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John Gannon's Blog How do you make money as a datacenter-focused cloud computing company? Aside from the sale of compute capacity (a la Amazon or Rackspace), what are the other revenue opportunities available? Here are some thoughts... 1. Management tools: The cloud hosters like Amazon are providing basic management tools, but we can already see there is a proven market for higher-order management and automation provided by companies like Rightscale and 3Tera. There are also a variety of companies and products who have figured out IT automation in the traditional datacenter (Bladelogic, Opsware, etc). I’m waiting to see when they’ll start moving towards new product development (or rebranding of existing solutions) that will be focused on management of outsourced cloud environments. As their customers move to the cloud, those customers will demand that their tradition... (more)

Cloud Expo 2011 New York Expands Technical Program

Due to a record increase in the number, quality and breadth of submissions to the Conference Advisory Board, the organizers of 8th Cloud Expo (June 6-9, 2011) - Cloud Expo New York 2011 - have extended the technical program through the addition of an all-new "Telcos in the Cloud" track - to complement the already extensive selection of tracks, including "Enterprise-Level Cloud Computing," "Federal/Government Cloud Computing," "Real-World Virtualization,"Cloud Security & Performance," "The Cloud in Practice: Case Studies," and the always-popular "Hot Topics" track. Because the sheer quantity and quality of submitted sessions has outstripped the ability to assess each one fully and fairly - there have been a staggering 1,300 submissions thus far, for just 150 or so slots - the deadline for submitting speaking proposals to the conference is also being extended too, unt... (more)

RightScale Delivers Critical Cloud Computing and MySQL Database Management Capabilities

RightScale announced RightScale Manager for MySQL Enterprise, an offering designed to make it easier for organizations to deploy MySQL databases in the Amazon Web Services cloud. Starting July 1, RightScale customers will receive the benefits of RightScale’s automation and scale-on-demand cloud management platform, coupled with MySQL Enterprise premium-level support for large database applications. RightScale Manager for MySQL Enterprise delivers pre-configured templates for all the components needed to provide high performance, reliable database operation that is fully backed by MySQL Enterprise software and support. “RightScale has been successfully working together with Sun’s database group for some time,” said Michael Crandell, co-founder and CEO of RightScale, Inc. “Our new MySQL offering delivers the highest cloud computing perfo... (more)

Deploying into the Clouds: Concepts, Benefits, and Experiences

Cloud Computing offers significant benefits over traditional solutions for deploying production systems as well as for conducting development and testing activities. This session will distill the unique characteristics of clouds and describe how to best think about deployments in the clouds. Case studies and real experiences from Thorsten von Eicken’s two years of cloud computing experience will illustrate the pros and cons of today's cloud offerings. His technical discussion will cover: Layers of cloud computing Cost breakdown versus traditional solutions IT management and development, testing benefits/examples Extreme, fast scalability at low cost – case study Sponsor Virtualization Conference & Expo Register Now and Save! Submit Your Speaking Proposal Speaker Bio: Dr Thorsten von Eicken is CTO of RightScale. Before joining RightScale Inc., he was Chief Architect at... (more)

Amazon’s Elastic Block Store Opens Up S3 and The Cloud

Cloud infrastructure providers like Amazon are putting out the technology that the enterprise and SaaS providers need to move beyond testing the waters and take advantage of the Cloud today. The latest, and most important from the data storage perspective, is Amazon’s Elastic Block Store, or EBS. Over the years we’ve witnessed a shift to hosted IT infrastructure where all the issues surrounding the physical plant are consolidated and managed by a specialist service. In the past six months we've witnessed the incredible rate at which cloud computing has really taken off and is now allowing businesses to shed the problems of ordering, racking and maintaining servers and disk storage systems. The public cloud is now knocking down the barriers to a broader business audience that has seen the advantages of “pay as you go” IT and not having to build or rent another data cen... (more)

Exclusive Q&A with Cloud Computing CEO Michael Crandell

"We are in an ideal position to accelerate our business to continue our leadership in this rapidly advancing cloud market," says RightScale CEO Michael Crandell, in this Exclusive Q&A with the editor-in-chief of SYS-CON's Cloud Computing Journal, Alan Williamson. "We decided the timing was right to create a war chest that would take us to profitability," Crandell added. Earlier this month RightScale snagged $13M in a Series B round of venture funding. Here's the interview in full: Cloud Computing Journal: $13M is quite a chunk of change to raise in this climate. Was this about what you required? Was it more or less than you asked for? Michael Crandell: We raised exactly what we set out to raise. This year we've seen a lot of interest from investors, and so we decided the timing was right to create a war chest that would take us to profitability. At the same time, ... (more)

