Talking Out Cloud

Author: Created: 8/10/2010 1:45 PM RssIcon
All the most updated info and commentary on life in the Cloud.
By aaericks on 5/11/2010 2:12 AM
Pervasive Software held its annual Metamorphosis event last week.  That's where we ask 100 current customers to spend two days with 100 prospective customers.  It's our concept of a "rush" for customers.  We host a nice dinner, give them a comfortable place to network and let the experience of our customers speak for itself.  The event is always a huge success for both parties, and this year was no exception. 

For our part (DataCloud2 Team) we were one of the darlings of the party, cloud computing is everywhere and our CTO (Mike Hoskins) made it clear Pervasive is committed to integration in and around the cloud.

It always feels good when you know people are talking about you in a good way, but it is even better when they put it in writing.  Charlie Babcock (Information Week) wrote a good review of where the Pervasive DataCloud2 has been and where it is going based on what he learned at the conference.

What Charlie didn't say is we (Pervasive DataCloud2 Team) have already reached the future.  A few weeks ago we completed a project with MicroFinance, which leverages the Pervasive DataCloud2 in a big way.  We published a great case study capturing how we used DataCloud2 services to connect several (4 in the initial phase) end points.  Of particular interest is that two of the end points are located behind firewalls. Using VPN services running on the DataCloud the MIX team created tunneled connections, insuring secure access to on premise data, that allowed the integration of data to occur in the cloud environment.  The VPN clients are ultra-thin and self contained and delivered using Pervasive Apollo agent technology.  This means that the owner (MIX in this case) of the data can control access and authorization.  Updates, when required, are small and automatic.

By aaericks on 4/27/2010 5:33 AM
Once again David Linthicum has hit the nail on the head!  The issues organizations have with security in the cloud are not going to go away.  Linthicum points to a recent Harris poll that says over 50% of those polled are concerned with security of data on the cloud.  Cloud vendors must address these questions, they cannot pretend that the fear and uncertainly the would be consumers of their services have.

We at Pervasive take security very serious.  So much so we try to over compensate.  We have been cautious rolling out our public services in an attempt to address security as our platform evolves rather than as an after thought.  

Some of the steps we take to insure your data is secure... 

We take the steps of securing user configuration data, all user configuration data stored on the Pervasive DataCloud2 is encrypted prior to being stored.  We also provide services to our developers that allow them to encrypt data used in their applications, leveraging the PGP libraries.  Since...
By aaericks on 4/19/2010 4:52 AM
Google recently introduced a service that allows devices connected to the cloud, to print via local printers also connected to the cloud. There were a couple of press releases, a few Blog posts, even a flow of Tweets that went out.  It seemed like news.  And I suppose that it was, kind of.  But those of us that have been around cloud computing had a thought that went more like this, "What took so long?" Not that this plan is easy to implement, but more that it was so obvious. 

Music is on the cloud. TV is on the cloud. Integration is on the cloud.  One could even say that printing on the cloud is an extension of integration on the cloud.  (That makes me wonder why I don't think of it before Google.) The truth is I expect to see these kind of services pop up all over the cloud this year.  Now that the cloud is so capable, starting to be trusted, and devices are being connected at a staggering rate, the same last mile that existed in the on premises enterprise world for the last 25 years, will now...
By aaericks on 4/6/2010 3:13 AM
Spring has sprung in Austin. Texas and the Pervasive DataCloud team members have been busy over the winter.  In addition to their normal tasks of maintaining the Pervasive DataCloud, they delivered the Spring 2010 release on March 20, 2010.

Lets take a closer look at each feature, I'll also provide a link for each so you can dive down into the real details.


Execution Real Time Feedback

All the processes that run on the Pervasive DataCloud2 are designed as a work flow process.  In other words, the process starts on step X and completes on step n, depending on the flow.  The new Real Time Feedback feature allows you to know at which step your execution is on, what the status of your execution is, along with details that are provided by the Pervasive Process Engine.

For detailed information on how to use this very powerful feedback feature see the API BLOG entry at:


Windows AMI

By aaericks on 3/19/2010 4:48 AM
David Linthicum this week reported from Cloud Connect that Cloud Computing is coming into focus around three items,.  He listed them as terminology, standards and last but not least security.

