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This Week in Cloud: February 26, 2016

Ryan Quackenbush

By Ryan Quackenbush2.26.16

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Welcome to Apprenda’s This Week in Cloud! This is a curated list of the top stories that were published during the past week pertaining to cloud computing, acquisitions, product releases, industry studies, and more.

If you’ve got an eye for technology but don’t have the time to keep track of everything cloud, let us give you a hand!

Microsoft, Intel, Samsung, & Others Launch IoT Standards Group: Open Connectivity Foundation

By Paul Sawyers, February 19th edition of VentureBeat
“Giants of the tech world are banding together to found a new group to support the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) industry. The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) is touted as an open IoT standards group to unify standards, expedite innovation, and “create IoT solutions and devices that work seamlessly together,” according to a press release. Founding members include Microsoft, Cisco, Electrolux, General Electric, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung, ARRIS, and CableLabs, who will work together to create specifications and protocols to ensure devices from a myriad of manufacturers work in harmony.”

What Microsoft’s Xamarin Purchase Says About the Cloud Computing Fight

By Quentin Hardy, February 24th edition of the NY Times
“Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it was buying Xamarin, a company that helps software developers write applications for mobile devices. The price was not disclosed, but is believed to be more than $300 million. It is a deal that says much about the competition between Google, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft to control much of the computing world over the next few years. A.W.S., Google and Microsoft’s Azure business all rent access to globe-spanning cloud computing systems, each with millions of servers. All are trying to fill them with capabilities that developers can use to build products faster. The point is to get the corporate business into their clouds, and sell additional features once they are there.”

VMware Turns to IBM in the Public Cloud

By Brandon Butler, January 22nd edition of Network World
“VMware and IBM today announced a broad new partnership that will allow VMware customers to extend their virtualized workloads into IBM’s public SoftLayer cloud. For the public cloud market, the move is seen as somewhat of a reckoning on VMware’s public cloud strategy. VMware has had fits and starts building up its own IaaS public cloud. In the past year VMware has opted to not invest billions of dollars to construct data centers and build a public cloud IaaS platform to compete with the likes of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Instead VMware is partnering with public cloud providers, with IBM being the latest example. Last year VMware announced a partnership with Google’s Cloud Platform to provide scale-out IaaS capacity for VMware customers.”

New Docker Data Center Admin Suite Should Bring Order To Containerization

By Ron Miller, February 23rd edition of TechCrunch
“Docker announced a new container control center today it’s calling the Docker Data Center (DDC), an integrated administrative console that has been designed to give large and small businesses control over creating, managing and shipping containers. The DDC is a new tool made up of various commercial pieces including Docker Universal Control Plane (which also happens to be generally available today) and Docker Trusted Registry. It also includes open source pieces such as Docker Engine. The idea is to give companies the ability to manage the entire lifecycle of Dockerized applications from one central administrative interface. Customers actually were the driving force behind this new tool. While companies liked the agility that Docker containers give them, they also wanted management control over administration, security and governance around the containers they were creating and shipping, Scott Johnston, SVP of product management told TechCrunch.”

Big Changes in Goldman’s Software Emerge From Small Containers

By Steven Rosenbush & Steven Norton, February 24th edition of WSJ
“Just as theatrical movies must be packaged, distributed and operated at each screening, software goes through a similar process. This behind-the-scenes procedure, known as the run-time, is among the most obscure recesses of the tech world. Yet it is increasingly important to business, which is ever-more entwined with software. The run-time, long based on a disparate collection of time-consuming and expensive manual procedures, rapidly is being modernized with technology known as the software container. Applications are broken into small pieces and placed into software shells, which allow the pieces to be distributed to any sort of device, in a digitally orchestrated manner, and at lower cost. The name is a nod to the steel containers that revolutionized shipping, allowing goods to be stored in uniform, rectangular steel crates that are efficiently moved from ship to truck or railcar.”

63% Of Companies Operating In The Cloud Can Develop An App In Three Months Or Less

By Louis Columbus, February 24th edition of Forbes
“…These and many other insights are from the 2016 State of IT Report published by Salesforce Research yesterday. Salesforce Research completed the project survey at the end of 2015, interviewing 2,255 global CIOs and IT leaders from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Australia, Japan, France, the U.K., and Germany. Goals of the survey include discovering the evolving role of IT in business today, how high-performing IT organizations are mastering digital transformation and areas where IT teams are investing to drive greater innovation…”

How Apprenda Helps IT Teams Maintain SLAs on Business Critical Apps

By Sasha Jeltuhin, February 25th edition of The Apprenda Blog
“Deploying an application into production is a huge milestone, but the life of the app does not stop there. In fact, the maintenance and support that follow are no less important than the build phase. This is yet another phase in the SDLC, when the friction between product and IT comes to light. In most technology organizations, application support is handled by product development and IT operators. No matter how well IT operations and developers communicate and work with each other across the carefully raised walls between them, the support process is a blame game. One of the simple reasons for the friction is the lack of visibility into the inner workings on the other side of the wall. Here lies a paradox.”

