Category Archives: Lists

Battle of the Document Cloud Apps: Google Docs, Apple iWorks…Which One Truly Reigns?

Battle of the Document Cloud Apps: Google Docs, Apple iWorks…Which One Truly Reigns?

Battle of the Document Cloud Apps: Google Docs, Apple iWorks…

Throughout the 1990s, 2000s, and today, Microsoft Word has served as the final word in applications designed to maximize the efficiency and output of both businesses and individual computer users regarding their documents.

Attempts to unseat its status as the number-one program of its kind have been largely futile. Many an erstwhile competitor has been outdone by the thorough richness and ease of use inherent to Word and the other members of the Microsoft Office family, such as Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint. Both the computing industry and consumers have long registered unanimous agreement in the preeminence of Word.

Then came along cloud computing…

With the development of technologies and applications that made it easy for users to access, interact with, and share their documents via the Internet, a changing of the documents app guard has begun to take place. Microsoft is shaking in their boots at the threat of cloud computing, and the applications thereby launched, to Word — indisputably one of the company’s foremost cash cows.

First came along Google Docs. The allure of Google’s cloud offering is not in its array of features or quality — Microsoft Word clearly trumps Google Docs when it comes to cool and useful attributes. But Google Docs is free for most consumers, cheap for businesses. Folks involved in government or education, especially young people, have immediately latched onto Google Docs’ pragmatic assets and simplicity.

IBM has also released a document application, plainly titled IBM Docs. Yet the wimpy name belies a formidable foe to Microsoft Word: a cloud document application that is just as abundant in nifty features as Word, at a lesser price. Another advantage for IBM is the trust that the company has engendered among business and tech elite. The IBM label makes this document app particularly attractive for those high-end computing consumers and businesses who associate intelligent application design with the potential for greater revenue: a tacit yet key characteristic of IBM’s marketing plan.

Newest to the document cloud app race is Apple’s iWork. It consists of four primary components: spreadsheets, Keynote presentations, word processing, and email. IBM Docs, Google Docs, and Word definitely outrank iWork in terms of familiarity and features. Yet iWork has a teeny weeny benefit: its direct link to the Apple family of computing juggernauts, like the iPad and the Mac.

To counter these threats to its treasured Word and Office Suite, Microsoft released Office 365: essentially a carbon copy of the Office family of products souped up for the cloud. Office 365’s primary advantage is brand recognition, bolstered by an inventively simple and entertaining series of commercial spots, targeted at people who still look to blue skies for their cloud.

So who tops the list of document cloud apps in 2012? The victor is still unclear. Yet at least consumers will benefit as the applications jockey for leadership.

By Jeff Norman

Cloud Apps of the Week: Kindle Cloud Reader

Cloud Apps of the Week: Kindle Cloud Reader

Bright” Days Ahead for Cloud App Developers

Brightcove may just have fashioned the best app for aspiring app developers themselves. Rooted in HTML5, Brightcove’s App Cloud targets publishers interested in constructing native applications for smartphones while simultaneously ensuring that such apps are easily accessible by mobile device. This unique dual purpose promises to lessen the overall cost of owning and building applications, an aim reinforce by Brightcove’s decision to situation the program in the cloud. App design teams who employ the App Cloud complete their work can easily share their work with one another in an instant, lessening publishing and polishing time. This also allows for teams to iron out wrinkles and eliminate bugs in their apps before they reach consumers. Those hungry for Brightcove’s App Cloud will need to sit tight until the app’s released to the general public later this year.
(Update: We’ve been informed by Brightcove that the App Cloud is now available to the public)

IFTTT” Only Every App Could Be So Useful

IFTTT brings the idea of a knee-jerk reaction to the cloud app community and to on-trend tech fans. IFTTT, pronounced like “gift” without the leading “g,” stands for “IF This, Then That.” If, at the doctor’s office, a physician taps a patient’s knee with a light hammer, she’ll expect the joint to extend. IFTT essentially places users into the physician’s position in this scenario; the application can be set up to react in the event of a previously programmed scenario. The application works on a series of tasks and triggers. As an example, if you take a picture on InstaGram (a trigger), IFTTT will automatically send the web link of that picture to Dropbox or GMail (its assigned task). IFFFT proves useful through a variety of common “channels,” or services, like Twitter, phone calls, even the weather.

