Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Craig Panigiris, Bob Gourley, Skytap Blog, Aria Blog

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Web 2.0

Cloud Expo: Article

Who Has the Industry Lead in Cloud Computing?

Amazon, Google, Microsoft Are All Pumping Cloud Computing Steroids

Stephen E. Arnold's Blog

Google has shifted from solving problems in distributed, massively parallel computing to developing next-generation cloud-centric applications. Google can, with the deployment of software, deliver global services that other companies cannot match in terms of speed of deployment, operation, and enhancement.


Cloud computing has become commonplace. Amazon has pumped steroids into the Amazon Web Services product line. Microsoft executives have been providing forecasts of a bold new service offering. Other vendors blasting off from mother earth to loftier realms include IBM, Intel, Rackspace, and other big name firms.

One of the most interesting documents I have read in months is a forthcoming technical paper from Microsoft’s Albert Greenberg, Paranta Lahiri, David Maltz, Parveen Patel, and Sudipta Sengupta. The paper is available from the ACM as document 978-1-60558-181-1/08/08. I have a hard copy in my hand, and I can’t locate a valid link to an online version. The ACM or a for fee database may help you get this document. In a nutshell, “Towards a Next Generation Data Center Architecture: Scalability and Commoditization” explains some of the technical innovations Microsoft is implementing to handle cloud-based, high-demand, high-availability applications. Some of the information in the paper surprised me. The innovations provide a good indication of the problems Microsoft faced in its older, pre-2008 data centers. It was clear to me that Microsoft is making progress, and some of the methods echo actions Google took as long ago as 1998.

What put the Amazon and Microsoft cloud innovations into sharp relief for me was US2008/0262828 “Encoding and Adaptive Scalable Accessing of Distributed Models.” You can download a copy of this document from the easy-to-use USPTO system. Start here to obtain the full text and diagrams for this patent application. Keep in mind that a patent application does not mean that Google has or will implement the systems and methods disclosed. What the patent application provides is a peep hole through which we can look at some of the thinking that Google is doing with regard to a particular technical issue. The peep hole may be small, but what I saw when I read the document and reviewed the drawings last night (October 24, 2008) sparked my thinking.

Before offering my opinion, let’s look at the abstract for this invention, filed in February 2006 in a provisional application. Keep in mind that we are looking in the rear view mirror here, not at where Google might be today. This historical benchmark is significant when you compare what Amazon and Microsoft are doing to deal with the cloud computing revolution that is gaining momentum. Here’s Google’s summary of the invention:

Systems, methods, and apparatus for accessing distributed models in automated machine processing, including using large language models in machine translation, speech recognition and other applications.

In typical Google style, there’s a certain economy to the description of an invention involving such technical luminaries as Jeff Dean and 12 other Googlers. The focus of the invention is on-the-fly machine translation. However, the inventors make it clear that the precepts of this invention can be applied to other applications as well. As you may know, Google has expanded its online translation capability in the last few months. If you have not explored this service, navigate to http://translate.google.com and try out the system.

The claims for this patent document are somewhat more specific. I can’t run through the 91 claims in this patent document. I can highlight one, and I will leave review of the other 90 to you. Claim 5 asserted:

The system of claim 4, wherein: the translation server comprises: a plurality of segment translation servers each operable to communicate with the translation model server, the language model servers and replica servers, each segment translation server operable to translate one segment of the source text into the target language, a translation front end to receive the source text and to divide the source text into a plurality of segments in the source language, and a load balancing module in communication with the translation front end to receive the segments of the source text and operable to distribute the segments to the segments to the segment translation servers for translation based on work load at the segment translation servers, the load balancing module further operable to direct translated segments in the target language from the segment translation servers to the translation front end.

The claim makes reasonably clear the basic nesting architecture of Google’s architecture. What impressed me is that this patent document, like other recent Google applications, makes use of an infrastructure as platform. The computational and input output tasks are simply not an issue. Google pretty clearly feels it has the horsepower to handle ad hoc translation in real time without worrying about how data are shoved around within the system. As a result, higher order applications that were impossible even for certain large government agencies can be made available without much foot dragging. I find this remarkable.

This patent document, if Google is doing what the inventors appear to be saying, is significantly different from the innovations I just mentioned from such competitors as Amazon and Microsoft. Google in my opinion is making it clear that it has a multi-year lead in cloud computing.

