George Reese

Author and founder of Valtira and enStratus.

Areas of Expertise:

  • java
  • mysql
  • amazon ec2
  • content management
  • marketing
  • internationalization
  • cloud computing
  • amazon web services
  • consulting
  • speaking
  • training
  • writing

George Reese is the founder of two Minneapolis-based companies, enStratus Networks LLC (maker of high-end cloud infrastructure management tools) and Valtira LLC (maker of the Valtira Online Marketing Platform). Over the past 15 years, George has authored a number of technology books, including MySQL Pocket Reference, Database Programming with JDBC and Java, Java Database Best Practices, and Cloud Application Architectures.

Throughout the Internet era, George has spent his career building enterprise tools for developers and delivering solutions to the marketing domain. He was an influential force in the evolution of online gaming through the creation of a number of Open Source MUD libraries and he created the first JDBC driver in 1996—the Open Source mSQL-JDBC. Most recently, George has been involved in the development of systems to support the deployment of transactional web applications in the cloud.

George holds a BA in Philosophy from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois. He currently lives in Minnesota with his wife Monique and his daughters Kyra and Lindsey.

Cloud Application Architectures Cloud Application Architectures
by George Reese
April 2009
Print: $29.99
Ebook: $23.99

MySQL Pocket Reference MySQL Pocket Reference
by George Reese
Second Edition July 2007
Print: $14.99
Ebook: $11.99

Java Database Best Practices Java Database Best Practices
by George Reese
May 2003
Print: $39.95

MySQL Pocket Reference MySQL Pocket Reference
by George Reese
February 2003
Ebook: $6.99

Managing & Using MySQL Managing & Using MySQL
by George Reese , Randy Jay Yarger , Tim King
Second Edition April 2002
Print: $39.99
Ebook: $31.99

Database Programming with JDBC & Java Database Programming with JDBC & Java
by George Reese
Second Edition August 2000
Print: $49.99

MySQL and mSQL MySQL and mSQL
by Randy Jay Yarger , George Reese , Tim King
July 1999

Database Programming with JDBC and Java Database Programming with JDBC and Java
by George Reese
June 1997

Recent Posts | All O'Reilly Posts

George blogs at:

The Hole in VMware's Whole Cloud Strategy

June 30 2012

Microsoft and Google moving into the IaaS space is the clearest signal the market has seen that Platform as a Service just isn't ready for the big leagues yet. These moves may even indicate that PaaS isn't the grand future of cloud everyone has been predicting, but instead just a… read more

Object/NoSQL Mapping for Riak with Dasein Persist

May 29 2012

One of the more snarky things you will hear said about NoSQL databases is that they are "write-only" databases or "no query" databases. It is fair to say that NoSQL databases are often challenging to pull data from when you are doing more than fetching values by their keys. The… read more

API Versioning

October 12 2011

API versioning is something a lot of API designers don't worry about until the second version of their API. API versioning, however, is a controversial subject with strong opinions on both version representation and behavior. read more

The EC2 API as a Defacto Standard

August 09 2011

The argument for EC2 as a defacto standard is, at some level, the same as it is for any defacto standard: through the EC2 API, you eliminate the need for others to learn some custom API and you can leverage the existing, sizable ecosystem. But there is no such thing… read more

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of REST APIs

June 04 2011

I've never seen a perfect REST API. But I have seen some of the most horrible mistakes repeated over and over again by people building heavily consumed APIs. Here's a list of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of REST API design. read more

The AWS Outage: The Cloud's Shining Moment

April 23 2011

So many cloud pundits are piling on to the misfortunes of Amazon Web Services this week as a response to the massive failures in the AWS Virginia region. If you think this week exposed weakness in the cloud, you don't get it: it was the cloud's shining moment, exposing the… read more

The Whole Cloud, Part II: Suitability for the Cloud

April 16 2011

In my discussion of the Whole Cloud, I assumed as fact that a mature cloud computing infrastructure leverages all kinds of clouds. Given the amount of energy put into arguments on the subject, it's obviously not a given to most people. Today, I want to talk about how these different… read more

