Sponsored by Oregon Business

Cloud power

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2014
Monday, April 28, 2014

Meanwhile, the ranks of new cloud businesses continue to grow. Among the class of 2013 at the Wieden+Kennedy-hosted Portland Incubator Experiment, four of the seven companies — Cloneless, Orchestrate, Smart Mocha and Teak — offer cloud-based services directed at businesses. Other Portland startups in the sector attracting venture capital include Snapflow, which helps companies quickly develop Web and mobile applications, and Nouvola, which offers a testing platform for online businesses. 

Cloud BD2F7775 
 Paola Moretto, co-founder of Nouvola

As the director of software for Intel’s cloud segment, Nouvola co-founder Paola Moretto became inspired by the testing needs of clients like Google and Facebook, with the latter once requesting 16,000 servers to run simulations. “Even at Intel, I don’t have 16,000 servers in my backyard to play with,” she says. Her experience corralling that volume of resources from different data centers led her to create Nouvola with a former University of California-Berkley classmate, who also came to the U.S. from Italy to pursue a career in technology in the mid-1990s.

Their creation, which won $250,000 at the Bend Venture Conference in October, can throw potentially crash-inducing levels of traffic at online businesses as they run tests in advance of real usage spikes. On an overcast Saturday in a Pearl District cafe, Moretto cast her company as a solution to just one of many similar challenges that Portland companies are stepping in to fix.

“There is a lot happening around the cloud,” she says. “Let’s make it bigger. Portland can really become a center of excellence for cloud technologies, and we have to think big.”

Recruiting skilled people, while still difficult, is much easier and more affordable in Oregon than it is in the Bay Area, says Moretto, who joined Kersten and Ellis in noting that Portland offers a desirable lifestyle that also helps entice talent. They say the presence of other cloud-focused companies has boosted the confidence of investors in recent years, while Portland’s reputation for tech collaboration is burnished by playing frequent host to the O’Reilly Open Source Convention.

In recent months, one of the fastest-growing open-source efforts among Portland programmers has formed around a cloud technology called OpenStack. The city hosted a national conference on the technology last year. And since the third quarter of 2013, a group formed by Al Kari around OpenStack has grown to include 120 people and sponsorship from companies like Suse, Puppet Labs and Jama Software. OpenStack is essentially a free operating system for server networks that NASA and Rackspace created in 2010. Since then, it has sparked a worldwide effort to create a common platform for building private and public clouds, freeing customers from the proprietary limitations of Amazon AWS and its competitors.

But for Kari, the project also represents a catalyst for disruptive technological change. The innovation and cost savings attributable to the cloud will only accelerate as service providers race to make remote computing cheaper and more prolific. The upshot for consumers, he says, will eventually be products as intuitive and interconnected as the all-knowing computer on Star Trek.

“Intelligence as a service is our ultimate goal — to actually utilize the technology the way we see in science fiction,” Kari says.

No one can say for sure when that will arrive, but Kari insists it’s not far off. After all, we already live in a world where the creator of a novel online service can test it with thousands of computers simultaneously, using little more than a laptop and the right subscription. It won’t be long before similar technology reaches outside of IT and further into everyday life, driving our cars, analyzing our medical records for unseen health risks and empowering even the simplest devices with an expanding universe of raw computing power in the cloud.



 

More Articles

Nuclear fingerprints

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

At Oregon State University, a 21st century version of the bad dream — nuclear terrorism — is alive and well. This winter, the Department of Nuclear Physics and Radiation Health Physics created a new interdisciplinary graduate emphasis in nuclear forensics, a Sherlock Holmes-sounding program that aims to identify how and where confiscated nuclear and radiological materials were created.


Read more...

2015 100 Best companies announced

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015
IMG 0022cneditBY OB STAFF

The 100 Best list recognizes large, medium and small companies for excellence in work environment, management and communications, decision-making and trust, career development and learning, and benefits and compensation.


Read more...

Party Like It’s 1999

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
pets-com-sock-puppetBY JASON NORRIS, CFA | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Pets.com, GeoCities, eToys, and WorldCom … blasts-from-the-past that all signify the late 1990s Internet bubble. Yet we believe the dynamics of the market, specifically in technology stocks, are much different today than it was during the late 1990s.


Read more...

Car Talk

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Everyone knows cell phones and driving are a lethal combination. The risk is especially high for teenage drivers, whose delusions of immortality pose such a threat to us all. Enforcement alas, remains feeble; more promising are pedagogical approaches aimed at getting people to focus on the road, not their devices.


Read more...

Help Wanted: Poached Jobs aids restaurateurs

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

“We thought there was room for something new.”


Read more...

Green Rush: Cashing in on legal marijuana

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Marijuana is big business in Oregon, and it’s about to get bigger.


Read more...

On the Brink

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Leslie Carlson channels the big idea.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS