Author Archive
Cloud on merit, not by dictat

Cloud on merit, not by dictat

The #CloudFirst trend is spreading, with Government Minister Francis Maude finally committing the UK to the approach earlier this month. But I remain concerned that there’s too much stick and not nearly enough carrot… and that cloud adoption more generally is ill-served by this mandate-driven ‘solution.’ Technological advances and shifting business requirements affect Government just as much...
Unpicking the multi-cloud at GigaOM Structure

Unpicking the multi-cloud at GigaOM Structure

Last month, RightScale’s State of the Cloud report got me thinking about the rise of multi-cloud solutions. Next month, I’ll be moderating a Mapping Session at GigaOM’s Structure event to work out how, where, when, why and if this trend is going to prove significant. Hybrid clouds, in which one public cloud and one private cloud...
Discussing Virtual Machine interoperability with the Open Data Center Alliance

Discussing Virtual Machine interoperability with the Open Data Center Alliance

The Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) is holding its Forecast event in San Francisco in June, and I’ve been invited to moderate the panel discussing Virtual Machine Interoperability. As moderator, I’ll be far more interested in facilitating insights from panel and audience than in wittering on about what I think, so I wanted to use this...
Getting it right with data attribution

Getting it right with data attribution

There have always, it seems, been people for whom attribution and citation really matter. Some of them passionately engage in arguments that last months or years, debating the merits of comma placement in written citations for the work of others. Bizarre, right? But, as we all become increasingly dependent upon data sourced from third parties,...
Seeking Simplicity's Sweet Spot

Seeking Simplicity’s Sweet Spot

Albert Einstein, you may have heard, was a clever man. He scribbled equations on blackboards, thought big thoughts, and all of that. But, allegedly, he also said Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. These words have resonated with me recently, as I’ve heard pitches from one company after another, all...
Find the data, aggregate the data, make the data useful

Find the data, aggregate the data, make the data useful

I was in New York in March, taking part in GigaOM’s Structure:Data event. As usual on these trips, I spent the day before the event walking around the city, soaking up some air, getting rained on, using coffee to stay awake, and meeting with a number of local companies. Of the companies I met that...
Xeround, and a tale of evolving business models

Xeround, and a tale of evolving business models

Last night, cloud database company Xeround announced that they’re shutting down the version of their service hosted in public clouds such as Amazon, Rackspace, GreenQloud, and others. Users of the free service have until 8 May to move elsewhere, whilst paying customers have until 15 May. The company describes this as an attempt to “re-focus,”...
Survey lifts covers on Cloud Promiscuity: good thing, bad thing, or who cares?

Survey lifts covers on Cloud Promiscuity: good thing, bad thing, or who cares?

Figures from RightScale‘s latest State of the Cloud Report (free registration required) suggest “a strong interest in multi-cloud strategies” amongst respondents. The rationale for hybrid cloud (mixing a public cloud service like Amazon’s with something running in your own data centre, colocation site or hosting facility) is reasonably well understood, but why might companies choose to use more...
Visualisation - the key that unlocks data's value?

Visualisation – the key that unlocks data’s value?

As the Big Data hype machine continues its relentless attempt to gobble everything in its path, new business units and entire new domains buying into the promise find themselves faced with unanticipated data volume and complexity. They see the potential for data-based decision making, but still face (short-term?) challenges in actually managing, analysing or interpreting...
OpenStack Summit - thoughts from Portland

OpenStack Summit – thoughts from Portland

OpenStack has come a long way since the project was first unveiled at OSCon back in 2010. This week, almost 3,000 people gathered in Portland, Oregon, to continue the job of defining, debating, developing, and delivering the code upon which the OpenStack community depends. Alongside the developers, though, there were some early signs of tangible...
Not quite ready to live in the cloud

Not quite ready to live in the cloud

Google’s impressive Chromebook Pixel is just the latest in a series of devices which are trying to entice users to compute in a different way. With (almost) ubiquitous connectivity, and an increasing reliance upon web-based services for mail, calendars, document creation and more, might we be reaching a point at which the browser really can...
To Dublin, in search of evidence

To Dublin, in search of evidence

I travelled to Ireland last week, to attend the second meeting of the European Data Forum (EDF). The EDF provided travel support for my trip, and I am grateful to them for that. I was searching for evidence of ways in which smart use of data is having a transformative effect upon European businesses. Although some...