Category Archives: Public Cloud

Google backs multi-cloud strategy with Orbitera purchase

Googlers having funGoogle has confirmed the acquisition of cloud commerce platform Orbitera, marking an alternative strategy to its main cloud rivals AWS and Microsoft, reports Telecoms.com.

The Orbitera platform acts as a marketplace for cloud solutions which simplifies the way in which customers search and purchase products. The platform currently supports deploying applications on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, but not currently Google Cloud Platform, though the company said it would continue to support software deployments on platforms other than its own.

As the practise of cloud computing has become normalized throughout the industry, multi-cloud strategies have become more common as enterprise organizations aim to spread workloads to reduce risk. It would appear Google are using the move to multi-cloud environments to further establish its platform and build credibility in the industry. Although Google is generally ranked in the top three cloud providers worldwide, the gap between Microsoft and AWS, and Google in third place has been widening slightly in recent quarters.

Microsoft and AWS do also support multi-cloud propositions, though the majority of the marketing messages are focused on standardizing on a single platform. It would seem Google are moving to a position which would be more aligned with customer trends in the cloud ecosystem.

“At Google, we partner closely with our enterprise customers and software providers to ensure their transition to the cloud is as simple and seamless as possible,” said Nan Boden, Head of Global Technology Partners, on the company’s blog. “We recognize that both enterprise customers and ISVs want to be able to use more than one cloud provider and have a way to conduct product trials and proofs of concept before building a full production deployment, all using their trusted SIs (System Integrators), resellers and normal sales cycles.”

The deal ties in well with another acquisition which the internet giant made in recent months. Back in November the company acquired enterprise development platform start-up bebop, which some industry commentators believed was a move to lure former VMware CEO Diane Greene to head a new business-oriented cloud service. The bebop business created a set of tools which simplified the process for enterprise organizations to build cloud apps. Combining Orbitera with Bebop could potentially form the central theme of a new marketing message for Google; simplifying the cloud.

Google are still playing catch-up with cloud rivals AWS and Microsoft, though it does have lofty ambitions. Last year, Urs Hölzle, SVP for Technical Infrastructure, stated he believes the cloud business has the potential to exceed advertising revenues for the internet giant, which stood at $19 billion for the last quarter. Although the company has been growing in the cloud space, its competitors are expanding at a faster pace. Taking Microsoft and AWS on at their own game does not appear to be working, though a new strategy have the potential to act as a differentiator, as it does match customer trends moving towards multi-cloud strategies.

AWS, Microsoft, Google and IBM continue cloud market dominance

male and female during the run of the marathon raceNew research from Synergy states while the cloud market is growing at a healthy rate quarter-by-quarter, the four dominate cloud brands are continuing to pull away from the pack, controlled more market share month-by-month, reports Telecoms.com.

Data from Synergy Research claims the four companies now collectively control more than 50% of worldwide cloud market share (IaaS, PaaS and Hosted Private Cloud), with AWS maintaining its lead at the top of the leader board controlling almost a third of worldwide share. Over the course of the second quarter of 2016, the top four grew revenues by 68%, while the next 20 players, who roughly account for a quarter of the market share, grew 41%. All other vendors in this space grew by a collective 27%.

“In a variety of ways Amazon and the other big three players have distanced themselves from the competition in this market and continue to widen the gap,” said John Dinsdale, Research Director at Synergy Research Group. “What marks them out as different is their global presence, marketing muscle, ability to fund huge investments in hyper scale data centres and, in most cases, a determination to succeed in the market.

“The ranking of the next 20 largest cloud providers features some interesting companies, with Alibaba and Oracle growing particularly strongly, but they are all starting from a long way behind Google, which is itself growing by well over 100% per year and yet remains only a sixth the size of Amazon.”