Why Microservices Are about to Have Their “Cloud” Moment

By Matt Asay, February 24th edition of TechRepublic
“Long before cloud computing became the juggernaut that it is today, it went through a series of definitions, redefinitions, and marketing fluff. There were many different conceptual passes that preceded the industry finally landing on “cloud.” And, it wasn’t so much the term that made it eventually stick, it was the arrival of a high quality, simple-to-use product: Amazon Web Services. The latest renaissance in application infrastructure has been confused and meandering by comparison. CORBA, RPC, XA, EJBs, SOA, REST, and n-number of web services standards over the past decade have left software development awash in countless languages and abstraction methods. On the one hand, the degree of choice (and availability of outstanding open source frameworks) is great. On the other hand, enterprise software remains stuck in a pattern of write, re-write (for scale), repeat. This story of retrenching and rewriting is arguably the most common use case in enterprise software.”

The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2016

By Stephen O’Grady, February 19th edition of TecoSystems
“It’s been a very busy start to the year at RedMonk, so we’re a few weeks behind in the release of our bi-annual programming language rankings. The data was dutifully collected at the start of the year, but we’re only now getting around to the the analysis portion. We have changed the actual process very little since Drew Conway and John Myles White’s original work late in 2010. The basic concept is simple: we periodically compare the performance of programming languages relative to one another on GitHub and Stack Overflow. The idea is not to offer a statistically valid representation of current usage, but rather to correlate language discussion (Stack Overflow) and usage (GitHub) in an effort to extract insights into potential future adoption trends.”

J.P. Morgan Lays Out Its Technology Plans

By Emily Glazer, February 23rd edition of WSJ
“The largest U.S. bank by assets is expected to detail its technology spending strategy throughout different presentations from Chief Executive James Dimon and his top lieutenants. Actions range from new spending on fintech to cutting costs on technology that keeps the bank running. Specifically, J.P. Morgan plans to increase its technology spending to around $9.4 billion from roughly $9.2 billion, while working to allocate about 40% of that budget to new investments and technologies, up from 30% currently, said Matt Zames, the bank’s chief operating officer. Here are some of the ways the bank is slimming its spending.”

Achieving True Cloud Business Services

By Sandra O’Boyle, February 23rd edition of Light Reading
“As an industry, we talk a lot about the latest technology and investments in cloud and network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networks (SDN) in terms of improving the operator’s network and business model. Yet for business customers, what can they actually expect to see in terms of new cloud services? Business customers that have replaced legacy PBXs and related maintenance contracts with unified communications as a service (UCaaS) can already see what’s possible. Company administrators and employees now have access to portals that allow them to change user preferences and features, forward calls to mobile devices, change call routing, etc. Even the training time required to bring employees up to speed with a new UCaaS system has been greatly reduced with interfaces that are intuitive and easy to use.”

Legacy IT Systems: Hidden Risks Revealed

By Jonathan Feldman, February 25th edition of InformationWeek
“Legacy systems that won’t die. You know you’ve got one. But do you realize you are harming your organization by suffering to let it live? I should know, I’ve done it. Following are my suggestions for safely landing your legacy IT plane before it crashes. There are two kinds of legacy systems: production systems that should be legacy, and systems that are no longer in use that are used for “lookup only.” There’s a gigantic difference between the two. The first kind has its own problems that have been adequately documented elsewhere. The case boils down to this: Your organization is trying to be a 21st century enterprise, yet it’s using 20-year-old technology.”

EU Taps Microsoft, Accenture, Comparex to Boost Public Cloud Services

By Charlie Osborne, February 24th edition of ZDNet
“The European Commission Directorate-General for Informatics (EC DIGIT) has inked a deal with Microsoft, Accenture and Comparex to provide their expertise in public cloud service schemes. Announced on Wednesday, the EC said the companies will form a consortium — with Microsoft as a subcontractor — to “enable access to new cloud and digital capabilities for public services.” The contract is for two years with the option to extend. Under the terms of the deal, the consortium will work in two areas.”

Beware of One-Click, Fuss-Free Application Stacks

By Paul Venezia, February 22nd edition of InfoWorld
“One of the constants in the tech world is that the marketing and sales folks want to make hard things easy in order to net more sales. One of the other constants is that the tech folks push back because many topics cannot properly be simplified, and by trying to make them simpler, we introduce bigger problems. Some areas are actually better left alone… The quest for one-click solutions to difficult problems is eternal. You could say that development environments such as Heroku fit that mold, as do Docker and (to a lesser degree) virtualization. There’s a lot of benefit in these solutions, but plenty of barriers as well. We’re seeing the same simplifications in cloud infrastructure services that have matured to the point where they’re not offering only server instances, but entire, prebuilt application stacks ready to be clicked once and brought into the world.”

Ryan Quackenbush
Ryan Quackenbush

Ryan Quackenbush is a corporate communications specialist at Apprenda whose roles include elements of writing, sales, marketing and research. His cooking is renowned, his record collection and library are extensive and, when not at Apprenda, he can usually be found rooting for the Mets or playing live music. You can follow him on Twitter at @RSQuackenbush.

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