In a presentation from Day 1 of the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, Jonathon Bryce, Executive Director of the OpenStack Foundation announced the rollout of the initial round interoperability protocols and testing to ensure that OpenStack distributions successfully interoperate with one another. Currently, 16 companies have interoperability testing results available and the OpenStack Foundation plans to ensure the application of its interoperability testing on all OpenStack-branded products during the remainder of 2015. Bryce also notes that over 30 OpenStack products and services in the marketplace have pledged to support federated identity. Bryce’s elaboration on the aggressiveness of the OpenStack Foundation’s efforts to ensure the development of a common OpenStack core stack across all distributions suggests that OpenStack is likely to live up to the promise of interoperability and open standards that constituted part of its core vision as an open source IaaS platform that allows customers to migrate workloads from one OpenStack environment to another with ease. Companies that have produced live interoperability results at present include IBM, SwiftStack, Red Hat, Bluebox, Rackspace and Mirantis.
On Monday, Google introduced Google Compute Engine pre-emptible virtual machines. Pre-emptible machines enjoy a 70% discount on standard pricing but may be shut down at any time and have a maximum runtime of 24 hours. The larger vision behind pre-emptible machines involves Google’s objective of reclaiming computing capacity depending upon the intensity and duration of other workloads within its public cloud environment. By shutting down pre-emptible machines and recovering compute capacity, the Google Cloud Platform can maintain a high degree of performance without spinning up additional VMs, thereby saving operational overhead and concurrently passing along some of the attendant cost savings to the customer. Given the unpredictability with which pre-emptible virtual machines may be shut down, they are suited only for select use cases such as massive data processing, data analytics, visual effects and simulations that are not time sensitive with respect to the allotted time period for their completion. Pre-emptible machines are ideal for applications that are architected such that they can handle the termination of a few VMs on a periodic basis. Meanwhile, customers stand to enjoy fixed pricing in addition to the 70% pricing discount and may subsequently decide to allocate a designated percentage of their fleet of VMs to pre-emptible machines in recognition of the way in which their computational processing is only minimally impacted by periodic VM shutdowns. Google announced pre-emptible virtual machines in conjunction with significant price cuts for VMs for Google Compute Engine amounting to a maximum of 30%. Google’s elaboration of Google Cloud Platform price cuts and the availability of pre-emptible machines indicate the intensity of competition in the IaaS space where prices skyrocket downward as major players such as Microsoft and Google intensify their assault on Amazon’s stranglehold on the leadership position in the IaaS space.
ObserveIT today announced the launch of ObserveIT CloudThreat for Amazon Web Services (AWS), a free IT security solution that delivers analytics on user activity and behavior. ObserveIT’s CloudThreat for Amazon Web Services protects hosted environments against unauthorized user behavior by proactively identifying unusual user behavior on the part of hackers or malicious code that has been introduced to a specific AWS hosted environment. Deployed as a “lightweight agent” on Amazon Linux AMIs, ObserveIT CloudThreat for AWS integrates with Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon’s proprietary cloud and network monitoring solution by means of web services APIs. CloudThreat enables customers to augment the security of their AWS deployments by leveraging the product’s deep analytics regarding user activity, audit trails of actions performed within a specific infrastructure and attention to the implementation and evolution of role based control, particularly in cases where a user arrogates administrative privileges to themselves in ways that may be suggestive of pernicious threats to the infrastructure. ObserveIT CloudThreat for Amazon Web Services is available on the AWS marketplace.
DataHero today announced the finalization of $6.1M in Series A funding led by existing investor Foundry Group. The funding raise will be used to scale the company’s operations in anticipation of rapid growth and customer demand for its cloud business intelligence solution. As told to Cloud Computing Today in a phone interview with DataHero founder Chris Neumann, DataHero gives organizations the capability to rapidly visualize data in structured and semi-structured form by means of a cloud-based platform that accepts the intake of data in csv, Excel or integrations with select third party data feeds. For example, customers can load one or more Excel files into DataHero’s business intelligence platform to visualize, transform and perform drill-downs on data. The DataHero platform features connectors to a range of third party platforms that include Marketo, HubSpot, Salesforce, Zendesk, Google Analytics and cloud storage platforms such as Box, Dropbox and Google Drive. In comparison to other data visualization platforms, DataHero focuses on non-technical end users that need a streamlined and simplified path toward visualizing the larger significance of data of interest. Today, DataHero also revealed the appointment of serial entrepreneur Ed Miller as CEO. Miller has led a number of tech startups and his appointment underscores both DataHero’s historical growth as well as the urgency of its plans to gear up for the next phase of its evolution. Expect DataHero to continue expanding the roster of platforms with which it integrates and deepening its analytic capabilities as it continues to deliver on its sweet spot of visualizing and presenting data to end users in ways that empower business stakeholders to make more convincing cases for their business decisions using data presented in compelling and palatable forms.
