It is amazing in this, the worst economy since 1929, that the Cloud Phenomena has skyrocketed the high-tech industry into over-drive.
Companies are desperate for infrastructure folks primarily Cloud & Big Data Architects, Admins & Engineers….they can’t find enough people to fill these types of roles which means people who have cloud technology experience receive two dozen new job opportunities in their email box every day!
To be honest, I’ve never seen demand for these specific set of skills this high in 25 years, which is amazing as I said, with such a dismal economy. However, the cool thing is the fact that there are some very innovative and game-changing technologies appearing on the market. I hope to begin sharing a few each week with you. This week I’ve got three I’d like to talk about.
There are two to three new cloud start-ups every week it seems, and as I predicted over two years ago (in a number of private communications as well as to a number of company executives that Cloud Technology would be bigger than the Browser was for the Internet which basically gave us the Internet we have today).
I want to share with you some of the coolest cloud start-ups kicking it these days. All are companies I’ve had personal dealings with and can attest to their product from a personal standpoint. They are all products I recommend to my clients and associates whenever possible.
In 2006 I was designing and building out the Data-Center for a small cloud start-up company iLoop Mobile, Inc. which, would come to host the OBAMA.MOBI website for the 2008 Presidential Campaign, win the MMAA Mobile Platform of the Year award, and grow to be a leader in the Mobile Marketing industry world-wide under the leadership of CEO Matthew Harris one of today’s Brilliant Executives.
One of the areas I’ve always been keen on is Automation and back then and previous to then I used cfengine in conjunction with subversion which works great but is a ton of hard work to get setup and configured. It is also limited in what it can do, so I was seeking other alternatives, something that would utilize virtualization technology the way I knew it could be used and surprise of all surprises I came across a young company who’s product literally took my breath away called “Levanta” (unfortunately do to bad management they did not last long, but their product was to this day, years ahead of its time and still blows away most of what is available in automation today).
One of the coolest features of Virtualization that most people either do not realize or know how to implement is it’s killer DR and HA capabilities. Most Ops people think of it as a consolidation tool only, it is MUCH MORE than that, with it designed and tuned properly you can restore a completely dead server (I mean one that melts to the ground) in 30 seconds (literally) and do so to any point in time you want. And that’s not all, you can have it all happen “automagically”!
Levanta did that, automated all server provisioning, configuration changes, patch updates, software upgrades, service and process monitoring and restarting, literally with their Open API system and the way it was designed with everything running on redundant NetApp NAS and pointing to the same using NFS it could do almost anything and everything you would normally have to do manually. It is stil to this day the coolest product I’ve ever seen or worked with.
I continue to ask myself why no one else has come up with a similar solution, well recently I discovered Quorum Labs which has the HA & DR aspect down pat. As a matter of fact they’ve taken it to the next level.
Quorum Labs History
The US Navy put out a RFQ for their cloud infrastructures on their warships which basically said they wanted a DR solution that would bring a server back online within 1 minute of a missile strike (or any other disaster) taking out a portion of their infrastructure. The company that came up with the solution was the parent company of Quorum Labs who in 2009 received permission by the Feds to take their new technology into the commercial domain and so they spun-off Quorum Labs in order to do that.
What can you say about an architecture robust enough it was chosen to keep the US Navy’s Cloud infrastructure on-line during battle conditions, in the course of missile strikes, on-board fires, torpedo strikes, etc… That is the kind of DR solution I WANT IN MY INFRASTRUCTURE I can tell you that in no uncertain terms!
What They Can Do For You:
As ever Executive knows, “availability” is the most crucial part of your infrastructure, at least they had better know that or get yourself a new CEO! It affects so many things, from your customer satisfaction & loyalty, to your employees happiness and company morale, and most importantly your bottom-line gets hammered, not in just revenue that has stopped coming in, but the lost revenue which has been estimated at $70,000 per hour (on average) of down-time by some estimates reputable analysts, its a killer every-time an outage occurs, for whatever reason. You get that up to 99.99% and a lot of your other problems go away and you can take a breath and focus on the rest of your business.
There are three major aspects to “availability“:
- Hardware/Software infrastructure (Your servers)
- Network Infrastructure (Your bandwidth/Backbone)
- Capacity (basically if you can’t handle the amount of traffic your getting, it is just as bad as a server or backbone going down)
Quorum’s product can help with the first piece. They can place an appliance within your infrastructure which takes “snapshots” of any server or database and builds a virtual copy on top of the Zen hypervisor. With each snapshot the hypervisor also receives any new software or configuration updates from Quorum, so everything gets done at the same time. Unfortunately you can only perform snapshots at 15 minute intervals which is a big limitation for companies that cannot afford to lose 15 minutes worth of data or who need a real-time solution. But for the SMB market it’s a good solution and a lot more affordable than their competitors.
Where the “Cloud” comes in, Quorum has built their own private cloud and is now using that as your own virtual DR solution. Basically, the appliance talks to a virtual appliance within their cloud, so that if the physical appliance ever goes down for whatever reason, or if your whole network goes down, you are able to remotely (via encrypted VPN tunnel) start the exact servers within their cloud network and all your data is then accessible via the encrypted vpn tunnel.
What They Cost:
I was informed that their lowest offering is in the ballpark of $20k, not bad for the peace of mind it can give. Contact them to get a list and prices for each of their appliances, of which there are a few sizes to choose from.