Amazon's VPC Opens the Door for Innovation and Enterprise Cloud Adoption

Cloud Computing Journal The recent announcement from Amazon of the Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) represents the next big advance in the evolution chain for cloud computing. Enterprises can now integrate their IT infrastructure with Amazon's vast computing and storage resources, using a VPN connection from their data center to their own virtual private cloud which then looks like part of their internal network. Until the release of VPC, companies were left to build applications and utilize the cloud as a separate and somewhat siloed portion of their computing environment. In addition to the VPN connection, VPC allows cloud users to control their IP addressing within the Amazon cloud (previously IT addresses were assigned randomly). This may sound trivial, but it solves some tricky problems that made it hard to integrate cloud and internal resources. Prior to VPC, eve... (more)

Cloud Expo Silicon Valley: Prepare for the Surge… Before It’s Too Late

Cloud Expo® Silicon Valley $500 Savings here! Outages, downtime, lost revenues and damaged customer trust seem to be on the rise as millions have turned to online shopping, entertainment and daily tasks. Ironically, these same recent events also highlight how cloud infrastructures, when managed correctly, actually provide unprecedented capabilities to deliver high availability, resiliency, and business continuity in IT operations. In his session at the 13th International Cloud Expo®, Rishi Vaish, VP, Product at RightScale, will describe how American Girl dealt with a major online scaling issue. They needed to launch a social game in a matter of days to meet a marketing deadline, but their architecture was not scaling properly. Hear how the American Girl team was able to build a scalable environment and launch their application into the public cloud, all in time fo... (more)

Cloud Computing vs. Grid Computing - What's the Difference?

Thorsten von Eicken's RightScale Blog Recently Rich Wolski (UCSB Eucalyptus project) and I were discussing grid computing vs. cloud computing. An observation he made makes a lot of sense to me. Since he doesn’t blog [...], let me repeat here what he said. Grid computing has been used in environments where users make few but large allocation requests. For example, a lab may have a 1000 node cluster and users make allocations for all 1000, or 500, or 200, etc. So only a few of these allocations can be serviced at a time and others need to be scheduled for when resources are released. This results in sophisticated batch job scheduling algorithms of parallel computations. Cloud computing really is about lots of small allocation requests. The Amazon EC2 accounts are limited to 20 servers each by default and lots and lots of users allocate up to 20 servers out of the pool... (more)

RightScale Supports Open Source Cloud to Tickle Cloud Adoption

RightScale, the cloud manager, is supporting the open source Eucalyptus Public Cloud (EPC) run by the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) for purposes of cloud research and experimentation. RightScale and Eucalyptus want to tickle widespread cloud development and adoption, and figure that letting people test and evaluate their applications on the UCSB cluster will get the ball rolling. The Eucalyptus environment is designed for anything from a small student application to a massive enterprise-level cloud deployment on Amazon's EC2. RightScale and the Eucalyptus Project Team are also collaborating to deliver a more robust private cloud for organizations whose testing requirements extend beyond those offered by the EPC. Eucalyptus stands for "Elastic Utility Computing Architecture for Linking Your Programs to Useful Systems" and its current interface is EC2-... (more)

RightScale Snags $13M in Boost for Cloud Computing Management

"We’re very excited to be working with RightScale's experienced team to guide the company's growth, including its expansion into the European market," said Index Ventures partner Danny Rimer as it was announced today that RightScale has secured $13 million in its second round of venture capital funding, led by Index Ventures. RightScale CTO Thorsten von Eicken interviewed by SYS-CON.TV's Jeremy Geelan at the 1st International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo recently in San Jose, CA. "With RightScale's platform, organizations can quickly realize the benefits of cloud computing without the risks commonly associated with cloud deployments, such as vendor lock-in and loss of IT control," Rimer continuied, adding “Having looked at this space in great detail, we believe that RightScale will continue to be the clear leader in cloud computing services." The company has tw... (more)