Saturday, January 31, 2009

Me on InformationWeek
Just noticed some traffic from InformationWeek to my blog. Found out that they have done a CIO Profile on me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 covered on Amazon Web Services Blog
Here is a link to the post.

Amazon is now targeting Enterprise Infrastructure and I expect them to release new products and services to address our needs in that area.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Internet in Numbers (2008)
There are some v interesting numbers in this Pingdom article. A few highlights:
  • 210 billion – The number of emails sent per day in 2008 (70% SPAM)
  • 1,463,632,361 – The number of Internet users worldwide (June 2008)
  • 133 million – The number of blogs on the Internet (as tracked by Technorati)
  • 12.7 billion – The number of online videos watched by American Internet users in a month (November 2008)
I am not sure about the validity of the numbers but they sure give a sense of the order-of-magnitude.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Amazon EC2 runs
Amazon has built an amazing product that allows new technology products to innovate and scale with minimal capital investment. We have come a long way from when only big money could buy the infrastructure required to launch a new technology product.

On July 25, 2008 I was asked to architect and solution the technology infrastructure for a new Wiki we were planning to develop and launch coinciding the Inauguration of the new president. The site,, provides detailed profiles of the folks who matter in Washington DC. I term it as a Wiki 2.0 site because it allows for submission of content and updates by users to be vetted and edited before it is posted on to the site.

Cost: The fact that it was an R&D project, we needed to keep the initial investment as low as possible. To meet that goal, I was convinced that we should build the site with open source technology and host it on the cloud. Having closely following the evolution of Amazon Web Services since 2007, it was the obvious choice for hosting the site. Jeff Barr of AWS kept me up to date on all the cool stuff they were doing. Thanks Jeff!

Time to Market: Our dev and prod sites were up and running in days. Incredible!

Scalability: We initially built the site on a medium server and then upgraded to a large server before launch. The flexibility of scaling the infrastructure up or down at will is of incredible value when one just does not know what the traffic will look like.

For now, I am convinced that I could not have made a better decision! I will write another post about our experience after a few months have passed.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Google and Wikipedia
Nick Carr speculates that, though Wikipedia is probably not the best source of all information, Google frequently puts Wikipedia on the top of its search results. Check out his rough research here.

One potential answer is that, in the early days of the web, Wikipedia was one of the most reliable sources of information. This was the cause of the high volume of Wikipedia traffic as users selected their pages over others in Google search results. I believe that the Google algorithm has evolved beyond Page Rank to include user click information resulting in further improvement in Wikipedia position in search results. It is a real challenge for others (even with better content) to get above Wikipedia. Let is see how or the new Encyclopedia Britannica fare on Google in the future.

If Wikipedia were a "for-profit" company, it would be big and powerful and become a threat to Google itself.
Wiki 2.0
With the launch of, we have launched the next generation of wikis - one that has user generated content that is vetted by a group of professionals before it is published. We are not alone in believing (Encyclopedia Britannica does too) that this is a better way of delivering high-quality trusted content that leverages the collective knowledge of a broad base of users but filters out false information (wikipedia mistakenly declared senators kennedy and byrd dead).

Despite terrible overuse, Wiki 2.0 best describes this evolution.
We just launched this site. The site is hosted on the Amazon Web Services and runs on Dekiwiki from Mindtouch, an open source Wiki. I have really enjoyed putting together the architecture for this site. It is amazing what one can do on a shoestring budget.

Here is the press release for the site!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Private Clouds
For enterprise needs, I support building of a private cloud. Any type of vendor lock-in for this infrastructure will significantly impact future flexibility. This does not mean that the hosting of the cloud should not be outsourced. In fact, I prefer outsourcing the hosting and management of this infrastructure as there is real value in having access to resources with deep experience in managing private clouds. Interesting article in InfoWorld on the topic. Companies that provide technology to build a private cloud are: Elastra, 3Tera, Cassatt, and ParaScale.

My current preference is to virtualize all our apps and to build a Virtual Server farm as a cloud-computing platform. Once the organization reaches some scale (50+ servers), a robust product to manage the cloud will bring value.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Enterprise Search - Still looking for a solution
Interesting article on ITPro that explains why High-quality Enterprise Search is still not a reality. I agree with the reasons cited in the article and continue looking for a Search solution that we can deploy on our network.

Monday, January 05, 2009

A good roundup of current and upcoming technologies in this NY times article. I think reading books on an iPhone is a stretch.
Interesting Oracle ISV Map
This is the first time I have seen a large vendor provide very easy access to all their partners. Here is the link to Oracle's ISV Solution Map.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Corcoran College of Art - Design Print Portfolio 2009

Oil and Water, March 18 - April 5, 2009
@ Gallery Plan b
Preeti will be participating in this.

preeti gujral on facebook