Amazon “Kindles” a Cloud Fire with the Same Flames

The ubiquitous Kindle hardly needs another tactic to entice the public’s attention. Yet developers for the extremely popular reading device have sought to maintain its efficacy and trendiness by introducing a cloud component to Kindle’s treasure trove. For all intents and purpose, the Kindle Cloud Reader is the spitting image of the classic Kindle, dressed in web browser format. The Reader will store titles downloaded to the Kindle in order to provide for offline reading experiences. This added feature does not grant Kindle owners the ability to surpass the device’s library limit, unfortunately, and the Kindle Cloud Reader remains incompatible with the iPhone (though iPad users can use the app at will).

By Jeff Norman

PaaS Specialist Startups for 2012

PaaS Specialist Startups for 2012

PaaS Specialist Startups for 2012

Platforms-as-a-Service startups continue to expand in 2012 with a specialist for every field of development. We take a closer look at some interesting PaaS specialist startups for 2012 which includes Parse, AppFog, Heroku and Stackmob.

AppFog

 

Basing their operations on the Cloud Foundry project (and using Cloud Foundry code), AppFog.com is designed for the web app developer looking to instantly develop an application without having to set up a server. They support stacks for PHP, NodeJS, Ruby, Python, Java, .NET, MySQL and PostgreSQL and should provide developers looking to work with Cloud Foundry code a good outlet. Originally called PHP Fog, the name change came about when they picked up Cloud Foundry recently and they should rise or fall with the project, although competition is very quickly becoming stiff.

Heroku

 

Originally known for their stack backend service regarding Ruby on Rails projects, Heroku has subsequently expanded to support the six stacks of Ruby, Java, Node.js, Scala, Clojure and Python cloud PaaS. Following an Agile development methodology they are one of the first PaaS in the market. A recent partnership with Facebook has also resulted in the Heroku Facebook App package, which allows users to reliably create Facebook apps from the cloud based server stack back-end.

StackMob

 

As of the time of writing, StackMob.com has gone public! Dubbed as the “Heroku for mobile” this startup is in direct contention with Parse.com above but seems to be offering much more advanced services. This includes more analytics along with social media integration. The company seems a bit more well-established than their competitors as they look to have more than 20 million apps running on their back-end. Pricing for the new public packages start from free to $29 and $399 to $2,999 with the more expensive range referring to their Pro pricing packages. Users who get onboard with the Pro package will be given access to all of the services at StackMob including push notifications, REST API creation and management and custom code to go with the social integration and analytics mentioned above.

Parse

Many PaaS are offering stacks for a variety of fields. Parse.com has zeroed in on the mobile app developer by offering a currently free beta service for these mobile app developers. While they are offering support for iOS and Android devs, support for HTML5 is also on the way. Running on the Cloud, this company provides stack backend services such as the ability to store, sync and push data for supported mobile platforms. Since it is still in beta, expect there to be a few chinks here and there, but when it does come out of its own dev mode (and starts asking for money) it looks to provide a relatively inexpensive service to these developers for faster overall deployment.

By Muz Ismial

Promising Cloud Storage Start-ups for 2012

Promising Cloud Storage Start-ups for 2012

Promising Cloud Storage Start-ups for 2012

As always, storage remains an integral part of the Cloud in 2012 with a number of storage start-ups that you should an eye on. With big data set to become even bigger this new year you can see some Hadoop regulars in our list along with some other new mentions.

Check them out below:

Nimble

Set to launch its paid services in January 2012 Nimble has had a more than reasonable time to spread and create interest in the social CRM market. While it’s offering of $15 per business user may be somewhat higher than earlier hinted, this price isn’t so high as to be a complete turn-off for many SMB users. With more than 15,000 users already in the fold, it is just a matter of time before it sees profits. However, the higher than expected price per user may result in a slow down of new subscribers to the service. Nimble is still offering a free single-user version though.

Coraid

With another $50 million worth of series C funding, Coraid is set for even further expansion for its ATA-over-Ethernet network storage solutions. After its recent acquisition of Yunteq technologies, it is a safe bet that it may be on the prowl for some more related technologies to add to its services. As a unique player in the Cloud storage market that doesn’t need anything to do with TCP/IP, it is set to carve out an even larger piece of the network storage pie in 2012.

