GigaOM Structure: Europe cloud conference - as it happened

Structure: Europe, GigaOM's annual cloud computing conference, is always one of the hottest tickets in tech town. This year, we're pleased to be an exclusive partner of the event and will be heading over to the futuristic Grange Tower Bridge Hotel (pictured, top) on 18-19 September to lap up all the action.

With a strong lineup of industry thought leaders and tech visionaries, Structure: Europe is set to be packed with talking points, insights, and debate, and this is where we'll duly be rounding up all the best moments throughout the two-day shindig. If you're still not sure about whether or not the event is right for you, we'd like the chance to convince you, so be sure to check out our feature on why you should attend GigaOM Structure: Europe.

For a further taste of what's to come, make for our preview of the top five sessions at Structure: Europe. The event is full of exciting keynotes and workshops, but for many the headline act is likely to be WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg. Some of the other big names being trotted out include VWware's Joe Baguley, Facebook's Frank Frankovsky and Libellium's Alicia Asin, though keynotes and workshops are just one facet of Structure: Europe.

Structure: Europe also features a dedicated Startup Zone, showcasing 24 top early-stage cloud and data-based companies, drawn from all over the world - San Francisco to Berlin, Boston to Budapest. Of that group, the 10 best startups will be competing live in the Startup Launchpad competition, which will feature judges' and audience choice awards. Pitching-style events always create a real buzz and we can't wait to hear all about the disruptive new ideas being showcased.

Whether or not you can make it to the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, we hope you tune in to our live updating coverage of Structure: Europe, as it looks like an absolute belter. And if you do bump into us down in SE1, be sure to say, "Hi," and let us know how your day is going.

  • 19 September
  • 17:23

    Many happy returns, readers - we hope to see you for our next bout of live coverage!

  • 17:22

    As ever, feel free to let us know what you're thinking, either by getting in touch over social media (there's some handy widgets at the top of the page) or by utilising the comment section below.

  • 17:22

    Whether you were with us at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel or simply observing from afar, thanks for joining us - we hope you had as good a time as we did!

  • 17:21

    Hard hitting stuff and a very appropriate way to round out our coverage of this year's Structure: Europe. Cloud computing and big data are very much real world, everyday concerns these days and no longer simply the preserve of IT managers and techies

  • 17:18

    In fact, much of the discussion carried fairly sinister undertones. Some more of Hoffman's reflections: "Security is impossible - everything is compromised...Get over security, nothing can be secure. Just figure out a way that you can verify that you won't be a false positive...We're largely saved by the fact that a lot of us aren't that interesting."

  • 17:17

    One chilling point that really hit home was with regards to the threat model: "Journalists have to understand the threat model...If a nation-state is after you, you're not really going to be able to stop them."

  • 17:15

    This kind of self-governance is increasingly necessary because "governments arbitrarily make laws and, sometimes, make crimes," according to Hoffman

  • 17:14

    At this point, we were told, it's safer to trust open source - although we can't absolutely trust anything anymore. But you're probably better off with open source, compared to commercial products, when it comes to security, because it allows the coding community to essentially audit itself

  • 17:13

    One of the key points of discussion was the benefits of open source for transparency

  • 17:12

  • 17:12

    The panel included Dan Gillmor (author and professor at Arizona State University), Jason Hoffman (the founder of Joyent), and Markus Rex (CEO of ownCloud) and was themed around public confidence in cloud computing in the post-PRISM era

  • 17:10

    Live blogs can sometimes be a chance for a bit of cheeky sarcasm, but there's no flippancy in the following statement: the final session we attended at Structure: Europe was an absolute barnstormer

  • 15:34

    We're currently recharging our batteries, preparing ourselves for the final cloud push this afternoon. If you're still hungry for more, check out our piece on Dell, which assured us earlier that the company's recent change in ownership will not affect its cloud services.

