Network World Cloud Chronicles en-us Sun, 27 May 2018 22:17:10 -0700 Sun, 27 May 2018 22:17:10 -0700 Network World 510 510 Network World 796 288 Public – not hybrid – cloud dominates day 1 at Amazon re:Invent Thu, 30 Nov 2017 08:15:00 -0800 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

There’s been a resurgence in the IaaS cloud computing market in the past year of vendors talking more and more about hybrid cloud computing.

As the cloud market is maturing, users are crystalizing what workloads are best for public cloud and what will remain on premises or in a private cloud. At Amazon Web Service’s annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas this week, a big question heading into the show was: What would AWS say about hybrid?

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: What is hybrid cloud computing? +

Hybrid has been somewhat of a taboo topic for AWS over the years. AWS CEO Andy Jassy has repeatedly maintained that “in the fullness of time” he expects most workloads will run in the public IaaS cloud. We’re not there yet, though. A 451 Research poll from last year found that just 6% of enterprise workloads are running in the cloud.

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Amazon and Google make it easier to connect to the cloud Tue, 07 Nov 2017 10:36:00 -0800 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

As more organizations look to enable hybrid cloud computing, a big question remains: How do I connect my network to the cloud? This week Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services each released new products that make that process easier.

Google’s Dedicated Interconnect is now generally available

Dedicated Interconnect is an important way for customers to connect to the public cloud. It allows organizations to connect their on-premises resources to a colocation facility and then that co-lo facility has a direct network connection to the public cloud. Public IaaS cloud providers like Google want to give their customers access to fast connections to their cloud, but they don’t want to connect to each individual customer’s site, so they’ve created this co-lo based Interconnect. Google runs the Interconnect and offers either a 99.9 or 99.99% service level agreement. Google is working with a handful of colocation vendors as the middle-man, including Equinix, Digital Realty and Infomart.

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IBM’s latest private cloud is built on Kubernetes, and is aimed at Microsoft Wed, 01 Nov 2017 06:57:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

IBM today announced a new version of its private cloud platform that supports the popular open source application container platform Kubernetes.

IBM Cloud Private gives customers an option to deploy applications on to the private cloud software in three ways: Either through Kubernetes, through the container management platform Cloud Foundry, or through traditional virtual machines. IBM says the private cloud management software also allows customers to run other legacy apps in containers and connect them to off-premises resources.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: What is hybrid cloud computing? +

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What’s really behind the Cisco-Google hybrid cloud partnership Wed, 25 Oct 2017 10:18:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

Cisco and Google have teamed up on a hybrid cloud partnership that will allow IT managers and application developers to use Cisco tools to manage their on-premises environments and link it up with Google’s public IaaS cloud.

It’s the latest partnership for Google’s cloud since former VMware CEO Diane Greene took over management of the company’s cloud operations. Google has inked similar pacts with VMware and hyperconverged infrastructure vendor Nutanix.

For Cisco though, the deal with Google marks an evolution in the company’s cloud strategy, one that has gone through many iterations in recent years.

A closer look  

Since the dawn of the hyper-scale IaaS public cloud movement, Cisco has pivoted its cloud strategy a handful of times. The company initially made an effort to build an Intercloud, a network of its partner providers running Cisco gear that would be interconnected and allow customers to shift workloads around. In the face of massive growth from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, that strategy went by the wayside.

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At Ignite, Microsoft extends hybrid cloud beyond just infrastructure Mon, 25 Sep 2017 11:31:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

For years Microsoft has talked about, previewed and at some times delayed the release of its Azure Stack hybrid cloud computing platform.

But this week at its Ignite conference in Orlando Microsoft announced that Azure Stack is now shipping to customers, and in doing so the company is pitching its hybrid cloud platform as being about more than just connecting customer data centers to the public cloud.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Azure Stack: Microsoft’s private-cloud platform and what IT pros need to know about it +

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Top 10 DevOps tools Tue, 16 May 2017 10:16:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

The world of DevOps is a transformative new trend in the way applications are built and run. A hybrid engineer who both develops code for an app and manages the infrastructure operations the app runs on requires tools geared for multiple aspects of the application lifecycle process.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Serverless Explainer: The next generation of cloud infrastructure | What you need to know about Microservices +

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Why the Red Hat-Amazon partnership is a big deal in the cloud Thu, 04 May 2017 06:36:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

It’s a hybrid and multi-cloud world, at least according to Red Hat.

So this week at its Summit in Boston the company that is known for commercializing open source projects for enterprises has taken steps to further facilitate how users of its application development tools can manage workloads across public clouds and on-premises systems.

