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Big data is the killer app for the public cloud

David Linthicum, Cloud Computing

Big data analytics are driving rapid growth of public cloud computing. Why? It solves real problems, delivers real value, and is pretty easy to implement on public clouds.

Don’t take my word for it. Revenues for the top 50 public cloud providers shot up 47 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, to $6.2 billion, according to Technology Business Research.

TBR’s latest figures reveal the extent to which public cloud providers are using big data to drive their own operations, get new customers, and expand features and functions. Although public cloud customers want storage and compute services, many implementing big data systems these days find that the public cloud is also the best and most cost-effective platform for big data.

Public clouds providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft, offer their own brands of big data systems in their clouds, whether NoSQL or SQL, that can be had by the drink. This contrasts to DIY big data, which means allocating huge portions of your data centers to the task and, in some cases, spending millions of dollars for database software.

Big data is driving public cloud adoption for fairly obvious reasons:

  • The cloud cost is a fraction of that to purchase big data resources on demand.
  • Cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-enterprise data integration got much better in the last few years, so it’s easy to set up massive databases in the clouds and sync them with any number of operational databases, cloud-based or on-premise.
  • In most cases, public clouds can provide better performance and scalability for most big data systems because they can provide autoscaling and auto provisioning.

So, big data + cloud = match made in heaven? There are always issues with new technologies, but in this case the bumps in the road have been slight. I suspect that big data will continue to drive more public cloud usage in the future.

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Mobile’s next great leap will happen in the cloud


The fact that mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are becoming cloud devices is nothing new. What is new is that we seem to be nearing the point of feature saturation on those devices. When that happens, the use of the cloud by mobile applications and providers will accelerate.

Smartphones and tablets are getting about as fast as we need them to get, the platforms are more capable, and the apps more sophisticated. My smartphone can download faster than most DSL services can, the user interfaces are easy to deal with now, and the applications equal or exceed those that we can find on a PC. Indeed, were it not for the fact that my smartphone has a 4-inch screen, I would have written this post on it.

[ Get the no-nonsense explanations and advice you need to take real advantage of cloud computing in InfoWorld editors' 21-page Cloud Computing Deep Dive PDF special report. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ]

This is not to say that mobile devices are now as good as they can ever get. Smartphone providers will keep finding new ways to enhance them. But I am saying that the mobile devices will be more difficult to improve, so the push will be on cloud-delivered systems to enhance their use.

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Cloud computing jobs – Demand for cloud architects on the rise

Network World
By Christine Burns

If you visit the popular tech-focused job site Dice.com and search for cloud computing jobs, you’ll get more than 3,800 hits. According to Alice Hill, managing director of Dice.com, that’s up 72% over last year.

Basically, cloud is a segment of the jobs market that is going gangbusters.

On the day Hill’s team culled the list, the most sought-after position that employers were looking for was Cloud Architect. The rest of the top 10 are:

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Navigating IT: Objectives and Obstacles

IDG Enterprise

The 2012 InfoWorld Navigating IT: Objectives and Obstacles survey provides in-depth information on the current objectives, obstacles and spending plans of the InfoWorld audience. In addition to highlighting the role of IT decision-makers in the IT purchase process, this study explores the technologies organizations are investing in as well as the goals these initiatives will accomplish. Technologies covered in this study are security, virtualization, data center/infrastructure, enterprise applications, storage, social media/collaboration tools, application development, mobile, networking, cloud computing and business intelligence.

Highlights include… 

The Other Futures of Enterprise IT

Wall Street Journal CIO Journal

Technological change has always outpaced change within the IT organization. Until now. Between cloud computing, big data, consumer IT, executives feeling capable of making more of their own technology decisions, and the ongoing business pressures for speed, agility and innovation, executives are eager to rethink and reinvent the IT department.

In our survey of 152 senior business executives and 162 IT executives, more executives singled out the IT organization than any other as the function they wanted to rebuild from scratch.  Half will revamp their IT organization in the next 12 months. Give CIOs credit. Even more than other executives, they realize the status quo can’t hold. Forty percent of IT executives picked their own function as the prime target for reinvention. The danger isn’t that executives won’t take action. It’s that they will build their new IT organization and architecture, and rewrite the CIO’s job description, upon a shaky assumption:  the future is sure to be flat, connected and tech-enabled.

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Revealed: The jobs that will be wiped out by cloud computing

Tech Republic 

As businesses switch to cloud computing demand for some traditional IT roles will plummet – but new, different jobs will be created instead. Tech industry experts are predicting that demand for certain tech roles will dramatically decline over the next decade as organisations switch to cloud computing. By 2020 the majority of organisations will rely on the cloud for more than half of their IT services, according to Gartner’s 2011 CIO Agenda Survey.

After organisations have switched to the cloud the number of staff needed to manage and provision individual pieces of IT infrastructure – the likes of networks, storage and servers – can be scaled back, as much of the virtualised infrastructure that cloud is built upon can be automated. The upshot will be whereas 70 per cent of IT resources are devoted to operating IT infrastructure today, by 2020 just 35 per cent of resources will be used in operations, according to the Gartner report New Skills for the New IT.

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The Truth About Cloud Economics

The Harvard Business Review 

The financial reasons for the huge growth of cloud services seem crystal clear: cloud computing simply allows us to pay for what we need only when we need it, right?

But the truth is, companies adopting cloud computing often miss the risk and depth of change needed to embrace a cloud economics model as they embrace cloud services. It turns out that the financial model for cloud computing has far more nuances for both a company and its cloud services provider than many people understand up front.

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Research Indicates that Cloud Increases Short Term Costs for Long Term Gains – IDG Enterprise’s Survey Details Enterprise Cloud Strategy and Vendor Opportunities

IDG Enterprise news release

Framingham, Mass. – IDG Enterprise—the media company comprising CFOworld, CIO, CIO Executive Council, Computerworld, CSO, DEMO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World—releases the results from the 2012 Cloud Computing survey examining cloud computing implementation, usage, investment plans and vendor requirements.

The survey, completed by more than 1,650 IT and security decision-makers from a range of industries, highlights the growth in cloud computing investments, demonstrating the value cloud computing provides to organizations. Respondents state that 34% of their current IT budget is allocated to cloud computing solutions and more than half (63%) expect to increase spending in the next 12 months. On average, organizations will increase cloud computing spending by 16%.

For the full release click here


The CIO-CMO Partnership in Practice

CIO Insight

The CIO and CMO of Model Metrics, a cloud computing and consulting firm, explain how their philosophy of radical openness has created a closely aligned partnership that benefits the company as a whole.

For the full story click here

IT Managers Have Their Heads in the Clouds: Worldwide Cloud Server Revenue to Reach $9.4 Billion by 2015, According to IDC

IDC2 e1322687983514 300x96 IT Managers Have Their Heads in the Clouds: Worldwide Cloud Server Revenue to Reach $9.4 Billion by 2015, According to IDC



IDC Press Release

Eager to simplify their current IT environments and introduce new initiatives to enhance overall business value, IT leaders are embracing server cloud computing as a viable option for decreasing complexity by adopting converged systems that arrive pre-integrated and ready for use (private cloud) or are offsite entirely (public cloud). According to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide revenue for servers deployed to public clouds will reach $3.6 billion in 2015 while private cloud server revenue will balloon to $5.8 billion. Read more