Cloud-based recovery as a service leader Axcient today announces a Direct to Cloud offering that enables customers to replicate their IT infrastructure in the cloud without use of an appliance. Axcient’s Direct to Cloud platform allows customers to replicate their servers, desktops and laptops within Axcient’s cloud environment to ensure the continuity of business operations and enhance the operational agility of end users. The Axcient Business Recovery Cloud allows customers to create a replica of their entire infrastructure by way of an internet connection that creates an initial snapshot of an infrastructure at a designated point in time, and then subsequently creates incremental backups in tandem with customer requirements. In contrast to replicating swaths of files, the Axcient Business Recovery Cloud creates a cloud-based copy of the physical and virtual servers, laptop images and desktops. Customers can monitor the health of their cloud infrastructure by means of an Axcient dashboard as represented below:
Axcient’s Direct to Cloud replication offering gives customers the flexibility to replicate their infrastructures within the cloud without the need to purchase or maintain either a physical or virtual appliance. Moreover, the solution features instant failover functionality marked by the launch of a virtual replica within the Axcient Business Recovery Cloud to ensure the maintenance of business continuity. Customers can access Axcient’s Direct to Cloud platform by means of an encrypted internet connection that allows for the secure transmission of files between a host infrastructure and Axcient’s environment. As a result of today’s release, Axcient becomes one of the few Recovery as a Service vendors that can claim options for cloud-based backup and recovery that include a hardware appliance, software-based appliance or a direct internet connection as the modality for enabling its cloud-based recovery platform. The platform’s range of deployment options renders it ideal for small to medium-sized businesses that require a production-grade platform at a reasonable price-point in comparison to consumer-grade options that focus primarily on backing up assemblages of files.
Pivotal and Mirantis recently announced a partnership whereby Pivotal will support deployments of Pivotal Cloud Foundry on the Mirantis OpenStack platform. Meanwhile, Mirantis will resell Pivotal Cloud Foundry to its IaaS customers. The partnership between Pivotal and Mirantis reinforces the integration between OpenStack and Cloud Foundry by bringing together two leading open source technologies in the cloud computing space and delivering a full stack marked by infrastructure provisioning and management capabilities in addition to agile application development functionality. As noted in a Pivotal blog post, customers can deploy Pivotal Cloud Foundry on Mirantis OpenStack by following a runbook that streamlines its deployment. The collaboration between Pivotal and Cloud Foundry underscores the ascendancy of open source cloud computing technologies that are predicated upon transparent governance frameworks and the contributions of developers and organizations from all over the world. By offering Pivotal Cloud Foundry on top of Mirantis OpenStack, Pivotal and Mirantis render available an on demand solution that absolves companies of the hassle of integrating an application development platform into an infrastructure deployment. The partnership gives Mirantis the feather in its cap constituted by an enterprise-grade PaaS in the form of Pivotal Cloud Foundry. Correspondingly, Pivotal benefits from the increased sales channel exposure enabled by access to Mirantis customers. The real winner from this partnership, however, is OpenStack insofar as it continues to cement its reputation for having the ability to integrate with major PaaS, database and Big Data technologies as recently exemplified by the agreement between Oracle regarding its Database as a Service and Mirantis, and Piston Cloud’s announcement of Piston OS 4.0.
Cloudera and Trillium Software recently announced a collaboration whereby the Trillium Big Data solution is certified for Cloudera’s Hadoop distribution. As a result of the partnership, Cloudera customers can take advantage of Trillium’s data quality solutions to profile, cleanse, de-duplicate and enrich Hadoop-based data. Trillium responds to a problem in the Big Data industry wherein the customer focus on deployment and management of Hadoop-based data repositories eclipses concerns about data quality. In the case of Hadoop-based data, data quality solutions predictably face challenges associated with the sheer volume of data that requires cleansing or quality improvements. Trillium’s Big Data Solution for data quality cleanses data natively within Hadoop because identifying data with data quality issues and then transporting it to another infrastructure becomes costly and complex. The collaboration between Trillium Software and Cloudera illustrates the relevance of data quality solutions for Hadoop despite the increased attention currently devoted to Big Data analytics and data visualization solutions. As such, Trillium fills a critical niche within the Big Data processing space and its alliance with Cloudera positions it strongly to consolidate its early traction within the space of solutions dedicated to data quality in the Big Data space.