As pervasive as cloud technology is — and as persuasive as the arguments are for using it — the cloud has its limits. Some companies will always have security concerns about storing data in the cloud and certain high-transaction applications will always be better suited for on-premises storage. Those statements were among the bottom-line takeaways delivered at Cloud Expo this week, a three day, bi-annual event focused on cloud technologies, adoption and associated challenges.
Containerized software is riding a wave of growth, according to latest RightScale survey. At Sematext we see this growth trend via our Docker monitoring adoption and via Sematext Docker Agent popularity on Docker Hub, where it crossed 1M+ pulls line. This rapid rise of containers now makes Docker the top DevOps tool among those included in RightScale survey. Overall Docker adoption surged to 35 percent, while Kubernetes adoption doubled, going from 7% in 2016 to 14% percent.
Instead of trying to determine whether or not virtualization is a good general business practice, you need to ask yourself one simple question: Does it make sense for my business?
The floodgates have officially opened. Businesses that were once reluctant to invest in the IoT are now willing participants, looking for any opportunity to reduce their dependence on physical assets and environments.
But is it worth the cost? This is a question that many businesses find themselves wondering and the answer isn’t always clear.
It’s that time of the year again when tech companies report their quarterly results. For investors and the general public, this is a good time to evaluate how a company is performing, how its different sectors and what can be expected from the company over the next few months.
Microsoft announced its results for the third quarter of 2017, and surprisingly, it fell short of analysts’ expectations. The company reported a revenue of $23.56 billion while analysts were expecting a revenue of $23.62 billion. But in terms of earnings per share (EPS), Microsoft surpassed investors’ expectations as they had been expecting a revenue of $0.70 and Microsoft reported $0.73.
One of the key things to note in the results is the role played by cloud business in boosting the overall revenue of Microsoft. The cloud-based services including Azure and “Intelligent cloud” brought in revenue to the tune of $15.2 billion and this is a 11 percent increase year-on-year. In fact, Azure’s revenue jumped by 93 percent when compared to the same time last year.
According to Amy Hood, the Chief Financial Officer at Microsoft, strong execution and the growing demand for cloud business drove up the revenues this quarter and as a whole, the company expects this demand to sustain over the next few quarters as well. In this sense, they expect to generate more revenue from Azure and its “intelligent cloud” division over the upcoming months.
This is an important trend as it clearly lays out the path for Microsoft, or for that matter, many tech companies that operate in this line of business. Already, Microsoft has been investing heavily in its cognitive services and Azure platform, and we can expect this investment to increase too.
Other important gleanings from these results include the price that customers are willing to pay for services. For example, the results show that 80 percent of Azure customers use premium pricing plans. This means, customers are willing to pay more money provided they get the right value additions for the money they pay.
One aspect that we’ve been seeing is that the cloud wars have brought down the price of cloud services. Leading cloud providers like Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and Google have been slashing their prices greatly in a bid to woo more customers. Due to this trend, premium services itself don’t cost a lot and can in fact, be affordable to many clients. That said, we can infer that this demand for premium plans could be because it’s affordable and companies get more from it.
Besides cloud, Microsoft’s Productivity and Business processes segment registered a 22 percent increase when compared to the same time last year, as its revenues soared to $8 billion. Commercial office was up by seven percent while consumer revenues grew by 15 percent respectively. The Personal Computing segment took a beating though as it registered a seven percent decline in sales.
Overall, Microsoft had a decent performance though not a stellar one, and much of it was driven by its cloud business.
Analysis April 27 saw Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft release its most recent financial results, with cloud at the heart of their success. But this doesn’t quite tell the full story.
Amazon reported net sales for Amazon Web Services (AWS) hit $3.66 billion (£2.83bn), up 42% from a year before, but up only 3.5% from the previous quarter’s $3.54bn.
Amazon’s cloud computing arm secured 12 bullet points of its own in the 32-point strong ‘highlights’ of the quarter, with particular reference to the general availability of Amazon Lex, the technology which powers Alexa, as well as Connect, the company’s cloud-based contact centre service. AWS also said that customers had migrated more than 23,000 databases using its database migration service since it had become available in 2016.