  • 15:06

    And with that our big data chat draws to a close. Whistle-stop stuff here at Structure, and it's helping to keep the discussion pretty fresh and lively.

  • 15:04

    Bodkin: All about quick-wins. Big data investment will grow when IT guys can show company execs how things have been improved thanks to data, or problems that have been identified in a matter of weeks, rather than months or years, as it would be without big data insights.

  • 15:03

  • 15:02

    Moreton: The more you outsource big data analytics, ownership becomes a big question. Stata agrees, citing the conflict between the providers of big data tools, and those actually analysing it inside the company. Whose data is it?

  • 15:00

    But Stata feels there's a lack of good data management tools out there. Tools that tell us where the data has come from, how it can be used, and who it's useful for.

    The issue must be particularly relevant among smaller companies not blessed with the finances and capabilities of LinkedIn and co.

  • 14:58

    Examples of how to manage it? Ghosh described how his LinkedIn team has produced social graphs from data, to help sales teams see exactly who they're selling too – accurately profiling their targets.

  • 14:56

    Moreton: We have to make sure 'data lake' doesn't become useless 'data landfill'. Organisations can be easily overwhelmed if big data isn't well managed, and the value of analytics is subsequently lost.

  • 14:55

    Bodkin extolls the virtues of agile data analytics, to bring insights to the fore, un-obscured by the pure quantity of data generated. Agile makes it less of a needle-in-haystack situation when finding valuable insights from big data, he says.

    This will all be music to our James' ears. ITProPortal's resident agile ambassador. Just ask him.

  • 14:53

    Fuchs: Big data has always been there, there's just new ways of dealing with it now. Big data movement is about more rapid application development and the infrastructure to support it.

  • 14:52

  • 14:49

    Next up this afternoon we have big data chat - "How to bite off more than you can chew and succeed."

    Tim Moreton , CTO of Acunu, Ron Bodkin, CEO of Think Big Analytics, Adam Fuchs, CTO of Sqrrl Data, Bhaskar Ghosh, Senior Director of Engineering and Data Infrastructure at LinkedIn, and Raymie Stata, CEO of Altiscale are on the panel.

    Got all that? Good. Let's begin.

  • 14:23

    Thiele: Firms like Yahoo and Google are easy targets for organisations like Greenpeace.

  • 14:21

    Niall: As companies grow, green issues become far more important. Cloud and virtualisation helps smaller firms make the step up.

  • 14:20

    Thiele: It's not a simple case of just opening up a can of efficiency.

  • 14:18

    Thiele: Automation is key to reducing energy consumption and making the most of the energy that is used.

  • 14:15

    Niall: Cloud and virtualisation are a big part of improving overall efficiency, but there are lots of elements to this. New tech will always bring with it frsh benefits.

  • 14:13

    Niall refers to Facebook's new datacentre in Sweden as a long-term sustainable project.

  • 14:12

    Thiele: There are ways to bring costs down long-term but clean energy sources can also drive costs higher if not thought through properly.

  • 14:10

    What are the economic benefits of efficiency?

  • 14:09

  • 14:09

    Sustainable thinking can save money and have other positive impacts on businesses.

  • 14:08

    Thiele says companies actively want to look as good as possible by trying to be more green.

  • 14:07

    Facebook is driven by cost-efficiency and a care of the climate.

  • 14:07

    Facebook is a free service with a massive user base. A large infrastucture is needed for this. In order to back this up, it needs very efficient hardware to rely on.

  • 14:05

    Niall McEntegart of Facebook's European datacentre operations group, and Mark Thiele, the EVP of datacentre technology at Switch, are on stage.

  • 14:02

    First post-lunch talk will discuss the future of the datacentre and the cost vs ecosystem dilemma.

  • 13:16

    All quiet for a bit here at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel as we get stuck into our lunch with the other delegates

  • 12:33

    Frank Frankovsky: "It is increasingly applicable. If you believe that the trend towards cloud is going to continue, then those design patterns will be applicable to a broader and broader set of people - directly or indirectly. The base level question for me is: Who wouldn't want a more efficient server?"

