Posts Tagged With: Iaas

ActiveState Stackato 3.2 Delivers An Enterprise Hardened PaaS With Enhanced Security And Ease Of Management

This week, polyglot private PaaS vendor ActiveState announced the release of ActiveState Stackato 3.2, which features an array of enhancements that collectively focus on improving the security, scalability and ease of management of the platform. Version 3.2 delivers single sign-on functionality to ensure that access to the application complies with the identity management protocols of customers. In addition, this release upgrades the granularity of application-related permissions in order to give system administrators expanded control over who has access to specific components of the Stackato PaaS in conjunction with the ability to tweak their rights and permissions. Version 3.2 also offers placement zones and availability zones that allow customers to deploy their applications across multiple data centers or specific spheres of hardware in order to ensure the availability of applications in the event of infrastructure failover specific to one data center or set of infrastructure. Moreover, Stackato 3.2 supports application auto-scaling to maximize application availability during peak usage periods while concurrently scaling down the application during periods of diminished usage. Stackato’s auto-scaling functionality extends to Stackato on CloudStack or the Citrix CloudPlatform. Version 3.2 also features enhancements to Stackato’s management console in the form of additional dashboards that provide administrators with visual representations of the status of usage across placement and availability zones as well as memory availability and allocations across a cluster.

Stackato version 3.2 goes a long way toward rendering the Stackato platform fit for production usage amongst enterprise customers that demand granular permissions, single sign-on functionality, auto-scaling and the ability to deploy applications in multiple placement and availability zones. As such, the release constitutes yet another example of an enterprise-grade PaaS at a historical moment when PaaS technologies have been overshadowed by price wars in the IaaS space and industry innovations specific to Big Data analytics and management. Stackato, recall, is built on technology from the Cloud Foundry initiative and supports development languages such as, but not limited to, Java, Perl, Python, PHP, Ruby, Node.js, Erlang, Scala, Clojure and Mono. This week’s release illustrates the depth of innovation originating from one of the industry’s key PaaS players at a time when IaaS continues to overshadow PaaS despite the uniqueness of PaaS technology and its clear differentiation from IaaS.

Categories: ActiveState, Platform as a Service | Tags: , , ,

Given The General Availability Of Google Compute Engine, Is Amazon Web Services Destined To Meet Its Match?

On Monday, Google announced the general availability of Google Compute Engine, the Infrastructure as a Service public cloud platform that Google first announced in June 2012. Unlike many of Google’s product offerings, which are not targeted toward enterprise customers, Google Compute Engine comes with 24/7 customer support and a 99.95% SLA. Moreover, the platform boasts encryption of data at rest in an effort to respond to customer concerns about data security, particularly given Google’s vaunted reputation for mining every piece of data touched by its hardware and range of software applications. Monday’s general availability release features a 10% price reduction on standard, server instances and a 60% price reduction in storage pricing per gigabyte for its persistent disk service.

At the level of functionality, the GA release of Google Compute Engine claims the following three notable features:

Expanded Support for Operating Systems

Whereas Google Compute Engine supported the Linux distributions Debian and Centos in preview mode, the GA version supports a range of Linux distributions including SELinux, CoreOS, SUSE and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (limited preview). This release also features support for Docker containers that enable users to spin up containers instead of virtual machines to accelerate automated testing, continuous integration and deployment.

Transparent, automated maintenance and live migration

Google Compute Engine is now the beneficiary of ongoing, transparent maintenance routines and processes in order to ensure the effective functioning of the GCE infrastructure. Transparent maintenance operates by working on “only a small piece of the infrastructure in a given zone” such that “Google Compute Engine automatically moves your instances elsewhere in the zone, out of the way of the maintenance work” with the help of live migration technology. Customer instances continue to operate as usual while maintenance is performed.

Three New 16 Core Instances

In order to serve the needs of customers that require greater computational power, Google Compute Engine now boasts three 16 core instances for the standard, high memory and high CPU instance types. Use cases for the computing power delivered by these instances include advanced simulations and NoSQL platforms that require high degrees of scalability and performance.