Although AWS is still the dominant market player, growth is slowing. Google and Microsoft both posted growth figures of more than 100%, though it is far too soon to write AWS’ obituary, as it still controls more than three times the market share of its nearest rival, Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft has been going through a number of transformation projects in recent years, and while the market share for cloud shows it will still be some time before it catches AWS, the team are finding success in other arenas. According to additional research from Synergy, in the data centre infrastructure market, HPE and Cisco may be leading the way for public and private cloud hardware, but Microsoft now accounts for just over 40% of cloud software share, with VMWare its nearest competitor at roughly 20%. The research including share for servers, server OS, storage, networking, network security and virtualization software.

“With spend on cloud services growing by over 50% per year and spend on SaaS growing by over 30%, there is little surprise that cloud operator capex continues to drive strong growth in public cloud infrastructure,” said Jeremy Duke, Synergy Research Chief Analyst. “But on the enterprise data centre side too we continue to see a big swing towards spend on private cloud infrastructure as companies seek to benefit from more flexible and agile IT technology. The transition to cloud still has a long way to go.”

Microsoft Azure to deliver 2016 Olympics

athletics trackMicrosoft has announced it has partnered with broadcaster NBC for its Azure cloud platform to help deliver cross-platform multi-streaming coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games, reports Telecoms.com.

The Azure cloud platform will help NBC deliver more than 4,500 hours of coverage from the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games throughout August. According to Microsoft, it will be providing cloud encoding and hosting with video workflows for the NBC Olympics’ production of the Games, and will assist with live and on-demand multiplatform streaming coverage.

The NBC app will host all of the content and will be available on most devices and platforms including Android, iOS, the US’s biggest selling smart TV set top box Roku, Amazon Fire TV, any device running Windows 10, including Xbox, as well as PC and Mac.

“We always strive to deliver more content in real time to more channels and devices around the world,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the Cloud and Enterprise Group at Microsoft. “During the Sochi Olympic Games, NBC Olympics had more than 1 million concurrent live viewers watching a collective average of 600,000 hours of coverage per day. We are planning for even greater viewing numbers for Rio, and are excited to power the experience again using Microsoft Azure.”

“The Rio Olympics have nearly three times as many events per day as the Sochi Games,” said Rick Cordella, senior vice president and general manager, Digital Media, NBC Sports Group. “With the Azure cloud platform, Microsoft is partnering with us to deliver the secure, scalable cloud we depend on to bring the Games to millions of viewers on whichever device they prefer, via end-to-end live streaming entirely in the cloud.”

This agreement is in addition to NBC’s plans on delivering more than 80 hours of content through virtual reality headsets, after it signed an agreement with Samsung last month to bring the next-generation viewing experience to mobile users with the Galaxy Gear VR and compatible accompanying handset.

Microsoft continues cloud transformation with 100% Azure growth

Microsoft1Microsoft has reported 5% growth to $22.6 billion as the Intelligent Cloud business unit led the charge, with the Azure public cloud offering more than doubling in revenues and compute usage, reports Telecoms.com.

The Intelligent Cloud unit, which includes server products and cloud services, Azure and enterprise mobility offerings grew 7% to $6.7 billion, while the Productivity and Business Processes, which includes Office commercial and consumer product lines as well as the Dynamics suite, grew 5% to $7 billion. Despite revenues in More Personal Computing declining 4% to $8.9 billion, Xbox Live monthly active users grew 33% year-over-year to 49 million and search advertising revenue grew 16% over the period.

“We delivered $22.6 billion in revenue this quarter, an increase of 5% for the quarter in constant currency,” said Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft. “This past year was pivotal in both our own transformation and in partnering with our customers who are navigating their own digital transformations. The Microsoft Cloud is seeing significant customer momentum and we’re well positioned to reach new opportunities in the year ahead.”

Cloud computing has once again brought Microsoft to the forefront of the technology industry following a challenging couple of years. It would appear the transition from software to cloud computing brand is being successfully navigated, though there were a few missed steps along the way, most notably the team’s foray into mobile. Microsoft is moving towards the position of ‘mega-vendor’, infiltrating almost all aspects of an organization (cloud, hardware, social, databases etc.), to make it an indispensable factor of a CIOs roster.