  • 12:32

    Facebook is obviously a company of (almost) unparalleled scale , so how applicable is its infrastructure model to the rest of industry?

  • 12:30

    "We should be able to demonstrate some significant moves forward in the first half of next year. It's coming together nicely - the speed at which these are happening is picking up."

  • 12:29

    Frankovsky's mission at Facebook is create an infrastructure where it's possible to "modify the hardware much closer to the time of need." Facebook calls it disaggregated rack, or disaggregated server architecture.

  • 12:28

    "As a hardware guy joining a software company like Facebook, one of the things that struck me first was - software changes so much faster than hardware."

  • 12:24

    Facebook's Frank Frankovsky: "It has been fulfilling to see the impact. The fact that open source has been so successful in software [means] more and more people are passionate about understanding the physical layer of their infrastructure [and] has caused the entrenched suppliers to really take note."

  • 12:23

    The questions has been posed: What impact has Open Compute had on the legacy industry and traditional suppliers?

  • 12:20

    Now on stage: Facebook's VP of infrastructure , Frank Frankovsky. This guy has a beard that puts every East London hipster to shame

  • 12:19

  • 12:12

    ...and we're out of time. The room is pretty disappointed to see the end of that debate. Definitely could have benefited from some more discussion time.

  • 12:10

    Bridahl urges everybody in the room to work together now to try to save the industry.

  • 12:08

    The end-goal is to provide an informed marketplace, according to Bridahl.

  • 12:06

    Lucas disagrees with Bridahl - call his views 'hippy'-like to boot.

  • 12:04

    Amazon's customer support is non-existent and its service is way too expensive.

  • 12:03

    Amazon's success is the customers' fault according to Bredahl. "You guys let this bookshop take over everything."

  • 12:01

    Bredahl has lost a great deal of customers to Amazon in the past.

  • 12:00

    Nobody will ever out-muscle Amazon in terms of capital.

  • 12:00

  • 11:59

    It's not about the cloud. We have to focus on workloads, says Bredahl.

  • 11:56

    Lucas: People are scared of the PAYG market, which is a real shame.

  • 11:55

    Lucas: We're very pro-Open Stack but it doesn't actually solve customers' problems.

  • 11:53

    In the hotseats are Tony Lucas, founder and vice president of the product division at Flexiant and Ditlev Bredahl , CEO of OnApp.

  • 11:53

    Next up we have a discussion titled 'Amazon vs the world: How can cloud service providers compete?"

  • 11:52

    An interesting discussion is brought to a close here.

  • 11:48

    Farro's moved on to what he perceives as a lack of transparency around the cloud. Baguley (below) says increased openness from cloud providers is unrealistic, and customers would lose trust in the companies that have their data if the information was so readily available.

  • 11:48

  • 11:42

    Egan: Compliance is just a baseline for security. Security policies need to go well beyond merely meeting regulations.

  • 11:41

    Baguley: Users want ultra-convenience. Too often companies impose security infrastructure that hinders the everyday use of a business device, frustrating everyone in the organisation. You need to switch the perception of security to make it an obvious value, and enabler for a business, not a hindrance.

  • 11:37

    "I think security professionals are a joke," Farro boldly puts to his panel. He said the number of vulnerabilities we see at high level companies just shouldn't exist in this day and age. A few frowns form the industry luminaries.

  • 11:34

    Bit snug on that sofa...

  • 11:33

  • 11:27

    We've just checked in to the latest panel discussion here at Structure, with all things cloud security about to be dissected by industry experts.

    Greg Farro of GigaOM is moderating, while views will be coming from Joe Baguley, CTO for EMEA at VMware, Gavin Egan, VP of sales at Verizon Terremark Europe, Adrienne Hall of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing, and Hila Meller, Head of Security Strstegy for EMEA at CA Technologies.

