Cloud News

Mission Secures $15 Million in Additional Funding from Great Hill Partners to Fuel Organic Growth Through 2020

Achieving unmatched success creating additional customer opportunities with AWS in the U.S. in 2019, Mission will put new capital towards expanding its team, technology, system, and go-to-market strategies.

Mission, a managed services and consulting company for Amazon Web Services (AWS), today announced it has closed an additional $15 million of equity funding from Great Hill Partners, a leading growth-oriented private equity firm. Mission will use this capital to further accelerate the AWS managed service provider’s organic growth through 2020.

The fresh round continues Great Hill Partners’ investment in Mission; the Boston-based firm initially committed up to $75 million to company founder and CEO Simon Anderson to launch Mission in 2017. To date, approximately $40 million of that capital has been invested to establish Mission’s current standing as a trusted, award-winning provider of AWS managed services and consulting. Mission has rapidly built a coast-to-coast geographic presence, a leadership team made up of cloud industry veterans, and a customer base of more than 200 businesses from across a particularly wide breadth of industries and AWS use cases.

This year, Mission has established itself as a top partner to AWS in its U.S. Territory segment – measured by the shared customer growth opportunities Mission has created with AWS. With hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and New York, Mission has fully staffed teams of AWS solutions architects and sales executives in three major AWS customer geographies: Southern California, Northern California, and the Northeast. Mission is also currently adding a new hub in Chicago to best serve the AWS U.S. Central region.

“Mission continues to prove itself as an exceptionally capable provider of managed cloud services,” said Drew Loucks, Principal, Great Hill Partners. “The company has really made its mark in a rapidly growing market, with enterprises across verticals eager to realize the tremendous benefits of migrating to the cloud and harnessing all that AWS has to offer. Mission has also been effective at bringing in the right expertise required to make their customer engagements so successful, and our additional investment will ensure accelerated growth throughout this year and next.”

With the new capital, Mission will build on its foundation as a customer-focused cloud transformation business, continuing to invest in and expand its team of expert cloud consultants and solutions architects that now hold nearly 100 AWS certifications. Mission will also invest in the technologies, systems, and go-to-market strategies that best align the provider with overall AWS growth and customer demands. Beyond this $15 million round, Great Hill Partners and other limited partners have additional capital available for further investment in Mission, as needed, to fund acquisitions and continue to reinforce Mission’s staff of AWS experts.

“Mission continues to experience strong momentum through 2018 and into 2019,” said Stewart Armstrong, CFO, Mission. “We remain disruptive in the market as we strive to continue to deliver unique value to our customers. The Great Hill team continues to be a valuable partner for Mission, and I’m excited to put this additional funding to work as we expand and optimize our go-to-market strategies and accelerate the deployment of new, world-class technologies and services to our customers. We remain focused on helping more organizations achieve their cloud goals, no matter how challenging, with our expertly-orchestrated AWS management and optimization.”

ALSO READ: AWS is the most preferred cloud platform among Python developers: Survey


Mary Meeker’s Internet Trend Report 2017 highlights major e-commerce, cloud and mobile trends

Ace internet analyst and partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers – Mary Meeker, came up with her Internet Trend Report 2017 at the Code Conference, California. The report highlighted the major trends revolving around mobile usage growth, e-commerce, online advertising, gaming, healthcare and steadily growing Indian and Chinese markets.

Some of the major highlights of the 355-slide presentation include:

  • Cloud – harbinger of change across enterprises

The report identified cloud as the major force driving change across enterprises. The increasing adoption rate is creating new opportunity pools for service providers. However, the report also identifies some cloud adoption concerns like data security issues, vendor-lock in and compliance. In Public cloud adoption race, AWS was identified as the leader while a strong growth was seen in Azure and Google Cloud platform.

Also Read: Worldwide hosting and Cloud market growing at a rate of 20% CAGR

  • Online Advertising – Mobile driven Ad growth

Online advertising growth saw a major role of mobile usage. Mobile advertising spent was higher than the desktop advertising spent. Overall, the growth in advertising increased from 20 percent to 22 percent, YOY. The report also highlighted the importance of right placement of ads to avoid ad blocking by the users who are not interested in the ad. Facebook (Delivery Insights), Google (AdWords) and Snap (Snap Ads) were identified as the leading online Ad platforms.