The thoughts that I noted as I worked thorough the 38 pages of small print in this patent document were:

  1. Google has shifted from solving problems in distributed, massively parallel computing to developing next-generation cloud-centric applications. Machine translation in real time for a global audience for free means heavy demand. This invention essentially said to me, “No problem.”
  2. Google’s infrastructure will become more capable as Google deploys new CPUs and faster storage devices. Google, therefore, can use its commodity approach to hardware and experience significant performance gains without spending for exotic gizmos or try to hack around bottlenecks such as those identified in the Microsoft paper referenced above.
  3. Google can, with the deployment of software, deliver global services that other companies cannot match in terms of speed of deployment, operation, and enhancement.

I may be wrong and I often am but I think Google is not content with its present lead over its rivals. I think this patent document is an indication that Google can put its foot on the gas pedal at any time and operate in a dimension that other companies cannot. Do you agree? Disagree? Let me learn where I am off base. Your view is important because I am finishing a write up for Infonortics about Google and publishing. Help me think straight. I even invite Cyrus to chime in. The drawings in this patent application are among Google’s best that I have seen.

More Stories By Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold monitors search, content processing, text mining and related topics from his high-tech nerve center in rural Kentucky. He tries to winnow the goose feathers from the giblets. He works with colleages worldwide to make this Web log useful to those who want to go "beyond search". Contact him at sa [at] arnoldit.com. His Web site with additional information about search is arnoldit.com.

Comments (2) View Comments

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.


Most Recent Comments
jeffhardy 11/24/08 11:43:02 AM EST

Cloud Computing Fact and Fiction

In mid-November I participated in a session at PubCon regardint Cloud Computing. My goal was to cut through the hype and buzz talk to articulate the real potential benefits and debunk false claims. I got a lot of feedback. So much so that I wrote a follow up article:
http://www.smartertools.com/blog/archive/2008/11/20/cloud-computing-chal...

It is important that we remember what Cloud Computing is and what it isn't.

Be well,
Jeffrey J. Hardy
http://www.smartertools.com

Jeremy Geelan 10/28/08 04:45:00 AM EDT

Even though Google's maybe the elephant in the cloud, there are at least 49 others competing already in the cloud computing space including not just Amazon and Microsoft but also Akamai, Force.com, IBM, Sun, VMware and a host of others. I had a first shot at a Top Fifty list here: http://cloudcomputing.sys-con.com/node/665165

@CloudExpo Stories
Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5's entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senio...
ScriptRock makes GuardRail, a DevOps-ready platform for configuration monitoring. Realizing we were spending way too much time digging up, cataloguing, and tracking machine configurations, we began writing our own scripts and tools to handle what is normally an enormous chore. Then we took the concept a step further, giving it a beautiful interface and making it simple enough for our bosses to understand. We named it GuardRail after its function - to allow businesses to move fast and stay sa...
SYS-CON Media announced today that Skytap blog on "DevOps Journal" exceeded 84,000 story reads. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Noel Wurst is the managing content editor at Skytap. Skytap provides SaaS-based dev/test environments to the enterprise. Skytap solution removes the inefficiencies and constraints that comp...
SYS-CON Media announced today that Sematext launched a popular blog feed on DevOps Journal with over 6,000 story reads over the weekend. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Sematext is a globally distributed organization that builds innovative Cloud and On Premises solutions for performance monitoring, alerting an...
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudian, Inc., is a Foster City, California - based software company specializing in cloud storage software. The main product is Cloudian, an Amazon S3-compliant cloud object storage platform, the bedrock of cloud computing systems, that enables c...
Leysin American School is an exclusive, private boarding school located in Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin selected an OpenStack-powered, private cloud as a service to manage multiple applications and provide development environments for students across the institution. Seeking to meet rigid data sovereignty and data integrity requirements while offering flexible, on-demand cloud resources to users, Leysin identified OpenStack as the clear choice to round out the school's cloud strategy. Additional...
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
In high-production environments where release cycles are measured in hours or minutes — not days or weeks — there's little room for mistakes and no room for confusion. Everyone has to understand what's happening, in real time, and have the means to do whatever is necessary to keep applications up and running optimally. DevOps is a high-stakes world, but done well, it delivers the agility and performance to significantly impact business competitiveness.
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover ...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are conf...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's

AppZero has announced that its award-winning application migration software is now fully qualified within the Microsoft Azure Certified program. AppZero has undergone extensive technical evaluation with Microsoft Corp., earning its designation as Microsoft Azure Certified. As a result of AppZero's work with Microsoft, customers are able to easily find, purchase and deploy AppZero from the Azure Marketplace. With just a few clicks, users have an Azure-based solution for moving applications to the...