  • 11:08

    Elsewhere, when discussing how European cloud firms can compete with the dominant Amazon, Andreas Gauger, CMO of German based ProfitBricks said that pricing is absolutely key.

    "It's very easy to beat Amazon on price, it doesn't care about price, it's actually a high price," he said. Gauger went on to explain that, in his 18 year career in hosting, he has never seen such high margins as that earned through cloud.

  • 11:05

    Did you catch the news breaking here at Structure yesterday? With all the implications cloud technology has for the handling of our data, it is unsurprising that the Prism scandal popped up on a number of occasions, with companies keen to state their loyalty to customers and their privacy.

    Among them was Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson, who said his firm does not and will not work with any government to provide backdoors into its network so that consumers' data can be collected. Speaking about mobile Internet and the possibilities of cloud hybrid networks, he said that security and trust has to be at the foundation of mobile cloud services. Follow the link for more on that.

  • 09:44

    Day 2 is under way here at GigaOM's Structure:Europe cloud fest. Team ITPP is divided between workshop sessions, keynotes, and our own little base camp here on the exhibition floor, so stay tuned for updates as they arrive throughout the day.

  • 18 September
  • 18:11

    Thanks for joining us at Structure: Europe today, whether you've been with us in the flesh taking in some cheeky second-screen commentary, or are watching from afar wishing you were here. We'll be back at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel tomorrow for day of the GigaOM cloud conference - see you then!

  • 18:09

    Yes, it's Import.io taking home the judges' award, and it also nabs the audience choice gong, narrowly fending off competition from Stackdriver. A compelling pitch-off and 10 early-stage firms that IT pros and business leaders will definitely want to keep an eye on.

  • 18:08

  • 18:05

    The judges' scores are being tabulated and it's time for the audience to vote via text message. A lot of great ideas, we particularly liked Stackdriver, SecludIT, Waymate and, of course Import.io. As anyone with a maths GCSE will be able to tell you the winner, though...

  • 18:02

    And finally, Waymate: CEO and co-founder Maxim Nohroudi tells about his Berlin-based firm's unified travel planning solution that combines an online platform and mobile app and integrates some of the newer trends in transport, like car sharing. Neat. The judges are less convinced: it's 7-7-8

  • 18:01

  • 17:57

    The penultimate pitch is by Tresorit and its CEO, Istvan Lam. He definitely wins the comedic award for this evening, talking about doing evil things behind closed bathroom doors. On a more serious note, Tresorit is an encrypted cloud storage tool and the judges are unanimous again: 8-8-8

  • 17:56

  • 17:55

    Heading towards the final furlong now with Stackdriver, a Boston, MA-based startup founded by VMware alumni that's focused on full-stack, cloud-native IT monitoring. Represented by co-founder Dan Belcher, the judges are suitably impressed by this polished presentation: 8-9-9

  • 17:54

  • 17:51

    Now on stage: SecludIT CEO Sergio Loureiro. SecludIT is the company behind Elastic Security, a set of products and services for securing cloud infrastructures. Strong scores for this round: 8-8-7

  • 17:49

  • 17:47

    Following that particularly tough act is pure-play cloud services provider Lunacloud. Pitching on its behalf is CEO Antonio Ferreira. The judges revert to unified fence-sitting: 7-7-7

  • 17:45

  • 17:42

    And we have a clear frontrunner! Import.io and its founder, Andrew Fogg, present its 'data browser' solution. Judges go high: 9-9-9, that's a score that will take some beating

  • 17:41

  • 17:39

    Fourth in the queue: Multi-cloud management tool ECmanaged, as represented by CMO Victor Lasierra. The judges are slightly less taken than by previous entrants: marks of 7-7-6