Gartner analyst Lydia Leong reflected on a comparison between GCE and Amazon Web Services in a blog post and concluded:

GCE still lags AWS tremendously in terms of breadth and depth of feature set, of course, but it also has aspects that are immediately more attractive for some workloads. However, it’s now at the point where it’s a viable alternative to AWS for organizations who are looking to do cloud-native applications, whether they’re start-ups or long-established companies. I think the GA of GCE is a demarcation of market eras — we’re now moving into a second phase of this market, and things only get more interesting from here onwards.

Leong sees the general availability of Google Compute Engine as the “second phase” of the IaaS market, whereby Google and AWS stand poised to out-innovate each other and subsequently push each other to new technological heights. The challenge for Google, however, as Leong rightly suggests elsewhere in her blog post, is that it will need to earn the trust of enterprise customers. The industry will not expect Google to deliver the “fanatical support” which became the hallmark and differentiator of Rackspace, for example, but it will expect degrees of white glove support and professional services that are not familiar parts of the Google apparatus, just yet.

Moreover, as part of the project of gaining the support of the enterprise, Google will need to deliver more explicit guarantees of the safety of data hosted within its IaaS platform from the prying eyes of its repertoire of tools for analyzing structured and unstructured data stored in every conceivable format and structure. Finally, Google will ultimately need an outward facing CTO comparable to Amazon’s Werner Vogels that can evangelize the platform and sell customers on a roadmap that ultimately achieves feature parity, if not superiority, as compared to Amazon Web Services. Technology and innovation has never been Google’s problem. Capturing the confidence of the enterprise, however, has been a different story entirely for Google, although as Leong notes, Monday’s announcement may signal a fork in the road for the IaaS space and the Mountain View-based, search engine and technology behemoth. Current GCE customers include Snapchat, Evite and Wix.

Categories: Amazon Web Services, Google | Tags: , , , , , ,

CloudSigma Expands U.S. Presence To Equinix IBX In D.C. In Addition To Las Vegas

CloudSigma today announced the addition of another IaaS, public cloud deployment within the U.S. In addition to its Las Vegas based cloud at SwitchNAP, CloudSigma will now have a public cloud deployment at the Equinix’s DC6 International Business Exchange (IBX) in Washington D.C. The addition of a secondary public cloud deployment will provide customers with greater failover and replication capabilities in addition to reduced latency times. CloudSigma CEO Robert Jenkins remarked on the company’s expansion within the U.S. as follows:

The combination of increasing customer demand and our growing partnership with Equinix made this an ideal time to grow our public cloud to a second U.S. data center location. This expansion shows further validation for our uniquely flexible and customer-centric public cloud model – something we expect to build out in additional regions, including Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, in the near future.

According to the company’s press release, web-based applications that take advantage of the additional public cloud location in DC in addition to Las Vegas are likely to see end-user performance improvements on the order of 100% in select geographic locales. Today’s announcement additionally underscores the popularity of the Equinix’s DC6 International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Ashburn as a key internet hub because of its direct connection to Amazon Web Services, and home to nine of the top ten CDNs as well as nine prominent ad exchanges. The larger point illustrated by CloudSigma’s expansion, however, is that enterprise customers in the U.S. have an increasingly wide range of cloud options and are likely to benefit from supplementary education and consulting services regarding how to sift through the dizzying array of cloud products and platforms.

Categories: CloudSigma | Tags: ,

IBM Surpasses $1 Billion In Quarterly Cloud Revenue For First Time

IBM today announced that it exceeded $1 billion in quarterly cloud computing-related revenue for the first time in the company’s history. Of the $1 billion in cloud revenue, “$460 million is delivered as a cloud service” according to Mark Loughridge, IBM’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Finance and Enterprise Transformation. IBM’s cloud-related revenue for 2013 was up 70% in comparison to the same time period last year. A large part of IBM’s growth in the cloud segment of its revenues is presumably attributable to its July acquisition of SoftLayer, an IaaS public cloud solution that additionally features dedicated server and managed hosting solutions. IBM’s Smarter Planet and Analytics solutions delivered similarly impressive results with its Smarter Planet platform reporting earnings up 20% through September and its Analytics solutions up 8% through 2013. Cloud revenue represented a bright spot in an otherwise mixed earnings report for IBM marked by a 4% decline in overall Q3 revenue to $23.7 billion.

