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This Week in Cloud August 4, 2017

Ryan Quackenbush

By Ryan Quackenbush8.4.17

Welcome to This Week in Cloud!

This is a curated list of the top stories that were published during the past week pertaining to cloud computing, containers, the IoT, acquisitions, product releases, industry studies, and more.
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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!

How to Compete With the Cloud

By Stephen O’Grady, August 1st edition of RedMonk
“While it was once a controversial statement, more and more software projects are acknowledging that their primary competition is not another software project, but cloud platforms offering similar functionality as a service. The directness of the threat varies, depending on whether a major cloud vendor has targeted a given market yet, but it’s rare that there are businesses – or open source projects, for that matter – for whom the accelerating adoption of cloud services doesn’t have significant implications over a reasonable planning horizon. The advantages of cloud providers are many. Most obviously, economics are clearly in their favor.”

Hybrid Cloud Technology Gets the Most Out Of Primary Storage Workloads

By Jeff Kato & Jeff Byrne, August 3rd edition of TechTarget
“The promise of smooth-functioning, cost-effective hybrid cloud storage has long been of interest to IT professionals. “Hybrid” has been in the cloud lexicon from the beginning, when the National Institute of Standards and Technology issued its original definitions of various cloud deployment models. Hybrid cloud storage broadens the workload deployment choice to more than one cloud and enables compelling use cases, such as off-site backup, disaster recovery and cloud bursting. Done right, an enterprise hybrid cloud improves IT agility while reducing cost.”

IT’s Future Value Proposition

By Andrew White, July 31st edition of Gartner
“I noted with some interest the McKinsey article titled, “IT’s Future Value Proposition” and I realized (and had guessed this from the title and first couple of paragraphs) that the article explains what I had come up with in simple graphic form a few months ago. The odd thing is that even if we agree on this premise the future value proposition of IT, we have not assured success. First let’s look at the proposition. At its most basic, IT represents a means to support the organization and to help the organization realize its goals – whatever they may be. Since organizations and hugely varied in a multitude of ways, from size, format, structure, purpose and so on, it is quite difficult to dumb down what IT does into simple buckets.”

Why BMW Is Betting On The Cloud

By Frederic Lardinois , July 30th edition of TechCrunch
“In 10 years, when autonomous driving is mainstream, we’ll have a fundamentally different relationship with our cars and driving in general. Every major car company is fully aware of this, but not all are reacting to this change with the same degree of urgency. Earlier this month, BMW hosted its Innovation Days at its technology office in Chicago, where the company showcased the current state of its connectivity services and laid out its vision for the future. Unlike other manufacturers, BMW has decided that it wants to retain full control over the in-car experience and that it doesn’t want to outsource this to a big technology firm.”

Starbucks Is A Tech Company: Why The Coffee Giant Is Investing Heavily In Digital Innovation

By Taylor Soper, July 31st edition of GeekWire
“If the most recent Starbucks investor call was any indication, technology and digital initiatives are becoming a huge priority for the coffee giant. The Seattle company announced its quarterly earnings last week, which narrowly missed expectations for revenue and met estimates for profit. Shares fell more than 10 percent the following day. Starbucks executives spent a large chunk of the post-earnings call talking about the company’s investment in new technology and said the word “digital” more than 70 times.”

Aussie Cloud Computing Startup Joviam Takes On the US

By Tas Bindi, July 31st edition of ZDNet
“Joviam has announced its expansion into the US for a bigger slice of the cloud computing market. The two-year-old startup’s mission is to make cloud computing more accessible to mid-market companies by providing a platform with “enterprise-grade performance and stability” at a lower price point than Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Joviam co-founder and director Gabby Jarrett told ZDNet that the startup uses a “fully redundant, hyperconverged architecture” that aggregates commodity servers into a large cluster, as well as InfiniBand, a network technology used in large scale supercomputers, to tie multiple servers together into a large resource pool.”

How F5 Is Preparing For The Application Explosion: Interview With CEO Francois Locoh-Donou

By Tom Krazit, July 28th edition of GeekWire
“New F5 CEO Francois Locoh-Donou has a big job in front of him. One of Seattle’s most prominent public tech companies, F5 is facing a classic dilemma. Growth in its older yet profitable line of business has slowed to a crawl, and Wall Street tends to dislike tech companies that aren’t growing. And two years of abrupt leadership changes have slowed the company’s progress in making the transition to the cloud era. Still, like any other die-hard Arsenal supporter, Locoh-Donou is able to find the silver lining and look toward a brighter future. In the next few years, F5 will move into one of the most iconic buildings in Seattle, and as customers sort our their multicloud or hybrid cloud strategies, he thinks they’ll still want to use F5’s technology to manage their applications either in their own data centers or inside cloud providers.”

IBM Adds Optane To Its Cloud, Only As Storage and Without GPUs

By Simon Sharwood, August 2nd edition of The Register
“IBM’s made good on its promise to fire up a cloud packing Intel’s Optane non-volatile memory “in the second half of 2017.” But Big Blue has fallen short of the “broad services suite” it foreshadowed and can’t even put Optane to work as memory. Big Blue announced the availability of servers with Optane inside on Tuesday. You can run Intel’s baby “on selected IBM cloud bare metal configurations” that give you the chance to provision a server with the 375GB SSD DC-4800X. Because that’s a PCIe device, you can either have an Optane or a GPU, not both.”

