Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 10 cloud computing providers of 2011

As already expected at the beginning of year 2011, world saw many transitions, transformations, and turnarounds in the cloud technologies from various vendors across the globe. A summarized report of all the predictions made by various analysts is available here.

And the list of most substantial players, as already mentioned in an earlier post, comes out to be as follows:

1) Amazon
For the second year in a row, the king of cloud is still Amazon Web Services. No other company has come close to the cloud-based innovation AWS provides.
Even Eli Lilly taking some of its business elsewhere ended up doing AWS a favor. Since that debacle over SLAs, Amazon has stepped up its support and now offers a premium "white glove" service that routes your call to the nearest engineering specialist.

2) Verizon/Terremark
Charging into the number two position on our list is Verizon. The telco giant had previously built its own cloud; high-quality stuff but with a commensurate price. The Four Seasons of cloud, if you will: snooty service, small menu, long waits for a reservation and eye-watering bill. It was a test run, and apparently Verizon decided it needed some expertise instead of re-inventing the wheel.
Verizon then bought Terremark, much as you or I would buy a coffee and a bagel. Not only is Terremark one of the premier Tier 1 hosters in the world, it's also a cloud supplier to the coveted enterprise market, effectively moving Verizon into the top ranks.
Bigger than almost any competitor and with all the pipe in the world (literally), Verizon could be the King Kong of cloud. We’ll see if they can make it work or if Terremark Cloud is doomed for post-acquisition mishandling.

3) IBM
New to the list is IBM with its Smart Business Test and Development Cloud. While Big Blue might be lugging a hundred years of IT baggage, it has finally launched Infrastructure as a Service, although initially just for test and development purposes.
Despite its convoluted, muddled strategy in the cloud market, the Test and Dev service is winning enterprise business, which after all is IBM’s meat and potatoes. IBM reportedly earned $30 million in cloud revenue last year; few others have the scale of the enterprise user base to ramp up that fast.

4) Salesforce.com
Salesforce.com maintains a spot in the top five, thanks to its acquisition of Heroku. The company singlehandedly forced its way into the Platform as a Service market with this buy, and it will give them legs to hit customers not interested in the patented "Salesforce.com maximum lock-in" feature offered on Force.com and their CRM platform.
The Software as a Service market is rapidly coalescing into a mature, well-defined space; props to Salesforce.com for grabbing on to something that keeps it relevant going forward.

5) CSC
CSC, the IT integrator and service provider has cooked up an interesting private cloud service called BizCloud. The company will wheel VCE -- the giant cloud-in-a-box system from VMware, Cisco and EMC -- into your IT shop. Ten weeks later, it will be integrated into all your messy, legacy IT systems, turning on Infrastructure as a Service. CSC then manages your hardware; for extra capacity, you can hook into a public cloud service, also running on VCE.
CSC points to the trend of enterprises looking for practical ways to use (and get to) cloud computing; the company also performs massive-scale integrations with Google Apps and other Software as a Service players. As a bridge to the cloud for many enterprises, CSC is on the front lines and on our top 10 list.

6) Rackspace
Even though Rackspace fell in the ranks from last year's list, it's still the number two cloud provider after Amazon in terms of revenue. It might even be coming close in terms of its user base, a remarkable feat.
But aside from the feel-good soft launch of OpenStack last year, it's still business as usual. The company hasn't made any major renovations to the service, something that may change as Rackspace absorbs cloud management technology firm Cloudkick.

7) Google
Since our initial list, Google App Engine has won lots of business among Web, gaming and mobile companies, but similarly has yet to make any impact among enterprise developers. We talked to the Google App Engine team recently and they are working on adding features, including an SLA and a hosted SQL service that Google hopes will attract the enterprise developer audience.
The company is also reportedly hiring 6,000 warm bodies in 2011, most likely to supply that crucial enterprise support Google has so notably lacked. Can’t win the cloud with foosball and beanbags, kids; put your big-boy clothes on and get ready for real customers. The race is on with Microsoft!

8) BlueLock
BlueLock is a small-scale provider that's been a key testbed for VMware’s vCloud Express. It even pioneered a tool to help customers get out of their ESX bubbles and mix in vCloud resources, something VMware hadn’t been able to do. BlueLock’s Indiana facilities should soon become a major local employer, as it's now a key VMware/VCE provider and likely to see continued growth.

9) Microsoft
Microsoft is on a bit of a downward spiral. While the software giant has made a song and dance about its Azure cloud service, claiming 31,000 companies are customers, we’ve yet to see any significant traction among enterprise IT developers. Web companies, mobile companies, tech and social networking firms use it, sure, but so far there’s no standout among traditional enterprises.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s cloud business is in turmoil, as Steve Ballmer has purged many of the company's key leaders. Software architect Ray Ozzie is out. Bob Muglia and Amitabh Srivastava from Server and Tools (and Azure) have left. Dave Thompson (Office Online, Office 365) is gone.
Now at the helm is veteran Satya Nadella, who ran Microsoft’s unremarkable ERP and CRM efforts. These people didn’t fail -- they built everything Microsoft can legitimately call "cloud" -- but they’ve been cut loose before their work had a chance to prove itself.