The Intelligent Cloud unit continues as the focal point of the company’s growth strategy, as Nadella claims nearly 60% of the Fortune 500 companies use at least three of the company’s cloud offerings, generating more than $12 billion in Commercial Cloud annualized revenue run rate.

“Companies looking to digitally transform need a trusted cloud partner and turn to Microsoft,” said Nadella. “As a result, Azure revenue and usage again grew by more than 100% this quarter. We see customers choose Microsoft for three reasons. They want a cloud provider that offers solutions that reflect the realities of today’s world and their enterprise-grade needs. They want higher level services to drive digital transformation, and they want a cloud open to developers of all types.”

AI has previously been positioned as one of the cornerstones of growth for the company, and this was reinforced during the earnings call, as Nadella noted the component of the Intelligent Cloud business unit. The Cortana Intelligence Suite, formerly known as Cortana Analytics Suite, is built on the company’s on-going research into big data, machine learning, perception, analytics and intelligent bots. The offering allows developers to build apps and bots which interact with customers in a personalized way, but also react to real-world developments in real-time.

“Just yesterday, we announced Boeing will use Azure, our IoT suite, and Cortana Intelligence to drive digital transformation in commercial aviation, with connected airline systems optimization, predictive maintenance, and much more,” said Nadella. “This builds on great momentum in IoT. This is great progress, but our ambitions are set even higher. Our Intelligent Cloud also enables cognitive services. Cortana Intelligence Suite offers machine learning capabilities and advanced predictive analytics.

“Central to our Intelligent Cloud ambition is providing developers with the tools and capabilities they need to build apps and services for the platforms and devices of their choice. The new Azure Container service as well as .NET Core 1.0 for open source and our ongoing work with companies such as Red Hat, Docker, and Mesosphere reflects significant progress on this front. We continue to see traction from open source, with nearly a third of customer virtual machines on Azure running Linux.”

The company exceeded analyst expectations for the quarter, which was reflected in pre-market trading which saw shares in the giant growing 4%. In terms of outlook for the next quarter, most business units are expected to be down a fraction on the Q2 reported figures, unsurprising considering the summer period. Intelligent Cloud is expected to bring between $6.1-6.3 million, Productivity and Business Processes $6.4-6.6 billion, and More Personal Computing $8.7-9 billion.

The cloud is a utility, and we’re fine with that – AWS

amazon awsWhile the telco industry is fighting to avoid being relegated to the likes of utilities, AWS has already accepted cloud computing is commoditised, reports Telecoms.com.

As cloud as a concept continues to become normalized within the business world, the number of competitors is growing day by day. AWS would generally still be considered the leader in the market, though progress from Microsoft and Google, as well as a number of new players appearing has slightly eroded this dominant position. According to Brendan Bouffler, AWS’ lead for the team responsible for developing the scientific computing segment, the prospect of cloud becoming utilized would not bother the market leader.

“It already is,” said Bouffler. “You can move in and out of our cloud whenever you like. There’s no long term commitment as our standard terms and conditions last for an hour. You can sign up for an hour and then move out. We see it all the time. We’re constantly holding our feet to the fire and forcing ourselves to innovate, that’s how we keep customers.”

Within the telco industry, operators are fighting against the tide to prevent the business being classed in the same bracket as utilities. Competing on price and constantly attempting to undercut challengers is not a battle ground the industry wants to operate in. The telcos would like to compete on value adds and brand equity, though Bouffler believes there is enough untapped business in the cloud market for the utility model to be successful.

Estimates on the value of the global cloud computing market vary, though statista believes it is worth in the region of $114 billion this year. Should AWS continue its healthy start to 2016, it will account for $10 billion. By 2020 the market is predicted to grow to roughly $159 billion, offering plenty of opportunity for competitors to establish themselves, and AWS to continue its growth.

