• Living In The Clouds – iPad Edition


    It has been sometime since I wrote the last post in the Living In The Cloud Series. With iPad in my hand, I thought it is time to revisit this series and talk briefly about how iPad fits in a life on the clouds. When iPad was announced, I wrote a post…

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  • Tech Stocks, Some Interesting Trends


    So Greece is imploding, the flow on effects to the greater Eurozone (and even farther afield) are unknown. Wall Street is down and it’s fun to look at how tech stocks are doing…

    msft .

    Microsoft, down 2.37% on heavy trading.


    One million iPads and Apple is still down, even so more than Microsoft.


    What’s going on here – Google the wunderkind down close to 5% on double average volumes?

    So what about the new bastion of tech stocks – the listed SaaS vendors. One down, two up on my highly unscientific sample. Standout performer seems to be NetSuite (see disclosure), up 4% on a day when the market is tanking. So why?



    Well yesterday saw NetSuite’s earnings call which saw some pretty stellar results given the difficult times:

    Total revenue for the first quarter of 2010 was $43.9 million. Revenue from the Americas for the first quarter of 2010 was $35.5 million, while revenue from international regions was $8.4 million.

    GAAP operating loss for the first quarter of 2010 was $6.6 million, compared to a GAAP operating loss of $4.0 million in the first quarter of 2009. On a GAAP basis, net loss for the first quarter of 2010 was $7.1 million, or $(0.11) per share, compared to a net loss of $3.7 million, or $(0.06) per share in the first quarter of 2009.

    Non-GAAP operating income for the first quarter of 2010 improved 81% year-over-year, growing to $1.4 million, compared to a non-GAAP operating income of $790,000 in the first quarter of 2009. Non-GAAP net income for the first quarter of 2010 was $930,000, or $0.01 per share, as compared to a non-GAAP net income of $1.0 million, or $0.02 per share, for the first quarter of 2009.

    Calculated bookings for the quarter reached $47 million, representing the highest total for a quarter in the company’s history and growing 27% year-over-year and 2.5% sequentially. The year-over-year growth represents the fastest calculated bookings growth in more than a year. This sequential growth represents the first time in the company’s history as a public company that calculated bookings have grown Q1 over Q4. Calculated bookings are defined as the change in total deferred revenue plus revenue.

    And on the back of these impressive numbers, CEO Zach Nelson took aim at some of the big boys, coming out fighting at both Microsoft and SAP and decrying their lethargy, apparent inability to innovate. It’s an interesting approach, and one that a company like NetSuite can only leverage for a short period of time – they’re getting bigger and with that comes a degree of slowness, there will soon come a point in time when they have to have a much more “high brow” discussion with the market about themselves and their competitors. For now though, sit back and enjoy the punches Zach throws around:

    Microsoft announced a bizarre offering to wind the clock back 15 years

    The current score is NetSuite 6,600, SAP 100

    We’ll await the next chapter with anticipation!

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  • Glue is Coming – Win Free tickets


    In less than two weeks I’ll be winging my way half way around the world (for the third time this year). So why do I put myself through it? Well in part because I get to attend such awesome events as one I’ll be taking part in at the Omni Interlaken in Denver in a few weeks – I’ve written before about how I love the events that Eric Norlin puts on – and Glue is one of those events.

    The agenda is almost done and it’s looking awesome! We’ve got professor Eric Brewer from UC-Berkley, the creator of CAP theorem. We’ve got Chandar Pattabhiram from Cast Iron Systems who will no doubt be glowing after their purchase by IBM. There’s a pre-event CloudCamp that I’ll be helping to facilitate. There’s the inimitable Chris Hoff from Cisco, Doug Crockford the creator of JSON – pretty much at every turn there are the people thinking about, and providing solutions for, the problems involving the Glue that ties all these cool web tools together.

    All my talking-it-up has no doubt got you excited about the event and so, in a gesture that our status as number one media sponsor of note gives us the ability to provide, we’re giving away three free tickets toe Gluecon. And we’re making it simple – just contact me (@benkepes on Twitter) with a fantastic reason why you should be there (and even better, with a fantastic reason why we’d love to meet you there) and we’ll, as they say, hook you up.

    Oh and by the way, and in the interests of full disclosure, I’m an advisor to Glue conference (unpaid, of course) but have been raving about Eric’s events long before I reached that exalted status!

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  • Video: Cloud Computing Economies Of Scale

    From time to time, I find some really interesting talks on cloud computing and I share those videos here at Cloud Ave, essentially acting as a filter and sharing talks I consider important for our readers. I came across one such talk (thanks to Mark Masterson) from a conference that was held in March. It was a talk by James Hamilton of Amazon Web Services (yeah, the same guy whom Amazon grabbed from Microsoft sometime back) at Mix 10 at Las Vegas. He shows beautifully how cloud computing is not a fad and, in fact, the right way to go forward. The whole talk is amazing but I would ask you not to miss an important data point he offers which debunks the conventional wisdom about server utilization. He shows how our idea of consolidating resources and shutting down unused resources is wrong and this data point could also tell us why Amazon jumped into offering cloud services in the first place. A great talk and worth every minute you spend on it.
    If the above embed doesn’t work on your browser, please use the following link.
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  • Did Somebody Say Relying On Third Party Cloud Vendors Is A Risk?