The Whole Cloud

April 15 2011

A few companies are currently well positioned to create a view of cloud computing that encompasses all aspects of cloud from IaaS to SaaS, public cloud and private cloud, internal and external. A mature cloud infrastructure, however, will be made up of all pieces of the cloud puzzle. read more

A Proposal for Cloud State Notifications

April 02 2011

The cloud ecosystem needs a mechanism besides polling that enables monitoring, management, and automation tools to learn about changes in the state of cloud resources. This proposal attempts to define a simple protocol for notifying those tools through a push notifications system rather than polling. read more

Cloud Culture: How Cloud Attitudes Differ in Europe and North America

December 31 2010

Based on the work I have been doing in cloud computing Europe, Asia/Pacific, and North America, people have been regularly asking me the questions, "How are attitudes towards cloud computing different in Europe?" and "How has cloud adoption differed in Europe from it's adoption in the United States?" In the… read more

Cloud 2011: The Year of the Network

December 22 2010

In spite of all the innovation that's happened in the recent years in the cloud, cloud networking remains in the dark ages. I expect that 2011 will prove to be the year of the network in the cloud. read more

The Delusion of Private Cloud Security

August 07 2010

The perennial debate on private cloud vs. public cloud continues to flare up anywhere cloud computing is being discussed. One of the most often repeated myths favoring private cloud deployments is that they are "more secure" than public clouds. It's complete nonsense. read more

The Cloud Computing Mind Map

July 01 2010

Getting your brain around all of the components of cloud computing is a huge challenge. There are so many players, and a number of them are performing functions entirely new to IT. A few months ago, I put together a mind map of the cloud computing space I use to… read more

Failure Is a Feature of Reality

May 14 2010

All systems fail. In the computing world, the best we can hope for is the creation of redundant systems and backup systems that help minimize the impact of those failures. Where people run into trouble in the cloud is when they believe that "putting a system in the cloud" means… read more

Understanding the Cloud Landscape

April 29 2010

Making sense out of all of the components of cloud computing confuses even many of the major analysts. It's easy to understand how Google, Amazon, or fit into the picture. But who is Eucalyptus and what do they do? Does CohesiveFT compete with enStratus or does it complement enStratus?… read more

The Five Levels of Cloud Computing

March 24 2010

We're at an immature stage in the development of cloud computing. Today, the cloud represents the exception to way organizations manage technology. As the decade progresses, cloud computing will mature and evolve into the core of all IT systems along the path described in these five levels of cloud computing. read more

The Sacred Barrier

February 25 2010

Should public cloud providers reach into the guest operating system to perform various functions? I've always held that a public cloud provider should treat the border between the hypervisor and guest operating system as a sacred barrier that should never be breached. The fear in public cloud computing is giving… read more

How Much Is the Fear of Cloud Security Worth?

February 21 2010

It's absurd to talk about the cloud as being "more secure" or "less secure" than an internal data center. In fact, for most needs, a cloud infrastructure can be secured appropriately to an organization's risk profile. Even if you are concerned about the security issues with cloud computing, it's highly… read more

Towards Event-Driven Cloud APIs

February 16 2010

The traditional request/response API model that exists for nearly every single cloud provider API is a very wasteful model that eats up computing resources both with the cloud provider and with systems interested in monitoring for changes in the cloud infrastructure. Instead, cloud providers should move to an event-driven API… read more

Dasein Cloud and the vCloud API

January 20 2010

Dasein Cloud has introduced support for VMware's vCloud API. Because it is so different from other cloud APIs, the vCloud implementation for Dasein Cloud provides an excellent example of how Dasein Cloud is able to provide a rich experience for each cloud it supports without sacrificing abstraction. read more

Cloud Services for Every SMB

January 13 2010

In the cloud computing era, just about every small/medium-sized business task has a cloud-based solution. There's simply no longer any need to own a server, and purchasing desktop software should be the exception and not the rule. read more