“Running a company like a hardware vendor does where they are looking for high margins is a legitimate business model, but ours is different to that,” said Bouffler. “We’re a high volume, low margin business and it’s successful for us. It was pretty successful in disrupting the retail industry in the way books were sold. As a consumer of books, I’m in awe of that. You can put books in the hands of people for almost pennies. We democratized reading and we’re going to do the same for cloud.”

Bouffler believes the disruptive nature of Amazon and AWS is fuelling future growth within the business itself. Competing on price is not a worry for the team, as this was the origins of the Amazon book business. Amazon was launched in 1994 and shook up the retail book industry. It drove down prices, opened up new distribution channels and created an entirely new way of consuming literature. Bouffler believes the same is being done for computing.

Although the telco industry is concerned with the direction it is heading, the potential for growth within the cloud computing industry means being classed as a utility is not necessarily a terrible fate for AWS. While there are some organizations who would like to create an industry with higher margins, Bouffler believes the origins of Amazon, the disruptive nature of the business and the experience of operating in a low margin/high volume environment puts the company in a strong position to compete and succeed in a utility environment.

“This is only the tip of the iceberg,” said Bouffler. “Some of our customers are people doing something they wouldn’t have usually done without cloud computing. It wasn’t that they were substituting for money which would have been spent on a hardware cluster, these are projects that weren’t going to happen. This is net new stuff. This whole net new universe is still in front of us, I think we’re only just scratching the surface.

“It’s incredibly sustainable. Even though we’re a low margin business and a high volume business we’re good with that. We’ve been doing this since Amazon came into business (22 years ago), and the model is still working. I think there is still tons to be done before anyone writes obituaries about that business model.”

The Evolution of Private Cloud Computing

Private Cloud Computing Implementing a cloud solution for a business is a very complex process, one that requires a lot of thought and consideration. This is mainly due to the fact that there are different kinds of cloud services, which generally can be divided into two: public cloud and private cloud. The public cloud is […]

The post The Evolution of Private Cloud Computing appeared first on Parallels Blog.

Google’s trans-Pacific submarine cable enters into service today

GoogleA consortium of tech giants including Google and NEC has completed the construction and end-to-end testing of a new trans-Pacific submarine cable system, reports Telecoms.com.

The 9,000km FASTER Cable System enters into service today (30 June), and is claimed to be the first cable system designed from the outset to support digital coherent transmission technology, using optimized fibers throughout the submarine portion. The cable system lands in Oregon in the United States and two landing points in Japan, Chiba and Mie. The team claim the cable will be able to deliver 60 Terabits per second (Tbps) of bandwidth across the Pacific.

“From the very beginning of the project, we repeatedly said to each other, ‘faster, Faster and FASTER,’ and at one point it became the project name, and today it becomes a reality,” said Hiromitsu Todokoro, Chairman of the FASTER Management Committee. “This is the outcome of six members’ collaborative contribution and expertise together with NEC’s support.”

The consortium includes China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google, KDDI and Singtel, of which Google has been one of the most vocal. On the official blog, Google said the new cable will help the team launch a new Google Cloud Platform East Asia region in Tokyo.

The new data centre in Tokyo is part of Google’s ambitions to dominate cloud computing and other enterprise service offerings. While it is generally considered to be ranked third in the public cloud stakes, with AWS and Microsoft Azure out ahead, it has been making strides in recent months. Alongside the Tokyo data centre launch, another was opened in Oregon, and there are plans for a further ten over the course of 2017.

Google has been investing in submarine cables since 2008, initially with the 7.68Tb trans-Pacific Unity cable, which came online in 2010. The completion of the project now takes the number of Google-owned undersea cables up to four, though there are likely to be more added in the coming years.

“Today, Google’s latest investment in long-haul undersea fibre optic cabling comes online: the FASTER Cable System gives Google access to up to 10Tbps (Terabits per second) of the cable’s total 60Tbps bandwidth between the US and Japan,” said Alan Chin-Lun Cheung, a Google Submarine Networking Infrastructure.

“We’ll use this capacity to support our users, including Google Apps and Cloud Platform customers. This is the highest-capacity undersea cable ever built — about ten million times faster than your average cable modem — and we’re beaming light through it starting today.”

