Just last week, the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) held their 15th annual Technology Leadership Awards. At the event, Sonian was announced as a finalist in the "Big Data" category for the Innovative Technology of the Year for its "Sonian Archive service." Other companies accompanying Sonian in this category are Entagen, Hadapt, Kyruus, and Paradigm4.
Sonian is very pleased to be a finalist in the "Big Data" category as we encounter big data everyday. Using Sonian's cloud-powered archiving system, we are ingesting and indexing over 15 million objects everyday. In today's day in age, data is everywhere. In fact, enterprise data is growing at such a fast rate that it's almost impossible to maintain it all, which is why the cloud is becoming an extremely important platform in which you can use to solve those enterprise storage needs.
But "Big Data" isn't the only Innovative Technology of the Year to be recognized - there are 7 others technologies in this category as well. Other awards include Consumer Product of the Year, Start-up to Watch, CEO of the Year, etc. With 15 categories in total, Sonian would like to congratulate all of the other finalists as well.
The winners of the Mass TLC Technology Awards will be announced on September 13th at the Awards Gala in the Boston Renaissance Waterfront Hotel. To attend and register for the event, please visit www.masstlcawards.org.
Everybody’s doing it. Companies of all industries and sizes have begun to rapidly adopt the cloud. Regardless if you are an SMB or enterprise business, the cloud is quickly taking the place of on-premise servers and backup solutions. With a cloud solution, businesses can better solve storage management issues, comply with eDiscovery requests in a timely manner and pay a fraction of the cost they were previously paying for archiving.
Not only is cloud adoption apparent in the U.S., but the cloud is growing in the global market as well. In a recent CRN article, 47 percent of organizations in India were on board with the cloud and 58 percent are considering the move. 41 percent of U.S. businesses said they had a presence in the cloud through an outsourced cloud provider, while 52 percent are planning to move resources to the cloud within the next three years.
So why is the cloud gaining so much traction? Take a look at these key drivers and you’ll see why you should be archiving in the cloud.
1. Storage Management – the cloud is infinitely scalable, allowing users to store an unlimited amount of data forever. For instance, in the Sonian Archive, every email sent and received is stored, accessible and searchable forever.
2. Rapid Deployment – no hardware or software is required in the cloud – allowing you to begin archiving almost instantly! For example, the Sonian Archive can have you up and running and actively journaling within a matter of minutes.
3. Zero Maintenance – forget about maintenance fees or taking more time from your IT department. When corporate data is stored in the cloud, there’s no need to maintain backup tapes or fix servers.
4. Powerful Search – using a web-based interface, the Admin or user can very quickly and easily search across their entire archive. As a result, more time can now be spent on business intelligence rather than searching through old files on backup tapes or in a server.
5. Compliance – regardless of the industry, most companies have regulations to meet. The cloud streamlines this process with a complete compliance and eDiscovery feature set. Without these features, a company could fail to meet a request, resulting a very costly fine.
For more information on the cloud and an example of a cloud-powered archiving solution, visit www.sonian.com.
In response to Forbes’ “Some Pain, But Plenty to Gain, from Cloud Deployments: Survey” article.
“No pain, major gain” is the more likely phrase to be used when discussing cloud deployments. Forbes’ cites a Cisco survey in which 1,300 IT managers were asked what they thought about the cloud. Topics included the challenge of cloud deployment, security in the cloud, and cloud migration. The overall census seemed to be that the cloud is rather difficult to deploy, time-consuming and so challenging that some “would rather get a root canal…”
However, we have the answer. All of the challenges listed above can be eliminated with Sonian’s cloud-powered archiving service. The survey said 31% of the surveyed managers said it would take a shorter amount of time for them to train for a marathon than to migrate their data to the cloud. What if we told you that by using the Sonian service, you could have your entire company’s information (emails, files, attachments, etc.) deployed to the cloud and up and running within a matter of minutes. Yes, minutes. The Sonian Archive is maintenance free, which means there is no hardware or software to install. Trust us, it’s that easy.
The article also stated that once corporate data is in the cloud, 72% do not trust the information with their cloud service. But would you trust the cloud provider if they were backed by 11 9’s of data resiliency? Or how about if every stored email and file was AES-256 bit encrypted and guaranteed 99.99% SLA? Sonian provides the highest level of security to ensure customer data protection at all levels. Each piece of data is archived to the cloud where it is searchable, accessible and secure forever. This data is then immediately replicated to eight data centers to guarantee no co-mingling of customer data.
It’s no wonder more companies are moving to the cloud, it’s cost effective, infinitely scalable to fit the needs of your never ending pile of corporate data, and it’s a secure platform...need we say much more?
For more information on the Sonian solution, check out our website or visit our partner page and discover the benefits of partnering with a cloud service.