In the quotes from the press materials, the focus was on growth in India more than anything else, while in the conference call Amazon only spoke about AWS when prodded by analysts, not being able to give updated usage figures.
Responding to one question around product growth and innovation, Brian Olsavsky, Amazon chief financial officer, noted, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha: “We break out very clearly our AWS segment revenue and operating income, and you’ll also keep in mind that there’s price decreases that are part of the business, and we’re pretty public when we do those. In general, we’re very happy with that team and the progress they’re making – and we’re deploying more capital as you can see to support the usage growth.”
It’s worth noting that this apparent downturn can be attributed to Amazon being the most explicit of the three companies when disclosing its cloud results. Microsoft’s headline of ‘Microsoft Cloud Strength Highlights Third Quarter Results’ on its earnings press release again doesn’t explain the full picture.
The Redmond firm puts its revenue into four buckets; productivity and business processes, ‘intelligent cloud’, more personal computing, Figures for intelligent cloud went up to $6.76bn for Q117, up 10.9% from this time last year. While the company does not disclose specific figures for Azure, it did add that sales went up 93% in the most recent quarter.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spent part of his time on the conference call specifically discussing the work Microsoft is doing with Maersk. The transport and logistics provider was revealed as a customer at the Digital Difference event in New York earlier this week, with Nadella explaining, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha: “For a company that ships 17 million containers annually, the ability to react quickly can mean the difference of tens of millions of dollars to the bottom line. This is a great example of our three clouds coming together to enable deep digital transformation.”
For Google, it’s even more of an investigation to find out from the press materials, where the word cloud was not mentioned once. Unlike the others, the company steadfastly refuses to disclose its specific cloud revenues, preferring to bundle it in under the nebulous ‘other’ category, alongside hardware and YouTube subscriptions. Revenues from other businesses totalled $3.1 billion in the first quarter of 2017, up 49% from this time last year. Comparatively, Google’s advertising revenues grew 18.8% year on year, at a total of $21.4bn.
Clues as to the extent of Google’s cloud push can be found in other areas. Last month, at Google Next in San Francisco, Diane Greene, Google cloud SVP, ferried a flurry of enterprise-grade customers on and off the stage, from Verizon – ranked 13 on the most recent Fortune 500 – to Colgate-Palmolive (174) and eBay (300). As this publication noted at the time, it made a difference when compared to previous customers the company eulogised over, such as Snapchat and Evernote.
More can be found in the call to analysts last night. “Cloud is one of our most important strategic priorities given the scale of opportunity in a rapidly evolving sector and the fact that the requirements for success align with many of our strengths,” said Ruth Porat, Alphabet chief financial officer, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha. Google CEO Sundar Pichai was even more effusive. “Over the last several months, we have noticed a chance in the types of conversations that Diane and her team are having with customers,” he said.
“Increasingly, we are being asked to partner for mission-critical projects and full migrations, moving data from on-prem data centres to the cloud,” added Pichai. “We are seeing a meaningful shift, and this momentum is resulting in a fast-growing business.”
So what can be ascertained from this rare coming together of three results calls in one day? For Synergy Research it’s clear: despite the relative slowdown, AWS remains in a league of its own.
“At the top end of the cloud provider market we’re now seeing a clear stratification featuring AWS, a group of higher-growth chasers, and a couple of more focused niche players,” said John Dinsdale, Synergy chief analyst and research director. “Beyond those leading companies, the cloud market features a long tail of small to medium sized providers or companies that have only a minor position in the market, typically based on either a specific country or focused application area.
“There are decent growth opportunities for some of these smaller players, but they are unlikely to make much impact in terms of overall worldwide market share,” Dinsdale added.
As the most recent graphs from the companies show, AWS continues to rule the roost, but the performance of their nearest competitors – however far away they may seem right now – needs to be acknowledged.
