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Performance Architecture for Cloud

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Adrian Cockcroft, Director, Cloud Architecture at Netflix posted the following presentation, Performance Architecture for Cloud on Slideshare yesterday.  In this presentation, he shares the concerns Netflix has with AWS Load Balancer limitations, and how SimpleDB needs a memcached front end in addition to several other limitations Netflix has found.  He makes additional recommendations through the presentation deck that are worth checking out given the extent of the AWS outage over the last four days.  His brief but insightful coverage of Performance Tools Architecture and assertion that AWS is challenged by data center tools and metrics is prescient given the outage that occurred.

Of the hundreds of blog posts, videos and stories filed by industry and mainstream media on the AWS outage, the following are the three best I’ve seen.  Ray Wang’s post, Monday’s Musings: Lessons Learned From Amazon’s Cloud Outage is excellent along with George Reese’s thorough and excellent blog post  AWS Outage: The Cloud’s Shining Moment and Phil Wainewright’s Seven lessons to learn from Amazon’s outage.  All three posts are excellent for getting informed perspectives on the AWS outage and how companies need to plan and respond.

Cloud’s Impact On The Future Of Open Source


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Red Hat’s CTO Brian Stevens sits down with Kym McNicholas of the Forbes Network and discusses the current and future potential impact of open source on cloud computing.  Brian paints a realistic and pragmatic picture of where cloud is today and where it is going.  At just under 5 minutes, this is a video worth watching.

Cloud City and VMware: May the Virtualization Force Be With You

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VMware’s CTO and Senior Vice President of R&D Steve Herrod hosts a series of video interviews with the talented members of his company’s development and engineering teams, in addition to creating videos to explain complex virtualization and systems management concepts.  The series is titled Office of the CTO and is worth subscribing to on YouTube.

This week’s video features a fictional account of Cloud City, a well-known location in the Star Wars movies, as a new VMware customer. The Chief Private Cloud Architect, Chewbacca shares how VMware freed up Cloud City IT from a static and rigid infrastructure, too many trouble tickets, and lots of wasted storage.  It also has a walking tour of the VMware campus, which looks like a great place to work too.

Bottom line: It’s great to see a company so rich with technology expertise take an unpretentious approach to explaining how they deliver value to their customers, making us laugh at the same time.

Image attribution: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Cloud_City
Note: VMware isn’t a client and didn’t pay for this to be written.

Gartner’s Hot CRM Applications for 2011 Show SaaS is Accelerating in the Enterprise


Gartner’s report, What’s ‘Hot’ in CRM Applications in 2011 shows clients are moving to the next stage of their strategies for using SaaS in the areas of customer service, marketing and sales.  They’re asking for more analyst time, discussing how to quickly deploy applications company-wide versus just in departments, and most important, how to measure the results. Cross-CRM applications including Business Process Management Systems (BPMS) and Master Data Management (MDM) are two of the more popular areas of inquiry Gartner is getting right now from infrastructure initiatives standpoint to unify CRM data and strategies as well.

Factors Driving Faster Adoption

Escaping high maintenance fees on their legacy CRM applications, facing chronic time shortages that make the traditional lengthy application deployment cycles unaffordable and impractical, and a mindset of measuring results from software spending are fueling greater SaaS adoption.

A local financial services firm is migrating to SaaS-based feedback management and analytics to capture customer satisfaction more effectively than their legacy CRM application could.  Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are also driving more technology adoption in the areas of social media for marketing, lead management, mobile marketing and Web analytics as they’re more accountable for delivering measurable results.  The new mindset in many companies about measuring results and continually improving strategies is a powerful catalyst of SaaS application adoption.  A summary table from the report is provided below (please click on it to expand for easier reading) along with key take-aways.

Key Take-Aways from the Report:

  • Software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery represented approximately 26% of all CRM application spending in 2010. Spending on CRM applications grew by more than 8% in 2010.
  • In sales applications, almost 50% was delivered via SaaS, where it is now widely viewed as a mainstream model.
  • Operational CRM is the automation of processes such as campaign management or case management. It represents more than 70% of all CRM spending and grew at around 4% in 2010.
  • Analytical CRM, which includes predictive analytics and segmentation applications, grew 9% and according to Gartner represents nearly 25% of CRM spending.
  • Social CRM grew at over 50%, but still represents less than 5% of all CRM spending. According to the report, 90% of social CRM spending is by business-to-consumer (B2C) companies and approximately 85% of spending is initiated by companies based in North America.  Gartner expects the social CRM market to reach $1B in revenue by year-end 2012, up from $600M in 2010.
  • In terms of inquiry traffic, Social CRM is the hottest area of interest in customer service and marketing departments, followed by related areas like digital marketing and e-commerce. Gartner points out that Social CRM is used both within and outside an organization and is of equal importance to its clients today based on their inquiries.

Bottom line: This report shows more companies are confronting the need to change their customer service, marketing and selling strategies to be customer driven on an enterprise, not just department basis.  They are relying on SaaS based applications as  the catalyst of changing customer-driven strategies in companies.  CMOs and other senior managers are focused on measuring customer satisfaction, loyalty and profitability instead of just cost reductions as a result.

Source: What’s ‘Hot’ in CRM Applications in 2011 Ed Thompson, Michael Maoz, Kimberly Collins, Michael Dunne Publication Date: 17 March 2011 ID Number: G00211657


Become Efficient or Die: The Story of BackType

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Nathan Marz is the Lead Engineer at BackType and recently presented the two following presentations, The Secrets of Building Realtime Big Data Systems and Become Efficient or Die: The Story of BackType at the Palmetto Open Source Software Conference (POSSCON) in Columbia, South Carolina.
BackType specializes in the development and launch of advanced systems designed for analyzing social media.  The company has also established itself as one of the most effective marketing intelligence systems and services providers specializing in social media analysis as well.  This is a company worth tracking as they will be a disruptive force in social media analysis and market intelligence.

Become Efficient or Die: The Story of BackType

The Secrets of Building Realtime Big Data Systems

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