Category Archives: Cloud

We Heart Visualizations! Show us Yours!

I recently featured a map of the world visualization that animated internet activity in a scaled up version of real time. For 6 seconds it made the global world of the internet feel more “connected” as we’re able to visually connect online behaviour to timezones as the nighttime shift surfs the globe. Visualization is going to continue to grow in importance as we shorthand communicate big data sets and interpret new advances. Errol Brown picks up on this in a community discussion on Google+

 

Data visualization is another area that is going to grow in importance. Everyone is talking about big data, but at the end of the day not everyone is a super quant.

I personally love mapping based infographics and visualizations. They put the whole world into perspective in far easier chunks to digest.

It’s only been a few months since Tidemark, a bold Andreessen Horowitz-backed business analytics platform, emerged from its beta cocoon.

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

Check out how Tidemark is able to get live data and apply it directly to a map, showing for example: Profit Ranking by State.

 

In January, Facebook dipped into its user data and put together the greatest NFL fan map we’d ever seen. Now they’ve done it again, mapping out county-by-county Facebook likes for the 68 teams participating in this year’s March Madness.

 

 

In the article by Reuben Fischer-Baum, he delves into some conclusions that could be derived from Facebook’s mega-data Sports fans number crunched by Michael Bailey. The insight that I am curious to find out is, how much data can we extract from fanbases of Facebook Pages, and how can that be visualized for our businesses?
If you find any map-based visualizations that may be relevant to your business share them here or mention me on Google Plus and I’ll be sure to highlight it in a future post. – Juliana

Speed Up Image Editing Workflow For Your Website

Providing visual impact for your blog or website is one of those tasks that can become really arduous. Why? It’s nobody’s favorite thing to scour the internet for free use images, correctly attribute them, clutter up your hard drive, and work out the best work flow for image labeling, social media sharing etc. The list goes on, and for the most part, those of us in control of publishing things for our web page – are not web designers.

 

Online Photo Editor for WordPress Websites or Blogs

Edit your pictures online and add them to your WordPress website or blog. It’s easy to do with PicMonkey!

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

Angela Wills goes through a step by step on how to use PicMonkey in this Video. The important thing about an online picture editor, is that it doesn’t add more software to your hard drive . I find even the ultimate software for image editing – Photoshop, is frustratingly cache consuming, and obviously nothing similar for blogging on the run using your android device.

To capture screens on mobile phone you’ll find a list of apps, Similarly on Firefox there will be different add-ons, and to capture screens in Chrome, you can check out the following …

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

For those of you who can’t step up to paid tools like Snagit and Camtasia by Techsmith, FreeNuts weighs up the pros cons and overall usability for browser based screen grabbers. I have recently switch to Chrome, and particularly love the way I don’t have to worry about data management on my hard drive. In Chrome, recently downloaded files have a short cut right in the browser window which you can drag into form fields when you want to re-upload them to your website.

Finally I wanted to feature some web based image editing software, here is a top list recommended by 6revisions.

From sixrevisions.com – 2008

Web-based image editors have several advantages to its desktop counterparts. The most obvious benefit is that they allow you to work on any computer.

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

Although this is one of Jacob Gube’s old articles I included it as a starting point to show you there are still evolving options out there that avoid you having to fork out for Photoshop. I’m sad to say Pheonix an advanced image editor from Aviary is no longer available. Pixlr seems to be the most robust tool out of all of them, but is sadly lacking the community and image-sharing aspect that was so integral in Pheonix. For now, my image capture-editing-storing is a two step process that involves re-upping content onto my G+ profile.

Write back and let me know if you found alternative ways to speed up your online image workflow process. I’m sure our fellow webmasters and website owners will appreciate the tips. Hit me up on Google Plus or leave a comment for me to follow up and investigate. – Juliana

 

 

 

Enterprise Clouds vs. Elastic Clouds

How should an enterprise go about implementing elasticity into its enterprise cloud? The typical answer is, “Partially” – though to sound confident if you are explaining the relative value of elasticity to a team of executives, the term “Kinda/Sorta” is useful, in large font on presentation software in a conference room.

An enterprise style cloud is built for the old standards – such as legacy applications created via Oracle and SAP. This type of cloud (the pre-elasticity model) has the advantages of consolidating servers and further automating an enterprise’s infrastructure. It is based on the assumptions of time-tested applications. The pre-elastic enterprise cloud is composed of expensive hardware and software, much like the men and women in a typical Hollywood film.

This enterprise cloud we know and love is opposed in a sense to elasticity, which is a model based more on the idea of building from scratch for the specific purposes of a particular enterprise. Think of one-size-fits-all clothing: elasticity allows everyone to fit into the same pair of one-size-fits-all pants, yet the pants customize themselves to you and your wife’s body completely differently, even if you are wearing the pants at the same time.

Elasticity is a principle that has been mastered by companies such as Facebook (for its own purposes) and Amazon Web Services (for public use of a similarly malleable system). Though elasticity is a great buzzword and sounds like a lot of fun, it has its limits. Generally speaking, enterprises will find that they want two different clouds – one to support the old applications, and one to stretch like one-size-fits-all pants and freak out the neighbors.

Elastic and Enterprise Clouds

Enterprise Clouds

Enterprise clouds, as we have come to know them, were an easy transition for enterprises. The hardware and software involved did not represent a huge leap. However, an enterprise cloud can be on average five times as expensive as an elastic cloud: think tailored slacks versus T.J. Maxx one-size-fits-all pants (they have a full rack, I just checked). The major advantage here is not having to make a significant adjustment in applications and the considerations, costs and training associated with transitioning to a different and more flexible model.

Elastic Clouds

Elastic clouds are compatible with new or custom applications. An example would be a web app designed for scalability based on quickly growing consumer interest. Another example would be any application that is unsophisticated enough not to require the complex capabilities and high costs that come with an enterprise cloud. An elastic cloud can be created via free or relatively inexpensive software and hardware, and the automation is prevalent enough that this type of cloud isn’t expensive either to test or for continued use. The same goes for the T.J. Maxx Dune Buggy, a limited-edition and completely unsafe vehicle which you can buy online and build yourself from the comfort of your own garage.

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As you can see, elasticity is not completely at odds with the needs of an enterprise. It should not be implemented on its own; however, it should also not be ignored. The elastic model is worthy of exploration and testing by enterprises. Just don’t expect it to be something that makes sense for the entire infrastructure. Same thing applies for one-size-fits-all pants: only wear them with another person to extremely casual business gatherings, such as performance reviews.

If you thought this post was interesting, please read about The Cloud Security Alliance.



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Sources:

1 http://cloud-computing.tmcnet.com/columns/articles/312157-enterprise-virtualization-clouds-vs-elastic-infrastructure-clouds.htm?subscribed=true

2 http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/defining-elasticity-in-the-cloud.html

3. ttp://www.cloudscaling.com/blog/cloud-computing/elastic-infrastructure-down-from-the-clouds/

by Kent Roberts and Richard Norwood