Automic Software Version 12 Brings Enhanced Automation To Digital Transformation Initiatives Related To Hybrid Clouds

On October 4, Automic Software (Automic) announced the release of version 12 of its suite of products designed to enhance business automation and agility for enterprise operations teams. Responding to the challenges faced by operations teams in the wake of increasing cloud adoption, Automic delivers software that enhances the ability of enterprise operations teams to collaborate with DevOps resources and initiatives. Automic’s suite of business automation software applications helps organizations deploy and manage workloads across multiple environments as well as manage releases across a multitude of platforms and infrastructures. In addition, Automic Software orchestrates the delivery of automation throughout the technology stack, giving enterprises greater operational agility and efficiency with respect to the automation of manual processes.

Automic Software helps organizations navigate the challenge of transitioning workloads to the cloud by giving operations teams the tools to monitor and optimize applications that are hosted within hybrid cloud infrastructures. The company’s bevy of automation tools empowers customers to manage a fleet of applications in the cloud as illustrated by the dashboard below:


The graphic above, for example, shows how administrators can use Automic Software to quickly identify failed jobs in addition to relevant trends. Automic Software delivers analytics across disparate database and application siloes, thereby giving customers holistic insights that facilitate iteratively nuanced optimization, troubleshooting and architectural design. Automic’s new unified interface and new unified reporting and analytics tool provides customers with a consistent interface for queries and reports that collectively simplify and streamline the process of monitoring applications and the infrastructure on which they are hosted, regardless of whether the hosting environment in question features a cloud-based, on-premise or hybrid cloud infrastructure. Moreover, version 12 of the platform allows administrators to perform upgrades with zero downtime in addition to the ability to encapsulate applications for the purpose of expedited migration and deployment across different environments. Aimed at operations teams who have been tasked with managing a multitude of applications in the cloud, but lack the appropriate set of tools required to automate application upgrades, manage workloads and application releases, Automic Software seeks to ease the pain of cloud adoption by giving administrators a holistic set of tools to manage their portfolio of cloud-based applications. Expect Automic Software to expand its footprint in the space of business automation products as DevOps practices proliferate and correspondingly intensify the need for platforms capable of easing the burden of operations teams responsible for maintaining applications within hybrid cloud infrastructures.

Oracle Partners With Verizon To Deliver Enhanced Connectivity Solutions For The Oracle Cloud

Oracle has partnered with Verizon to enable customers of the Oracle Cloud to use Verizon’s Secure Cloud Interconnect service to connect to Oracle Cloud infrastructures in the U.S. and Europe. Oracle’s partnership with Verizon’s Secure Cloud Interconnect service enhances the ability of enterprise customers to migrate workloads to the Oracle Cloud in addition to delivering improved connection reliability and lower latency. The collaboration between Verizon and Oracle to deliver Verizon’s Secure Cloud Interconnect for Oracle FastConnect gives Oracle Cloud customers augmented capabilities to customize and monitor network performance using Verizon’s SDN functionality. Furthermore, Verizon Secure Cloud Interconnect supports Oracle Cloud capabilities such as dedicated, high speed MPLS connections as well as access to data spanning hybrid cloud infrastructures. Oracle’s partnership with Verizon underscores the seriousness of its intent to develop its cloud business and is likely to presage a bevy of future partnerships that empower it to build next generation cloud computing infrastructures that can compete with Amazon Web Services, per Oracle CTO Larry Ellison’s bold proclamation that “Amazon’s lead is over” at its OpenWorld Conference in San Francisco in September.

Google Rebrands Suite Of Products And Services As “Google Cloud”

Google has announced a rebranding and restructuration of select products from its portfolio under the rubric “Google Cloud”. Google Cloud encompasses the Google Cloud Platform, Google’s productivity apps such as Gmail and Google Docs as well as its suite of machine learning tools and mapping applications. All Android devices and Chromebooks are now part of the Google Cloud as well. Importantly, the Google Cloud brand also features services that propel the digital transformation of enterprises by providing consultative and engineering support and professional services to help organizations transform their digital persona in collaboration with Google’s suite of cloud and machine learning products. The restructuration of a multitude of Google’s products under the Google Cloud umbrella, in conjunction with its foregrounding of service offerings geared toward digital transformation, marks a significant first step with respect to Google’s rebranding as a cloud product and service geared toward the digital needs of the contemporary enterprise. With the unveiling of the new Google Cloud brand, Google squarely positions itself as a partner of companies actively engaged in digital transformation and extends the tentacles of its products and services deeper into the enterprise.

