Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Scott Allen, Scott Sobhani

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Article

GreenButton Uses Multiple Clouds for Big Compute

The company is targeting financial services, media and entertainment, aerospace, oil and gas, and biotech

The inspiration for GreenButton was the devilishly complicated battle scene in the 2003 movie "The Lord of the Rings" that its founder Scott Houston pulled together in two weeks for director Peter Jackson against all odds. It was accomplished in record time with thousands of servers and little sleep.

Fade to today. The GreenButton start-up claims its newfangled Cloud Fabric is the first server solution to let users - both the enterprise and service providers - deploy, manage and run compute-intensive applications in either private or public clouds or, for that matter, in multiple multi-tenant clouds.

It's talking about what it calls "Big Compute," basically deploying as much supplementary processing power as the cloud can provide. Thousands of cores spun up in 20-30 minutes at a fraction of the usual cost.

An SGI and Compaq veteran, Houston says, "Cloud computing has been focused on running general-type applications with low memory and CPU requirements. We believe the future of cloud computing is to bring the applications that most people have said ‘will never run in the cloud' to the cloud."

He claims to be seeing exceptional growth and adoption of his widgetry among High Performance Computing and technical computing users looking for a highly scalable, robust, cost-effective solution.

The company is targeting financial services, media and entertainment, aerospace, oil and gas, and biotech. It has partnerships with Pixar, SAP and some ISVs.

Enterprises are meant to run Cloud Fabric to manage workloads in their private clouds and then burst to public clouds when needed.

Only approved jobs are sent to the public cloud and only when on-premise capacity is exhausted. The job is matched to the cloud with the right SLA and price. The architecture is designed so the cloud handles failures and transient error conditions. Porting between clouds is supposed to be easy.

Apparently any application that can scale across multiple nodes can make use of GreenButton including highly parallel workloads, Big Data analysis and Message Passing Interface (MPI) applications.

The company says it's currently running rendering, animation, simulation, bioinformatics, audio/video indexing and captioning, geological analysis and Monte Carlo computations.

This Cloud Fabric stuff is also supposed to let service providers integrate and sell the solution to their ISV and enterprise customers.

They can run the platform on their own cloud infrastructure or on a public platform like Amazon, Windows Azure, VMware vCloud or Dell Cloud Services. OpenStack support is in the works. GreenButton was named Microsoft's Global Cloud Partner last year.

According to Dell cloud evangelist Stephen Spector, "GreenButton has earned the reputation as the best provider of HPC and on-demand computing solutions in the business. With Cloud Fabric, we are able to differentiate our cloud offering and drive utilization, giving our customers a proven Software-as-a-Service solution to help them get the most out of the cloud with the least amount of effort. Cutting time-to-market at a fraction of the cost is invaluable to all."

The company also offers a hosted managed service where it runs GreenButton in one or more public clouds for ISVs that don't have their own infrastructure but want to market a cloud-based service that their customers can take advantage of with the push of a button.

The New Zealand cloudbursting start-up is hawking a centralized multi-cloud management toolkit and SDK called GreenButton Mission Control.

It includes a development emulator to enable workloads and commercial features around billing, reporting and chargeback for granular visibility into cloud use and costs. The emulator is used to test and verify application integration prior to cloud deployment.

It also includes data synchronization tools for the cloud called GreenButton CloudSync, a seamless way to migrate data iteratively into the cloud as well as define custom data extraction for integration with other data sources that can automatically synchronize nominated files with the cloud. (Got that?)

Files can be as big as can be sensibly uploaded and downloaded to and from the cloud over the Internet. If they're so big that it's impractical to send them over the Internet, a physical disk can be shipped to the cloud provider to be uploaded or downloaded directly.

Only owners of the files uploaded to GreenButton can access them or the results of their job. After a job runs, GreenButton wipes the data from that compute node before it's allowed to process another job. All communication with GreenButton is secured using SSL so files and jobs can't be intercepted on the wire.

GreenButton services are exposed to clients via Web Services accessible from Windows, Mac OS X and Linux desktops and, in the rare case mobile devices complements of an integrated green button. Ditto desktop applications like Numerix and Deep Exploration. A green button can also be plugged into Office apps.

The GreenButton Q&A says its platform tracks the number of milliseconds that end customers use a third-party application and charges this aggregated time to the user's GreenButton account. It's an hourly rate and includes the compute and storage costs, GreenButton's management fee, and the software license.

Usage reports can be downloaded from Mission Control, with information about usage at the organizational, departmental and individual level. It provides this data as CSV files so they can be imported into Excel or some other financial tool and compared against budgeted numbers. Users can also get an itemized bill to drill down into how individual applications and jobs are tracking against budget.

GreenButton prices its platform-agnostic widgetry by asking would-be users how much time they've got and what they've willing to pay. Figure a company will pay $75,000 along with a $7,500 fee for each app. The integration work should probably take no more than a couple of weeks.

The company is working on angel investments and a $4 million A/B round from a couple of New Zealand VCs. It has offices in Seattle and San Jose along with East Coast ambitions and an unidentified telco account in Europe.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
The U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) has awarded BAE Systems a five-year contract worth as much as $75 million to provide enhanced geospatial intelligence technical and analytical support. The award was issued under the INSCOM Global Intelligence indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Predictive analytics tools monitor, report, and troubleshoot in order to make proactive decisions about the health, performance, and utilization of storage. Most enterprises combine cloud and on-premise storage, resulting in blended environments of physical, virtual, cloud, and other platforms, which justifies more sophisticated storage analytics. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Peter McCallum, Vice President of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor, discussed using predictive analytics to mon...
Dialogic has announced that ZVRS chose Dialogic® PowerMedia™ XMS software media server as part of its latest video relay and translation service offering. ZVRS uses Dialogic’s PowerMedia XMS technology to provide a robust solution that supports a broad range of legacy devices and any-to-any video capabilities with its flagship Z70 videophone. ZVRS selected Dialogic’s solution to facilitate a release of Z70 that met its stringent requirements for legacy device support (H.263 and H.264) with high...
"SpeedyCloud's specialty lies in providing cloud services - we provide IaaS for Internet and enterprises companies," explained Hao Yu, CEO and co-founder of SpeedyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
"Avere Systems is a hybrid cloud solution provider. We have customers that want to use cloud storage and we have customers that want to take advantage of cloud compute," explained Rebecca Thompson, VP of Marketing at Avere Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discusse...
University of Colorado Athletics has selected FORTRUST, Colorado’s only Tier III Gold certified data center, as their official data center and colocation services provider, FORTRUST announced today. A nationally recognized and prominent collegiate athletics program, CU provides a high quality and comprehensive student-athlete experience. The program sponsors 17 varsity teams and in their history, the Colorado Buffaloes have collected an impressive 28 national championships. Maintaining uptime...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, a Developer Advocate with IBM Cloud Data Services, discussed...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
The pace of innovation, vendor lock-in, production sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and managing risk… In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dan Choquette, Founder of RackN, discussed how CIOs are challenged finding the balance of finding the right tools, technology and operational model that serves the business the best. He also discussed how clouds, open source software and infrastructure solutions have benefits but also drawbacks and how workload and operational portability between vendors ...
The initial debate is over: Any enterprise with a serious commitment to IT is migrating to the cloud. But things are not so simple. There is a complex mix of on-premises, colocated, and public-cloud deployments. In this power panel at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Partnerships at Commvault; Dave Landa, Chief Operating Officer at kintone; William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interou...