5 free cloud computing options for start-ups

There was a time when start-ups had to keep aside a large portion of their capital for infrastructure. But over the past few years, Cloud has become the preferred infrastructure mode for start-ups, helping them grow and scale rapidly. Dropbox, 99 Designs, Instagram, Parse and RedBus are some of the examples where Cloud played a significant role in their success. In fact, within a few years, these start-ups are turning into midsized companies with decent IT budgets set aside for hosting and other infrastructural requirements. Realising the growth potential in this space, Cloud service providers started to lure early-stage start-ups to host their products on their Cloud platforms. Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Rackspace and IBM have specific programmes designed for start-ups, so that they can easily get started on Cloud. These technology biggies are partnering with reputed incubators and accelerators to support their portfolio companies. Microsoft has gone a step ahead and invested in its own accelerator to attract start-ups to its Azure Cloud platform.

Here are five resources for start-ups who want to join the Cloud bandwagon.

1. Amazon Web Services (AWS). As one of the first Cloud platforms, AWS is the preferred platform for many start-ups across the world. It’s very common to see start-ups spin a couple of EC2 instances to launch their minimal viable products. But to make it more attractive for start-ups, Amazon has a programme called AWS Activate, which offers a slew of benefits. For a start-up that is a member of one of the accelerators, seed funds or other start-up organisations, Amazon offers free credits ranging between $1,000 and $15,000, along with technical training programmes and free business level support.

2. IBM. SoftLayer, an IBM company, has a start-up incubator called Catalyst. With 13 data centres in the US, Asia and Europe, it is a viable choice for start-ups. Just like its competitors, SoftLayer has partnered with incubators and accelerators around the world to support the start-up ecosystem. Eligible start-ups get $1,000 monthly credit to host their applications on SoftLayer’s infrastructure. Check out here for a list of incubators and accelerators who have partnered with IBM SoftLayer.

3. Google Cloud Platform. Google is not far behind when it comes to luring start-ups to its Cloud platform. With success stories like Snapchat and Rovio behind it, Google App Engine and Compute Engine are becoming the new favourites of start-ups. The Google Cloud Platform Startup Pack offers $20,000 in credits to use any component of its Cloud services platform. Google has also partnered with accelerators and incubators like 10000Startups.com to support the latter’s portfolio companies.

4. Microsoft Azure. Microsoft BizSpark programme is one of the oldest and popular programmes among the technology start-ups. Eligible companies get almost every piece of software that Microsoft ships, including access to Azure, its flagship Cloud platform. As a part of Microsoft Ventures initiative, it has set up exclusive accelerators in 7 cities across the world. With 82% funded start-ups behind it, the Bangalore accelerator has been a very successful one for Microsoft.

5. Rackspace. Rackspace is one of the early Cloud service providers to offer special packages for start-ups. Its start-up programme offers hosting on its public Cloud, private cloud or dedicated infrastructure. Rackspace also offers support from a great set of mentors to guide the participants besides providing architecture guidance on designing and building Cloud-based products.

From: http://cio.economictimes.indiatimes.com/


Businesses Need To Understand The True Potential Of Big Data

After cloud computing, the scope of big data and analytics is huge in India. According to a study, jointly conducted by NASSCOM and CRISIL, Big Data is poised to become a US$ 25 billion industry by 2015.This means that over the next two years companies will be extensively focusing on gathering data and analysing the same. They will also be looking at their workforce pipeline for smooth data implementation at different stages. While the process will be slow in India for some time, a lot of overseas IT services companies will be looking at India for outsourcing data and analytics work.

As a result, companies are taking immediate steps to identify big data talent. There’s a lot of scope for professionals across levels. According to Sridhar Throvagunta, global head – Test Advisory Services, Wipro, there will be exclusive requirements for freshers such as big data developers and big data engineers. These roles will be highly valuable for big data technology implementation, including data collection, integration and designing of big data architecture.

Mid-level professionals will also find roles like big data analysts, data mining experts or big data leads. “Most of the mid-level roles require candidates with 8-10 years of experience,” says Throvagunta.

According to Techgig.com, some of the popular roles in data analytics are big data analytics engineer, backend engineers, staff engineer, senior developer – big data, etc.

Amit Khanna, lead, Data Analytics, KPMG India, identifies some of the other roles across leading industries like IT/Telecom, Retail, Healthcare, etc.

In financial services – decision support people; decision support team who figure out credit risk, customer expansion, lending policies, fraud, etc.

E-commerce: Customer expansion or revenue increase, supply chain or logistics.

Healthcare: A lot is going to happen in terms of drug discovery, patient health, healthcare fraud, R&D – Big Data will help in decision support system in critical care.

Medical practitioners will get help from data scientists to figure out if R&D is happening the right way – example, finding out new molecules or new drugs or which drug to prescribe.