Couldn't agree more on the definitions (I blogged about the confusion a few weeks ago), but my opinion is the lexicon will take a while to settle down.  I think this is more of an industry that generally agrees on their terms, but have now found themselves in a kind of gray area.  My experience with engineers and scientist are they do not like the gray.  Doesn't mean they can change it, just means they don't like it.  I think the terms will take a while to shake out.

Standards is another area where time will heal all.  We can't have standards until we have had time to standardize.  Inklings of standards are already beginning.  My gut tells me there are several earth shattering events that we have yet seen around cloud computing that will make some of what we think today, obsolete and take with them the idea of what we think should be the standard.

By aaericks on 3/9/2010 5:50 AM
This week Cloud Ave. has a list of 10 great predictions for this year as they relate to cloud computing. Great predictions and they all mean the same thing; the interest in cloud computing is growing, and the need for tools, platforms and providers is growing accordingly.  But also noted in the article is that this year is the year of cloud planning, resulting in another prediciton, a Darwinian slimming to the fittest providers. David Linthicum made the same implication on Cloud Computing.

My bet is that among those who emerge will be a strong data services provider.  

I think our Pervasive DataCloud2 could be that platform and of course Pervasive will be that provider.  I have several reasons behind my logic.  First I do not believe that the major infrastructure providers will deliver the niche type services...
By aaericks on 2/23/2010 7:40 AM
Congratulations Twitter team!  50 Million Tweets!  That’s a lot of data.  You would think it would be an issue for the folks at Twitter to take care of all that data. Actually they seem to have moved past their issues. I for one have not seen the "fail whale" in some time.  At the very least I have not seen him as frequently.  There was a time when they struggled to keep their heads above water and the whale in the water.  Remember SXSW 2007? 

All this data highlights a point, data on the cloud is growing, and FAST! And it is different than anything we experienced in the past.

For people who work with that data it means we cannot approach it the manner we approached it last year, or even last month.  We need to think in new terms, relative to what is actually happening on the cloud.  Huge data volumes, but not all the time.

Look at these charts.  The first one is the volume of Tweets during the Super Bowl against time....
By aaericks on 2/21/2010 2:06 PM
I have been called argumentative at times although I like to think of it as being controversial.  I will also say I like a good discussion as much as the next deliberator, however, there is a debate raging in the cloud space that I just don’t get. 

The basic question in the battle field is what vendor service(s)is classified  as either Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service(PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS).  In our world we look at it like this; The Pervasive DataCloud2, an example of PaaS, it sits on Amazon Web Services, what I consider to be IaaS, and provides services to IaaS, PaaS, as well as SaaS.

I could be wrong, but come on folks, does it really matter what label is on the vendor?  If they have a service that fits your need, will you not buy it because they (or more likely some analyst) labeled it incorrectly?  Check out the latest thread on the Google Cloud Computing Group...
By aaericks on 2/10/2010 9:17 AM
Adobe announced their migration of their Life Cycle application to the AWS cloud. They didn’t just copy the old application, they migrated the idea into a new service.  The key word is service, software as a service, but a service none the less.  (I wonder if we should start calling electricity utility as a service UaaS).

Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) are realizing that simply cutting and pasting their old apps onto instances of VM’s in the cloud does not make a company a cloud software company.  More thought and consideration must be put into the application, and while pieces of the intellectual property can be used, some work is required to leverage the goodness of the cloud..

There is a distinct difference between a cloud service and software that can be leveraged on virtual instances.  Be very careful of the latter, it probably does not scale or take advantage of the things you moved to the cloud for in the first...
By aaericks on 2/4/2010 3:01 AM
This is one war we can all be happy to see start.  Microsoft and Amazon have fired some warning shots in the past few months, but yesterday Amazon sent a clear message to Redmond that this is a war and they are ready to fight.

That’s awesome for us the consumers.  Regardless of where they finally drive the price, we can have some sense of confidence that the money we pay for cloud computing cycles and storage are now being driven by the forces of a fair market. Adam Smith would be proud today, because the market is at work balancing itself without the intervention of outside forces.

Only time will tell how this plays out, but my guess is that prices for cloud computing will move slightly lower over the course of the next 6 months.  At some point it will stabilize around 10 to 20% lower than we see today in certain cases.  It is unlikely that we will see prices take on the Moore’s Law effect some have associated with the cloud phenomenon.