Cloud Forensics using EBS Boot Volumes

January 03 2010

In December, Amazon introduced a new feature for their cloud: EBS Boot Volumes. An EBS boot volume essentially provides the ability to boot from a virtual SAN. This new approach to booting virtual machines offers up a wealth of new capabilities in the Amazon Cloud. Among the security uses of… read more

Principles for Standardized REST Authentication

December 26 2009

I'm tired of wasting brain cycles figuring out whether a given vendor requires you to sign your query before or after you URL encode your parameters and I am fed up with vendors who insist on using interactive user credentials to authenticate API calls. Here's a set of standards that… read more

Your Cloud Needs a Sys Admin

October 15 2009

I've attended a number of CloudCamps around the world, and the question as to whether systems administrators are relevant in the post-cloud world always seems to come up. Let's put this silly question to bed: your cloud needs a sys admin. read more

Four Tips for Avoiding VM Sprawl in the Public Cloud

October 03 2009

You moved into the cloud to save some money. Now it's the first of the month and you're looking at your latest cloud provider bill. It's not at all what you planned. Welcome to the world of VM sprawl, the dark side of cloud computing. read more

The Dasein Cloud API

August 15 2009

The Dasein Cloud API is the next step in the drive towards Open cloud programming standards. This Open Source API enables programmers to write cloud management applications in Java against a single API that supports multiple clouds. read more

Freemium Services and the Economics of Social Networking

July 05 2009

Social networking sites face a unique economic challenge when it comes to monetizing the value they create. Any attempt to capture a piece of the value they create inevitably damages that value. read more

The First Step into the Cloud: Which Kinds of Applications Make the Most Sense?

June 24 2009

A key to successfully integrating the public cloud into your IT infrastructure is identifying a first application that will provide you with measurable results and learnings that can apply to future deployments without putting your business at risk. IT annoyances make the ideal first cloud projects. read more

A Quick Look at Amazon CloudWatch, Load Balancing, and Auto-Scaling

June 01 2009

Amazon recently made available to the public three new services that will have a huge impact on the way people architect systems to be deployed in the Amazon cloud. I have put together my first look thoughts on these new offerings. read more

The Five Laws of Implementing a Login Solution

May 20 2009

Don't write your own. But whether your decide to write your own or implement a third-party solution, make sure it follows these five rules no matter what the risk profile of your application. read more

Google's Failings Say Little about Cloud Computing

May 16 2009

Every time an individual cloud vendor suffers a failure like last week's networking issues with Google, mindless bloggers rush out to suggest the failures of one company represent failures of cloud computing in general. It's time to hold this logical fallacy up to the light and learn what we really… read more

Transparency: The Key to Cloud Security

April 19 2009

If your cloud provider refuses to answer any specific question about their security architecture related to your security requirements, run--don't walk--away from that vendor read more

Using the Cloud for Disaster Recovery

April 12 2009

Few companies have a solid disaster recovery plan and fewer companies actually verify their DR plans are working. One of the often missed benefits of cloud computing is that it makes rapid disaster recovery with minimal data loss extremely cost effective and enables the automation of those processes that can… read more

The Varieties of Openness Worth Wanting in the Cloud

March 27 2009

All of the vendors in the cloud space have paid lip service to the idea of Openness in the cloud; and most everyone believes that being "Open" is a "good thing". In an environment in which few people agree on the specifics of defining the term "cloud computing", what exactly… read more

The Weakness of Commodity Server to Cloud Server Cost Comparisons

March 19 2009

Though the conventional wisdom on the Internet is that the economic benefits of cloud computing fail for applications with steady usage needs, the reality is that the commodity-server to cloud-server comparisons on which this wisdom is based are flawed. The reality is that the cloud often provides compelling economic benefits… read more

PCI in the Cloud

February 26 2009

Compliance is the most significant issue confronting organizations looking at a move into the cloud. Here are a number of recommended architectures that should provide PCI compliance for pure-cloud infrastructures. read more