Here are the key details: Red Hat announced native access to Amazon Web Services products in its Red Hat OpenShift product. OpenShift is the company’s platform as a service (PaaS) application development software, and it’s also the company’s main tool for helping enterprises deploy application containers, including those from Docker.

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How Google and Amazon think about multi-cloud workloads Thu, 27 Apr 2017 11:08:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

It was not a big announcement from Google this week, but in a way it could be seen as a symbolic one.

In a blog post, Google announced new functionality that will allow its Cloud Endpoints API (Application Programming Interface) management platform to integrate with Amazon Web Service’s Lambda functions-as-a-service product. The idea is you can build an application in Lambda and use Google Cloud’s Endpoints to manage API calls associated with it.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Serverless explainer: The next generation of cloud infrastructure +

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Amazon's ambitious global cloud expansion plans Tue, 25 Apr 2017 08:31:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

Public IaaS cloud providers have been on a dizzying streak of announcing and opening new data centers to power their operations, and according to the CEO of Amazon Web Services Andy Jassy, that’s not expected to slow down any time soon.

“We are not close to being done expanding geographically,” Jassy said at AWS’s San Francisco Summit last week. “I think virtually every tier one country will have an AWS region over time and I think many of the emergent countries will as well.”

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: A peek inside Amazon’s cloud, from global scale to custom hardware | Deep dive comparison of cloud storage options from Amazon, Microsoft and Google +

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Dunkin’ runs on AWS Thu, 20 Apr 2017 10:33:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

“America runs on Dunkin” is the company’s official slogan. But, now, you could say Dunkin runs on AWS.

Amazon Web Services, the IaaS public cloud computing provider, announced this week that the venerable New England-based coffee chain Dunkin’ Donuts has signed up as a customer.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Battle of the clouds Amazon vs. Azure vs. Google +

Dunkin’, along with sister brand Baskin’-Robbins have made encouraged customers in recent years to use the company’s mobile applications to track and make purchases and rack up rewards. Dunkin’, in a release, says it now hosts the back-ends of those systems in AWS’s cloud, along with other enterprise apps that used to be hosted in an on-premises environment. Dunkin’ says events like National Coffee Day, National Donut Day, as well as the holiday season create peaks of traffic that are difficult to predict.

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Containers are growing up Wed, 12 Apr 2017 09:22:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

Microsoft made a splash in the application container market this week with its purchase of Deis, a company that helps customers manage clusters of containers.

The move is significant for a number of reasons. First of all, it shows Microsoft’s commitment to supporting Linux containers and specifically its willingness to invest in making it easier for customers of its Azure cloud platform to use containers at scale. Microsoft is also seemingly giving customers multiple options in how they can use and manage containers in the Azure cloud. Choice for end users is always a good thing.

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The one thing you need to compete in cloud Tue, 11 Apr 2017 08:44:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

New estimates out this week from Synergy Research suggest that in the cloud computing market the big are getting bigger, and that in order to compete in this market, scale is key.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Battle of the clouds: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform +

hyperscale q4 20162 Synergy Research

Synergy Research data shows that 68% of the cloud market is served by hyperscale vendors, which means if you don't have scale, it's tough to compete. 

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Serverless computing in practice Mon, 03 Apr 2017 11:02:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

Alpha Vertex is a year-old New York City startup with an ambitious agenda: It wants to create a graph database of global financial knowledge.

CTO Michael Bishop says the goal is to use predictive modeling to help companies judge risk and investors get insight on what drives the market. To do so has required the company to build a massive technical back-end that uses some hottest emerging technologies. Two of the most important are Google’s cloud-based machine learning algorithms and IBM’s OpenWhisk, a serverless or Function-as-a-Service platform.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Serverless explainer: The next-generation of cloud infrastructure +

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Free cloud storage buyer beware Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:13:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

There are three things that are certain in life: Death, taxes and volatility in the free cloud storage market. Yes, it turns out free cloud storage comes with a price: putting up with a fickle market. 

Network World has a running list of the best places in the cloud to find free storage. Many vendors offer their services on a freemium basis, meaning an introductory cloud storage offering, typically of 5 GB is free, with additional storage costing a variety of prices. But businesses don’t typically like to give away their services for free. So, these offers change frequently.

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This augmented reality app will help you to furnish your home Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:18:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

Will that new couch fit in my living room? How about that table, is it too big for the space?

In the old days you would have to break out a tape measure to see if furniture fits or just imagine it’s coloring in the room. But thanks to advancements in augmented reality, you can now see exactly it will look like in your home before you buy it.

Home décor retailer Pottery Barn has released a new app named 3D Room View that will implant a virtual three-dimensional image select furniture pieces on a smartphone or tablet screen, allowing the customer to get an augmented reality view of what the couch, seat, table, lamp or chair will look like in the room.