  • 17:37

  • 17:35

    Next: Cloudbase.io and its VP of sales Andrew Buchanan. Cloudbas.io is a backend-as-a-service (BaaS) that enables mobile developers to launch apps into the cloud without worrying about server management and also offers an enterprise middleware platform. Judges? 7-6-8 is the experts' verdict

  • 17:33

  • 17:31

    Second up in Khash Sajadi, CEO of Cloud 66, a product that combines the convenience of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) with the control and flexibility of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). Another good score from the judges: 8-7-7. Shaping up to be a hugely competitive pitch off, this

  • 17:30

  • 17:22

    First up is UK-based software and services company Aquamatix, which specialises in real-time control and performance management for water and wastewater systems. MD Laurie Reynolds does the pitching and earns a solid score from the judges of 7-8-7

  • 17:21

  • 17:20

    The judges are in place and we're ready to rumble here at the Structure: Europe Startup Launchpad

  • 17:19

  • 17:17

    Marc Chenn, CEO and co-founder of SaltStack, which was a GigaOM LaunchPad winner in San Francisco, introducing this evening's event

  • 17:17

  • 17:04

    This risk depends on mobilisation of the market, which will come in time.

  • 17:04

    Cowan says the cloud commodities market depends on maturity. The end-point is an environment where customers can really hedge risk.

  • 17:03

    Customers don't always want to use the biggest cloud providers.

  • 17:02

    Some of the biggest vendors, such as Amazon Web Services, have chosen not to be a part of this market, but this isn't a problem since the main part of an open market is choice. Mitchell thinks the market is now diverse enough.

  • 17:01

    Mitchell addresses exactly what everyone in the room is thinking, confirming that trading a product with no common unit of measurement can be a bit of a mess. People like Cowan have developed an algorithm to standardise units.

  • 16:58

    The theme of this session is the "cloud commodities market" – almost a cloud equivalent of the stock exchange.

  • 16:58

  • 16:57

    After a short afternoon break, we're just settling in for John Cowan, CEO and co-founder of 6Fusion and James Mitchell, founder and CEO of Strategic Blue.

  • 16:56

    Looks like we could be running a handful of minutes behind schedule for today's final session - stay with us folks

  • 16:51

    The final countdown is upon us: T-minus five minutes until the Structure: Europe Startup Launchpad!

  • 16:30

    Manfred says that the first commercially available Helium HDD will be available from November 2013. That's a 6TB HDD with seven platters rather than six. Note that the platters are less than 1TB in size because there are "challenges" when stacking platters in helium. One factory setup for helium. Even in 2014, supply is likely to be very limited as HGST invests in factory lines to build them. He also confirmed that there will be a JV between WD and HGST on HAMR.

    Helium HDDs will still have 2m hours MTBF. Good news for DCs. Helium is going to help bring liquid cooling to DC as the hard drive is hermetically sealed and Manfred said that Helium is not going to be in short supply because it is in constant production by Mother Nature. Cold storage is currently a promising area, an "underserved opportunity". There are two strands: Cooling/Warm-online storage and proper Cold Storage (i.e. tape replacement). Cold storage HDD will have to be way cheaper than enterprise (less than half the price per GB). He mentions $120 for the price of replacing a disk drive within a data centre.

  • 15:44

    Desire is heading to HGST to check out what the WD-owned company has to say about the "overlooked disk drive and the (R)evolution of storage". The speaker at this session is Manfred Berger, Senior Manager Cloud and Mobility for EMEA at HGST.

  • 15:15

    Om Malik and Jason Hoffman, founder of Joyent, are now onstage talking about the rise of the developer and how it influence the development of cloud. Infrastructure as a service (IAAS) saw a drop in price by more than 80 per cent over the last four years. He says that Amazon is "exceptionally good" at being customer focused, which is not surprising given its core business. Amazon can be beaten, Joyent's founder says.