Telecom: Has huge potential in terms of using Big Data – one in terms of network alignment, second while using value added services. Telecom companies already have data architects and decision support team.

In order to identify specific roles, businesses first need to understand the potential of big data and analytics and how this can genuinely work towards business development. According to experts, this will happen only if big data is approached from a business perspective and not from a technology perspective.

From: techgig.com

VMware likely to invest up to $500 million in India operations

 VMware has announced that it projects investment of up to $500 million in India over the next three years to help fund its growing operations in this market. 

The company’s R&D and support operations in India are second in size and scale only to those at VMware’s headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., U.S. In 2013, company headcount in India grew 17 percent to 2,300, while the recent acquisition of AirWatch has added additional employees in Bangalore. 

During a visit to Bangalore, CEO Pat Gelsinger said, “India continues to play a crucial role in our global product roadmap and growth strategy. The country’s outstanding engineering talent continues to impress us, and we stay committed to investing and growing our team here over the long term.” 

Gelsinger added, “The investments earmarked will also enable VMware to further strengthen its leadership position in India’s fast maturing virtualization and cloud computing market.” 

A VMware-sponsored study on server virtualization in Asia Pacific – the IDC Server Economies Index – estimated that server virtualization will save businesses in India approximately US$3.89 billion by 2020. This figure reflects the costs normally associated with servers, power, cooling, real estate and server administration. 

VMware established a presence in India in 2005, and today serves nearly 3,500 customers and works with approximately 100 partners. Over the last nine years, VMware’s sales operations have expanded across India. VMware occupies premises in Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai, as well as Mumbai and New Delhi. Globally, VMware reported a record $5.21 billion in revenues for full-year 2013, representing year-on-year growth of 13 percent.From: techgig.com

Cloud boom is on for real, researcher says

Researcher IHS Technology expects spending on cloud infrastructure and services to hit $174.2 billion in 2014, up 20 percent from $145.2 billion last year. Perhaps more to the point, it expects this growth rate to continue with enterprise spending on cloud to soar to $235.1 billion by 2017. That would be triple the amount spent on cloud ($78.2 billion in 2011.)While researchers may differ on how much cloud spending will grow going forward, they all agree that it’s on the upswing — which is why IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Microsoft et al are rushing to adapt to the new model and to cloud-first upstarts like Amazon Web Services.

ihs cloud spending

Source: gigaom.com

The number crunch: Will Big Data transform your life — or make it a misery?

The age of Big Data is upon us. Fuelled by an incendiary mix of overblown claims and dire warnings, the public debate over the handling and exploitation of digital information on an astronomically large scale has been framed in stark terms: on one side are transformative forces that could immeasurably improve the human condition; on the other, powers so subversive and toxic that a catastrophic erosion of fundamental liberties looks inevitable.
The tension between these opposites has marooned the discussion of Big Data. It is stuck somewhere between Bletchley Park — the former Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) location where the godfather of the computational universe, Alan Turing, primed today’s Big Data explosion during the Second World War — and the satirical tomfoolery of South Park, which recently portrayed the living core of all data as an incarcerated Father Christmas cruelly wired up to a machine by the US’s National Security Agency (NSA).
We know from Edward Snowden’s widely publicized whistle-blowing revelations that the NSA — in collusion with GCHQ — lifted vast amounts of data from Google and Yahoo, under the once-top-secret codename, Muscular. At the same time, we’re told that the potential for beneficial insights mined from anonymous, adequately protected data is enormous.
Big Data helps us find things we “might like” to buy on Amazon, for example, but it has also left us vulnerable to surveillance by state and other agencies. Companies such as Google and Facebook are essentially Big Data businesses, whose staggering profitability stems from the application of data analysis to advertising: these “free” services are paid for by personal data surrendered automatically with every click.
In finance, meanwhile, optimists foresee a theoretical end to all stock-market crashes, thanks to insights derived from huge-scale data-crunching, while others predict an automated, algorithmic road to ruin. Similarly, the cost and efficiency of healthcare provision is set to be radically transformed for the better with access to massive amounts of data — likewise the development of new drugs and treatments. But what about the mining of medical data without patient consent? So the debate goes on.
One aspect of Big Data, however, is beyond question: it is indeed very big, and it’s getting bigger by the millisecond. An IBM report in September estimated that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day (that’s 25 followed by 17 zeros, or roughly 10 quadrillion laptop hard drives) and that 90 per cent of the world’s data has been generated in the past two years: everything from geo-tagged phone texts and tweets to credit-card transactions and uploaded videos. By 2020, it’s thought that the number of bytes will be 57 times greater than all the grains of sand on the world’s beaches.
So what’s actually going on at the coalface of Big Data, a code-centric world of striping, load-balancing, clustering and massively parallel processing? What do the analysts working with Big Data say it’s going to do for us?
“You get a fuller picture of the phenomenon you’re interested in, with more dimensions, and that lets you derive greater insights,” says Big Data pioneer Doug Cutting, chief architect at enterprise software company Cloudera and founder of the popular open-source Big Data tool Hadoop. Cutting’s work on internet search technology for Yahoo during the mid-2000s provided the ideal proving ground for combining vastly increased computing power with huge and diverse datasets. “And from that we’ve seen a new style of computing emerge.”
The revolutionary effects of this new approach cannot be understated, especially within the scientific community. For Brad Voytek, professor of computational cognitive science and neuroscience at the University of California San Diego, and “data evangelist” for app-based taxi service Uber, Big Data has had a profound effect on the traditional scientific method. “You can sweep through huge amounts of data and come up with new observations,” he says. “That’s where the power of Big Data comes in. It’s automating the observation process. It’s making everything easier but in a way that few people yet understand. It’s going to dramatically speed up the scientific process and people have been doing some really cool stuff with it.”
Michael Schmidt, founder and chief executive of American “machine-learning” start-up Nutonian, established a Big Data landmark when, in partnership with robotics engineer Hod Lipson at Cornell University, New York, he created Eureqa — a piece of software that deduced Newton’s Second Law of Motion by analyzing data from the chaotic movements of a double pendulum. What took Newton years, the Eureqa algorithm accomplished in a matter of hours. With Nutonian, Schmidt is now opening up that Big Data technology beyond the college lab.
“We want to accelerate the process that scientists go through, to help you discover very deep principles from data,” he says. “We want to explain how things work.” The range of Eureqa’s uses couldn’t be more striking, from the construction of better warplanes to helping save the lives of infants. Schmidt is currently working with the United States Air Force, analysing the strength of advanced super-alloys used in engine components. “They are really interested in anticipating failures — knowing when things are going to break, explode or stop working. We were able to show them the most important things that go into a failure of a particular engine part, at a finer resolution than ever before.”