Sonian Cloud Search and Amazon Cloud Search. Their names may sound the same, but they could not be further apart in terms of how much they cost to operate and their intended use cases.
Sonian is a veteran Cloud Search pioneer. In 2008 we launched the first version of search in the cloud, and today the service operates simultaneously across multiple public clouds using a single reference architecture.
Over the past four years we have perfected cloud search scaling and cost efficiencies. It’s been a steep learning curve, but well worth the effort. Today there are over seven billion documents indexed, with 15 million new documents added each day. Daily index and retrieval volumes are rising as new customers sign-up for the service.
The secret to Sonian Cloud Search mastery is a combination of open source and IP developed in-house, and detailed metrics to show us information on cost and performance. Every few months improvements are deployed to lower costs and increase reliability. We’ve reduced per-document unit costs to fractions of a cent.
Amazon’s new Cloud Search service is a natural evolution for the cloud computing leader. As more data streams into Amazon S3, there was a need for a web service to make that information searchable. AWS Cloud Search is available in beta now and is designed for developers that need a full text index for data typically stored in a relational database. This means data sets in the megabyte to low gigabyte size, and indexes that are more temporal than persistent. AWS prices this web service at the higher-end of the price spectrum because index files are stored in memory on cluster compute instances using SSD storage. This is Amazon’s more expensive cloud compute infrastructure, and thus AWS Cloud Search pricing reflects the cost of the underlying infrastructure required to support the service.
AWS Cloud Search in it’s current form is not intended to index terabyte or petabyte document archive workloads. This service would not be cost effective for an email archive SaaS product.
On the other end of the spectrum, Sonian Cloud Search is designed for long term index storage with low operating costs, while not sacrificing search retrieval. This is a different use case than what AWS built their new service for.
A typical Sonian customer workload is 100 million documents with 6 Tb of index storage. Internal costs to support this data volume is $1,300 a month. The comparable cost to index the same amount of data with AWS Cloud Search would be $14,000 a month. This is not a ding against AWS Cloud Search, but rather an example of a PaaS service being used for the wrong intended purpose.
Cloud success requires variations of the same theme. There is plenty of variety in compute and storage. Luckily, now we have search technology choices that allow us to pick the best tool to solve the problem at hand.
</cloud swagger on/>
This is a true story.
This is not a "Tortoise versus the Hare" parable. In that classic life lesson, the tortoise's "slow and steady" wins the race. In our retelling, the cloud, as the hare, wins the race. Not because it's "slow and steady" but rather quicker and more nimble. Enterprise companies want quick, nimble and less expensive.
So here’s the story as re-told to me (and verified for accuracy):
An email archiving prospect contacts our sales group seeking a quote for our cloud-powered SaaS email archiving service.
A sales engineer helps the prospect over the phone to assist the initial configuration for a free-trial proof of concept. Within 23 minutes the customer is searching, viewing and exporting their archived email.
But this true story gets even better. The [amazed] prospect contacts another email archiving vendor, a vendor that only sells installed software, and asks their sales engineer how long it would take to get a free-trial proof of concept up and running. Images of a stopwatch ticking down as a watermark to the conversation. The answer is a few weeks. Not 23 minutes, not even 23 hours, and maybe if the on-premise’s email archive vendor is lucky, less than 23 days.
The things is, the cloud-powered SaaS implementation has nearly the same feature set, costs 66% less than on-premises, and is the embodiment of simple sophistication.
Ohh.... and one more thing. There is a happy ending. The prospect is now a Sonian customer.
</cloud swagger off/>
In the past I have written about the secret to successful cloud deployments and how to architect for the cloud. Being successful requires a "designed-for-the-cloud" architecture, best operational practices and DevOps on steroids.A couple weeks ago Amazon notified a majority of their customers about an upcoming event that us early-to-the-cloud pioneers hadn't seen before; a forced reboot of the host operating system. On a massive scale. For Sonian, 72% of our currently running EC2 instances will need to be restarted before Amazon's deadline. There is no reprieve. There is no deferment. Welcome to Infrastructure as a Service!Our AWS business development contact gave us an early heads-up, and Twitter lit up when the first email notices started to arrive for the US-West region. Something big was afoot. And a lot of groans from the EC2 user community. First let me state flat out that Amazon did a pretty good job getting the word out and provided several methods to know which EC2 instances would need to be restarted. An email was sent with the list, the EC2 Management Console displays the information, and the EC2 API 'Ec2-describe-instancestatus' field has the information. Fortunately Joe Kinsella, Sonian's VP Engineering (@joekinsella,) enhanced our Cloud Control Viewer and provided a report showing the exact instances and their reboot schedule.