Categories: IBM | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

NephoScale Announces Release of Cloud Foundry-based, CloudPaaS Platform As A Service

NephoScale became the latest IaaS vendor to use Cloud Foundry as the basis for a Platform as a Service offering by announcing the Beta release of CloudPaaS, today. CloudPaaS supports Ruby, Python, PHP and Java/Spring in addition to database services that include MySQL. CloudPaaS allows NephoScale customers to take advantage of preconfigured application stacks for development without the challenges of provisioning and configuring infrastructure prior to deploying a platform for application development. Like many IaaS-PaaS bundles, CloudPaaS intends to entice customers to take advantage of the company’s NephOS IaaS platform as customers become familiar with its platform and customer service.

James Watters, Head of Cloud Foundry Product, Marketing and Ecosystem at Pivotal, remarked on the significance of NephoScale’s selection of Cloud Foundry version 2 as the basis for CloudPaaS as follows:

Hosting providers are increasingly adopting Platform as a Service in response to developer demand. Cloud Foundry dramatically lowers the barrier for ecosystem participation in the PaaS market to meet the growing demand from developers. NephoScale’s decision to leverage Cloud Foundry supports our vision to deliver a platform that significantly reduces development cycles and accelerates time to market for developers and cloud operators alike. Enterprises seeking to leverage Cloud Foundry can now consider NephoScale for both public and private deployments.

Here, Watters elaborates on how Cloud Foundry “lowers the barrier for ecosystem participation in the PaaS market” in a way that renders it increasingly difficult for specialized PaaS vendors to compete against a commercialized PaaS offering based on Cloud Foundry. Bolstered by partnerships with IBM, Piston Cloud and VMware, Cloud Foundry’s rise in the PaaS space has been remarkable in recent months, particularly given news of its integration with OpenStack and the associated announcement that Piston’s Joshua McKenty would join its advisory board. The key question for the PaaS space now is whether private, proprietary PaaS vendors will be able to gain traction or whether Cloud Foundry-based PaaS platforms will become the de facto standard given the promise of their interoperability with other Cloud Foundry-based products and integration with OpenStack.

Categories: Cloud Foundry, NephoScale | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Pivotal And Piston Cloud Partnership Intends To Refine Integration Between OpenStack And Cloud Foundry

Last Thursday, Piston Cloud (Piston) and Pivotal announced a partnership whereby Piston will deliver the community OpenStack infrastructure for Cloud Foundry. The partnership enables Pivotal to continue refining the integration of Cloud Foundry with OpenStack that Piston achieved last year. Thursday’s announcement means that Cloud Foundry’s developer ecosystem will be tightly integrated with Piston’s OpenStack distribution in order to ensure the resulting IaaS-PaaS, OpenStack-Cloud Foundry infrastructure successfully negotiates challenges related to continuous integration, rapid release cycles and scalability considerations. Piston’s co-founder and CTO, Joshua McKenty, will serve on the Cloud Foundry Advisory Board and Piston will continue to function as a partner for rapid deployments of Cloud Foundry.

James Watters, the head of product, marketing, and ecosystem for Cloud Foundry, remarked on the work specific to the integration in an interview with The Register by noting, “there’s a fair amount of work to make sure an IaaS and a PaaS like Cloud Foundry that automates itself through APIs all flows together very well” and that “every hour of every day Cloud Foundry gets tested on Piston.” Meanwhile, Joshua McKenty identified some of the integration issues that the partnership proposes to examine as follows:

We actually did most of the work to make sure Cloud Foundry could run on OpenStack last year. It’s not a tremendously complicated API, but it is important that it’s consistent and reliable. One of the things we’ve really focused on with Piston OpenStack is making sure the services are highly available, so as you scale up the scope of the Cloud Foundry environment on top, the IaaS environment can handle it.