Their Long term Viability:
From what I understand they also had a long relationship with an Angel investor, I was not able to discover their current financial situation however, I was informed they are fully capitalized and will be seeking a “B” round of financing shortly. They are not cash-flow positive at this time, but apparently not far away from being so, and their numbers are steadily improving every quarter with steady sales growth. I’ve met the people there at their Fremont, CA headquarters and they are a determined group of individuals, and with a new and more than capable CEO Larry Lang (Formerly of Cisco) at the helm, who from all accounts has done a magnificent job turning the company around, they are working hard to take their product and business to the “next level”.
I encourage you to check them and their product out. They currently have two versions of their product available, an on-site appliance and a Cloud solution although both utilize their cloud infrastructure, one is a SaaS model while the other is an appliance installed in your infrastructure.
47200 Bayside Parkway
Fremont, CA 94538 USA
Phone: +1 (510) 257-5227
Fax: +1 (510) 490-5529
With respect, I must disclose that I designed and built the cloud (SaaS) infrastructure for iLoop Mobile, Inc. between 2006-2008 so have an obvious bias however, that being said, it does not take away anything from their awesome platform and success as one of the biggest players in the Mobile Marketing industry today.
Archer, Inc. now combines a world-class MMS engine (Formerly Lenco Mobile) with the worlds foremost Integrated Mobile Marketing Cloud Platform ( formerly iLoop Mobile, Inc.) into a killer mobile marketing platform.
What They Can Do For You:
Archer’s mobile technology helps create, launch, and manage meaningful mobile initiatives for Fortune 500 companies, brands, retailers, agencies, and public institutions all over the world. Example products include MMS, SMS, Mobile Web, Mobile Social Integration, International Capabilities, Carrier Products, and a broad range of custom solutions that fulfill industry-specific needs.
And we don’t stop there—we integrate quickly and easily with our customers’ systems and related technology. The open architecture of the Archer Mobile Platform offers APIs that support integration with CRM systems, reporting, content-management systems, databases, message aggregators, and other third-party applications.
What They Cost:
Archer’s services are customized for each client, so there is not a set cost they advertise. Contact them though and they will be more than happy to put together a detailed quote for whatever your mobile marketing needs are.
Their Long-Term Viability:
iLoop Mobile has been in business for over ten years now and are not going away anytime soon, trust me on that. They were initially funded by an Angel investor but have since then obtained commercial backing and most recently in the form of a 4. Million Dollar Debt Financing deal, not to mention I’m pretty sure they are cash-flow positive. But the biggest reason, is their CEO Matthew Harris who came on-board in 2007 and completely turned the company in the right direction. They’ve been sailing strong ever since. I can attest that Matt is one of the best leaders in Technology today and I have no doubt Archer will continue to provide groundbreaking leadership in the world of Mobile Marketing World-Wide.
If I had to select a single Mobile Marketing Solution to meet ALL MY NEEDS, Archer, Inc wins hands down. I encourage you to visit their site and check it out, they offer free trials of their product which is COMPLETELY web based and cloud driven world-wide.
San Jose Office
Phone: (408) 907-3360
25 Metro Drive, Suite 210
San Jose, CA 95110
I was called in to meet with Aryaka in 2011 when they were still in stealth mode and we’re looking for someone to help them take their cloud infrastructure to the next level, I fell in love with their product and have recommended it to numerous colleagues and clients since then.
What They Can Do For You:
From their website “Aryaka is the world’s first cloud-based WAN optimization company solving application and network performance issues faced by the distributed enterprise. Aryaka has been recognized as a Gartner “Cool Vendor” in Enterprise Communications and Network Services in 2011 for its disruptive SaaS model and is named in the GigaOm Structure 50 list for companies that will shape the future of cloud computing. Aryaka eliminates the need for expensive and complex appliances as well as long-haul connectivity, and enhances collaboration across locations. It offers significant cost, ease-of-use and performance advantages, helping global companies achieve dramatic productivity gains and increased visibility into their WAN applications, locations and performance, while providing 24/7 world-class support.“
What that means in plain English (Marketing guys, I tell you….) is they have developed a product that enhances the speed at which your web based applications perform across long pipes (or your WAN), or across the globe by as much as 50%, that is truly an amazing figure indeed! But that’s not all, their service has been tested relentlessly for other areas of improvement and below are just a few of the statistics they’ve uncovered which could help you look pretty good!
Some of their amazing figures:
- 400% Improved Response times for Remote Desktop Services
- HTTP Protocol bandwidth reduction of 98% with 40x faster response time
- 30x faster file transfers
- Over 95% Bandwidth reduction of remote MS Office use across your WAN
with a 35x performance gain
And those are just a few of the benefits, see the whole list here. I am a firm believer in their product which has made the Gartner’s “Cool Vender” list for 2011 and the top 50 GigOm companies that will shape the future of Cloud Computing. I have to agree with them both.
What They Cost:
Again, Aryaka is a custom solution and so you will need to contact them and allow them to produce a quote for you. I encourage you to do so today!
Their Long-Term Viability:
Of the three they have the best funding and are funded by a group of 5 VC firms at the moment. They have nothing but good things in their future and short of some catastrophe are financially stable for years to come. Their sales and profits continue to climb at a phenomenal rate and they market growth looks to be on a rise that wont end anytime soon.
Please, do yourself and your company a favor, whether you are a large corporation Ops Executive looking to make big points and your next big promotion with massive cost reduction while providing improved performance and higher uptime percentages (who in their right mind would not want those), or a Cloud App startup, do yourself a favor and look into Aryaka’s solution, who knows, they may just be exactly what the Doctor ordered.
Aryaka Networks Inc.
691 S Milpitas Boulevard
Milpitas, CA 95035
Directions and Map