The rest of the world is catching up with AWS – Hotels.com CIO

Speaking at Cloud and DevOps World, Hotels.com CIO Theirry Bedos outlined some of the cloud industry’s growing trends, including the erosion of AWS’ dominant position, reports Telecoms.com.

The growth of the cloud industry has been well documented over recent months, as numerous studies and surveys dominate web searches claiming adoption rates are accelerating. While it is still debatable if cloud has penetrated the mainstream market, according to Bedos, what is clear is the industry is heading that direction; there’s no turning around now.

“The world is becoming fluffier and fluffier,” said Bedos. “There are countless studies and surveys on the internet which show the cloud is becoming more popular and widely used, which is only good for the industry. AWS is still the number one player in the market, but the rest are starting to catch up now. This is one of the most interesting trends which we are seeing.”

As with the acceptance and adoption of any new technology, there are bound to be a number of underlying trends. For Bedos, one of the more interesting of those trends is the acceptance there is another way aside from AWS.

While AWS is still considered the leader in the industry, controlling notably more market share than other cloud providers, the lead is slimming. Microsoft and Google have both been prominent over the course of the last 18 months in bolstering their cloud capabilities, and this has not gone unnoticed by the industry. Although cloud adoption rates are increasing, AWS is getting a smaller and smaller slice of the pie as customers are taking alternatives into consideration.

This should not be considered a major surprise, as this is a trend which has been witnessed with the growth of other technology sub-sectors. Back in the early 2000s, Netscape’s web browser was once dominant in terms of usage share, but lost most of that share to Internet Explorer during the so-called first ‘Browser War’. Bedos highlighted Netscape was first to market, and enjoyed that position for some time until the proposition became normalized and competition grew. This is the same trend AWS is undertaking currently.

“I’m not saying AWS will disappear in the same way Netscape did, but we’re going to see other players chip away at their market share,” said Bedos. That said, the increased competition and drive to acquire new customers could see the balance of power shift towards the consumer.

On top of the increased competition, Bedos also commented on the USPs of the individual cloud providers themselves. Buyers generally buy for a specific reason and these USPs in the cloud provider’s offerings is starting to fund the trend of multi-cloud environments in the enterprise business. Why choose when you can have the best of multiple cloud worlds? For Bedos, this is driving the trend of interoperability. Before too long moving workloads and data sets between different cloud environments will be a simple task, as vendors appreciate a lock-in situation will negatively impact their own business. Co-operation could potentially be the new battle ground.

AWS will continue; they are continuing to innovate and have the backing of one of the worlds’ most recognizable brands. However, increased competition, as well as the tendency of buyers to prefer a multi-cloud proposition, will see a more even playing field, and the bargaining power of these deals potentially leaning towards the consumer.

Samsung acquires containers-cloud company Joyent

Money Tree, Currency, Growth.Samsung has agreed to buy San Francisco based cloud provider Joyent in an effort to diversify its product offering in declining markets, reports Telecoms.com.

Financial for the deal have not been disclosed, however the team stated the acquisition will build Samsung’s capabilities in the mobile and Internet of Things arenas, as well cloud-based software and services markets. The company’s traditional means of differentiating its products have been through increased marketing efforts and effective distribution channels, though the new expertise will add a new string to the bow.

“Samsung evaluated a wide range of potential companies in the public and private cloud infrastructure space with a focus on leading-edge scalable technology and talent,” said Injong Rhee, CTO of the Mobile Communications business at Samsung. “In Joyent, we saw an experienced management team with deep domain expertise and a robust cloud technology validated by some of the largest Fortune 500 customers.”

Joyent itself offers a relatively unique proposition in the cloud market as it runs its platform on containers, as opposed to traditional VM’s which the majority of other cloud platforms run on. The team reckons by using containers efficiency it notably improved, a claim which is generally supported by the industry. A recent poll run on Business Cloud News found 89% of readers found container run cloud platforms more attractive than those on VMs.