  • Social Media – Increasing customer interactions

The report identified social media as a growing platform for rendering customer support, transparency and product quality. Customers trust the reviews posted on social media and raise product related queries and dissatisfaction. It can be effectively used for real-time online customer conversations.

  • Rapidly growing Indian market

Indian economy is seeing a huge GDP growth with more than 7% YOY growth, holding 7th positon in Global GDP Ranking. The internet market in India depicts fast growth with more than 28% growth in Internet users in June 2016, with 40% YOY growth. It stands at number one position in term of Android phone users. It is also witnessing market share war between key eCommerce players like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, ShopClues, etc.

  • Voice Recognition Accuracy – Continues to grow

Voice based search can replace the typing soon, per the report. 70% of the requests are found to be natural and in conversational language. Increasing trend towards artificial intelligence and machine learning will further increase the voice recognition accuracy.

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Devastating weather conditions push some companies to AWS, CTO – Amazon

The emerging cloud technologies are enabling companies to move away from on-premise data centers to cloud-based DC(s).While this is the major reason behind excessive cloud migration but lately, some clients have been signing-in on cloud due to a totally different reason – the climate change.

The recent years have been witnessing massive storms and earthquakes from New Jersey to Japan, leaving infrastructure destroyed and in an irretrievable state. Most organizations are now favoring cloud for data backup and improved accessibility, Werger Vogels – CTO, Amazon, told to a news channel.

During the AWS summit in San Francisco, Vogels said that many banking and telecommunication firms in the Philippines have been adopting AWS facilities in Singapore, “given the massive typhoons that have hit the country time after time.

Amazon has been widening its datacenters reach to cover most of the important regions, making cloud transition an easy sell to big companies. It has 16 regions around the world, currently. It also plans to open a new DC in Paris this year followed by another in Stockholm in 2018.

Vogels said, “If a calamity happens in one of those regions, they can move their customers to another region.”
Amazon advanced its capital expenditures by 46 percent in 2016 to $6.7 billion, and the company in its annual report said that these investments on infrastructure has been incurred to support AWS.
Though the primary aim of AWS was not to provide a disaster recovery alternative, but the current trend is making companies knock its doors. While the last year was warmest on record, NASA has predicted that the storms would increase as warming surges.

Vogels talking about the trend, also shared an incident from past where during the Hurricane Sandy in 2012 on the New Jersey coast, an AWS client that provided backup solution, saw a huge number of request from the nearby customers “that became interested in backing up their data on the West Coast.” Similarly in Japan, soon after the earthquake people started moving to AWS.

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Logicworks Launches Managed AWS Cloud Service For Both New and Existing AWS Users

Logicworks today launched managed support for clients who’re using or plan to use Amazon Web Services.

The new Managed AWS service brings together the elasticity, scalability, and unlimited resources of AWS cloud and system administrators, cloud engineers, and network technicians of Logicworks.

Logicworks helps IT organizations deploy applications on AWS while also assuming the responsibility of babysitting, automating, and optimizing their infrastructure so that they can focus on their applications. – Kenneth Ziegler, CEO, Logicworks.

Some of the salient features of Logicworks Managed AWS service are:

  • Application Rationalization: Logicworks’ project-based consulting service assists companies’ IT operation in developing the right cloud computing strategy for their business.
  • Cloud Design: Logicworks recommends the appropriate services and features for each application through its design service.
  • Configuration Management: Logicworks works with developers of companies directly to understand their application and implements a strategy that includes automation for provisioning, scaling, and reacting to the changing requirements of their environment.
  • Cloud Implementation: With Logicworks’ Cloud Implementation service, companies can have Logicworks’ engineers build their AWS environment.
  • Cloud Management: Once AWS environment is built and migration is complete, Logicworks Cloud Management provides companies with ongoing support and proactive maintenance.
  • Hybrid Cloud Solutions: Logicworks’ Hybrid Cloud services create cross-over solutions that combine AWS with private clouds, dedicated servers, and colocated equipment.
  • Single Pane of Glass: Companies can take advantage of the best aspects of AWS and traditional dedicated servers under one comprehensive service package.

