Measuring efficiency in the cloud

In the world of cloud computing every action has a cost. Every HTTP request fires off a chain of actions, each uniquely measured on a variety of billable meters. Gone are the days of idle or unused resources on our local servers. Cloud computing charges by the sip (when sips are available) aligning business goals of resource efficiency and its cost. The cloud computing world shares many similarities with the plug-in and go world of electricity, including the need to run green for the sake of resources and cost savings. What can the world of green energy teach us about the future of cloud computing? How can we measure computing resources in the cloud for efficiency, replacement costs, and cost savings?

The anatomy of cloud computing

Cloud computing is changing the way we provision hardware and software for on-demand capacity fulfillment. Lately I have been thinking about the ways on-demand servers, storage, and CDNs are changing the way we develop web applications and make business decisions. In this post I will provide an overview of the cloud hosting landscape with a particular focus on cloud utilization by web companies. I will walk through a managed infrastructure stack and examine a few major business targets.

Economic anecdotes from SF restaurants

The current economic uncertainties have changed the high-end restaurant industry, but not in the ways you might think. On Friday evening I had drinks with owners of two well-known restaurants in San Francisco. Total diners is up, staff is more committed, and menus have expanded. Web businesses can learn from these service industry adjustments.

How will Twitter make money?

Micro-blogging service Twitter will celebrate its third birthday in March and may have a revenue model to support the company over the long-term. Last month Twitter CEO Evan Williams told Kevin Maney of the company will kick off new revenue streams by March 2009 to avoid raising another round of venture capital funding. Twitter’s deeply engaged community would love to see a sustainable business develop around the site, its services, and the community. In this post I will take a deeper look at Twitter and its revenue potential as publicly hinted by its founders.

Facebook v. Power Ventures

Facebook filed eight legal complaints in United States federal court against Power Ventures, operators of social aggregator Facebook claims Power collected Facebook usernames and passwords, stored Facebook data on their servers, used the Facebook trademark without license, sent e-mails posing as Facebook, and knowingly circumvented Facebook’s attempts to block access.

Syndication and Widgets Primer

Today’s publishers need to think beyond the fixed location of their website and fully integrate with the large hubs of user activity on the desktop, mobile phone, social networks, blogs, and web pages at large. Syndication and widgets power new opportunities to carry content beyond the walls of a single site and into some of the largest brands in the world yet some publishers still haven’t gotten the message. I recorded a 1-hour video presentation earlier this week to better explain the syndication and widget landscape to web publishers.

Intel and Yahoo! announce Widget Channel for HDTV

The Internet is coming to your TV, reclaiming your split attention span from the other gadgets around the house. Intel announced its latest effort to power your living room yesterday with new media processors, reference designs, and software stacks that may eventually find their way into the cable boxes, Blu-ray players, and home media centers of 2010. Intel partnered with Yahoo! to deliver Internet-connected widgets, advertising, and content to potential partners with a software stack branded The Widget Channel. What new opportunities are available inside the Widget Channel platform? When is the right time to implement?

Data Portability, Authentication, and Authorization

In this post I will take a deeper look at the current best practices of the social Web from the point of view of its major data hubs. We will take a detailed look at the right and wrong ways to request user data from social hubs large and small, and outline some action items for developers and business people interested in data portability and interoperability done right.