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AWS Free Usage Tier

AWS Free Usage Tier:

Amazon have launched a free usage tier – details below. This is great news – we will enable this through the Digital Mines Control Panel so that users can get access to our service, with a level of infrastructure AT NO COST!

AWS Free Usage Tier (Per Month):

  • 750 hours of Amazon EC2 Linux Micro Instance usage (613 MB of memory and 32-bit and 64-bit platform support) – enough hours to run continuously each month*
  • 750 hours of an Elastic Load Balancer plus 15 GB data processing*
  • 10 GB of Amazon Elastic Block Storage, plus 1 million I/Os, 1 GB of snapshot storage, 10,000 snapshot Get Requests and 1,000 snapshot Put Requests*
  • 5 GB of Amazon S3 storage, 20,000 Get Requests, and 2,000 Put Requests*
  • 30 GB per of internet data transfer (15 GB of data transfer “in” and 15 GB of data transfer “out” across all services except Amazon CloudFront)*
  • 25 Amazon SimpleDB Machine Hours and 1 GB of Storage**
  • 100,000 Requests of Amazon Simple Queue Service**
  • 100,000 Requests, 100,000 HTTP notifications and 1,000 email notifications for Amazon Simple Notification Service**


Dawn of a New Day « Ray Ozzie

Dawn of a New Day « Ray Ozzie:

Ray Ozzie’s parting memo after 5 years in Microsoft. Basically saying ‘Cloud Cloud Cloud’ & ‘Change or Die’.

This blog is dedicated to quantitative analysis of the means by which cloud computing creates value.

3 Rules to Actionable Metrics

3 Rules to Actionable Metrics:

Metrics that add value and insight vs. vanity metrics.

Key Metrics for Product/Market fit

An Open Letter to Ireland Inc. on the Cloud Computing opportunity

This is the (mildly edited) text of a letter I wrote to Jennifer Condon, head of Software and Services for Enterprise Ireland, in August 2009. Jennifer was kind enough to take some time to discuss the contents of the letter with me, but I think the Cloud Computing opportunity needs a much broader involvement than any single state body.

Ireland Inc. (Enterprise Ireland, IDA, Irish Software Association, IBEC, Irish Computer Society, Irish Internet Association) are not doing enough for the country to take advantage of this enormous opportunity and position Ireland as THE location for Cloud Services – both for foreign companies locating and investing here, and for indigenous and start-up Irish businesses exporting Cloud Services.

In a recent talk I attended, Enterprise Ireland highlighted the projected value of both the Cloud Computing and SaaS markets – being $150bn and $17bn respectively. A question from the audience asked why the focus of EI’s presentation was on the SaaS market rather than the Cloud Computing area, given the relative size of the opportunities, and was answered that this was because the SaaS opportunity was ‘more immediate’. I do not believe that this is entirely accurate, to reach even 50% of the estimated market size of Cloud Computing, explosive growth will, and is, happening, and the opportunity is for Ireland to be a first-mover here. There is no company in Ireland or indeed globally that will not evaluate Cloud Services in the next couple of years. This is a massive market!

I am concerned at the level of understanding Ireland as a economy – both the public and private sector – has of the emerging Cloud Computing sector. The term is becoming a ‘bandwagon’ and on a weekly basis, press releases are being published with companies claiming to have launched a Cloud Computing service. It is my opinion that a key role that industry bodies should play is in providing a clear definition to what the term ‘Cloud Computing’ actually covers, and educate the business and public sector leaders  as to what this is.

The accepted industry definition of Cloud Computing, is that it provides Computing, Storage and Network Transit resources (the service) in an On-Demand (Pay-As-You-Go) and Scalable manner (the business and billing model). Below are two relevant URL’s to more information around this definition:

I believe Ireland has the opportunity to take a number of steps that will greatly further our potential to grow our economy on the back of the growth and opportunity in Cloud Computing. In my opinion, some of these steps include:

