Odds & ends: process, clouds and more.

In between snow shoveling episodes, I’ve been quietly working on client projects and change-friendly.  Before I finally break hibernation and hit the road to attend Cloud Connect and Troux Worldwide, I wanted to share several items.

1. The Process Knowledge Initiative (my client) announced that Progress Software and AgilePoint have signed on as Catalyst Sponsors, and that the PKBoK Wiki is now available.  The initial content is the proposed knowledge areas.  The PKI is looking for community input on the knowledge areas, and for on-going content development.  Check out the news and the PKBoK Wiki.

2. This morning, David Linthicum, Bill Russell and I traded top cloud computing stories for February.  You can catch the podcast, and folly, here.

3. On the top 3 cloud stories podcast, we all picked Vivek Kundra’s cloud computing strategy.  The report is available on Scribd.  Section II, the Decision Framework, has some good tips for organizations considering cloud computing.

4. In organizing my change-friendly work, I discovered a great writing tool, Scrivener.  The best way to describe it is “an IDE for writers”.  You can work at any level of granularity, easily shift to larger contexts, and keep an eye on the big picture.  It’s perfect for the way I think/work.  Now, if only it had an “expand this tweet to a chapter” function.

5. I will be live-blogging from Cloud Connect next week.  Live coverage will be on elemental cloud computing.


[Disclosure: The Process Knowledge Initiative is a client of Elemental Links].

Last week on elemental cloud computing


Taking inspiration from Dogbert, last week I (finally) ended my cloud watch quiescence on elemental cloud computing.  Two posts that were popular with the cloud crowd:

Coverage of James Staten’s Cloud Computing Session @ Forrester IT Forum

Looking for my coverage of James Staten’s talk on How much of your future is in the Cloud?  It’s on elemental cloud computing.  Click here.

Cloud Computing Environments, Events & Event Clouds: Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS)

Here we go.  Event Processing and Cloud Computing are natural allies.  Events can be used in the monitoring, notification, and adjustment of cloud computing environments (CCE), and in the monitoring, notification, adjustment of, and in response to, the business capabilities running on those CCEs.   As I’ve mentioned numerous times, I believe event-based data integration will be critical to information, and therefore, business synchronization. 

In addition to being an event generator, and responder, cloud computing can also be a highly efficient, scalable, event processing platform.  For proof, just ask my friend Colin Clark at Cloud Event Processing.

So, it’s with no surprise, but great expectations, that I’m noting the beta release of Amazon’s Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS).  From the Amazon service page:

“Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) is a web service that makes it easy to set up, operate, and send notifications from the cloud. It provides developers with a highly scalable, flexible, and cost-effective capability to publish messages from an application and immediately deliver them to subscribers or other applications. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.

Amazon SNS provides a simple web services interface that can be used to create topics you want to notify applications (or people) about, subscribe clients to these topics, publish messages, and have these messages delivered over clients’ protocol of choice (i.e. HTTP, email, etc.). Amazon SNS delivers notifications to clients using a “push” mechanism that eliminates the need to periodically check or “poll” for new information and updates. Amazon SNS can be leveraged to build highly reliable, event-driven workflows and messaging applications without the need for complex middleware and application management. The potential uses for Amazon SNS include monitoring applications, workflow systems, time-sensitive information updates, mobile applications, and many others. As with all Amazon Web Services, there are no up-front investments required, and you pay only for the resources you use.”

From the SNS Functionality Overview, the service appears to be cloud based publish-subscribe:

  • “Create a topic: A topic is an “access point” – identifying a specific subject or event type – for publishing messages and allowing clients to subscribe for notifications.
  • Set policies for your topic: Once a topic is created, the topic owner can set policies for it such as limiting who can publish messages or subscribe to notifications, or specifying which notification protocols will be supported (i.e. HTTP/HTTPS, email). A single topic can support notification deliveries over multiple transport protocols.
  • Add subscribers to a topic: Subscribers are clients interested in receiving notifications from topics of interest; they can directly subscribe to a topic or be subscribed by the topic owner. Subscribers specify the protocol format and end-point (URL, email address, etc.) for notifications to be delivered. Upon receiving a subscription request, Amazon SNS will send a confirmation message to the specified end-point, asking the subscriber to explicitly opt-in to receiving notifications from that topic. Opting-in can be done by calling an API, using a command line tool, or – for email notifications – simply clicking on a link.
  • Publish messages / send out notifications: When topic owners have updates they wish to notify their subscribers about, they publish those messages to the topic – which immediately triggers Amazon SNS to deliver this message to all applicable subscribers.”

Of the features list, “scalable” caught my attention:

“Scalable – Amazon SNS is designed to meet the needs of the largest and most demanding applications, allowing applications to publish an unlimited number of messages at any time.”

Largest and most demanding? Tweets, market data, click-stream, blue mussels, Internet of Things … 

Amazon’s SNS is a springboard to industrial strength event processing and the active information tier.  As I said, “here we go”.

[Cross posted from Elemental Cloud Computing, because it’s Event Processing too.]