    One of the biggest criticisms leveled against Cloud Computing, in general, and SaaS, in particular, is the reliance on third party for the availability of applications. It is true that SaaS forces you to rely on the third party vendors because the resources lie on the datacenters elsewhere as opposed to your local machine or on-premise datacenters. But, I do not agree that SaaS cannot be trusted just because we have our applications and data elsewhere. In my opinion, it is pure FUD than anything else.
    Our reliance of third party providers dates long back into the human history. Even in the traditional computing world, we have to rely on many third party vendors from electricity to run the business to proper functioning of computing resources to operating system to software. Even though they are located on premise, there is some sort of reliance on third party vendors and service providers. When we buy a software from a traditional vendor, we trust them to work the way we want (unless it is open source), we trust the vendors to make timely security patches and updates, we rely on the update to work flawlessly, etc.. Once upon a time we relied on the vendors to send the updates and patches through media. We trusted that the vendors will send in time, the carriers will deliver it properly and the media will work flawlessly. Once internet became part of our lives, we trusted the vendors to send the patches and updates through the internet so that our software are updated regularly. In short, we have been relying on third party for many of our computing tasks forever. As the vehicle of delivery changes and matures, we rely more and more on such third party providers to save time and cost. Now, with the maturation of internet and internet capable devices of many form factors, we are trusting third party providers to deliver the applications and other computing services through the internet for consumption. This is a normal progression in any technological evolution. Trying to spin it in any other way is pure FUD.

    I hope a recent incident involving a traditional software vendor puts an end to such FUDs. If the traditional form of computing is more reliable, I would love to hear from the FUD promoters about their reaction to what happened in enterprises all over the world after a McAfee security update. Today, McAfee acknowledge the problem through a blog post.
    Early Thursday morning (at around 1 AM PT) we published a SuperDAT Remediation Tool to help customers fix affected systems. The tool suppresses the driver causing the false positive by applying an Extra.dat file in folder. It then restores the “svchost.exe” Windows file, the file quarantined as a result of the false detection.
    What is McAfee doing to make their customers comfortable? They assured them that they will improve their quality control to prevent such mishaps in the future.
    To prevent this from happening again, we are implementing additional QA protocols for any releases that directly impact critical system files. In addition, we plan to add capabilities to our cloud-based Artemis system that will provide an additional level of protection against false positives by leveraging an expansive whitelist of critical system files
    Apart from the irony that they are relying on the cloud to stop such mishaps with the traditional software, the important point is that they are asking their customers to trust them and their process. I am not writing this post to diss McAfee or make fun of their misery. I just want to point our once again (hopefully, for a last time) that our reliance on third party providers is nothing new and we rely more and more on them to have huge savings as the vehicle for delivery matures. SaaS (and Cloud Computing) is just part of this evolution and any FUD against them is plain ridiculous.
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  • Video: Does Open Source Mean Open Cloud – Panel Discussion

    There was a panel discussion held sometime back during the collaboration summit 2010 and the topic was “Does Open Source Means Open Cloud”. Since this topic is closer to my heart and of interest to many of Cloud Ave readers, I am embedding the video here. You could also view the video directly on this link.
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  • Marketing Automation Made Easy With Suitecloud Platform

    Netsuite’s Suitecloud is in full swing now and our own Ben and Zoli are tracking it closely. Soon the videos of Suitecloud will be available on Netsuite’s Youtube channel. The flexible Suitecloud platform is already making waves and I came across an announcement about how Leadforce1‘s marketing automation platform is integrated with Netsuite’s cloud computing platform. Leadforce1’s Marketing Automation 2.0 platform is a collaborative suite that helps sales, marketing, website optimization teams to collaborate in real time to get better insights to convert visitors into leads and eventually into business. Essentially, their Marketing Automation 2.0 platform uses effective collaboration methodologies and analytics, provides holistic view of each prospect and enables sharing and up-sell opportunities within communities across an organization’s internal and external networks.
    NetSuite’s SuiteCloud (which I think Ben will cover more here at Cloud Ave) is a comprehensive offering of on-demand products, development tools and services designed to help customers and commercial software developers take advantage of the significant economic benefits of Cloud computing. Essentially, this platform brings all the advantages of cloud computing to the hands of their ecosystem developers. We can compare Suitecloud platform to Force.com from Salesforce. The complete SuiteCloud offering includes NetSuite’s multi-tenant, always-on SaaS infrastructure; the NetSuite Business Suite of applications (Accounting/ERP, CRM, Ecommerce); the NS-BOS Development Platform; the SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN), a comprehensive developer program for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs); and SuiteApp.com, a single-source online marketplace where customers can find applications to meet specific business process or industry-specific needs.
    With today’s announcement, Leadforce1’s marketing automation platform is integrated much deeply with Netsuite’s cloud computing platform by automating qualifying of sales leads by capturing Website visitor intent and interest, and adds an integrated call-back capability to give sales professionals live access to the most qualified prospects. Built using NetSuite’s SuiteCloud computing platform, the combined solution can help NetSuite customers increase lead-pipeline volume, reach decision-makers and close deals faster than manual methods. This platform helps marketing and sales teams of any organization using Netsuite platform collaborate more closely in real time leading to improved conversions. 
    The topic of discussion in the San Francisco Cloud Computing Club meeting held during Cloud Connect event was how cloud platforms are going to take over the world. Platforms like Netsuite’s Suitecloud and applications like Leadforce1’s marketing automation solutions are precursors to what we will be seeing in the future.
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  • Watch Twitter Developer Conference Live