10) Joyent
We bumped a few other providers off the list due to lack of activity (business as usual doesn’t cut it). Joyent, however, kept a spot in the top 10 by releasing its platform software and forming a partnership with Dell to sell pre-configured cloud infrastructure packages.
It's a nice way to push the model -- use the Joyent service, or build your own if you like the technology but not the public option. This may be the direction the market is headed, as more and more businesses want to adopt cloud computing within their infrastructure.

(Source: http://searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com/feature/Amazon-2011-top-cloud-computing-provider#slideshow)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

IT Skills vs Real Education

Recently, an article was published on one of the technology portals about the 'Top 11 skills of 2011". On the basis of the results of questionnaires they prepared, and the answers they received, they prepared a list the top skills for 2011. But the results, according to me, were bit misleading.

These are just result of programming contests, mostly attended by college students or employees on bench in IT companies. For them, these are the familer, simplest, and comfortable languages. In practice, different results can be found for hot technologies at different sites like: http://www.sap-img.com/the-top-it-skills-to-have.htm

But in real, the IT skills contains bit different set of names all together. Its much beyon just few programming languages, like Problem-solving, Training skills, Foreign language communication skill, etc, along with domain knowledge like Networking, Security, Telecommunications, Business Intelligence etc. There are few sites where i found mention of such skills that talk about them are people daily, itcareerfinder etc., but there are very few paths or search algorithms that brings these skills higher in the list of Essential IT Skills.

And if you are at much begginer level, you need to get the basic skills like team work, communication and co-operation, i am glad there is a small number of links promoting that too.

If you have these, you can learn any language (C, java etc.) within few weeks.

Again repeating the nice thought for Great Chanakya
"Education is the Best Friend.
An Educated Person is Respected Everywhere.
Education beats the Beauty and the Youth."

But the thing to be noticed here is about the real meaning of education.
Its not just having a Bachelor's or Master's degree. Its something more than that. And that can not be taught in books, but is learned with the real life experiences.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

SQL Server 2008 Learning Framework.

SQL Learning Framework.
I found some good material suitable for all skills and levels. Here are the details:

Level
Source Link
Details
Estimated time
Scope covered
Basic
Learn SQL Server Concepts in very simple steps. This site provides very precise information about SQL Server basics, along with good examples, and also a sample environment for testing the concepts.
64 Lessons
*
10-15 Min per lesson
=
~ 16 hours
Can be referred by the beginners to gain complete understanding about the subject
Intermediate



This 200 page PDF covers good levels of details about various concepts.
10 Chapters
*
6-8 hours per Chapter
=
~80 hours
Can be covered for certification purposes.
Advanced
These tutorials provides a detail drill-down on SQL Server 2008 R2 with relevant examples.
19 tutorials
*
3 days per tutorial
=
~ 57 days
Can be referred while working on real-time projects; or for doing research on a particular topic.





Problems in the cloud

Very recently there have been many incidents with the cloud services, which questions against a promising future of a Cloud-based IT world. Customers of many major cloud vendors have faced outage issues including the following:

1) Amazon: Thursday, 21st April 2011. Outage Duration: approx 11 hours + many services partially down for much longer duration (Computerworld)

2) Google: Wednesday, 11th May 2011. Outage duration : approx 30 hours. (ZDNet)

3) Microsoft: May 10 , May 12 2011. Total Outage Duration 9 hours. (eweek)

4) VMware: 25 and 26th April, 2011. Outage time: Several hours (informationweek)

5) Rackspace: June 29, July 7th and then 3 Nov 2009. Total Outage: Several hours (infoworld)


These incidents are not because of secondary issues like ISP failures or natural disasters.

On these corresponding links, Google, Microsoft, Rackspace, Amazon and VMware confessed themselves, that these issues were due to some technical/manual issues at the ultimate source of origin of these services

And customer's problems may not be limited to the cloud service providers, there can be several other factors, due to which the end-customers may find themselves incapable of using the 'Promised' services. Sony's PlayStation Network Catastrophe, Rdio Service Outage, Netsuite Service Outage and just examples from a long list of failures, hitting back against the effectiveness of the cloud services.
Under these circumstances, customer's trust on this upcoming concept and reliability on cloud are under threat.
The cloud is a relevantly new domain, and will certainly face many hiccups before getting stable. So the general recommendation for the customers will be to stick to a Hybrid Scenario, having a backup of all online services and partial (if not full) support for all services in offline mode.

Top Cloud vendors in 2011

In the beginning of this new decade, there are several technologies in focus by the technocrats around the world. These are assumed to be the game changing technologies, and have a huge potential of making substantial impact on our daily lives. One such technology, cloud computing, has seen several transitions, transformations, and turnarounds via various vendors around the globe.

