|By Alan Williamson||
|January 16, 2009 06:36 AM EST||
"We are in an ideal position to accelerate our business to continue our leadership in this rapidly advancing cloud market," says RightScale CEO Michael Crandell, in this Exclusive Q&A with the editor-in-chief of SYS-CON's Cloud Computing Journal, Alan Williamson. "We decided the timing was right to create a war chest that would take us to profitability," Crandell added. Earlier this month RightScale snagged $13M in a Series B round of venture funding.
Here's the interview in full:
Cloud Computing Journal: $13M is quite a chunk of change to raise in this climate. Was this about what you required? Was it more or less than you asked for?
Michael Crandell: We raised exactly what we set out to raise. This year we've seen a lot of interest from investors, and so we decided the timing was right to create a war chest that would take us to profitability. At the same time, we've gotten the best VCs we could hope for: Danny Rimer of Index Ventures and Kevin Harvey of Benchmark add tremendous value on our Board. Now, we are in an ideal position to accelerate our business to continue our leadership in this rapidly advancing cloud market.
Cloud Computing Journal: Where are you going to be spending that money?
MC: We'll use the funds to accelerate product and market development of our core management platform, including support for new clouds, continuing to build our ISV and developer communities, and expanding into additional geographic markets.
Cloud Computing Journal: RightScale has built up its business from Amazon EC2 customers, what plans have you to broaden this to other cloud providers? Are the other cloud providers ready for prime time?
MC: In September, we announced support for GoGrid and Flexiscale clouds, and an ongoing cooperation with Rackspace as they roll out their cloud offerings. Amazon remains in the lead in terms of functionality, scale, and adoption. But clearly we're moving to a multi-cloud market, and helping customers take advantage of the freedom and choice that provides is a key target for RightScale.
Cloud Computing Journal: For many people, they see Amazon as the only cloud provider. Is it healthy for any one company to dominate the industry so much at the start?
MC: Amazon has done a brilliant job pioneering this space, and seen impressive growth. They have almost single-handedly commercialized the notion of pay-as-you-go, on demand, virtually infinite outsourced IT infrastructure. In that sense, their leadership has established the de factor standard and that's been very healthy for customers. As the market continues to evolve rapidly, other cloud players are entering and differentiating their offerings -- which adds the critical capability for businesses to avoid single-source vendor dependency. Compared to other innovations in tech history, cloud computing is unfolding very rapidly and in an open and healthy way.
Cloud Computing Journal: At the moment RightScale doesn't provide a one-stop service; I have to pay you and Amazon. Are there plans to give me as a customer one billing point?
MC: We're working on that. Stay tuned.
Cloud Computing Journal: For all the hype and pomp of cloud computing, what do you see as the biggest myth that is circulating just now?
MC: Some seem to think that cloud computing eliminates the need for good system design and management: everything will happen "automagically"! There are real advantages to be gained from cloud deployments in terms of automation, simplification of system administration, and reliability and performance -- but achieving these still depends on well-designed solutions. That's central to what we provide at RightScale: automated management utilizing best-practices in multi-cloud design that maintain transparency and IT control for the customer.
Cloud Computing Journal: Many analysts see the private cloud as the area that will make the real money from cloud computing? What are your plans to support the private cloud?
MC: We think the public cloud is going to continue it's explosive growth. We hear frequently from customers about running out of data center space, data center power, data center budget, and data center patience (i.e., long internal IT lead times). There is tremendous pressure to leverage the cost and agility advantages of outsourcing IT infrastructure using flexible cloud resources. That said, there will clearly be private clouds in the picture too, and in that area our strategy is to focus on the nexus of the two -- hybrid clouds -- and provide an easy way for corporate developers to utilize both public and private cloud resources when appropriate.
Cloud Computing Journal: We recently ran our Cloud Bootcamp, where we had your own Thorsten von Eicken come along and take us through some of what you do. What are you finding are the top questions being asked by people new to the cloud space?
MC: People come to us already convinced that moving to the cloud is a compelling prospect -- but they have questions on how best to do it, what the "gotchas" are, and what they should expect. Basically, they're looking for guidance and a fast on-ramp to deploying in the cloud, and a system they can use to support the lifecycle of development and deployment, which is exactly what we provide.
Cloud Computing Journal: Take us 12 months into the future. When I login to my RightScale dashboard, what will I expect to see and what will I be able to do?
MC: You'll see more automation control, more clouds supported, more pre-packaged solutions from ISV partners. You'll also see an active, growing community of developers sharing information about using RightScale as a cloud management platform. All this will give you, the customer, the advantage of getting onto the cloud fast, building your application on best-practice solutions for resiliency and performance, reducing your system administration overhead, all the while maintaining transparency & control to customize any layer of the stack as needed.
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,255
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,611
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,442
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,266
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 950
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Nov. 27, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,643
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 27, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,253
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Nov. 27, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,205
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 27, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,209
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,497
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:00 AM EST Reads: 1,471
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,362
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,301
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,198
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,153
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,598
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,713
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,608
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,734
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,772