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Microsoft hit with second cloud disruption in two weeks Wed, 22 Mar 2017 07:45:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

A handful of hosted Microsoft services, including Office 365 SaaS apps, OneDrive cloud storage and xBox Live platforms experienced an outage on Tuesday into Wednesday, according to Microsoft and services that track outages. found that Office 365 had elevated reported error rates on Tuesday afternoon ET. It’s unclear which Office 365 services or how many users were impacted though.

Microsoft confirmed on its @xBoxSupport Twitter account that customers were having trouble signing into the service on Tuesday evening ET. As of Wednesday morning ET, Microsoft reports that its OneDrive cloud storage system is experiencing error rates with some customers not being able to sign into the service.

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IBM’s bringing Watson to a whole bunch of new developer tools Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:20:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

As IBM welcomes an estimated 20,000 developers, customers and partners to Las Vegas this week for its InterConnect conference, a running theme throughout the three-day show is providing application builders with cognitive and analytical tools based off the company’s Watson platform.

+MORE FROM NETWORK WORLD: How IBM wants to bring blockchain from Bitcoin to your data center | IBM + Red Hat = An open source hybrid cloud +

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IBM + Red Hat = An open source hybrid cloud Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:40:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

IBM Cloud and Red Hat OpenStack and storage teams are partnering to integrate their products and in doing so are creating a compelling hybrid offering for open source-minded customers.

The announcement came at IBM’s InterConnect conference in Las Vegas, where an estimated 20,000 developers, customers and IBM partners are gathering.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: How IBM wants to bring blockchain from Bitcoin to your data center +

The crux of the partnership is that customers who use Red Hat’s OpenStack private cloud platform and Ceph Storage product will now be able to run both of those in IBM’s cloud. Don Bulia, a general manager in IBM’s cloud division says the idea behind the partnership is that Red Hat customers would be able to extend their Red Hat-based environments into the IBM public cloud, which will run the same management and software tools they have on premises.

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Microsoft’s Azure cloud storage had a rough night Thu, 16 Mar 2017 07:11:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

On Wednesday night into the early morning hours of Thursday Microsoft reported that its Azure cloud customers had difficulty provisioning storage resources, including in its Eastern US region.

The service disruption had a domino effect that impacted many other services too, including its cloud-based SQL database platform. The issue was first reported at 21:50 UTC and was resolved by about 6:00 on Thursday.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: What the AWS outage can teach us about WAN deployments +

“Due to a incident in East US affecting Storage, customers and service dependent on Storage may have experienced difficulties provisioning new resources or accessing their existing resources in the region,” Microsoft reported on its Azure health status page. Other services impacted include: Azure Media Services, Application Insights, Azure Logic Apps, Azure Data Factory, Azure Site Recovery, Azure Cache, Azure Search, Azure Service Bus, Azure Event Hubs, Azure SQL Database, API Management and Azure Stream Analytics.

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Cloud price wars are back on Tue, 14 Mar 2017 10:09:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

At the Google NEXT cloud conference last week the company announced new Committed Use Discounts (CUDs) in which customers receive a reduced rate on virtual machine rentals in exchange for signing a one or three year contract.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: 10 Ways Google improved its cloud at its big NEXT conference +

It’s not a completely novel concept because Microsoft offers enterprise agreements and Amazon Web Services has Reserved Instances, which are a similar concept.

One of the main arguments Google made was that its CUDs are more flexible than competitors though. Users don’t have to commit to a specific virtual machine instance type for three years, the company said. Instead, they just estimate how much aggregate virtual compute and/or memory they will use over the life of the contract. CUDs are in beta in Google’s cloud, you can read more about them here.

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Network World Pi Day Challenge: How many digits of pi can you recite? Tue, 14 Mar 2017 02:00:00 -0700 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

Happy Pi Day! Here at Network World we take the holiday seriously. In years past we have provided tips of how to celebrate the 14th day on the third month of each year. (Pi is 3.14, so 3/14 is Pi Day, if you’re not in the know).

Well, this year we decided to do something a little different: The first ever Network World Pi Day Challenge. The premise is simple: Recite the most digits of Pi. Winner gets to pie the loser in the face. Multimedia editor Keith Shaw and I have been training for weeks, memorizing digits five at a time.

The competition was intense, but we acted rationally and recited our digits. But who knows more?

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Female execs front and center at Google Cloud conference Thu, 09 Mar 2017 10:16:00 -0800 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

On International Women’s Day, during the opening keynote of Google Cloud’s NEXT user conference, former VMware CEO Diane Greene gave the primary keynote.