  • Create the legal framework to encourage consumers of Cloud Computing to use services delivered from Ireland. The legalities around hosting business applications and data ‘in the Cloud’ are complex and creating a forum for understanding these, and addressing them through Public Policy, would both present Ireland as an ideal location for Cloud Computing Centres, as well as encouraging innovation and enterprise development.
  • Agree and promote a definition of Cloud Computing – this simple first step is essential if we are to capitalise on the sector, as it is widely misunderstood, and misused, at present. A working group including the relevant representative organisations could create this definition and cause their membership to adopt it.
  • Assist start-ups with IT infrastructure. Infrastructure is very expensive. In partnership with infrastructure hardware and data centre providers, create a Cloud Computing Platform and provide access to this for early stage start-ups, so they can focus on innovation,  without the normally associated large capital expenditure. Very few people are innovating on the hardware-platform of Cloud Computing, because the cost of entry is high.
  • Setup a Cloud Standards body, or engage with existing standards authorities in Ireland. Create a working group from existing suppliers, new entrants, large IT suppliers and consumers, legal professionals and relevant public authorities. The goal of this group would be to create a standard to which suppliers and start-ups of Cloud Computing resources could become certified. This done right could dramatically push Ireland as a government-supported, progressive location to build Cloud Computing Centres and foster innovation.
  • Get the Government using Cloud Computing – demand fosters innovation, and one area where a lot of money can be saved is in Public Sector IT – the premise of Cloud Computing is that it is inherently far cheaper than purchasing and maintaining dedicated equipment which goes under-utilised.

Cloud Computing is estimated to be a $150 billion market in just 4 years. This is from a market that today is worth a single digit percentage of this figure. That is truly explosive growth, and because the market is in it’s infancy, no dominant corporate force or geographic location has emerged – Ireland has an opportunity here to capitalise on this, and position ourselves as a hub of innovation and excellence in service delivery – in the Cloud Computing space.

The Cloud Consultant *should* be the good guy

Jokes about Cloud Consultants aside (NSFW Youtube video), I think there exists a real and tangible opportunity to help companies with their Cloud Computing evaluation and adoption.

The incumbent IT supplier doesn’t want to talk to clients about Cloud Computing – why would they – it eats their bread-and-butter hardware sales and maintenance revenue. These are the guys that tell you Hosted IT ”won’t work, can’t work, and isn’t suitable for your business”. Ultimately the hardware selling business to SME’s is a dinosaur of a business model – and the IT providers that don’t evolve to providing some form of Cloud-based Utility IT services, will not survive in the medium to long term.

Cloud Providers on the other hand, want you to move everything to their Infrastructure, or Platform. Neither of which in isolation can provide a total client solution, and the Cloud Provider is never going to present the myriad of options a business should be evaluating when thinking about their ‘IT 2.0’ strategy. So people get a ‘one size fits all’ view of Cloud Computing depending on who they talk to.

Enter the Cloud Consultant.

Here is the person that can look at a businesses current IT setup – hardware, applications and users. Understand the business needs, and then recommend the appropriate mix of services. For example – keep the local hardware for file and print; use some SaaS applications to replace the current in-house legacy software (and create a timed, efficient, migration plan for this); utilise Cloud Infrastructure for DR, Backup and move software applications into the Cloud. Thus causing minimal disruption to users, enhancing IT performance, and saving the business money (especially in light of the capital required at ‘upgrade time’). This is the Cloud Consultants raison d’être.

The Cloud Consultant can give a business a phased approach to Cloud Computing – saving them money at the right time for their business, migrating services and applications when it makes the most sense, and changing to the right SaaS applications when the business is ready.

The Cloud Consultant should be worth their weight in gold in the current climate.

So let’s see them. I’m still waiting for the right consultative business to emerge.

Goodbye Hosting365, Hello World !

In mid-March this year, Hosting365 was acquired by SunGard Availability Services. While I genuinely believe this is a great move for both Hosting365 and SunGard, it’s not one that I am going to partake in. I enjoyed my 4 years as General Manager, and now it’s time to let someone else take the company forward.

When I joined the company it was primarily a shared hosting business, and had just moved into it’s own facility. In the following four years, a great team of people came together – in sales, finance, operations, development and management. The company was the largest and price-feature leading shared hosting business in Ireland. We sold that division (Register365) to NamesCo in 2008, completing the shift from a shared hosting and domain name enterprise to a Managed Services company. In 2008 we launched Ireland’s first Cloud Computing platform, which accounted for over 80% of new sales within a year, and attracted numerous blue chip clients. The final stage (for me) in the Hosting365 tale, was the ultimate sale of the business to SunGard, who will lead it’s next stage of evolution.

So as of the end of March, I have left my role in Hosting365. I’m going back to my entrepreneurial roots – and setting up a business called Digital Mines (there’s only a holder page there for now – but feel free to signup for updates!). Needless to say – I’m incredibly excited – there are myriad opportunities in the web services, cloud and utility computing, and internet infrastructure spaces.

I’ve neglected blogging for the past couple of years, so as part of my new venture, I’ve decided to do some spring cleaning, and relaunch my personal web site at this new location. You can also follow me on Twitter @edbyrne or connect on LinkedIN.

Onwards !

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