    The focus needs to move away from VM and Compute and more towards the data services, not just running VMs. Google is extremely interesting, he adds, because it can scale services very, very effectively. Eight to 12 data services, he said, should be enough to cover most of the market. Malik asks him whether the fact that Europe doesn't have a hyperscale company is a disadvantage for the EU. "You have to do OS work to do the cloud", Hoffman answers.

    SAP could be well positioned to go into data services with Nokia (the non-Microsoft entity) and Ericsson possible candidates as well. The key appears to be delivering discrete services that combine hardware and software. Malik now asks Hoffman, who is now a free electron, whether he wants to start another Cloud company. "No" he says though he still is fascinated with the mobile M2M ecosystem and how to scale the combination of connectivity especially in ultra-congested areas.

    Note that the original speaker, has had to bailed out at the last minute.

  • 14:40

    With the session rounding off, these guys seem pretty convinced that data should continue to be pumped out into the online sphere, with IOT at the heart of the trend. When the concept becomes mainstream, governments will become "more transparent" with the handling of our data, Asin argues, which perhaps provides us all with a bit of comfort.

  • 14:38

    Simon believes IOT will soon be "an assumption" in our everyday machines, from coffee makers to parking meters, as they become "Internet aware", automatically sending out notifications for when they need refills, maintenance, and the like.

  • 14:35

    Research into what else wireless sensor networks can facilitate is going to be crucial now, says Asin. Our overall understanding doesn't yet meet the market's IOT demands, and only long-term research projects will provide the more answers going forward. The US has slowed in its IOT progression due to a lack of research Asin says, but Europe is making greater strides.

  • 14:32

  • 14:31

    Asin says its a matter of time before more companies join the IOT revolution, which will in turn bring down the prices of the key components like wireless sensors. Then the IOT will be a mainstream concept, she says.

  • 14:28

    Within the next 5 - 10 years, Simon says the Internet of Things (IOT) can solve "humongous problems" on a global scale, like energy consumption and climate change.

  • 14:26

    Simon is "super excited" and "bullish" about what the Internet of Things can bring. He says it's "rare you have a technology opportunity that delivers faster, better, cheaper solutions" with everything we currently do.

  • 14:25

  • 14:23

    Off and underway in our next afternoon session, and a big question is being asked: Do we really want all of yout things on the Internet? Michael Simon, CEO of LogMeIn and Alicia Asin, CEO of Spain's Libelium will be taking on the issues around big data and the Internet of Things.

  • 14:16

    John Foreman, for his part, says data visualisation is hot air - pretty pictures don't provide a high-level of data use

  • 14:15

    Final question - what's the most overhyped aspect of data science?

  • 14:15

    Democratisation of data science - PayPal is apparently introducing a platform to provide improved access to data, to anybody at any time

  • 14:13

    John Foreman agrees: We're heading the direction where the layman will be able to input data into easy-to-use software and achieve a high level of analytical insight, so more sophisticated data sciences will get more and more specific.

  • 14:11

    Import.io's Andrew Fogg: "If big data is going to deliver on its promise, we have got to make it easier for people."

  • 14:10

    Data is ultimately about adding value to commerce....Any guesses who said that? Yup, the PayPal representative, no prizes...

  • 14:09

    Smaller case studies are key to pushing the application of data science beyond the realm of large corporations

  • 14:09

    MailChimp's John Foreman: "Everyone wants to use social data, [but] look internally and see if you have valuable data - like purchase data - internally...It might be more worthwhile." Social data should be a second-level addition, do you agree?

  • 14:05

    According to PayPal VP of data technology Sam Hamilton, a great data scientist possesses three qualities: 1) An understanding of math stats and economics 2) Programming and data handing ability 3) Domain knowledge

  • 14:02

    But how can smaller organisations start harnessing data science? According to Import.io founder Andrew Fogg, the answer is right under our nose - Microsoft Excel. It's "one of the most sophisticated data tools of the last 20 years" for business critical processes, he says.

