Why Everyone Wins When Cloud Computing Meets the Channel

Selling cloud computing to established businesses is no easy feat. They understand the potential benefits, but they’ve just spent years on virtualization efforts, and they have their own specific problems that aren’t easily addressed by one-size-fits-all cloud offerings. As a result, many cloud companies are turning to channel partners to remedy these sales obstacles.

Why Everyone Wins When Cloud Computing Meets the Channel

Selling cloud computing to established businesses is no easy feat. This puts cloud providers and vendors — many of whom have neither experience selling to nor dealing with traditional businesses — in a tough spot, and many are now turning to channel partners to boost adoption.

Elastra Makes Its Cloud Even Greener

Elastra has incorporated energy efficiency intelligence into its Cloud Server solution, the latest example of a growing trend toward saving data center costs by using the least possible amount of power to accomplish any given task.

Telcos Eye the Cloud

The TM Forum, a standards organization that’s active in the service provider community, is developing standards for cloud best practices and interoperability — a move that could move cloud providers out of the realm of offering cheap infrastructure for startups and into providing enterprise-class services.

Streaming Media West Roundup: Internap, Ankeena, HD Cloud

Online video platform providers, CDNs and other media infrastructure companies have gathered in San Jose., Calif., this week for the Streaming Media West conference. Here are some highlights from vendors releasing news on Day One of the show:
Internap Updates Its CDN Offering
After a lengthy silence, Internap (s INAP) is announcing new features to its content delivery network that it believes will help make it competitive again. The features are primarily focused around improved ease of use for its enterprise customers, including new “set and forget” capabilities such as single-upload transcoding and continuous bitrate adjustment. The CDN has also been tweaked to leverage Internap’s Managed Internet Route Optimizer technology, which it claims delivers better performance by making sure that content is delivered from the right point of presence. Finally, the company updated its reporting features to provide more granular analytics.
While Internap has struggled to compete in the CDN market ever since it acquired the assets of Vitalstream two years ago, the company’s VP of marketing, Peter Evans, says the latest update may finally make the company competitive in CDN. “Now we have a product that we’re comfortable standing behind,” Evans said. “Do I think we’re going to go head to head with Akamai (s akam) or Limelight (s llnw)? No. But I do think we can compete with them in an RFP, and I think we can go up against Nos. 3 through 50 in the CDN market.” Read More about Streaming Media West Roundup: Internap, Ankeena, HD Cloud

Apple Has Some Important Lessons to Learn

Apple Logo

We love Apple (s aapl). We love its style. We love its vision. We love its marketing and PR. A generation of the world’s best designers cut their teeth on Apple computers, much as they might dislike admitting their sense of taste was shaped by a consumer electronics company.

In business, too, Apple has proven to be a visionary. Entrepreneurs often look to Apple for inspiration. Software startups the world-over are compelled to study Apple so as to learn how best to “do it” — whatever “it” may be.
I don’t know — do entrepreneurs look to Microsoft (s msft) for inspiration? Arguably one of the greatest speakers on entrepreneurship and startups, Guy Kawasaki, was Apple’s first Macintosh evangelist and still praises the company today. Kawasaki picks winners — after all, that’s his job — and he chooses Apple every time.
In the bad old days, back when Microsoft was “The Borg” and Apple hadn’t released an iPod yet, a big part of the reason for loving Apple was our affinity with the underdog. After all, people root for the underdog, and, back in the nineties, a waning Apple couldn’t hope to compete with Wintel dominance.
Today, despite Microsoft’s monopoly continuing to grow in the last decade, Apple has risen from the proverbial ashes. It might be in Microsoft’s shadow (where all software companies can be found) but this Apple shines. (Sorry — terrible pun, I know.) Read More about Apple Has Some Important Lessons to Learn

Viliv X70 UMPC Deliveries Delayed: Component Shortage

Customers who ordered a Viliv X70 UMPC from retailer Dynamism have received emails informing them of a delivery delay. Dynamism cites a component shortage by the manufacturer, Viliv, as the reason for the delay. That doesn’t provide much comfort for those anxiously awaiting the arrival of their UMPC, but we can assume the UMPC revival is solid if components are in short supply. Those who are waiting delivery of their new X70 can watch our video review of the UMPC to see what they are missing:
[wpvideo BFO4sETH w=500]
(via pocketables)

Cloud Computing’s Three-Horse Race

horseraceCloud Computing has hit the main stage, solidly capturing the minds of both the technology and business communities. But while three distinct deployment models have emerged, it’s far from certain which of them will go on to prosper. The three models are:

1. Renting raw hardware: compute processing, data storage and networking bandwidth.
2. Leveraging an integrated application development engine.
3. Ordering an application.

So in order to get a better sense of the prospects of each approach, let’s take a closer look at key companies promoting them and the market forces shaping them. Read More about Cloud Computing’s Three-Horse Race

Amazon’s New Management Console Treads Lightly

Today, Amazon ( s AMZN) Web Services announced a management console that illustrates how carefully Amazon is playing its role as a platform provider. The new console competes in part with products from  RightScale, Elastra (which has backing from Amazon) and Enomaly, but doesn’t crush them out of existence.  Currently those vendors offer management products beyond Amazon’s — either in functionality or in managing other clouds too.

I had wondered before whether or not Amazon would launch features that would make startups building around its platform obsolete. I came to the conclusion that Amazon’s willingness to share information would help vendors plan ahead in time for them to shift or expand beyond EC2 or other Amazon products. Read More about Amazon’s New Management Console Treads Lightly

RightScale Gets $13M To Manage the Cloud

logoCloud computing management software provider RightScale has scored $13 million in second round venture funding. Index Ventures led the round and was joined by returning investor Benchmark Capital, which led a $4.5 million round in April. Index Ventures partner Danny Rimer has also joined the RightScale’s board of directors. The funding is another proof point that venture firms are still investing in cloud computing plays despite the downturn. RightScale, as well as its competitor Elastra, which raised money in August, are fueled up for the downturn. Let’s see if they can get anywhere, especially as the larger providers such as IBM start moving in with their own cloud management and provisioning services.