Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Mamoon Yunus, Pat Romanski, Harry Trott, Elizabeth White, Leon Adato

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
The goal of Continuous Testing is to shift testing left to find defects earlier and release software faster. This can be achieved by integrating a set of open source functional and performance testing tools in the early stages of your software delivery lifecycle. There is one process that binds all application delivery stages together into one well-orchestrated machine: Continuous Testing. Continuous Testing is the conveyer belt between the Software Factory and production stages. Artifacts are m...
Cloud resources, although available in abundance, are inherently volatile. For transactional computing, like ERP and most enterprise software, this is a challenge as transactional integrity and data fidelity is paramount – making it a challenge to create cloud native applications while relying on RDBMS. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Claus Jepsen, Chief Architect and Head of Innovation Labs at Unit4, will explore that in order to create distributed and scalable solutions ensuring high availa...
Cloud adoption is often driven by a desire to increase efficiency, boost agility and save money. All too often, however, the reality involves unpredictable cost spikes and lack of oversight due to resource limitations. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Joe Kinsella, CTO and Founder of CloudHealth Technologies, tackled the question: “How do you build a fully optimized cloud?” He will examine: Why TCO is critical to achieving cloud success – and why attendees should be thinking holistically abo...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. Jack Norris reviews best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-first...
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.
"We're here to tell the world about our cloud-scale infrastructure that we have at Juniper combined with the world-class security that we put into the cloud," explained Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering at Juniper Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Historically, some banking activities such as trading have been relying heavily on analytics and cutting edge algorithmic tools. The coming of age of powerful data analytics solutions combined with the development of intelligent algorithms have created new opportunities for financial institutions. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sebastien Meunier, Head of Digital for North America at Chappuis Halder & Co., discussed how these tools can be leveraged to develop a lasting competitive advantage ...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, will provide a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to ...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, presented an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He then expounded on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
FinTechs use the cloud to operate at the speed and scale of digital financial activity, but are often hindered by the complexity of managing security and compliance in the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sesh Murthy, co-founder and CTO of Cloud Raxak, showed how proactive and automated cloud security enables FinTechs to leverage the cloud to achieve their business goals. Through business-driven cloud security, FinTechs can speed time-to-market, diminish risk and costs, maintain continu...
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...