“The Internet Of Things” is the next big market for Cloud

In recent years two technologies have combined synergistically, the cloud and mobile. Without the cloud many of the mobile apps we have today would not exist. They rely on the existence of powerful cloud-based syncing and storage technology to provide a compelling cross-platform user experience. Cloud-based notifications are an essential part of the mobile ecosystem. Without cloud compute, devices wouldn’t be capable of tasks that require advanced processing like speech recognition and image manipulation.

Mobile devices are growing ever more powerful, but they still lag behind desktop and server hardware in processing power and storage, so in order to provide the experience that users expect, a symbiosis has developed between mobile devices and the cloud.

But mobile is just the beginning. As processors become ever smaller, cheaper, and more powerful, they are finding their way into objects that were not traditionally “intelligent.” The smart toaster is something of a cliché, but there is considerable benefit to be reaped from adding computational abilities to appliances and everyday items, and equipping them with a connection to the Internet. In the coming years we can expect to see everything from clothes to locks and door mats finding their way onto the Internet, as manufacturers augment their products with computational power, connecting them to form the Internet of Things.

The scope of the mobile computing revolution will pale in comparison to the Internet of Things, and the confluence of mobile, cloud, and intelligent objects is the next great market opportunity for cloud providers. Just as with mobile, the Internet of Things will depend heavily on the cloud for processing power, storage, and interconnectedness.

An obvious example from today is the hillips Hue system, which combines advances in lighting technology with computationally endowed light bulbs and a mobile app control interface to completely change the way we think about household lighting.

But, the immediate functional benefits of intelligent objects are only a small part of the truly revolutionary potential of the Internet of Things. Smart objects will be endowed with sensors that will feed data back to cloud platforms for analysis. With so much data flowing in from potentially millions of different nodes, the diversity and precision of the knowledge we have about the world will explode. The cloud is the only technology suitable for filtering, analyzing, storing, and accessing that information in useful ways.

Although the cloud may seem to be a mature technology, we’re only at the very beginning of exploiting the true potential of the interface between mobile, cloud, and smart objects with sensors. Those who are ready with the necessary infrastructure and expertise will be perfectly placed to reap the business rewards of the Internet of Things.

Source: www.cloudcomputing-news.net

Understanding of data storage/data processing is essential for a career in data analytics

Even without having sufficient tech skills, one can have a successful career in big data and analytics by means of having in-depth understanding of statistics, data process/storage or machine learning techniques, say experts.

With the buzz around big data and analytics, businesses have understood its significance and the potential it brings. Companies have also been making additional efforts to offer their employees the right knowledge and understanding around big Data. However, there’s still a gap between cloud technologies and the required skills to understand those, in several businesses.

Pritam Kanti Paul, co-founder and director, Products and Solutions, BRIDGEi2i Analytics Solutions, shares his perspective on the challenges, opportunities and methods used by business analysts to bridge this gap.

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