  • 14:00

    MailChimp chief data scientist John Foreman: Our data scientists considers two classes of customers - internal customers (the team) and external customers (the users). Customers can actually do data science themselves, sometimes without even knowing it.

  • 13:58

    PayPal's Sam Hamilton: The workflow behind good data science centres around the identification of core problems. What areas can we improve on, what areas can we solve?

  • 13:57

  • 13:55

    Fraud prevention is PayPal's key use of data science, VP of data technology Sam Hamilton comments in his opening remarks

  • 13:53

    Data giveth and it taketh away will be the theme for this afternoon's discussion

  • 13:41

    The afternoon will kick off with a 'Data Guru' panel discussion featuring representatives from Import.io, MailChimp, and PayPal

  • 13:37

    A few stomachs grumble, there's a round of applause and the room quickly empties.

  • 13:36

    In 2009, the majority of all Internet traffic was generated by 150 companies. This year that changed to just 50.

  • 13:34

    The Internet has completely changed since its inception all those years ago. Almost all content has been shifted to datacentres, which are now not only needed in the world's major cities, but 'secondary' cities too.

  • 13:32

    Talking about the core of the Internet, and the impact of businesses on the infrastructure of the web.

  • 13:31

    Craig has been monitoring how the construction of the Internet has changed in the "largest study of its kind."

  • 13:29

  • 13:28

    Craig Labovitz, the co-founder of DeepField, enters the room.

  • 13:16

    Oh and here's our proposed hierarchy of storage formats by 2018

  • 13:14

    Interesting titbit from the guys at HGST, I've been told that the 6TB Helium-based hard disk drive is going to launch pretty soon, with apparently another big announcement coming in a few weeks' time. It is likely that HGST will be packing six 1TB platters.

  • 12:30

    Margaret Dawson is swiftly replaced on stage by Lew Cirne, the founder and CEO of New Relic.

  • 12:28

    Dawson says HP uses OpenStack to deliver its public cloud because that's what its customers want. They want transparency and openness, and it doesn't hurt that the company has strong legacy ties with the open source community. Also, OpenStack innovation can be really impressive.

  • 12:27

    Things have developed quickly for HP over the last year, with the company hiring a lot of experienced cloud computing people over the last year.

  • 12:27

    There have been issues surrounding HP's cloud story over recent years, with more words than actions delivered. Dawson assures us that there is now a clear commitment to the cloud throughout the company, calling it one of its key strategic pillars.

  • 12:26

  • 12:05

    Next is HP Cloud, with Margaret Dawson, VP of Product Marketing and Cloud Evangelist, Hewlett Packard.

  • 12:04

    Brendan Collins, VP of Product Marketing, HGST, a Western Digital Company and David Fullagar, Director of Content Delivery Architecture, Netflix are on stage. David talks about using its own CDN for delivering content, Netflix's own specialised hardware solution, moving away from the likes of third parties Akamai. By focusing on its own video traffic, Netflix has been able to tweak things in a way that wouldn't have been possible on a third party platform.

    Netflix in Europe is huge having launched 18 months ago in UK&I. Traffic is in excess of than 1Tbps in Europe, wiith peak times on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Building your own box is crucial to that plan. Netflix's server has multiple 10Gbps ports and weighs around 50Kgs, one that can store around 100TB of storage. Not much encoding or in-the-box compute. For HGST, over the past 5 or 7 years, partnership with companies (hyperscale ones) that have been designing their own data centres has been crucial. Moving away from commoditised Wintel environment to a more differentiated model with Facebook, Google et al. David says that the chassis is custom (and around 80 per cent of the cost) but mostly generic components (generic Intel CPU, generic memory, HGST HDDs).

    In the future, Fullagar says that he would like to buy off-the-shelf compact chassis. Moderator ask question about what's coming next. 40 per cent of cost in a data centre is storage with 40 per cent being CAPEX says Collins. He talks about Helium-based storage which will be able to boost capacity (40 to 50 per cent extra capacity) with lower running temperatures. Netflix has already tested it and ideally will like to have a maintenance-free box. It is using more and more flash especially for more popular content.

