Archive for the ‘Amazon and the cloud’ Category

Tech titans prepare for the “next wave” of technologies by poaching each other’s top talent

 Next wave


(composite of multiple sources)

16 July 2014 –  Babak Parviz, who led the development team on Google’s high-tech spectacles, announced his move in cryptic fashion, posting Amazon’s logo on his Google+ page, with the comment “status: super excited.” However, he has so far declined to reveal what projects he will work on at the Seattle-based online retailer.

The creator of Google’s Glass headset is moving to Amazon as the industry’s leading companies battle to secure the bright minds who will help them discover the next breakthrough technology.

Amazon’s coup in poaching one of Google’s leading lights underlines the efforts being made by the industry’s biggest companies to prepare for the “next wave” of technologies. All are heavily investing in futuristic concepts in an effort to predict what ideas may disrupt their core businesses. Parviz was also the brain behind the Google’s “smart contact lenses”, which will help diabetics track their blood sugar levels and communicate the information to mobile devices. Yesterday Google announced a deal with pharmaceutical company Novartis to help develop the lenses commercially.

It’s about these companies … Read more

According to 451 Research, the cloud computing market may become an oligopoly of high-volume vendors



16 July 2013 – Oligopoly: A market in which there are a limited number of providers providing the same service. Its political counterpart, oligarchy, means rule by a few. 

So starts an article by Joe McKendrick which was published in Forbes magazine last week, leading off his review of a research note by Owen Rogers, senior analyst at 451 Research, who suggests the emergence of an IT oligopoly. It’s a brilliant research note and provides a great “cloudonomics” tutorial.

Is the cloud computing marketplace becoming the domain of a few big vendors? With large players including Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM coming online with similar types of services, we may be starting to see a consolidation of the primary cloud computing market into the hands of a few powerful vendors.

Actually, Owen’s report goes further to say what is emerging is both an oligopoly and monopoly at the same time. With identical services comes commoditization, and only big vendors that can deliver huge economies of scale with margins will survive in this space. He adds that perhaps the “oligopoly … Read more

How Big Data, cloud computing, Amazon and poll quants won the U.S. election

By: Gregory P. Bufithis, Esq.   Founder/CEO, The Cloud and E-Discovery

15 November 2012 –   As Daniel Honan of Big Think pointed out, just like in baseball and politics, there are winners and losers in a data-driven world. The losers in baseball, for instance, are the over-rated prospects who will never be drafted because data analysis has a way of finding them out early on in their careers. In politics, the biggest loser will be the horse race pundit, the guy who spins the polls to reinforce one side’s belief that it is winning when it’s actually losing. Sometimes this is done for partisan reasons, in the hope of creating “momentum,” and sometimes it is done to create a more compelling media narrative.

This was indeed a choice election, and the choice was between following entertainment journalism or data-based journalism. As Andrew Beaujon has pointed out, entertainment is fun, and math is hard. Well, math won.

Data analysis at its best

It is a fascinating area of data analysis.  As part of my neuroinformatics degree program, I recently had the chance … Read more

Amazon cloud entry in Australia poses legal concerns to business; attempt to avoid the U.S. Patriot Act?

13 November 2012 – E-commerce giant Amazon’s plans to offer data and computer hosting services through Australian data centres from this week will not indemnify customers from legal action in the United States, legal experts have warned.  Amazon’s hosting division will today announce plans to offer public cloud services – computers and hard drives that companies can lease for a fraction of the cost of purchasing a similarly capable machine – for the first time within Australian borders.

The move has been touted as a “game changer” for high-risk sectors like finance and government, which are traditionally kept from storing critical data outside of Australia. The introduction of Amazon-hosted services in Australia is thought to have been spurred by those concerns, providing local companies with the ability to store data in local facilities rather than data centres in the US, Singapore or Europe.

But lawyers told The Australian Financial Review the move will not immunise local companies from subpoenas issued by US courts or regulators. “The fact that Amazon holds data in Australia makes no difference to its obligation to … Read more

How The Feds Drive Cloud Innovation

12 November 2012 – The coolest cloud computing application in the world — and in our solar system — comes from NASA. The space agency is using commercial cloud services to process the digital images being transmitted to Earth from the Curiosity rover as it searches for signs of life on Mars.

Those images, taken by 17 cameras mounted to the six-wheel, SUV-like rover, are an incredible scientific trove, stored and managed by Amazon Web Services. The most recent images show the rover’s robotic arm taking the first scoops of Martian soil for analysis. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab is using a variety of Amazon services — EC2, S3, SimpleDB, Route 53, CloudFront, Relational Database Service, Simple Workflow, CloudFormation, Elastic Load Balancing–to make this happen. And the images are available not just to NASA scientists, but to you and me as well. “The public gets access as soon as we have access,” says Khawaja Shams, manager of data services at JPL.

