Click here to close now.


OpenStack Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Chris Witeck , Anil Rao, Don MacVittie, Elizabeth White

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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
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 effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
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, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
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" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
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.
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 experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound cha...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
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 to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content. Join @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 7-9, 2016 in New York City, for three days of intense 'Internet of Things' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indespensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) IoT's use in Vertical Markets.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
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 shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
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.
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.
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 meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
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 Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...