Cloudera

Although Cloudera has been on the to-be-watched list for several years now, 2012 should be the time when it goes even bigger with its Apache Hadoop-based services. As the current market leader in Hadoop-based services it looks to continue its run with even more events, talks and seminars on how Hadoop-based services can be utilized. While there seems to be a smear campaign going on from new rivals Hortonworks, Cloudera’s solid performance and variety of services should lead it clear past the hype currently being implied by its competitors. If it continues to be flexible and further innovate its product line-up this leading position will be almost guaranteed.

Kanbox

While Kanbox is another startup with some money to burn, $20 million in Series B funding to be exact, it will be doing so for China’s growing population of Cloud users. Kanbox is China’s local version of Dropbox and offers its services for both the consumer and business user through its Android app. With China looking to gain even more Cloud constituents in 2012 Kanbox are looking at a subscriber base of 8 million just for January 2012. Prospects for this startup are definitely looking rosy with even more subscribers expected along the way.

Adesto Technologies

Proving that you can still innovate in what appears to be a very much saturated market, Adesto Technologies is a startup that offers a flash memory alternative called CBRAM or Conductive Bridge RAM. While it isn’t directly involved with Cloud storage it is a the fact that its low power, low cost CMOS-based CBRAM technology will impact flash memory in a huge way. With another round of financing already closed it is set to go off in a big way come 2012.

By Muz Ismail

Cloud Apps of the Week: What You’ll Want for the New Year

Cloud Apps of the Week: What You’ll Want for the New Year

Cloud Apps of the Week: What You’ll Want for the New Year

As we close out 2011, here’s some information on a few last-minute applications that are sure to improve how you experience twenty twelve.

Animoto

Every season of winter holidays provides an avalanche of fodder that only an attractive video can capture best. But what to do if you haven’t won an Oscar for best editing?

Turn to Animoto, an app that seamlessly creates vivid slideshows for the technologically challenged. Via the cloud, Animoto stores its customers’ videos for them to access from any device. Comparisons between this app and giants of cloud computing business, like Netflix or Dropbox, should end there. Yet Animoto’s founders have replicated these services’ subscription schemes. Though they can create a slideshow for free, more frequent users of Animoto can develop an endless stream of videos starting at $5 monthly. 2012 will reveal if customers are willing to cough up cash en masse for this admittedly catchy app.

Waze

At its worst, cloud computing is condemned by critics for its still sometimes leaky strategy for user security and data protection. Yet nothing trounces the cloud when it comes to harnessing existent information and distributing it to all. GPS app Waze wins on all fronts here: it gathers local information on cities and invites users to add their unique content to that data, without infringing on the privacy of their identities.

Waze is a user-generated application that passively collects data about roads, traffic, and local maps as a driver motors about. All the user need do is have Waze open on their phone while driving, and the application will reroute the motorist away from traffic jams and other hassles along the road. The data used to create such recommendations comes from other Waze users driving nearby. Users can also tweet their location and road conditions via Waze. An ideal app to have handy when navigating the inclement unpredictables of winter weather.

Hojoki

Fetch your cloud computer app cauldron. Pour in your favorite applications — Dropbox, GetHub, Twitter, Evernote, and more. Stir together. Bippity, boppity, boo. What concoction have you created? Hojoki, the integration app that streamlines all of the web-borne activity for a group of users.

The idea of a collaboration interface is certainly not new. Yet it was about time that a cloud app rolled in that would synchronize use of disparate other programs in real-time — a feat that Hojoki achieves swimmingly.
So broad has been this app’s reach that it recently opened in Paris, via “Le Web,” in public beta form. This application looks to make this technology that much more accessible for cloud-phobic users in 2012.

By Jeff Norman

Top 5 Fresh New Ways to Use Cloud Computing

Top 5 Fresh New Ways to Use Cloud Computing

Hype about the cloud continues to rage. But equally furious is the demand to know how exactly to implement its assets. Here are a few ideas on how to wield cloud computing, from crumbs to canines.

