IDG Contributor Network: The promise and payoff of NoSQL, Part 1

The current database landscape can be confusing, even for experienced technology professionals.  There was a time when a one-size-fits-all database system was an adequate answer to any database question, but that’s no longer true.  Decisions about database systems now involve a dizzying array of application requirements, products, features, buying-criteria, and vendor claims.   

This confusing environment has left application architects and strategists with a mess of confusion as they consider database technology going forward. Meanwhile, the recent explosion in database choices has fragmented the market and made it more challenging to weed through the different options. The question for many is: Is this a permanent state of affairs or a transition phase? What can we expect next, and how can application architects plan for it?

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CIO Cloud Computing

Apple said to move part of cloud business from AWS to Google

Apple has moved some of its iCloud and services data from Amazon Web Services to Google’s cloud platform, in what is seen as a bid by the iPhone maker to diversify its cloud service providers, according to reports.

The move comes even as the company is building its own new data centers, leading to speculation whether the shift is only temporary.

Google is a rival of Apple in smartphones and other devices, but such deals are common among tech companies in areas where they don’t compete. 

After signing the deal with Google late last year, Apple has significantly reduced its reliance on AWS, whose infrastructure it has been using to run parts of iCloud and other services, reported CRN, quoting sources with knowledge of the matter. The publication put Apple’s spending with Google at between $ 400 million and $ 600 million, though it added it wasn’t clear whether the figures referred to an annual spending rate or a set amount of capacity.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Atlassian’s IPO is just part of its lofty goal for the workplace

One of Silicon Valley’s “unicorns” (that is, a tech company valued at over $ 1 billion), Atlassian is the company behind JIRA, HipChat, Confluence and BitBucket, all of which are aimed at making collaborative efforts within companies easier and more efficient. The company is one of Silicon Valley’s oft-fabled “unicorns” — that is, a company for which the valuation has surpassed the $ 1 billion dollar mark — and last week the company saw its shares jumping over the initial price of $ 21 to just over $ 27, where it has held for the most part. 

Atlassian was founded in 2002 and specializes in workplace software. Most of their products are aimed at streamlining workplace communication and simplifying collaboration in teams. 

HipChat, one of its most popular products, is an email-buster comparable to Slack that brings ongoing correspondence out of lengthy email threads and into a simple chat interface shared by teams and departments within a company. JIRA Software is a project-tracking software development tool. JIRA Service Desk is a task management platform that allows teams to coordinate the living, breathing, changing tasks that often become the foibles of service teams everywhere.

From BBC to Adobe and NVIDIA to Land Rover, Atlassian products are used by over fifty thousand teams worldwide. Which is great, but ultimately just the tip of the iceberg where the company’s concerned. With the successful IPO under their belts, Atlassian’s chasing down some seriously lofty goals.

“Our mission, ultimately, is to have every employee inside of every company using Atlassian products every day,” says Atlassian President Jay Simons. “And when you consider that there’s more than 800 million knowledge workers around the world, that’s a pretty big ambition and it’ll take a while to get there. The IPO doesn’t really change that. That’s basically been a goal of the company since inception.” 

A pretty big ambition, indeed. But it’s a pretty big market, too, and it’s no secret that email’s not particularly well-suited to the way that we work today. Inboxes that tend to get cluttered paired with our own abysmal skills when it comes to staying on top of the constant digital deluge, email’s become something of a dirty word in some circles. 

Though email’s something of a necessary evil that likely won’t be going anywhere (no matter how much I wish the opposite were true), Atlassian products exist largely to bring conversations and collaborative efforts that don’t belong in our inboxes into more appropriate arenas. Even with fifty thousand companies already onboard, there are still thousands of teams stuck in the cluttered trenches of email-only communication.

“I think there’s a tremendous amount of white space across teams with a lot of inefficient use of email,” says Simons. “I don’t think email’s going away anytime soon because it is an effective way to direct certain kinds of communication to people, but I do think that when you use our products, your inbox becomes a lot smarter, more directed and more appropriate for what email’s good at.” 

In Simons’ eyes, the successful IPO signals a recognition that what Atlassian’s doing is not only working, but that there’s room to grow—more tasks to manage, more email chains to prevent, more projects completed on-time with fewer hiccups and dropped balls. The way we work is changing, and the response yesterday would seem to suggest that Atlasssian’s going to be around to usher in some of these changes in the way we get things done.

“I think that the market and the investor enthusiasm recognizes that we’ve built a pretty special company,” says Simons, “and also recognizes that there’s a big opportunity in front of 800 million knowledge workers worldwide and teams all over the place that are trying to figure out how to work better together.” 

Atlassian’s IPO is just part of its lofty goal for the workplace originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015.

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Cloud

IDG Contributor Network: Drones are part of the Internet of Things, drone maker says

We can thank a guy named Todd Harper, who managed to successfully capture foot-cam videos of 3D Robotics’ chief Chris Anderson giving the keynote speech at the InterDrone show earlier this month and put them on YouTube (Parts One and Two). 

InterDrone is a conference and drone expo. 3D Robotics, or 3DR as it’s sometimes called, is major drone maker, with some of its funding from Qualcomm.

I’ve written about Qualcomm’s recent drone chip development in “Intel, Qualcomm getting into drones.”

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Network World Cloud Computing