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Amazon big data warehousing service Redshift signals market readiness

In this week-in-review podcast, editors discuss what Redshift, Amazon's new data warehousing service, means for the market.

Amazon Web Services made a splash at its inaugural user and partner conference, AWS re:Invent, with the launch of its cloud data warehousing service, Redshift. Experts say Amazon's latest move signals two things about the market: It's ready for big data analytics in the cloud, and providers are finally moving the conversation beyond mere hardware replacement and onto higher-level, more lucrative cloud services.

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Tune in as site editor Jessica Scarpati and news writer Gina Narcisi discuss this and more in this week-in-review podcast for the week of Dec. 10, 2012:

Find out what market segment Amazon is really targeting with AWS Redshift.

  • Cisco Systems' decision to acquire Cloupia, a cloud management and orchestration software vendor, is the latest of several big cloud moves the networking giant has made recently. What is Cisco hoping to achieve with Cloupia's technology?
  • Learn about how customers' noncommittal usage patterns in the cloud could spell trouble for providers, as well as how cloud providers can avoid churn.
  • Do you have what it takes to write for If you've got something to say, check out the details in our blog.

The following is a transcript of the podcast.

Jessica Scarpati: You're listening to Cloud Cast Weekly, a podcast by I'm Jessica Scarpati, Site Editor of, and with me in the podcast studio is our always wonderful, fabulous, vivacious news writer, Gina Narcisi.

Gina Narcisi: Thanks for having me as usual, Jessica.

Scarpati: So, as always, we're here to give you a quick wrap-up of everything that's new on the site this week. Since we were off last week, Gina's going to go over this week's news and briefly catch us up on what we missed.

Narcisi: Yeah, definitely. So this week, I took news from the Amazon Conference, the first-ever partner and user conference they had in Las Vegas last week. And so the news was around their announcement of Red Shift which is their new offering for big data analytics, cloud-based, of course. And so this offering kind of will possibly shake things up for the cloud market, a lot of analysts believe, because it sort of instead of taking an application that people already do on-premises and they have to sort of be persuaded to use the cloud, this is something that, especially smaller companies, weren't able to even do in a lot of cases. They just had to get rid of this big data. They couldn't store it. It was too expensive. They couldn't really manage it or go through it, so they just had to kind of scrap it entirely.

So this is a new offering. It's pay-as-you-go. So it's really ideal for, especially a smaller company. However, despite it being really attractive to SMBs, also larger companies, this is something they definitely could be looking to as well just because, of course, it takes some storage costs off their hands and, in the cloud, they might be able to manage it better. And just in general, I talked to a few analysts about cloud-based data warehousing services and these are getting a lot of interest, and it's only going to grow as sort of this idea of business intelligence and big data people, you know, want to use it more. They want to get more from it, and the cloud might be the way to go.

Scarpati: So earlier this year there was a show in New York, Cloud Expo, and big data kind of came up a lot there, and I remember talking to a few providers. And they were saying that like, yeah, they're starting to see some interest and it's mostly in the SMB market, but something that I thought was interesting here is that they were saying that it was kind of like an emerging demand. It wasn't like a big thing.

Narcisi: Right.

Scarpati: Now that Amazon is coming out to market with this, it makes me wonder if it's sort of going to heat up the market a little bit.

Narcisi: Yeah, it definitely sounds that way. I also talked to a startup, a data warehousing Software as a Service-based startup, called BitYota. And they actually did believe that because Amazon was bringing it to market it was going to really sort of help a lot of people in this market gain more customers because, you know, when Amazon endorses something, it's kind of a big deal. So, yeah, they've definitely think that data warehousing as a service is actually a really good opportunity for cloud providers right now potentially.

Scarpati: Yeah, because everyone has this love-hate relationship of Amazon.

Narcisi: Right.

Scarpati: Everyone loves to hate it, particularly. But, yeah, I mean, like you said, when they endorse something, then the rest of the market is going to pay attention.

Narcisi: Right, definitely. And, you know, some providers like Surety have different forms of it that maybe aren't as popular right now, and maybe they'll even grow. IBM and Oracle and there are a couple of other larger players in the space, but I think we also might see a lot of startups emerging as well.

Scarpati: Okay, great. So the other thing that we were going to talk about was Cisco's big acquisition -- or the latest, one of many.

Narcisi: Right. Yeah, moving from one giant to the next, Cisco came out with some news about acquiring Cloud PO. You know, they've made a lot of cloud and sort of networking-related acquisitions lately, so this was one of the few. This one, in particular, had a lot to do with cloud automation, though, and cloud orchestration. And so with this it's just more networking pieces added to the cloud, so it could potentially help get enterprise customers onboard if they see Cisco sort of making these efforts with the networking pieces.

Scarpati: All right, Gina. Thank you as always.

Scarpisi: Thanks, Jessica.

Scarpati: Commitment is a scary word for a lot of people. It can mean shelling out 300 bucks, and then getting stuck with a glitchy Smartphone until your contract renewal comes up. Or it can mean having to run to the drugstore at 10 p.m. because your significant other used the last of the toothpaste, not that we're speaking from experience or anything.

But commitment phobia also permeates the cloud market. As enterprises aren't quite ready to interest workloads of cloud market providers for the long-term, so they do what most people with commitment issues do: They play the field. They try a few different cloud providers, go on one or two dates, and if something goes awry then they can call it off without too much collateral damage. But these so-called "cloud dabblers" pose a risk to providers.

In a two-part tip from Frost & Sullivan's Linda Stadtmueller, you can find out what makes these dabblers so dangerous to a provider's bottom line. For instance, a customer that isn't fully committed to the cloud may not see the efficiencies or cost savings he had heard so much about, which winds up maybe souring him on the provider or the cloud as a whole. So check out Linda's articles to learn the full scope of the problem as well as some solutions.

So you abandoned your dream of becoming the next William Faulkner or Virginia Woolf, but don't despair because we can help. Although we're not accepting fiction, we have put out the call for articles from cloud providers. We're looking for subject matter experts to write a few hundred words about the technical and business issues providers face. Sadly, this opportunity is not open to our hardware and software vendor friends. But if you're working for a cloud provider and you're feeling up to the challenge, all the details are on our blog, Cloud Provider Commentary. And that is all that we have for this week. Be sure to check out all the articles we talked and more at Thanks for listening.

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