Here, McKenty singles out the consistency and reliability of the Cloud Foundry API and the scalability of the OpenStack infrastructure in relation to the Cloud Foundry platform as topics for investigation. In a guest blog post for Cloud Foundry, McKenty further noted that Piston’s aim is to “to keep up with and continue to support the growing Cloud Foundry ecosystem” given that the fundamental goal of cloud computing is “really just about providing the computing resources to keep up with the fast-paced DevOps and Agile lifecycle.” In other words, Piston intends to “keep up with” Cloud Foundry not only from a scalability perspective, but also in the context of its rapidly evolving, agile-driven code base and enhancements.

Overall, the partnership represents a huge coup for Piston given that it was hand-picked from the cottage industry of OpenStack vendors and distributions. More importantly, however, the announcement underscores the weight of the market momentum in favor of open-source based cloud computing platforms. Moreover, Thursday’s partnership increases the commercial viability of Cloud Foundry insofar as it was motivated in part by customer requests and interest. The industry should expect McKenty to bring his expertise in OpenStack governance to Cloud Foundry’s emerging governance structure and help drive a rapid expansion in Pivotal’s partnering companies and organizations with respect to Cloud Foundry. As the integration between OpenStack and Cloud Foundry matures courtesy of the Pivotal-Piston partnership, we may even see the evolution of a formal collaboration beween OpenStack’s governance structure and Cloud Foundry’s emerging model of governance and open source software leadership.

Categories: OpenStack, Piston Cloud Computing, Pivotal | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

CenturyLink’s AppFog Acquisition And The Increasing Coupling of IaaS and PaaS

CenturyLink’s recent acquisition of AppFog, a public PaaS vendor, speaks volumes about the contemporary state of the IaaS and PaaS space today. The acquisition is intended to enhance the portfolio of Savvis, the IaaS, colocation and managed hosting vendor that CenturyLink acquired in 2011. AppFog’s public cloud PaaS offering will be offered as part of the savvisdirect online channel. In addition, its platform will be used to deliver dedicated PaaS deployments for enterprise customers. AppFog CEO Lucas Carlson will join the CenturyLink team as Vice President, Cloud Evangelist at Savvis. The acquisition enables CenturyLink to differentiate itself from competitors such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless by offering an enterprise-grade public cloud Platform as a Service to complement its existing Infrastructure as a Service offering.

Key features of the AppFog platform include the following:

•AppFog’s PaaS platform boasts polyglot compatibility with Java, Python, Node, .Net, Ruby, PHP, MySQL, Mongo, Django, PostgreSQL and more
•AppFog’s platform enables customers to deploy application instances and infrastructures on public cloud platforms such as OpenStack, Amazon Web Services, HP Cloud Services and Rackspace
•AppFog manages data integrity and cleanliness issues specific to the migration of virtual machines from one cloud infrastructure to another. In an interview, CEO Lucas Carlson noted that the platform features the ability to transform a VMware virtual machine into a KVM instance preferred by OpenStack or an Amazon Web Services Machine Image.
•AppFog automates the scaling of applications by allowing developers to use a “sliding scale” that automatically resets the corresponding number of virtual servers and load balancers.

The larger significance of CenturyLink’s acquisition of AppFog, however, is the way in which it illustrates the increasing convergence of IaaS and PaaS offerings, and specifically, how IaaS vendors are actively seeking to diversify their portfolio by buying PaaS platforms in the event that—unlike Red Hat, for example—they lack the resources to build them. Public PaaS constitutes a notable feather in the cap of a large IaaS vendor whose customers desire the flexibility of deploying applications from a pre-fabricated technology stack as opposed to building one from scratch, particularly for the purpose of pilot projects. Separate from the dedicated PaaS revenue stream, IaaS vendors can expect spillage from customers that began as consumers of its PaaS platform, and subsequently decide to utilize its IaaS offering after becoming comfortable with the company’s customer support and activation infrastructure. Expect the industry’s largest IaaS vendors to continue to gobble up promising PaaS upstarts, as long as the PaaS in question can claim polyglot compatibility to some appreciable degree.

Categories: AppFog | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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