RightScale buys into cloud cost forecasting

The need for a way to plan and deploy cloud computing most efficiently is growing. The latest proof: RightScale’s acquisition of ShopForCloud, a free service that assesses the costs for cloud deployments before they’re rolled out. It works across multiple clouds and currencies.

Some big thoughts on big data and cloud for 2012

This year may have been the beginning of the big data onslaught, but big data will only get bigger in 2012. Watch for companies to check out specialized databases for different data types and to segment their data centers for old and new workloads.

Today in Cloud

The outage that affected parts of one Amazon data center was just over a month ago, yet some of the issues that it demonstrated remain captivating to many. Writing for Forbes, RightScale CEO Michael Crandell takes what at first appears to be a contrary perspective, but his point is important. “Some may have thought that the cloud was a magic bullet,” Crandell writes. “It’s not, and that’s actually good news.” The cloud isn’t the answer to every problem, and no sensible commentator ever suggested it was. It’s also not perfect, and it doesn’t remove the need to think, to plan, to prepare, and to spread risks. Anyone who suggested otherwise was wrong.

RightScale Takes $4.5M for the Cloud

RightScale, a company acting as an easy front-end console for Amazon Web Services, has raised $4.5 million from Benchmark Capital. The Santa Barbara, Calif.-based startup was formed in September 2007 to help companies provision and monitor the web services products offered by Amazon. With this funding it plans to build support for more ready-made programs, such as pre-packaged load balancing programs or automatic MySQL setup on AWS.

RightScale’s funding is good for the startup, and it continues the inexorable movement of cloud computing toward the enterprise. Cloud computing is making the same journey as software-as-a-service, which was first adopted at smaller companies and then made inroads at Fortune 500 firms. Companies like RightScale will help smooth the way for enterprises that need to worry about reliability, security and compliance.

Being able to easily provision and track cloud assets is an important step in getting enterprises on board. It’s still early days, but as Kevin Harvey, a general partner at Benchmark, points out, “Paying for compute power based on need is going to be almost so compelling that people who run their own data centers will feel foolish.”

I’m not sure every enterprise will feel that way, but the trend is obvious. Currently RightScale only supports deployments on Amazon’s cloud offerings, but CEO Michael Crandell expects the recent additions of persistent storage and some basic support will only help RightScale’s business, as it makes it more enterprise-friendly.