Wednesday Oct 15, 2008

World Map of Social Networks

Interesting World Map of Social Networks Distribution.

Source: ValleyMag

Test Drive MySQL on Solaris 10 for FREE in EZQual Virtual Labs. No Installation, No Cost

MySQL is the defacto database of choice for most WebScale and Cloud Computing deployments.

Every day you go to website like Facebook, CraigsList , eBay, Google, PriceGrabber, Yahoo!, and Zappos, you are touching a page that  uses MySQL.
MySQL's popularity is due in large part to its flexibility. MySQL supports over 20 platforms and scales to handle terabytes of data. And, because MySQL is open source, it can be customized to an application's unique specifications. This flexibility has two-fold benefits for ISVs: MySQL is better able to address their applications' specific needs and it won't impose restrictions on their future development.

Through the Sun Partner Advantage Program(SPA) , ISVs can now leverage Sun's entire portfolio of offerings - including MySQL. The SPA Program connects ISVs with free or deeply discounted technology offerings as well as marketing and sales engagement opportunities so they can deliver their solutions and services to an expanded market.

We have set up a secure, remote, on-line test facility called the EZQual Virtual Lab! designed to make it easier for ISVs to develop, test and qualify applications on Solaris 10 or OpenSolaris and MySQL for free! ISVs can join and get their applications tested and ready for MySQL today in our EZQual lab for Free. The EZQual Virtual Lab features pre-installed SPARC or x86 processor-based Sun servers with Sun Studio Development Tools, Java SE, Sun's Cool Stack, MySQL, Solaris 10, OpenSolaris and more. These servers can be accessed conveniently with Sun's Secure Global Desktop Software.  This is as convenient as it gets. No servers to install, no OS installations; you're ready to go and can sign up today! 

Monday Oct 06, 2008

Cloud Computing and Beyond: The Web Grows up (Finally!)

I recently attended a conference titled "Cloud Computing and Beyond: The Web Grows up (Finally!) hosted by SDForum in Santa Clara. It was a good informative conference with views presented from the enterprise world like Sun, IBM, HP, SAP, Salesforce, from Cloud providers/vendors like Joyent, GoGrid, Nirvanix, from Cloud Application providers like Mashery, PBWiki and several VCs.

Lew Tucker of Sun gave a fine presentation calling out that one of the major driver of Cloud Computing is the Web APIs.

Russ Daniels of HP called out that the economics of Cloud computing will have a huge influence on what Clouds do and the value will be in targeting new markets, driving higher margins, differentiation and increased share in the market.

Jayashree of IBM talked about the IBM Cloud Computing centers around the world to enable cloud providers use IBM technologies to build clouds and get their feedback as well.

There was an interesting Panel discussion on When to use the Cloud and When Not To. Participants included Joyent, Nirvanix, Elastra, eComputer. Most agreed that Cloud Computing changes the cost and consumption model for applications and services moving from a Capex to an Opex model.

Some of the chalenges of Cloud Computing that were discussed in another panel included lock-in to specific cloud provider proprietary APIs, hence a need for Cloud API standardization. In the absence of such next-gen standard APIs, there is plenty of oportunity for startups here to deliver software that would make migration of applications from one cloud vendor(say EC2) to another (say Google App engine) seamless.

The VCs showed confidence in Cloud Computing and suggested that it is here to stay. It is not necessarily the next revolution but evolution of some of the internet technologies that have been around for decades like Grid computing and more recent ones like Utility computing and SaaS.

Bottomline was that those who learn to do Cloud Computing profitably will survive in the long term, especially in view of the economic recession.

Friday Oct 03, 2008

WebScale and CloudComputing Defined

Cloud Computing: There are multiple definitions of CloudComputing, here is one from Forrester Research: A pool of highly scalable, abstracted infrastructure, capable of hosting end-customer applications, that is billed by consumption. Another simple one by Appistry: Cloud computing consists of shared computing resources that are virtualized and accessed as a service, through an API on a pay-to-use basis, delivered by IP-based connectivity, providing highly scalable, reliable on-demand services with agile management capabilities.

WebScale: Not sure when and how this term was coined but is quite popular in the Sun marketing community. I like to define it as that segment of applications that need to scale to millions of users on the web. These applications would be of the likes of YouTube and Facebook. Such apps are being deployed increasingly in a cloud computing environments. This is because a lot of these apps need to scale dynamically depending on the unpredictable peak loads. Classic example is that of Animoto which had to scale from 50 EC2 instances to 4500 instances in 3 days after it was launched due to the unexpected increased demand of the app by the end users.  On the other extreme, some of the Web applications may not take off, in which case, the application provider has no long term commitment with the cloud hosting provider for leasing the infrastructure. Hence that upfront deployment costs can be avoided.

Zembly dives into Elections

Zembly team has deployed a new application on Zembly called myPicks U.S. Election 2008.

Use this to voice your opinion on the campaign issues being debated in the U.S. Presidential Election - wherever you are in the world.

You can launch the game from:

While the frontend is running on Network.Com, the backend including the MySQL server is running on EC2 and data resides on S3

The game is available as a Facebook and MySpace App.

Some cool mashup. They use Dapper to convert some Election related URLs into a API and feed it into the Zembly code/widgets.

Good CloudComputing stuff, check it out!

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Camping in the Cloud - An Unconference

Hi, This is Alka Gupta of Sun Microsystems. I work in the area of Cloud Computing and WebScale in helping align Sun's initiatives in this space from partner perspective.  On this blog, I plan to discuss subjects related to the industry buzz "Cloud Computing".

Recently I attended a very interesting event called CloudCamp. As the name suggests, it was  an event where best effort was made to keep it most informal and interactive. The organisers like to call it an "Unconference", in that there is no planned agenda. The attendees meet at a venue and volunteer topics for discussion.  And Bingo, very soon an "on-the-fly" agenda is generated.

CloudCamp Unconference Agenda

Let me talk a bit about the topic "What is a Cloud?" that seemed like one of the most popular discussions of the evening. We were about 50 people in a room, analysing and disecting what CloudComputing is supposed to be, how it differentiates from Grid and Utility Computing et al. Below are several attributes of a Cloud that were thrown out:

Cloud Computing is:

1. A virtualized environment that can elastically scale up and down on demand

2. Instant easy access to aggregation of resources

3. Common Interface (API) hypervisor

4. Outsourcing of Data, compute and infrastructure

5. Enables Peak Demand

6. Grid is a multi-tenant environment where nodes are shared between applications. Cloud is a multi-tenant environment as well but users get a dedicated virtualised private set of nodes.

7. Results in Cloud vendor specific API lockin

8. Many startups to emerge to help seemless migration of apps from one cloud to another

9. Likely be specialized clouds

10. No commitment, pay for it with a Credit Card on use basis.

11. Its yet another name for Utility Computing

12. 90% of the applications being deployed in the cloud are Web 2.0 apps, rest are enterprise

13. Most large enterprise IT deployments in future would be hybrid, partly private, partly in the cloud.

Punch line was: We need to get a lot more cloudy before we are cloudy enough. :-) 

There were some other interesting sessions like:

  1. Cloud Storage
  2. Hadoop in Cloud
  3. Testing with Cloud
  4. Google App Engine
  5. Database engineering for Clouds
  6. Real performance numbers from EC2 and GoogeApps.




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