Of the various reboot types, the most invasive is the one that moves the virtual host to new hardware. That will force a change in IP address and ephemeral storage is lost. This activity will certainly shake out any bugs in automated deployments, hard-coded settings, and sloppy shortcuts. We had to scramble in order to assess the impact. All we learned from the email notice was that a portion of our EC2 instances would need to be restarted. Actually there were two types of restarts. An operating system reboot, which would preserve the non-persistent ephemeral storage, and a more invasive full instance restart (meaning the hardware under the hypervisor would power-cycle) which would not preserve the ephemeral storage.One of the major mistakes cloud customers can make is to get complacent and treat the cloud like traditional co-located hosting. The cloud has different operating characteristics, what one could call the "cloud laws of physics," and this forced restart is a good example of this principle in action. It's also a wake-up call to not get lazy. A large-scale forced restart is like an earthquake drill. Practice makes perfect, and if this were an actual un-scheduled emergency, then we would be scrambling. Despite the headache, this event has some positive spins. First, it's encouraging there is an "EC2 fleet upgrade," which means newer underlying hardware. Perhaps faster NIC cards in the hosts. But for the companies like Sonian that started in the cloud circa 2007, some of our original instances that have been running for more than a year needed a "freshening." This event reminds us there is a “hardware” center to every amorphous cloud. Amazon just does a great job to allow us to not have to think about that too often, except for times like these. A stale part of the cloud gets a refresh. The second "benefit" is the forced fire drill. I know, there's never a good time for a fire drill. But this type of event has similar qualities to an unexpected outage. There is some luxury to pre-planning, but the shake-out will be the same. Something will be discovered in your architecture or deployment practices that will get improved by this reboot activity. Clusters may be too hard-coded. Config settings may be to restrictive. Reboot scripts may not work as you think. Sonian survives unscathed due to our maniacal focus on 100% automated deployments, 100% commitment to "infrastructure as code," and an investment in cloud control tools that allowed us to triage the situation and develop an action plan relatively quickly. We also employ the best darn DevOps team the cloud has seen.
SaaS beget Web 2.0, which quickly spawned Enterprise 2.0, which in turn paved the way for enterprise cloud computing adoption.“Enterprise software,” to some, sends shivers up the spine. The phrase conjures images of year-long sales cycles, complicated installations, and more hassles for IT departments. Many enterprise software projects are consumed by delays and miss their objectives. CxO types scratch their heads and look for a better way to spend their IT budget dollars. Cloud-powered enterprise software, in the form of SaaS, is defining a new form of “enterprise software” that takes a few plays from the consumer web playbook, but packaged and supported for a business audience. SaaS and the cloud are now married. The cloud got its start by initially supporting consumer web apps that managed our photos and our social networks. As 2012 approaches, the cloud is now playing a larger role supporting enterprise web apps. But each type of audience, business and consumer, needs very different company structures to support their respective needs. Enterprise audiences expect to pay for a service and in return, receive a level of customer support attention in the form of “around-the-clock” hand-holding...basically, having a real person to answer their inbound telephone plea for help. When a business has a problem, they expect their IT vendors (cloud or non-cloud) to step up and fix the problem ASAP. Consumer audiences, on the other hand, have been conditioned to expect a lesser support experience from their cloud app vendors. This is because most consumer cloud apps use a “freemium” monetization scheme to generate revenue. A consumer cloud app vendor can’t afford to staff a support organization based on the revenues of a freemium stream. Support is typically email only and there are no published phone numbers to call in an emergency.There has been much written in the technology industry pundit blogs about the “consumerization of IT.” The theme of these posts is that enterprises will eventually buy all their IT needs from companies that started in the consumer space. But consumer companies are ill-equipped to service the needs of a business. If I were a consumer and couldn't get to my photo sharing site for a few hours a year, no big deal. But if were a business executive and couldn't get to my online documents for a few hours out of the year, that’s a disruption to normal operating procedures that many will not tolerate. There is an axiom within our industry - that it’s easier for a technology company to sell to a consumer, perfect that consumer offering, and then transition to selling to an upgraded version to an enterprise audience. This is in comparison to an enterprise focused company trying to move to a consumer audience. It’s a panacea to think movement in either direction is easy, or should even be attempted in the first place. The negative attitudes of the past toward “enterprise software” are being turnned to positives by a new class of enterprise software cloud vendors. Sonian is an example of a new wave of enterprise cloud vendors that are changing the rules for the next decade of cloud penetration into enterprise IT. We’re focused on a “business class” audience, and catering to the needs of a demanding customer base that pay for a service and get superior value for their IT budget dollars. The 5 Pillars of the New Era in Enterprise Cloud Software1. Cloud Applications Designed for the CloudBeware of existing SaaS apps that suddenly re-appear with a “cloud theme.” Unless the software was written in the last few years to specifically work in a cloud environment, then the vendor is purporting a scam.The cloud needs “cloud orientated architectures” to simultaneously be cost efficient and reliable. The two goals go hand in hand. Striving for cost efficiencies does not mean sacrificing reliability.Ask your cloud app vendor how they “game the cloud” to lower their costs, and pass the savings to you.2. Easy to Buy, Easy to UseTrue cloud-powered SaaS applications should be easy to buy and have simple price structures. This means “pay as you go” with minimal up-front costs and a price list that a five year old could understand. 3. A Real Support Person to Answer Your QuestionsEnterprise-class cloud applications need to be supported by a professional technical support organization that goes beyond basic email-only assistance. What may work for the consumer cloud will not work for the enterprise cloud. 4. Better Data Security than your On-Premises Data CenterData security means protect privacy and ensure resiliency. The enterprise cloud can offer more data security than 99% of the on-premises data centers owned and managed by small to medium-sized enterprises. Cloud data centers are SAS-70 and ISO27001 certified.
