–where he published a steady stream of exposés that, in his words, “pissed off” Microsoft and other tech outfits–he did join the software giant. The company made him a Microsoft Technical Fellow–one of the highest honors it can bestow–and today, he’s one of the principal architects of Microsoft Azure, the cloud computing service that’s leading the company’s push into the modern world.

Russinovich is a symbol for a new Microsoft, a Microsoft that’s systematically changing its old ways. Mirroring the company’s technical evolution, he began his career in computer operating systems and has now moved into the cloud. But, more than that, he embodies a new Microsoft attitude. Russinovich has a long history with Microsoft–so he understands the old attitudes and how some of them can still help the company—but, like recently appointed CEO Satya Nadella, he also sees where the company has gone wrong and where it must now travel in order to compete in a world shaped by the Googles, the Facebooks, and the Amazons.

‘I feel that, more and more, Microsoft is embodying the values I’ve always had.’

Today’s Microsoft, he says, is closer to what he wants it to be. “I feel that, more and more, Microsoft is embodying the values I’ve always had,” Russinovich told us last month at Microsoft’s annual Build conference in San Francisco, a conference where the company open sourced its most important software development tools, freely sharing them with the world at large–the sort of thing it never would have done in years past.

Even in small ways, Russinovich belies the Microsoft stereotype. As those inside the company will tell you, he’s unafraid to speak his own mind–something you see not only when he tells the story of his Windows NT exposé, but when he looks back on the NSA spying scandal and its effect on Microsoft. “He’s an independent thinker,” says Rich Neves, who has worked with Russinovich both inside IBM’s research operation and at Microsoft. “He has what you call intellectual honesty.” And as science fiction fans will tell you, he’s more than just a corporate software engineer. He’s the author of three techno-thrillersZero Day, Trojan Horse, and Rogue Code–Michael Crichton-esque novels recently optioned by an independent film producer. But he’s also someone who’s actively pushing Microsoft’s into new places, most notably with Azure.

Azure didn’t begin with Russinovich. But, along with Nadella, he’s one of the primary thinkers who pulled the cloud service out of the old Microsoft mindset and turned it into something that can compete for the future. “He has real vision,” says HP cloud chief Bill Hilf, who once worked alongside Russinovich at Microsoft. “And he knows how to listen to customers.”

Click here to read the full article.

By WIRED

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Cloud World Forum 2014
Speaker: Mark Russinovich

 

1392026391-speakerFirestarer: Cloud Scale: Insights into building a cloud future

This session will highlight the importance of hybrid clouds whereby we need to use some elements of cloud-based technologies; say a paas for a particular application, maybe Salesforce as alongside existing in-house managed applications and services.  This is because this is reality for most and we spend little time talking about the realities of managing such environments.  Most cloud conversations tend to focus on how wonderful life will be once all our databases and apps are in the cloud; back on planet earth we have to deal with a much more complex environment; we may be benefitting from virtualisation within our own data centres but the challenge is extending the boundary to encompass applications on similar technologies in someone else’s data centres.

“OTT cloud providers were thinking like media companies, while Telcos were thinking more like their printers…

17 01 14

Our favourite image yet! Notice how the high contrast between the handsets and background signifies the point made in the article…

…. As the printer counts the number of pages whilst the media company counts the audience”.

Jeff Schmitz, Chairman of The CloudEthernet Forum, recently posted a blog on why it is imperative for Telcos to embrace cloud. He touches on how the consumer-centric mindset of non-telco giants like AWS, Google, Microsoft and Apple led to them using the sophisticated infrastructure and bandwidth of telecom operators to essentially converge on these operators’ own market share.

“Today service providers should be thinking at least as much about services as about connectivity – in the way they thought about investments in Internet and mobile infrastructure years ago. Firstly that means looking for new services and sources of revenue. Second, and perhaps more important, it could mean their survival.”

“In 2012 AWS, Google and Microsoft accounted for 40% of all the Ethernet ports shipped worldwide. That gives some idea of the massive investment in Ethernet technology they are making, and yet the total being less than 50% also tells us that not one of these giants is yet big enough to dominate the scene and dictate its own cloud connectivity ‘standards’ for global usage. So we face a possible “platform war.”

What do you think?

Are Telcos held back by decades of standard practice? Are they essentially playing catch up from 6 years behind?

Let us know!

Here’s the full article: http://techday.com/telco-review/news/telcos-must-embrace-the-cloud-2/177157/

10 things we learned at 2013 Big Data World Congress

Spotify speaker

No matter how “big” it may be, the idea of Big Data itself (as far as being a congress-worthy topic at least!) is still arguably in its infancy; with many still speculating on its ramifications and possibilities.

The Big Data World Congress this December however was an assuring sign of maturity with industry leaders, scientists and regulators coming together to provide a highly in-depth case for the business value in Big Data; led with practical examples, advice and evidence.

Here are the top 10 things we learned in the form of quotes from the event courtesy of Professor Mick Yates – who, apart from being a Big Data guru and all-round nice guy, has a great leadership blog here.

1. “Fortune 500 Companies only use 12% of the data that they currently have.” – Forrester Research

2. “Big Data allows us to create a single view of each truck over its lifetime.” – Volvo 

3. “Is there an alternative to Hadoop? No. Hadoop is replacing itself as we speak and it’s open source so it will keep fresh.” – Cloudera 

4. “We will always need human oversight of machine generated insight.” – Cloudera 

5. “How to hire a Data Scientist? Test him or her with 1) real business data, 2) a Kaggle competition or 3) artificially generate (challenging!) data.” – Laboratory for Web Science

6. “Unstructured data is just data that’s not structured yet …” – Amazon Web Services

7. “We need to explain Big Data and Internet of Things in an easy way to get people to accept them”. – Member of the European Parliament

8. “We are moving from “mobile first” to “mobile only” – Google makes no distinction between mobile and non-mobile”. – Google Enterprise

9. “When the sign-up button says ‘listen to music’, we get 3x more customers than when it says ‘download’”. Spotify

10. “The number of Hadoop nodes needs to grow in direct proportion to your business” Criteo

What do you think?

Google moving towards mobile only? Will the general population ever be comfortable with the “datafication” of their everyday lives?

We love your opinions so please share on Twitter (#BigDataWC) or Linkedin – here’re a collection of tweets from the day to get you going…

Let us know!

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