Today, Microsoft will not only lift the veil from its secret server designs. It will “open source” these designs, sharing them with the world at large so that other online outfits can use them inside their own data centers.
Rackspace has productized the OpenStack cloud computing software to run in customer data centers. This is an interesting move for Rackspace, a big cloud provider/managed services provider that until now has run customers’ compute loads in its own data centers and hasn’t provided software.
OpenStack is an open-source cloud computing platform and project founded by Rackspace and NASA, but which has picked up other big-name support from Dell , Hewlett-Packard , Cisco (s CSCO ) Citrix and others in its one-and-a-half-year existence. Last spring, Rackspace launched its Cloud Builders program to bring OpenStack into the private cloud realm by helping customers deploy OpenStack-based clouds, and Monday’s announcement is the fruit of that program.
That customers can now run Rackspace-blessed OpenStack cloud technology in their own data centers as a private-cloud option is a big deal for those business customers — and there are many – who want choice in where they deploy their clouds.
Sharing music with friends used to be intimate, even messy. We visited each other’s homes with stacks of records, and plundered album sleeves until vinyl littered the floor. Everyone negotiated song choices in real time, and when consensus proved impossible, DJ duties fell to whomever reached the turntable first.
Sometimes this led to the 40,000th playback of Zeppelin’s “Black Dog.” And sometimes you had to listen to that weird friend-of-a-friend’s freakbeat sitar jam. “It’s number one in Berlin!” he’d assure you, as if this flimsy bit of context could convert your musical faith.
Now Google wants to update this conversation-based music discovery system for the digital age. At its I/O keynote Wednesday, the company unveiled Nexus Q, a sleek streaming-media sphere that’s 4.6 inches in diameter and looks like pop art. Nearly devoid of outward-facing controls, Nexus Q is a puzzle — a satin-coated curio that begs to be touched and examined. But when you gaze into this mysterious black ball that crackles with light, you don’t see the future but rather blasts from the past: a return to speaker-driven audio, along with all the real-time social sharing that vinyl once inspired.
Cloud provider CloudSigma has become the first to add solid-state-drive storage to its public cloud computing service. SSDs (aka flash memory) are well known for their ability to significantly increase storage I/O performance and decrease power consumption when compared with hard disk drives, but until recently they have been too expensive for consideration in most data centers that aren’t backed by serious computing needs and deep pockets. That’s starting to change with the advent of new companies promising ever-lower prices on enterprise-grade flash storage, but making flash available as a service to cloud customers is still relatively unheard of.
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