    I you are far away from SF or don’t have the time / money needed to attend the Twitter developer conference, help is on the way from Justin.tv.

    Here is the live webcast of the event.

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  • Under the Radar – Infrastructure, Monitoring And More


    Under The Radar, a series of conferences organized by Dealmaker Media, is a platform for startups to launch themselves in front of some of the top minds in industry is organizing their cloud event on April 16th, 2010 with a focus on Commercializing the Cloud, highlighting the fact that Cloud Computing has moved from the hype phase to increasing enterprise adoption. As a media partner, we have been talking about this event for sometime now. Zoli wrote a post introducing this year’s event on April 16th, 2010. Last week, I wrote a post highlighting some of the participating companies who are either cloud brokers or offer technologies that could help cloud brokers. In this post, I will highlight some other participants in the infrastructure and monitoring space and end the post with an option for a special $200 discount. The choice of the companies below are made randomly with no specific preference.

    • Aprigo: Aprigo offers an interesting data management solutions that could help the customers meet the compliance requirements. One one hand, their solution offers a great protection against data breaches, governance, etc. and, on the other hand, it helps the users with powerful visualizations of their unstructured data and optimization of data storage. They offer a free version and a pro version with the paid version offering more capabilities than the free plan. Aprigo is the only suite of data management apps that provides a holistic view of your company’s data without breaking the bank.
    • Cloudant: Cloudant is an interesting company among all the participants. The reason they came under my radar is because, like me, the founders of the company are also ex-physicists. They were part of the MIT team working on the Large Hadron Collider and their frustrations with the lack of tools to handle petabytes of data from LHC lead to this company. In short, Cloudant is CouchDB in the cloud. Thus Y-Combinator startup offers redundant and scalable storage across multiple clouds and expose their service as a RESTful JSON API. They have a free plan with 1 GB of space and it is currently in beta. I suppose they have plans for more products in the future.
    • Cloudshare: Cloudshare came under my radar couple of months back when I was doing some research on one of their competitors. I had a chance to speak to them about their product and they do have an interesting enterprise solution where one can share an entire IT environment just like how we share files or documents. Their software makes it super easy to mimic an IT infrastructure to give a demo or training. Vendors like VMware, Cisco, SAP and others have already adopted Cloudshare’s product to extend their virtual infrastructure to the cloud.

    There are many other interesting companies in the mix and you should check out their schedule for the complete list of participating companies and their grad circle. If their schedule excites you, then you should register for the event using the special $200 discount for out readers by visiting this link.

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  • An Interesting Agenda Shapes Up At Gluecon

    Gluecon, a great conference organized by Eric Norlin at Denver each year, is shaping up very well this year with more emphasis on the technical side. I attended the event last year and I posted my thoughts about the event here and here. Towards the end of the event last year, I casually mentioned to Eric that there should be more technical discussions in the event. It appears more people have shown interest in having a more technical content in the conference and the net result is this impressive agenda with a great array of speakers.
    Starting the day one with a keynote by the UC Berkeley Professor and creator of CAP Theorem, Prof. Eric Brewer, and another one by the creator of Ingres, Mike Stonebraker, there are wide array of topics being discussed including one focussed on Web and cloud architectures, another focussed on various cloud platforms and a track on NoSQL. The day ends with two big bang talks by the security gurus, Michael Barrett and Chris Hoff.
    The second day is also shaping up equally well. It starts with a keynote by Doug Crockford, creator of JSON, and a discussion about Twitter API between Ryan Sarver and Chris Shipley. The day is filled with interesting sessions on various topics including Cloud Models, Protocols and Open Standards, APIs, Cloud Storage, etc.. 
    Just looking at the agenda makes the geek in me pumped up about the event. I honestly enjoyed the event last year and I am hoping I will be able to attend it this year too. If you are impressed by the agenda Eric has put up and want to attend, please note that the early bird pricing ends this friday. So go ahead and register immediately to avail this pricing. Since Cloud Ave is a media partner to the event, Eric has given a discount code for Cloud Ave readers. If you use “cloudave1″ (without the quotes), you will get 10% off the early bird price and your ticket price drops to $472.50. It is a great price for the content in this year’s agenda.
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