According to Techtarget (www.techtarget.com), following should be the list of Top Cloud vendors in 2011:
#1: Amazon - So far, no company has come close to the cloud-based innovation AWS provides. Amazon still should remain the king of cloud.

#2: Verizon/Terremark - The telco giant had previously built its own cloud; high-quality stuff but with a commensurate price.

#3: IBM - IBM reportedly earned $30 million in cloud revenue last year; few others have the scale of the enterprise user base to ramp up that fast

#4: Salesforce.com - With acquisition of Heroku, salesforces.com keeps its props of doing some innovation in cloud space.

#5: CSC - With its private cloud 'BizCloud', CSC will wheel VCE - the giant cloud-in-a-box system from VMware, Cisco and EMC - into the corporate space.

#6: Rackspace - Still the number two cloud provider after Amazon in terms of revenue, Rackspace may have something in its pocket this year after the launch of OpenStack last year.

#7: Google - Google App Engine has won lots of business among Web, gaming and mobile companies, and is expected to do even more this year.

Other mentionable names in the list, according to the analysis done be techtarget, were BlueLock, Microsoft, Joyent and NephoScale.

(Article taken and adapted from http://searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com/feature/NephoScale-2011-top-cloud-computing-provider#slideshow)

Google's External Referral Program in India- Good Move or Bad Decision?

Google recently posted news about referral bonus to people referring some employee for specific positions, offering up to 1 Lac INR for selecting in it. With this, one question that arises is....do Google really need such attractive offers to get their employees. Let’s do a simple analysis of what’s happening here:

First and the foremost point regarding referral bonus is about money. As know to me, Google is already known for its tough selection procedure, 2-3 tests and 5-7 rounds of interviews for selection of its candidates. In such scenario, the simplest thing that Google could do is to go the some colleges, as done by other companies. In case of many north Indian states like Rajasthan, I have seen concept of Centralized campus, where students from 10-15 colleges are invited for a single campus selection process. If Google gets just 5 people from any such campus event, which will cost it mere 2-3 Lacs, it can still save the same amount, which it would be giving in case of providing referral bonus for same number of candidates.

Second thought about this offer was about getting a database of creamy layer of this country. This lucrative offer is certainly going to gain them a country wide database of many brilliant students across India. But this point also do not justify their Offer completely, since being the most preferred IT Company, Google could have got same database by offering some post study scholarship awards to students and offering them jobs on basis of their academic performance.

But since Google is known for its innovation, this might be another new experiment on its verge of trying something new, which is not by anyone else. And for their experiment, I wish them best regards.

Microsoft to end support for Win XP

NEWS: On July 13, 2010, Microsoft is officially ending its support for Windows XP SP2, windows 2000 server, and windows 2000 client. This means, that the company will no longer be providing hotfixes, security updates or add-ons for this OS applications.

IMPACT: This definitely means something valuable for big companies using 25+ computers. They won't be getting any security or support for their industry compliance win case of any issues. For them, better option is to upgrade to Windows Vista or Windows 7.
But for small 2 room companies, or individual professionals, or also household users, this is not a big thing to worry. Because the current security levels should be enough for their work continuity. Also, all the till-date updates and fixes will also remain available to public for their use in future as well.

HISTORY: Microsoft has done similar thing in past, when support to XP SP1 was stopped on Oct 10, 2006. No more new updates, but still the older ones are available on their download site.

FUTURE: Its again in news, that Microsoft will end its support for XP SP3 as well on April 8, 2014. It means, complete XP will be a past phase in Microsoft's business lines.

REASON: The reason for this shift from XP to later versions (Vista and WIN 7), as suggested by Mr Scheiber from 'workstart.com', will allow company to focus on upcoming technologies, and increasing challenges in their upkeep and maintenance.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Be a Veggie: Stop eating Non-Veg

join at : http://www.causes.com/causes/559679-be-a-veggie-stop-eating-non-veg


Stop feeding on flesh of other animals. Show some love towards nature, just by joining this cause and leaving non-veg.

Non veg food has many deficiencies and it is advisable to be aware of them. The Non veg food is devoid of Fiber and roughage and many vitamins like B complex and C. Not only this it is high on cholesterol and the canned meat may contain high amount of preservatives.(~Dr.Ashish Jain)

There is a wide debate as to whether it is better to be a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian. People in either camp have pretty much dug their heels in swearing by the benefits of being a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian respectively. There is, however, a worldwide trend of more and more people crossing over and becoming vegetarians. In this article we explore the issue from a spiritual perspective.
(http://www.spiritualresearchfoundatio... )

In this article on Sattva, Raja and Tama, the three subtle components of the universe, it is explained how everything in the universe at a subtle level is made up of these three subtle components, including food.


"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
- Albert Einstein


Eating diets containing sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables can help lower your risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. Doing this may also protect against some cancers and decrease bone loss. Also, getting potassium (plentiful in both fruits and vegetables) will help prevent the forming of kidney stones.
(Taken from www.wikipedia.com)

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