  • Save money on Europe. To be honest, this is a task limited to fairly big players in business. Europe has been slow to welcome cloud computing into its protectionist climate. This holds especially true in the European Union, where private information of individuals is held under a digital lock and key. Such legal boundaries chafe with the cloud’s expansiveness, as well as its potential risk for data theft and violation. Nevertheless, companies like London-based Shutl employ American cloud networks (like Amazon’s) to distribute their brand and save money. The New York Times offers a smart feature on the continuing conversation on Europe and the cloud.
  • Get your dog licensed. This was too doggone good not to feature for you here. Ergo Group, an Irish cloud computing company, has revolutionized how Dublin manages its canine population. Essentially, its scheme allows for dog owners to secure their animals’ licensing online, directly via the cloud. The traditional way of securing such a license demands that dog owners send for a license, pay for it, and physically receive it, all by post: at €1.50 per license, the Irish Council’s budget was howling with pain. Thanks to the cloud, dogs are licensed with ease, and the State saves. Got a bone to pick with your city’s dog license program? Present this to those in charge, and encourage them to bark up the right tree: the cloud.
  • Master Mahjong. Before Sudoku, but well after solitaire, there was Mahjong: a Chinese game featuring 144 pieces akin to dominoes, wherein the goal is to strategically combine said pieces during a round, in which four people contest against one another. The game’s complexity made it a hit with serious enthusiasts, yet its popularity has undoubtedly started to wane. Kajongg looks to put it on the map once more. Think of Kajongg as, in essence, Mahnjong on the cloud. It invites players to rounds in real time, using classical chinese rules of scoring. Have free time on your hands? Check out Kajongg, and it might just put you on cloud nine.
  • Compare New York City chocolate chip cookies. “If you can make it here,” they say, “you can make it anywhere.” Cloud computing has developed into an impressive forum to challenge Gotham’s well-worn axiom, and we imagine doing so by way of chocolate chip cookies. Serious Eats declares that the Roasting Plant, on 81 Orchard Street, bakes NYC’s best. Yet the site also features a dozen other tasty challengers to the top chocolatey crumble. With the cloud, you could stage a real-time cookie tasting event between yourself and a few other friends. MetroCards in tow, navigate to each cookie shop to taste their offering. Post your photos, videos, and social network statuses to the cloud, where they will register everywhere immediately. By day’s end, your stomachs will be stuffed with baked goods, the cloud packed with your gooey thoughts on it all.
  • Improve your business’s chemistry and imagination. Besides dessert, the cloud offers meat-and-potatoes substance for businesses looking to fuel their creativity. ZDNet’s cogent article clarifies how the cloud topples technical barriers, improves customer service, and offers new ways to better a business (like horizontal services and LOB). Such a climate encourages businesses to not only interact more deeply with their clients, but to cater to them with new, never-before-seen offerings. Chemistry in business is about establishing a touching rapport with consumers. Imagination is all about dreaming new ideas without boundaries. Cloud computing can immediately invigorate a business with both of these means.
By Jeff Norman

15 Excellent Cloud Performance and Vulnerability Monitoring Companies

15 Excellent Cloud Performance and Vulnerability Monitoring Companies

Here is our updated list of 15 cloud based companies that provide excellent cloud monitoring services.

Firehost

Scan and monitor over 5,000 vulnerabilities, including the –  SANS Top 20. 

Cloud Server & vulnerability monitoring helps ensure your website is protected from identify theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and more.

CopperEgg 

Cloud and Server Monitoring. Building a new service in the cloud? RevealCloud will shorten your time to market. Managing deployed cloud-based applications? RevealCloud will help you keep your service snappy, minimize downtime AND run your service for less. RevealCloud is a Cloud Monitoring Service that collects, stores and displays detailed, relevant performance metrics and analytics from all of your servers.

CloudKick

Cloudkick instantly consolidates all your infrastructure management into one dashboard, eliminating the time and hassle involved in maintaining a host of different tools. See a human-friendly overview of all your servers that includes: name; status; IP address; performance gauges for CPU, Memory, and Disk space; and controls to perform simple actions like opening a terminal or rebooting a machine.

Adding servers from any of our 8 supported cloudsRackspace, EC2, Slicehost, Linode, GoGrid, SoftLayer, VPS.NET, Rimuhosting takes seconds – just enter your API keys and you’re good-to-go. Adding physical servers is also a snap

Absolute Performance

Absolute Performance provides deep visibility with customizable real-time custom executive dashboards for your most important business applications.  An indispensible management tool for mission critical and revenue critical applications, Absolute Performance’s custom executive dashboards provide internal and external service assurance so organizations can allocate business resources as necessary and achieve and maintain consistent SLA compliance.

