GE tech guru high-fives the public cloud

Despite the success of Amazon Web Services, and the resources Microsoft and Google have poured into Azure and Google Cloud Platform respectively to compete with AWS, public cloud still has a bit of a perception problem. Many companies still view the use of shared, multi-tenant architectures askance — something not quite trusted for mission critical workloads.

That’s why it’s a fairly big deal when the CIO of [company]General Electric[/company], staple of the Fortune 10, says it’s “all-in” for public cloud. [company]GE[/company], after all is pretty much the reference account to end all reference accounts with its market cap north of $230 billion, and which offers everything from financial services to household appliances to cat scanners and jet engines.

In a Q&A in October, GE’s Chris Drumgoole told InfoWorld that “north of 90 percent” of all the applications deployed by the company last year were in a public cloud environment. Further, he said:

” We have a model where we’re operating outside of our four walls in someone else’s environment, but we’ve been able to ensure that GE data — compute, memory, and storage — remain single-tenant, even though we may be in a multitenanted data center.”

So there, public cloud haters. It was not all that clear how many public cloud vendors GE  uses but Drumgoole mentioned AWS and [company]Microsoft[/company] Azure in passing.

“…we really view ourselves to be a service provider to our businesses, so our businesses can buy from us or they can buy from others. The best way to think about it is if you’re my oil and gas division you can come to me, as corporate IT, and buy Amazon in order deploy your applications or you can go to [company]Amazon[/company] directly or you can go to Azure directly.”

But the vendor that got the biggest shout out was [company]Cloudability[/company], which monitors multiple clouds for customers and helps with cost tracking and assessment.

We’re big fans of a tool called Cloudability, which provides actual visibility into the data. If I want to see what something costs, I log into my Cloudability instance.

OpenStack installs 2015 regime

In other cloud news last week, on Friday the OpenStack Foundation announced 2015 board members elected from a full roster of candidates. Eight new individual directors — chosen from a list of 27 candidates — are Tim Bell of CERN; Russell Bryant of [company]Red Hat[/company]; Alex Freedland of [company]Mirantis[/company]; Rob Hirschfeld of RackN; Vishvananda Ishaya of [company]Nebula[/company]; Kavit Munshi of [company]Aptira[/company], Egle Sigler of [company]Rackspace[/company] ; and Monty Taylor of [company]HP[/company].

Members elected from the 8 companies at the foundations highest Platinum Member tier are: Alan Clark of [company]SUSE[/company]; Eileen Evans of HP; Toby Ford of AT&T; Van Lindberg of Rackspace; Mark McLoughlin of Red Hat; Todd Moore of [company]IBM[/company]; Imad Sousou of [company]Intel[/company] and John Zannos of [company]Canonical[/company]. Newly elected directors from the 17 Gold Member companies are Simon Anderson of [company]Dreamhost[/company]; Robert Esker of NetApp; Tristan Goode of Aptira; Steven Hallett of [company]Symantec[/company]; Chris Kemp of [company]Nebula[/company]; Boris Renski of Mirantis; Sean Roberts of [company]EMC[/company] and Lew Tucker of [company]Cisco[/company].

At a glance what is notable here is that Symantec, which just joined the foundation a month ago, is represented at the Gold level but Piston and [company]Yahoo[/company] are nowhere to be seen. Also, Randy Bias, co-founder of Cloudscaling is no longer on the board, although EMC — which bought Cloudscaling last year is represented by Sean Roberts.

One of three bylaws also approved by foundatio membership is a change to OpenStack trademark policy around the adoption of DefCore procedures, although from the verbiage it’s not clear to me what this means exactly, so stay tuned on that. DefCore is, for lack of a better word, a set of rules that defines what OpenStack is, what features it should include and certifications against which OpenSack implementations are judged. The goal is to ensure a degree of interoperability between different vendors’ OpenStack implementations — so one vendor cannot innovate changes that are incompatible with the OpenStack standard and still call it OpenStack.

Can policy be built into applications?

Wouldn’t it be nice if, when you enter your privacy settings on Facebook or other applications, you could be sure those settings will be enforced through the life of that product. So, when you don’t want your face tagged in photos, it cannot be tagged even by someone else.

That’s the type of problem MIT Ph.D candidate Jean Yang is working on. As things stand now, it’s very hard for developers to write privacy rules right into their code. Yang’s Jeeves project aims to make that less of a hairball going forward.Check out our chat with her about halfway through this week’s podcast. Oh, and she also weighs in on the Reddit AMA she and two other female Ph.D candidates hosted last month.

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MIT Ph.D. candidate Jean Yang.

MIT Ph.D. candidate Jean Yang.

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Note: This story was updated at 10:02 a.m. PST to reflect that the Chris Drumgoole interview actually happened in October, not last week. Credit the reporter’s brain cramp for the mistake. His point still stands, but it’s not as fresh as I thought.

Amazon watcher Newvem starts charging to monitor your cloud

Examining Amazon Web Services usage is a cottage industry for a dozen or so startups. One of them, Newvem, has offered its service free to select customers. Now that the service is broadly available, it’s time to monetize.