The Twitter Value Paradox

January 18 2009

Twitter is the only social media tool that has proven itself in the business arena. While some tools have serviced niche uses for specific industries, Twitter's global appeal to business and the amount of value it adds are unmatched. The irony of this situation is that any attempt to recapture… read more

Cloud Tips: Sending Email from an EC2 Instance

January 16 2009

Many email systems mark email coming from an SMTP server in the Amazon cloud as spam. As a result, you can't use traditional mail delivery techniques for sending out form submissions or program alerts from the cloud. In this cloud tip, I describe how you can successfully send legitimate email… read more

Why the AWS Console is Good for Cloud Tool Vendors

January 09 2009

The release of the Amazon Web Services console has had a number of people predicting doom for cloud tools providers. On the contrary, by removing a barrier to experimentation that has kept people out of the cloud, the Amazon Web Services console should bring more people in the cloud and… read more

Microsoft's Cloud Tax

December 24 2008

The importance of the differences among web application platforms like .NET, JSP, PHP, etc. drops dramatically under the cloud computing paradigm. Which architecture you choose really comes down to one question: what kind of programming and support resources do you have? If the answer is "Microsoft technologies", however, you should… read more

How I Ended Up in the Cloud

December 13 2008

Like most of us, I have been in the cloud longer than I have thought about being "in the cloud". But it took the need for a significant capital investment in hardware to drive Valtira into cloud computing using Amazon Web Services like Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3. Our journey… read more

Three Criteria for Being a Cloud Service

December 08 2008

You may agree or disagree with those criteria. When I talk about cloud computing, that's what I mean. The expression "cloud computing" is confusing a lot of people. I use three criteria when talking about cloud computing to separate cloud services from other kinds of services. I think they capture… read more

On Why I Don't Like Auto-Scaling in the Cloud

December 06 2008

Cloud environments like Amazon EC2 have the ability to dynamically add and remove capacity based on your actual demand. Some tools extend this capability into auto-scaling. Auto-scaling, however, can be dangerous and often serves as a crutch for poor capacity planning. read more

Key Security Issues for the Amazon Cloud

November 30 2008

This follow-on article to the Twenty Rules for Amazon Cloud Security examines six real security concerns that gave rise to the 20 rules. read more

Twenty Rules for Amazon Cloud Security

November 27 2008

The Amazon EC2 cloud computing model introduces new classes of security concerns as you look to deploying web applications into the cloud. These twenty rules for Amazon Cloud security will help you protect the integrity of your cloud deployments from many different kinds of security threats. read more

Increasing Availability in the Amazon Cloud

November 10 2008

If you have done any experimentation in the cloud, you have likely realized that virtual server instances in the Amazon cloud are much less reliable than their real world counterparts. How do you compare availability in the cloud to a physical infrastructure and leverage the cloud to increase overall availability. read more

The Economics of Cloud Computing

October 24 2008

Cloud computing has been "the next cool thing" for at least the past 18 months. The current economic climate, however, may be the thing that accelerates the maturity of the technology and drives mainstream adoption in 2009. read more

Considerations in Building Web Applications for the Amazon Cloud

October 18 2008

I have been helping a number of clients lately migrate part or all of their infrastructure over into the Amazon Cloud. The biggest concern I am seeing relates to whether or not their existing web applications will work OK in... read more

Recent Posts | All O'Reilly Posts

Webcast: Cloud Independence with Dasein Cloud
July 30, 2010
Duration: Approximately 60 minutes. Cost: Free Dasein Cloud is an Open Source Java API that enables write-once, run against any cloud programming. With Dasein Cloud, you can run the same application across any number of supported clouds without ...

Webcast: Getting Started with Amazon Web Services
April 08, 2009
Duration: Approximately 60 minutes. Cost: Free Amazon has rapidly established itself as the major player in the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) domain of cloud computing. Author of Cloud Application Architectures and enStratus founder and CTO ...

George Reese