Click here to close now.


SDN Journal Authors: Stefan Dietrich, Elizabeth White, Peter Silva, Pat Romanski, Don MacVittie

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal, OpenStack Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Can the Cloud Boost Small Businesses?

Enterprise Cloud News

There's consistent chatter about the new world of the cloud, and much of the discussion involves how a small business saves substantially and can then invest the savings elsewhere in its business.

For many small businesses that have used the cloud for a few years, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the experience has largely been positive.

Operating servers both on-site and in the cloud is "a very effective way of reducing risk," said Michael Harries, chief technologist at Citrix Startup Accelerator, a Silicon Valley investment firm that works specifically with software startups, according to the Journal.

Business owners should make their cloud-deployment decisions based on the "support they have available," he said.

Harpaul Sambhi, chief executive of social-media recruitment firm Careerify, said running his company solely in the cloud has allowed him to focus more on business growth. Careerify allows a company to connect to its employees' social networks in order to find candidates for jobs at that company, be it through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Sambhi said because an average employee has about 300 social-media contacts, he didn't want to burden his staff of 12 with trying to maintain servers that are mining the data of hundreds of thousands of users.

"It's a lot of work for us," he said.

Cloud Computing and ‘Appification' Speed Up Software Innovation
Cloud computing and cloud storage not only can help trim costs, it also speeds innovation, according to several business executives.

Cloud computing and "appification" are changing the frequency and speed of developing software and, in turn, the way technology providers deliver those features to insurers and risk managers, according to an article on

Kathy Burns, Chicago-based CEO of Aon eSolutions, which provides cloud-based and on-premises software to risk managers, said her firm's embrace of the cloud has accelerated the process of innovation. Instead of needing to push updates to separate clients that may be running separate versions of the on-premises software, cloud-based applications allow automatic changes, Burns said.

"We provide cloud-based solutions to risk managers and it enables us to do more for them more quickly," she said. "If we create a great report or piece of analytics or a new module for a client, I can then make it accessible to our broader client base."

Brian Vannoni, San Francisco-based director of product marketing for Guidewire Software, said the firm wanted a hybrid model blending the best attributes of on-premise and cloud-based software. In October, it launched Guidewire Live, a series of hosted applications intended to augment the functionality of the Foster City, Calif.-based company's underwriting, policy administration, billing and claims systems.

The advent of the cloud and app-driven development has freed business units to adopt new technology without taking the time to involve the IT department, Vannoni said. "Previously, the cycle time for technology-based innovation was so long that it stifled business innovation," he said.

OpenStack Brain Trust Gains $10M in New Funding
A cloud consulting firm recently received a $10 million infusion so it can, among other initiatives, increase the number of OpenStack contributors it employs.

Mirantis, a cloud consulting firm, announced it received $10 million in funding from Intel, Dell and WestSummit Capital, according to

Mirantis has successfully self-funded its own growth up until its recent $10 million funding. CEO Adrian Ionel said it could have continued to do so. Rather than a handful of entrepreneurs working in a garage, it's already a staff of 300 consultants and engineers with a list of pedigree customers building major cloud projects, such as PayPal and AT&T.

Mirantis "is looking for organizational support," or members on its board who can boost its young reputation. Mirantis is already a close business partner of Intel Capital, which was the lead investor, as well as Dell Ventures. Mirantis is helping Intel build out an OpenStack cloud. Dell will base its own public infrastructure-as-a-service cloud on an OpenStack architecture, and Mirantis is "the designer and implementer" of that data center space, said Ionel in an interview.

Mirantis, Intel and Dell are all code contributors to the OpenStack open-source project, and the infusion of capital will help Mirantis both add to its consulting ranks and increase the number of OpenStack contributors that it employs. It currently has four developers working full time on the project. It will add six more in the next three to six months, said Boris Renski, co-founder and executive vice president, in an interview.

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@CloudExpo Stories
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a global leader in monitoring, and testing the performance of online applications, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of DevOps Summit New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016 at the Javits Center in New York City. Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.Founde...
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
The revocation of Safe Harbor has radically affected data sovereignty strategy in the cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Jeff Miller, Product Management at Cavirin Systems, discussed how to assess these changes across your own cloud strategy, and how you can mitigate risks previously covered under the agreement.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment proces...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them ...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...