Cloud application vendors can use strong encryption to guarantee privacy, and at the same time, take advantage of cloud storage replication to deliver “eleven-nines” SLA of data integrity.
5. Accelerating Innovation
We’re witnessing something truly remarkable in terms of enterprise IT. The cloud is allowing application vendors to increase their innovation cadence and deliver new features faster than ever. Gone are the old installed software days of 24-month release cycles. Gone are the old SaaS days of quarterly updates. With the enterprise cloud, we are now seeing new functions released every few weeks. This means the cloud vendors can listen to their customer audiences and turn the feedback into new features in time-frames that were not possible to meet prior to the advent of the enterprise cloud.
Sonian is at the leading edge of technology and customer engagement for the new “business class” cloud.
A recent article from The Next Web (TNW) discusses the benefits from Amazon's S3 service internal usage. Sonian was mentioned as one of the heaviest users, contributing to the immense growth in Amazon's cloud scale - S3 now stores 566 billion objects!
Amazon's engineers capitalize on big data and big problems, which paves the road for the S3 service that now has the ability to store hundreds of billions of objects. Utilizing this service of Amazon's, Sonian currently has 2.4 billion objects under management. Now, as a "Big Data" company, Sonian only plans to increase this number, and given its help from S3 it can be done.
The S3 service allows the Sonian Archive to expand its bandwith, maximize its storage benefits and provide an increasingly secure environment for its users.
To read this article, click here: "Amazon Announces 566 billion objects stored on S3 Service"
Beginning tomorrow, October 18th, Sonian will be participating in AWS's Gov Cloud event. As a gold sponsor, Sonian will also have a spot on the executive panel taking place in the afternoon. Greg Arnette, Sonian's CTO and Founder, will be speaking during this executive breakout session on the Technology Partner Panel.
Given Sonian's close partnership with AWS, Sonian is looking forward to sponsoring this event. We look to help promote the cloud computing platform AWS provides federal agencies with that can help meet the government's challenges in IT and related services.
The goal of the summit is to provide the most efficient cloud computing information you need to create a successful cloud service solving all of your business needs. Presenters include GSA CIO, Casey Coleman and Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon.com. How-to sessions will be provided, displaying the product and platform features. There will also be breakout sessions designed specifically for technical audiences and managers/executives at the event.
Attendees will hear first-hand from federal agencies of how they successfully migrated to the cloud. They will also learn how to launch applications in the cloud and the services AWS provides that could help future agencies adopt cloud applications.
Sonian will be there to help educate and inform attendees the importance of cloud computing for government agencies. If you are attending please feel free to stop by our booth and ask us any questions! See you there!
For this entire week, Sonian is one of the premiere sponsors for this week's OpenStack Essex Design Summit and Conference being held in Boston at the Intercontinental.
The 5 day event (October 3 - October 7) is targeted at the OpenStack community, including developers, architects, system administrators, users, among many others to come together and share/learn about OpenStack and how it works and why it matters.
As the pioneer in cloud-powered archiving and search, Sonian can archive and make any electronic document searchable, regardless of its format. Whether its a PST, RAW, TEXT, or PDF, you can import and export every format in the Sonian Archive.
Since Sonian was built from the ground up, we can leverage cloud computing and its capabilities to the fullest extent, much like OpenStack is being created to produce a ubiquitous open source cloud computing platform.
In support for cloud computing technologies and the industry itself, Sonian will be sponsoring this OpenStack Conference. If you are attending, you can find our table right at the entrance, near the registration booth. We will also be hosting a cocktail hour on Thursday night and Sonian's CTO, Greg Arnette, will be speaking on the OpenStack Storage Panel on Friday.
Hope to see you there!