While smartphones would now be considered the norm in western societies, the industry has been taking a slight dip in recent months. Using data collected from public announcements and analyst firm Strategy Analytics, estimates showed the number of smartphones shipped in Q1 2016 fell to 334.6 million units from 345 million during the same period in 2015. The slowdown has been attributed to lucrative markets such as China becoming increasingly mature, as well as pessimistic outlook from consumers on the global economy.

As a means to differentiate the brand and tackle a challenging market, Samsung has been looking to software and services offerings, as creating a unique offering from hardware or platform perspective has become next to impossible. In terms of the hardware, the latest release of every smartphone contains pretty much the same features (high-performance camera, lighter than ever before etc.), and for the platform, the majority of the smartphone market operates on Android. Software and services has become the new battle ground for product differentiation.

Last month, the team launched its Artik Cloud Platform, an open data exchange platform designed to connect any data set from any connected device or cloud service. IoT is a market which has been targeted by numerous organizations and is seemingly the focus of a healthy proportion of product announcements. The launch of Artik Cloud puts Samsung in direct competition with the likes of Microsoft Azure and IBM Bluemix, as industry giants jostle for lead position in the IoT race, which has yet to be clarified. The inclusion of Joyent’s technology and engineers will give Samsung extra weight in the developing contest.

The purchase also offers Samsung the opportunity to scale its own scale its own cloud infrastructure. The Samsung team says it’s one of the world’s largest consumers of public cloud data and storage, and the inclusion of Joyent could offer the opportunity to move data in-house to decrease the dependency on third party cloud providers such as AWS.

As part of the agreement, CEO Scott Hammond, CTO Bryan Cantrill, and VP of Product Bill Fine, will join Samsung to work on company-wide initiatives. “We are excited to join the Samsung family,” said Hammond. “Samsung brings us the scale we need to grow our cloud and software business, an anchor tenant for our industry leading Triton container-as-a-service platform and Manta object storage technologies, and a partner for innovation in the emerging and fast growing areas of mobile and IoT, including smart homes and connected cars.”

Orange Business Services beefs up cloud gateway

GatewayOrange Business Services has integrated its Enterprise Application Management (EAM) Riverbed offering into its Business VPN Galerie portfolio, reports Telecoms.com.

The EAM offering is a fully-managed service from Orange Business Services targeted on delivering application acceleration and WAN optimization to boost user experience. The product aims to tackle a number of different challenges for customers including insufficient WAN bandwidth, as well as insufficient transport and application protocols in high-latency environments.

The offering uses Riverbed’s Steelhead appliances to deliver application acceleration and WAN optimization, which uses various optimization techniques including data, transport, application and management streamlining. The data streamlining techniques are claimed to reduce WAN bandwidth utilization by 65% to 98% for TCP-based applications.

“Customers need to boost end-user application experience with faster response times to increase productivity at a global scale, enable business-critical migration projects and improve the corporate image,” said Pierre-Louis Biaggi, VP of the connectivity business at Orange Business Services. “By integrating Riverbed’s best-of-breed technology in our secure and fully-managed solution we can deliver this promise.”

The Business VPN Galerie, which Orange claims was the world’s first cloud-ready network, offers customers a range of cloud-based applications and services from their own private network provided by Orange Business Services or its partners. The portfolio currently has 1,600 customers, as well as more than 20 cloud partners including Orange Cloud for Business, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Express Route, Salesforce and AWS.

Elsewhere in the Orange business, the team have opened a new Eco campus based in Chatillon on the outskirts of Paris, which will be devoted completely to research and innovation.

“Innovation, has always been one of the Group’s fundamentals, and must be the expression of Orange’s mission: transforming technology into progress each day and serving people through innovation,” said Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orange. “To put the human context in the centre of our thinking, it is a choice we accept and that characterises us, this is a philosophy that now has a name: ‘Human Inside’. ‘Human Inside’ is both a slogan and a catchword, that gives meaning and which highlights all our action.”