IBM and Sony Cram Up To 330 Terabytes Into Tiny Tape Cartridge

By Sebastian Anthony, August 2nd edition of ARS Technica
“IBM and Sony have developed a new magnetic tape system capable of storing 201 gigabits of data per square inch, for a max theoretical capacity of 330 terabytes in a single palm-sized cartridge. For comparison, the world’s largest hard drives—which are about twice the physical size of a Sony tape cartridge—are the 60TB Seagate SSD or 12TB HGST helium-filled HDD. The largest commercially available tapes only store 15TB. So, 330TB is quite a lot.”

Amazon’s Cloud Growth Might Be Slowing, But It’s Still Way Ahead Of Everybody Else

By Jordan Novet, July 28th edition of CNBC
“On Thursday, Amazon revealed that growth of its public cloud business had slowed to the lowest point in at least three years in the second quarter: Amazon Web Services revenue, at $4.1 billion, was up 42 percent year over year. Competitors might have taken a moment to cheer immediately after the Amazon earnings release. But if there were celebrations, they were kept brief. That’s because Amazon rules the roost in cloud. It effectively pioneered the business in 2006 when it introduced services for renting out raw computing and storage resources from its data centers. Last month, when technology analysis firm Gartner weighed in for its annual report on the public cloud market, it did acknowledge some weakness at AWS — namely that its ability to execute on its current vision has declined — but generally the theme was the same as always: Amazon remains the King Kong of the cloud, bigger and more ferocious than anyone else.”

Amazon Is Staffing Up Several New Teams To Go Big In Cloud and Distribution Tech

By Becky Peterson, August 1st edition of Business Insider
“Amazon is forming a couple of new teams to bolster its cloud and logistics businesses, according to new job listings seen by Business Insider. The online retail giant is launching a new group in San Diego focused on creating software to help manage the distribution of products across Amazon’s network of warehouses. The job listing for Amazon’s Supply Chain Optimization Technology group seeks an unspecified number of engineers.”

Redundancies At Microsoft Are Silver Lining For Widespread Cloud Adoption

By Monty Munford, July 31st edition of Forbes
“The announcement earlier this month that Microsoft was making 18,000 employees redundant was hardly unexpected. While the notion of anybody losing their job is unpalatable in increasingly turbulent times for the IT industry, Microsoft was only delaying the inevitable. While nobody is accusing the company of standing on a burning deck readying itself for extinction, like its Nokia acquisition before it, there is no doubt that the evolving cloud marketplace has disrupted it considerably. While Microsoft employees facing an uncertain future are unlikely to be cheering, these lay-offs signify something quite fundamental to the IT business; the cloud has passed the point of critical mass. This is nothing new in thought, but it is in action.”

Analyst: Microsoft Azure Container Instances Direct Shot at Amazon, Google

By Nicole Henderson, July 31st edition of IT Pro
“As hyperscale vendors battle to attract enterprise clients in an increasingly commoditized public cloud market, the next area where they are likely to differentiate is containers. To that end Microsoft launched its Azure Container Instances (ACI) last week, a new service that the company pitches as “the fastest and easiest way to run a container in the cloud” because it eliminates virtual machine (VM) infrastructure management. Jay Lyman, principal analyst, cloud management and containers at 451 Research, calls the launch of Microsoft ACI “a competitive shot to Amazon and Google to make Azure Container Service more appealing.”

Oracle Delivers Bevy Of Updates To Its Cloud Suite

By Ron Miller, August 2nd edition of TechCrunch
“Oracle might not be the first company you think of when it comes to cloud computing, but the company has made significant strides in recent years. Today, it announced the bi-annual update to its Oracle Cloud Applications Suite. This is update number 13 for those keeping score at home. The suite includes a range of enterprise software including ERP (think back-office management), HR and CRM/CX (for customer management). While there were a number of changes across the individual pieces, the entire suite got a fresh design. The latest version certainly has a more modern look and feel, and that was the idea, says Steve Miranda, executive vice president of applications development at Oracle. Miranda says that it’s a brand new experience compared to the previous version of the software. The company not only overhauled the design, it also wanted to improve workflows, working to take out unnecessary steps when possible.”

How to Keep Container Secrets Secret

By Amir Jerbi, July 31st edition of InfoWorld
“In computing as in real life, a secret is information you want kept private, outside of the people and systems you want or need to share it with. In the application security realm, common examples of secrets are passwords, tokens, and private keys. While the concept of a secret is rather simple, keeping application secrets private (at least in technical terms) is anything but simple—especially in containerized environments. The task of managing and securing application secrets is, of course, not new. Securing them has never been easy, but when applications had relatively few systems with static connections and low interconnectivity, it was manageable. Then came the cloud, virtualization, the connected enterprise, etc., which made secrets management much more difficult. In those environments, secrets needed to be accessible in many more places, and needed to remain accessible to the intended recipients in dynamic, changeable environments.”

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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