Mark My World Comes Out Of Stealth With Revolutionary New App to Personalize Travel Experiences

Mark My World recently came out of stealth with the release of a mobile app that aims to disrupt the space of applications focused on enriching the vacation and travel experiences of interested users. The Mark My World mobile app, currently available for Apple iPhone and iPad on the App Store, empowers users to identify places of interest that they have visited or would like to visit, and record details of their experiences at the location in question. For example, users can record details of vacation-related itineraries such as cities they have visited, hotels, restaurants and museums of interest as well as any notable experiences they have had. Users also have the ability to upload photographs of their trip taken via their mobile device in addition to transcribing commentary about their experiences at vacation spots.

One of the innovations of the app consists in the ability of users to share details about their travels with members of their Mark My World network such as friends and family. By empowering users to share data with users in their Mark My World network, the app enables users to “friend source” travel-related information about hotels, restaurants, parks and other locations of interest from people they know and trust. By ensuring that users receive recommendations about travel-related destinations only from individuals within their designated Mark My World network, the app facilitates access to travel-related content curated by a user’s selection of users within their network, also known as “buddies.” Mark My World CEO Michael Rethy commented on the genesis and value of the app as follows:

My co-founder and I both have fun exploring and traveling the world, and love sharing and receiving tips from friends and family.  We were always finding ourselves with multiple sticky notes, e-mails, books, mental ideas and magazine clippings of sites, hotels and restaurants people had told us to visit – just not at the moment or in the place we needed them.  The app we’ve created solves that problem – it’s a novel and social way to collect places and to access them easily.  The new social network you create with Mark My World ensures that the places you save will be from trusted sources.  As the data is stored on the cloud, it syncs between mobile devices, so you can always have your Marks at your fingertips.

As Rethy notes, Mark My World delivers a centralized, searchable content repository that empowers users to store and retrieve details of their travel experiences. Moreover, Mark My World differentiates from crowd-sourced sites such as Yelp or Foursquare which serve up reviews and commentary on restaurants and other locations of interest from anonymous individuals whose tastes, judgment and travel experience are unknown to readers, rendering the corresponding information less reliable and personalized. The foundational concept behind Mark My World is the “Mark,” which allows users to designate a specific institution or geographic location as a repository of content either for personal reference, or to share with other Mark My World users. Marks are typically defined in relation to travel-related destinations such as resorts, hotels, restaurants, hiking spots and trails as illustrated below:


Here, the fields in the Mark about “Table Mountain” provide users with the ability to record data such as Address, Phone and URL about a location of interest, for future reference. The “Dream Date” field gives users the opportunity to input a date by which they aspire to visit the relevant destination in the event they have not yet visited the location, or aspire to revisit it in the future. Dream Date can also be used to specify a planned date of visit within an Itinerary, which can also be created within the app. “Marks” contain fields that empower users to elaborate on an experience at a Mark using narrative or images as illustrated below:


The graphic above demonstrates how a user can annotate details of a travel-related experience such as, in this case, the difficulty of a hike, in conjunction with an image. The image shows how “Marks” have the ability to create multivalent content repositories about destinations of interest either for individual, archival purposes or for sharing travel-related data with others.

Over and beyond serving as a content repository for travel, however, Mark My World differentiates from other travel-related applications by giving users the opportunity to personalize the information they receive by way of a self-selected network of users with whom they share information about the world. By facilitating the delivery of personalized travel-related content, the application represents a disruptive solution to the problem of obtaining reliable information about travel locations by empowering travelers to receive recommendations about restaurants, hotels, museums and itineraries from trusted sources. Integrated with Google Maps, Mark My World allows users to identify travel-related destinations using the Google Maps application and to correspondingly share “Marks” with other users. Users can also share Marks on Facebook via the app and integrate “Marks” from Facebook friends directly into their portfolio of “Marks” within the Mark My World application. Available on the App Store, Mark My World is currently compatible with Apple iOS and plans are underway to expand the app to all mobile platforms.

Digital Realty Partners With Megaport To Launch Service Exchange To Facilitate Access To Multiple Cloud Providers

Digital Realty recently announced the release of a Service Exchange that facilitates access to multiple cloud providers by way of a direct, secure connection that bypasses the public internet. Digital Realty’s Service Exchange provides connections to Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. The Service Exchange expands Digital Realty’s portfolio of service offerings from data center, colocation and interconnection services to include a service offering aimed at enterprise customers seeking enhanced performance, reliability and scalability with respect to connecting to cloud providers as well as colocation facilities. Digital Realty’s Service Exchange is enabled by means of a partnership with Megaport, whose Megaport Service Exchange platform delivers the foundational infrastructure that enables Digital Realty Service Exchange customers to connect with cloud providers as illustrated below:


The Digital Realty Service Exchange competes directly with the Equinix Cloud Exchange and subsequently aims to carve out market share in the rapidly growing space of interconnection solutions for cloud service providers. The combination of Digital Realty’s experience delivering a global IT infrastructure to enterprise customers in conjunction with Megaport’s expertise in interconnection services means that Digital Realty Service Exchange customers stand to benefit from a service that specializes in empowering customers to tackle and surmount challenges related to predictable performance and security. The Digital Realty Service Exchange will be available as of Q4 in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Ashburn, VA. Plans are underway to render the Digital Realty Service Exchange available in 24 data centers spanning 15 markets by the middle of 2017.