Logicworks' New MANAGED AMAZON WEB SERVICES Cloud Service

Benefits for New AWS users:

New AWS users can use the Managed AWS service to avoid the pitfall and get up and running quickly. They can leverage ongoing guidance and support from Logicworks 24/7/365 engineering bench, uncover the best features and functionality to support their business goals and benefit from enterprise-grade monitoring to proactively manage costs more effectively.

Benefits for Existing AWS users:

Existing AWS users can use the Managed AWS service to refocus their internal resources on development and innovation. They can also Utilize Logicworks’ NOC to handle alerts.

“The hidden cost in cloud delivery is the time and scarce engineering talent necessary to deploy and support the right mix of public and private cloud platforms. Logicworks helps IT organizations deploy applications on AWS while also assuming the responsibility of babysitting, automating, and optimizing their infrastructure so that they can focus on their applications,” said Kenneth Ziegler, CEO, Logicworks.

“Combining the predictability, compliance, and reliability of a private cloud directly connected to the features, automation, and scale of AWS is a powerful and natural combination for companies that want to get out of the infrastructure management business themselves,” he added.

For more information, click here.


Netflix open sources Janitor Monkey to tidy up unused Amazon cloud resources

Online video streaming company — and heavy Amazon cloud user — Netflix has open sourced Janitor Monkey, a tool that finds unused cloud resources and deletes them, leading to potentially valuable cost savings for customers. The move might be an outcome  of last week’s Christmas outage that Netflix users faced after AWS EC2 downtime.

There is a growing ecosystem of cloud cost management tools on the market that track customers’ usage of cloud resources, and specifically resources in Amazon’s cloud. But Janitor Monkey is a free and open source tool available for download from GitHub.

It’s from Netflix’s Simian Army, which is a family of programs made by Netflix engineers to optimize their usage of Amazon’s cloud. Last year, Netflix open sourced Chaos Monkey, which is a free way for Amazon customers to test fault tolerance by randomly shutting down instances to see if the system is architectured  for continuity in the event of downtime.

Janitor Monkey works in a simple three-step process: mark, notify, delete. The system is set by default to run on weekends — but it can be highly customized — and scans running resources in Amazon’s cloud. It alerts the owner of resources via email when it finds a resource that it believes could be deleted.

For example, it scans virtual machine instances and Elastic Block Storage (EBS) volumes; if it finds an EBS volume that has not been attached to an instance in the past 30 days, it will recommend deleting the EBS Volume. Users can customize how long the volume must be inactive for Janitor Monkey to trigger an alert. By default, Janitor Monkey will send an email to whoever has been specified to receive it, recommending that unused instance be deleted. If the owner wants to keep the instance and not delete it, a flag can be created marking it as an exception. Or, the owner can delete the resource immediately, or wait two days for Janitor Monkey to delete it.

“Over the last year Janitor Monkey has deleted over 5,000 resources running in our production and test environments,” Netflix engineers wrote in a blog post announcing Janitor Monkey. “It has helped keep our costs down and has freed up engineering time which is no longer needed to manage unused resources.”

Janitor Monkey creates a log in AWS’s SimpleDB service tracking its work. Netflix says for most users, the table is small enough that the database fits within Amazon’s free usage tier. Netflix says it plans to continually develop Janitor Monkey as well, including broadening the scope of resources it monitors. Right now, Janitor Monkey scans instances, EBS Volumes, EBS Volume Snapshots and Auto Scaling Groups. Netflix hopes to include launch configurations, security protocols and Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). Netflix also has a user interface to control Janitor Monkey, which it plans to open source in the future as well.

There is a growing group of tools to help companies track and optimize their cloud usage. Some are specific to Amazon’s cloud, such as Newvem, which recently began charging money to use some of its services. Other players in the market include Cloudyn and CloudCruiser, among others. In addition to providing analysis of cloud usage, those services also recommend to customers which specific instances types are best sized and most cost-effective for the customer to use, which are features beyond the scope of the Janitor Monkey tool.

But anyhow, as a cloud provider, customers that build and share tools that work to improve certain facets of a service is great. It creates loyal customers, and helps providers understand how their customers use their services.