    Fullagar also talks about the algorithm and thought process that goes into how content is chosen, produced and delivered by Netflix. The session is now finished. Shame that HGST didn't talk about SMR or even Cold Storage.

  • 11:39

    The two sessions we will attend are "Amazon in sight" and "streaming 114,000 years of video every month".

  • 09:54

    One of the sessions we're really looking forward to is this afternoon's Startup Launchpad, but what can you expect? We've taken a closer look at the Structure: Europe Startup Launchpad to give you an idea of the exciting early-stage ventures set to do battle later today

  • 09:52

    If you're looking for us, we're tucked away next to the fine folks from Level 39, one of London's top startup accelerators.

  • 09:51

    From the beginning, he says, he believed that blogs would replace custom, proprietary CMSes used by new and old media and from the start, they'd need to be highly scalable. He tells engineers to assume that bandwidth and compute power are infinite. Matt also mentions Photon, which he calls a free CDN for the web. Everything is open sourced as well.

    Malik asks what he calls a controversial question about the use of PHP and MySQL, two technologies that he says have fallen out with the new generation. Matt says that he believes in the right tool for the job and PHP is the Lingua Franca of the web. Looking into the future of the cloud, Matt says that he is interested in services that can provide with vertical scalability.

    Talks about Amazon S3/EC2 and how it allows for frictionless and dynamic scalability. Malik switches to a discussion about data-informed application. Matt says that the ability to grab data is not matched by the ability to crunch and use that data. Data, he says, can be misdirecting. Data-informed, not data-driven, is what we should inspire, he says. Hyperpersonalised services are the one which have been the most popular. The best personalisation is the one that is transparent and invisible says Matt.

    And our short event comes to an end.

  • 09:50

    As previously mentioned, we're bunkered down at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel - here's our man Aatif hard at work on the morning news round

  • 09:48

  • 09:37

    Next on stage is Matt Mullenweg, the chap behind WordPress. He's on stage to say what it takes to run nearly a fifth of the web's content. Automattic is expected to crack the 200-employee barrier. He's talking about how things started before the days of Web 2.0. Has 10 data centres worldwide, has thousands of servers under its mantel.

  • 09:33

    Good morning, the whole team is at the swanky Grange Hotel this morning to listen and report from GigaOM Structure:Europe. Currently on stage (and running late) is Tim Bell, Infrastructure Manager at CERN. He is talking about how CERN has been using cloud computing to crack some of the biggest challenges ever put to humanity.

  • 17 September
  • 17:36

    So folks, thanks again for joining us if you're one of the early birds - just one more sleep until we head down to the big show! Let us know any early thoughts you might have on Structure: Europe and its rallying cry of "Building a global cloud." There's the comment section below for your ranting pleasure, or connect with us on social media - there's some handy widgets at the top of the page to guide you in the right direction. See you first thing tomorrow.

  • 13:04

    Joined us early? If so, why not check out what's going on in our cloud and enterprise hubs, both of which are chock full of technology news and analysis that matters to real businesses and IT decision makers.

  • 11:09

    If, like us, you're scheduled to ankle over to Tower Bridge first thing tomorrow, then you'll no doubt be starting to think about your schedule soon - hop on over to the Structure: Europe website for the full lineup, or check out our preview of the five key sessions at Structure: Europe for an easy-to-digest overview.

  • 11:07

    To find our more about the event, check out our editor Desire's feature on what you need to know about GigaOM Structure: Europe

  • 11:05

    Hello there, cloud warriors! Thanks for joining us for our live coverage of GigaOM Structure: Europe, one of the foremost conferences around and a great excuse to check out the swanky new Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, which was built in 2011 and boasts a number of green tech credentials itself