Datadog Announces Release Of Application Performance Management Solution Tailored For Cloud, Microservices and Container-based Apps

On September 21, Datadog announced the release of an Application Performance Management product to its core SaaS product for monitoring cloud infrastructures. Datadog’s Application Performance Management solution is designed to help developers understand and optimize application performance, with a specific focus on applications hosted in hybrid cloud, container or micro-services infrastructures. Datadog’s experience in infrastructure monitoring positions it strongly to enter an application performance management space featuring the likes of New Relic and AppDynamics. Moreover, the company’s expertise in monitoring cloud-based infrastructures renders it uniquely qualified to manage application performance on cloud platforms given the intersection between infrastructure and application performance as noted below by Datadog’s Chief Product Officer, Amit Agarwal:

Most APM tools on the market today are designed to troubleshoot coding issues in isolation. However, in modern cloud-scale applications, quickly resolving problems requires examining changes in both the infrastructure and code simultaneously.

Here, Agarwal remarks on the importance of examining application-related issues within the broader context of the infrastructure on which applications run. Application-related performance bottlenecks or other “coding issues,” Agarwal notes, should no longer be understood separately from their associated infrastructure components and instead require a framework that facilitates a holistic analysis of their root causes with attention to both the application and infrastructure layers. Given the dynamism specific to cloud computing infrastructures as evinced by instances, clusters and containers that are variously launched, spun down or assume different relationships with one another, Datadog’s specialization in cloud infrastructure monitoring and analytics positions it to take a leadership position in the application monitoring space, particularly given the proliferation of cloud-based applications and the concomitant inability of legacy application performance management frameworks to understand how the dynamic quality of cloud infrastructures variously impacts cloud application performance. Separate from its experience with cloud infrastructure monitoring, Datadog brings rich data visualization capabilities to the conversation about application performance management in addition to battle-tested analytics that take advantage of time-series analyses, correlative analytics and predictive analytics as illustrated below:


With $94.5M in Series D funding raised in January, and a whopping $148M in total funding raised to date, expect Datadog to richly build out its application performance management capabilities in conjunction with the progressive expansion of the adoption of its cloud monitoring platform. Meanwhile, Datadog’s release of its application performance management solution signals the intensification of a larger battle in the industry to build and refine a comprehensive infrastructure and application monitoring framework capable of managing the radical heterogeneity of infrastructures, applications, databases and orchestration frameworks specific to contemporary computing.

Pepperdata Announces Cluster And Job Optimization Product For Cloud-based Hadoop Clusters On Amazon EMR

Pepperdata today announces a new product that helps Amazon EMR customers optimize the performance of their cloud-based, Hadoop jobs. Pepperdata with Amazon EMR delivers enhanced analytics related to the performance of jobs running on EMR data in addition to optimizing the performance of jobs in collaboration with instruction and feedback from users. The product gives Amazon EMR users granular visibility into cluster performance in conjunction with analytics on individual jobs that leverage metrics related to CPU, memory and unused capacity as illustrated by the graphic below:


Because Pepperdata translates its analytics into enhanced performance optimization on Amazon EMR, customers benefit from decreased cloud utilization as well as enhanced job performance. Sean Suchter, CTO of Pepperdata, remarked on the significance of PepperData’s product for Amazon EMR as follows:

Amazon EMR is designed to help companies process huge amounts of data easily and cost-effectively without having to commit unnecessary resources. As customers embrace Hadoop in the cloud they need to be able to manage cost and performance without any big surprises. Pepperdata eliminates those blind spots with very granular insight into the performance of current and historical EMR runs.

Here, Suchter comments on the ability of Pepperdata’s EMR product to enable customers to manage costs for Hadoop-related cloud resources while optimizing performance. Whereas Amazon Web Services EMR clusters terminate upon the completion of a run and subsequently make it difficult for users to access performance-related data, Pepperdata’s product for Amazon EMR allows users to analyze the performance of clusters and their constituent jobs even after the cluster has terminated. As a result, teams can analyze historical data to progressively improve cluster performance by determining the optimal amount of computing resources for cloud-based Hadoop jobs. Today, Pepperdata also announces the availability of Adaptive Scaling for EMR, a product that purchases Amazon EMR instances in accordance with budget and time constraints specified by clients. All told, today’s announcements from Pepperdata represent a notable addition to the space of products specializing in both infrastructure and application optimization for cloud-based Hadoop workloads. Expect to hear more from Pepperdata as big data adoption expands and companies increasingly turn their attention from deploying Hadoop clusters and their related applications toward the task of optimizing performance both at the level of clusters as well their associated jobs and applications.