For more from InformationWeek click here.

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An Open-Source Food Fight in the Cloud

6 April 2012 –  To date, the four horsemen of the cloud appear to be, Microsoft, Google and VMware.  The first three companies have built their own cloud computing services that consumers and businesses can tap into. Instead of doing its own service, VMware, the maker of virtualization software, is selling a new suite of cloud software so that service providers and businesses can build their own new-age, cloud computing systems.

The collective muscle and proprietary leanings of those four companies has triggered something of a cloud panic. At its core, cloud computing promises lower costs and greater flexibility than traditional data centers. It’s a way to avoid lock-in, that mainframe-era problem where a company buys its own big, expensive systems—and is stuck with them. But those advantages could be undermined if, say, Amazon decides to play the heavy and makes it difficult for companies to move their software and data onto a competing cloud service. That would be lock-in, cloud edition.

To counter the big cloud players, the software maker Citrix has decided to open-source its CloudStack software. … Read more

Why Supercomputers Will Live Only in the Cloud

26 November 2011 — The new public beta of Cluster Compute Eight Extra Large is’s most powerful cloud service yet. Its launch indicates that Amazon Web Services (AWS) intends to attract more organizations into high-performance computing. “AWS’s cloud for high-performance computing applications offers the same benefits as it does for other applications: It eliminates the cost and complexity of buying, configuring, and operating in-house compute clusters, according to Amazon,” notes the IDG News Service story. The applications include physics simulations, seismic analysis, drug design, genome analysis, aircraft design, and similar CPU-intensive analytics applications.

This is a core advantage of cloud computing: the ability to access very expensive computing systems using a self-provisioned and time-shared model. Most organizations can’t afford supercomputers, so they choose a rental arrangement. This is not unlike how we had to consume supercomputing services back when I was in college. Certainly the college could not afford a Cray.

The question then arises: What happens these advanced computing services move away from the on-premise hardware and software model completely? What if they instead choose to provide multitenant … Read more

Clouds Vs. Outsourcing: The Next Battleground

20 October 2011 – IBM, HP, and other established vendors entering cloud computing are often already outsourcing partners to the firms that are now frequently looking for an infrastructure service provider. But that doesn’t mean they have an inside track on the business. They do not. Established vendors are going to face stiff competition for outsourcing business from the new infrastructure  providers: Amazon, Rackspace, and others, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“Service providers in the IT outsourcing space have, after all, profited handsomely by taking on their customers’ highly complex, one-off collections of IT assets and finding ways to manage them more efficiently than their customers are able to,” states the Pricewaterhouse report.

“But the essence of cloud computing is a move towards highly standardized racks of commodity servers,” with software that manages the racks and allows customers to run applications on them through self-service. “Where’s the IT outsourcing opportunity in that?” said the report, sponsored by Mike Pearl, partner and cloud computing leader at PriceWaterhouse.

For the full post click here.… Read more

What Amazon S3’s 566 billion objects say about cloud use

5 October 2011 — Amazon Web Services said last night that it’s now hosting 566 billion objects in its Simple Storage Service (S3) — a high number for sure — but one that’s even more impressive in context. The volume has more than doubled since the fourth quarter of last year and actually has grown by 26 percent since the end of June this year. If that doesn’t suggest that cloud use is picking up, I don’t know what does.

Just to be clear: of the 304 million objects that S3 has added in the past nine months, 117 million have come in the last three months. The pace is picking up. Additionally, S3’s rate of transactions rate has increased 28 percent to 370,000 requests per second from 290,000 requests per second as of the second quarter’s end.

For more click here.… Read more

Amazon’s Kindle Fire is Powered by the “Cloud”

28 September 2011 — Amazon is finally jumping into the tablet market with the Kindle Fire, a 7-inch $199 device built off of Android with its own custom interface and plenty of hooks into Amazon’s marketplace of  digital goods. But beyond being just a cheap tablet, the Fire is leveraging a lot of Amazon’s smarts across its inventory of assets, including some very impressive work in the cloud. That reliance on the cloud makes sense for Amazon, which is using all its strengths to help launch the Kindle Fire, just like Apple has poured in great design and user experience into its tablet.

The tablet also taps into Amazon’s cloud infrastructure to offer free cloud storage and back-up of all content, so users don’t have to worry about irrevocably deleting something from local storage. And there’s also simple wireless syncing and integration of Amazon’s Whispersync technology in movies and TV shows, so users can keep their places in videos when they switch from one device to another.

For more click here.… Read more