The past decade has seen an increasing trend in employees using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to aid in their work. This trend has fostered organizations to adopt practices like bring-your-own-device (BYOD) with hopes of improving employee productivity and efficiency. There is, however, a downside to this because such practices pose major risks concerning corporate data security and data management. In order to ward off these risks, enterprises seek out reliable mobile device management (MDM) solutions.
While the benefits are many, the DevOps journey for an established organization can be a long one filled with surprises and challenges. To avoid as many of both as possible, learning from those who have gone before you can help you apply best practices to ensure a smoother path to success. As a result, in this article, I will outline the seven steps to a DevOps transformation as learned through working hands-on with more than 100 leading enterprise organizations to establish and sustain successful DevOps and IT modernization.
When you decide to launch a startup company, business advisors, counselors, bankers and armchair know-it-alls will tell you that the first thing you need to do is get funding. While there is some validity to that boilerplate piece of wisdom, the availability of and need for startup funding has gone through a dramatic transformation over the past decade, and the next few years will see even more of a shift.
A perfect storm of events is causing this seismic shift. On the macroeconomic side this storm includes the still-persistent repercussions of the Great Recession, historically low interest rates, and uncertainty about global commerce and trade. On the technology side, still more realities add to the perfect storm, including the increasing popularity of as-a-service options, which make it easier for startups to launch with no on-premise equipment requirements and possibly no physical office at all, and development platforms that streamline the need for original development work.
Over the years, many enterprises have achieved tremendous cost reductions and management simplicity through virtualizing their IT infrastructure. According to Gartner, while some firms have virtualized over 90% of their servers, on an average, most firms have over 75% of their servers in a virtualized infrastructure, indicating the growth and maturity of the x86 server virtualization market.
Juniper Networks, a specialist in networking products, announced the first quarter results of 2017. It reported a revenue of $1.2 billion, which is a 11 percent increase year-on-year. The non-GAAP net income was $1.78 billion and this represents an almost 25 percent increase year-on-year.
Juniper’s business is divided into three main divisions, namely, telecom and cable, cloud and enterprise. Out of these three, cloud grew the most for the company and helped it to surpass the expectations of analysts. This led to the company’s earnings per share to be $0.46, almost four cents more than what the analysts had been expecting.
Going back to the segments, cloud grew the highest at the rate of 25 percent, while telecom and cable grew at 10 percent and strategic enterprise at two percent respectively. In fact, the telecom and cable business sagged a bit over the last quarter when compared to the year before, and this was compensated by a buoyant growth in its cloud segment.
Still, routing remains the staple of Juniper Networks, as it accounts for more than 43 percent of its revenue. However, that business grew only by three percent when compared to the last year.
This revenue clearly shows that cloud is the future for Juniper Networks as the revenue and growth are clearly better than the other sectors. The CEO of Juniper, Rami Rahim even said that cloud is one of the biggest strategies that’s driving the industry today. He said that companies across all verticals are adopting the cloud, thereby opening the cloud industry in many ways. This industry is no longer the exclusive idea of a handful of companies and that’s because cloud is way more than mere infrastructure and storage.
In other words, what this essentially means is cloud adoption is increasing the chances for many tech companies to make it a primary revenue generator, and Juniper is likely to be one of them soon. This has also opened many opportunities for Juniper to expand within its own strength. Already, many telecom and cable operators are changing their architecture to include cloud services, and Juniper is poised to handle this transition for them.
Already, Juniper has an interesting list of clients, with the top names being Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and Facebook. It is also looking to expand its cloud offerings to traditional telecom providers located within and outside the U.S, as every company is looking to leverage the power of cloud.
Besides cloud, Juniper is also looking to strengthen its security business. The report shows that there’s been a small increase in the sale of security products, and the company is confident that it can do better in the coming months. Of special mention is Juniper’s SRX security portfolio that the CEO believes is gaining traction among its clients. We can expect better results from this product in the upcoming quarters.
With such an impressive result and an optimistic roadmap for the future, Juniper’s investors are sure a happy bunch. The stock price shot by six percent during aftermarket trading on Wednesday.