Keynote

Test Perspective is a cost-effective, completely self-service With Test Perspective you can run the most realistic load tests on-demand and . With Test Perspective you can run the most realistic load tests on-demand and receive immediate feedback on modifications you make to your Web site.

Zyrion

Zyrion Traverse is a breakthrough Cloud Monitoring, Network Performance Monitoring, Server Monitoring and Systems Monitoring software solution, with integrated Business Service Management (BSM) functionality. Traverse provides real-time visibility into the performance of IT infrastructure and services, and is an integrated platform with a wide range of core, advanced and innovative features.

Soasta

Is available as an on demand service in the cloud or as a physical or virtual appliance, SOASTA CloudTest’s seamless integration of test design, monitoring, and reporting offers everything you need to test and deliver high quality Web applications and services at an affordable price.

Monitis

With its Universal Cloud Monitoring Framework, Monitis can now sync to other Cloud computing providers very quickly – from Rackspace, GoGrid, Softlayer, and more. Monitis’ Universal Cloud Monitoring Framework will automate monitoring in highly dynamic cloud environments, where customers’ servers maybe added and terminated according to the load by management software or manually.

BrowserMob

BrowserMob’s monitoring service uses real web browsers to simulate a user interacting with your website, despite being similarly priced to simplistic”ping” style monitoring services that only check individual URLs. The use of real browsers allows you to check that individual objects are responding, but also to functionally verify that your website is working from end-to-end.

GFI

GFI MAX RemoteManagement makes it easy to monitor your clients’ servers, raid arrays, remote offices, ISP connection, bandwidth usage, and their website – simply put, you can monitor the key parts of their network infrastructure and proactively take care of your clients, keeping hardware costs to a minimum and preventing costly downtime.

LoadStorm

Load testing allows web developers to know how their applications respond under heavy volumes of HTTP traffic. LoadStorm puts massive cloud resources in the hands of web developers to enable them to improve the performance of their web applications. Create your own test plans, and generate up to 50,000 concurrent users in realistic scenarios.

CloudHarmony

You may us thier extensive and continuously updated benchmarks to view and compare performance metrics from various cloud providers and services.

Heroix

Heroix Longitude is a proven, self-service performance monitoring solution. It provides immediate performance information about hundreds of application metrics, at an affordable price, solving multiple monitoring challenges in companies of all sizes.

UptimeSoftware

Up.time provides deep server monitors that monitor the performance of critical applications, databases, Web servers, network devices, and critical system-level services. With up.time, data center monitoring and business server monitoring is a simple task. You can choose from any of up.time’s built-in server monitors, application monitors, or quickly define your own custom probes in minutes.

Cloudslueth

Monitor the performance of your own cloud application in real time. You submit your URL and they will monitor your cloud application’s live performance and availability measurements. Owned and Operated by Compuware

35 Cloud Computing Reseller Partner Programs – Business Opportunities

35 Cloud Computing Opportunities

Here is a compiled list of 35 Cloud Computing Reseller Partner Programs now available.

This is a small list that we’ve put together for individuals and companies looking to cash-in on some of the growing cloud computing opportunities available. There are a number of other companies with partner opportunities not listed here and we will be sure to include them in the next update.

These companies are listed in no particular order.

Flexiant scaling
Art of defense security
Extrasys file sharing
Vmware scaling
Ibm storage
Parallel scaling
Abiquo platform
Abovenet network
Storsimple storage
Gogrid scaling
Salesforce platform
Netsuite scaling
Acquia storage
s3rsync storage
Acumatica applications
Adaptavant cloud enabler
Adaptivity cloud enabler
Adeoserve storage
Advologix applications
Zenithinfotech storage
Zimory storage
Zmanda storage
Zoho applications
Burstorm storage
Absolute-performance platform
GenieDB platform
Cumulogic platform
Joyentcloud storage
Zuora storage
Razorservers storage
Redhat storage
Rightscale applications
Juniper storage
Google Apps storage
Rackspace storage

* If you have a partner program available that is not included, please include in the comment section below.  Please do not spam our comment section.

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