When Google showcased its machine learning technology, renowned Stanford University computer scientist Fei Fei Li addressed the audience of 10,000 attendees and thousands more on the live-stream.

And during a press conference after the keynote, eight of Google Cloud’s top executives sat on a stage to answer questions from press and analysts. Four of the eight are women, and three of which are listed on Google’s About Us Leadership page.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Four ways Google Cloud will bring Machine Learning & AI to the enterprise +

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Cisco’s exam prices increase for first time in three years Tue, 07 Mar 2017 12:36:00 -0800 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

Cisco recently updated the pricing for its certification exams, raising them by between 10 and 20 percent.

Certification exams price increases include (all amounts in US dollars):

  • Entry Skills exams (certifications 101-105 and 200-105) changed from $150 to $165, a 10% increase
  • CCN Routing and Switching exam (certifications 220-125) increased from $295 to $325, a 10% increase
  • Professional, Specialist and Technical skill certification exams (300, 500, 600, 640, 642, 642 and 648 series certifications), went up from $250 to $300, a 20% increase.
  • CCIE and CCDE written exams, (350 and 400 level certifications, as well as the 352 level exams) rose from $400 to $450, a 12.5% increase.

“Cisco continues to make investments in the content and integrity of its certification and training program to support the increased demand for skilled IT professionals,” wrote Chris Jacobs, Director of certifications and lab deliveries in Cisco's Technical Services Department. “As a result, effective February 9, 2017, Cisco has adjusted the prices of some of its certification exams to align with this effort.”

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Full text of Amazon’s post-mortem from its S3 cloud brownout Thu, 02 Mar 2017 10:48:00 -0800 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

As is customary after a major service disruption, Amazon Web Services today released a post-mortem explaining why its Simple Storage Service experienced elevated error rates, causing many sites across the Internet to slow down or stop working on Tuesday.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: 5 Lessons from the AWS S3 outage and how to insulate yourself from the next one | Half of the top 100 retail websites had slow load times during the S3 outage, vendor finds +

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Half of the top 100 retail sites had slow load times during AWS's S3 outage, vendor finds Wed, 01 Mar 2017 12:23:00 -0800 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

Yesterday Amazon Web Services had a bad day. And when AWS has a bad day, so do a lot of other sites.

Vendor Apica is a website monitoring services that keeps a close eye on some of the top retail websites around the country. All in all, the retail website Apica tracks had trouble dealing with the elevated errors rates AWS reported in S3 starting around mid-day Eastern Time.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: 5 Lessons from Amazon's S3 cloud blunder, and how to protect yourself from the next outage +

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Amazon’s S3 cloud storage service isn’t working Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:59:00 -0800 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

Amazon Web Services today acknowledged that its Simple Storage Service (S3), one of the company's most popular cloud-based products, is experiencing increased error rates, causing sites across the Internet to stop working and impacting a broad range of other AWS services too.

AWS posted an alert on its Service Health Dashboard at 2:35 PM ET noting: “We've identified the issue as high error rates with S3 in US-EAST-1, which is also impacting applications and services dependent on S3. We are actively working on remediating the issue.”

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLDBattle of the clouds AWS vs. Azure vs. Google +

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Microsoft Azure now runs Kubernetes, for managing lots of containers Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:56:00 -0800 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

Microsoft today announced that the open source Kubernetes container management platform is now generally available to control clusters of containers in the Azure public cloud.

Increasingly developers are, or want to, use containers when writing new applications. It’s a way of packaging the code that makes up an application into a container, which can then be run in the cloud, on a developer’s laptop or wherever the container runtime is supported.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: How Philips is turning toothbrushes and MRI machines into IoT devices +

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This DARPA-backed Machine Learning program is a quick thinker Wed, 15 Feb 2017 10:11:00 -0800 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

Gamalon is a Cambridge, MA-based startup that has received $7.7 million from DARPA to create an advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence platform that the company says is more time and computationally efficient than others on the market.

Gamalon uses a new type of machine learning it has developed named Bayesian Program Synthesis, which the company says can accelerate machine learning by more than 100X. The basis of the BPS system is that it uses probability statistics to determine potential connections among the data. By doing so, it drastically reduces the amount of data that it needs to conduct artificial intelligence tasks, the company says.

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Microsoft blends IaaS and PaaS with new Managed Disks Thu, 09 Feb 2017 10:26:00 -0800 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

Microsoft introduced a nifty new feature to its Azure public cloud this week called Managed Disks. The idea is that developers will not have to worry about provisioning storage when spinning up virtual machines. Managed Disks automatically adds persistent disk storage for Azure virtual machines as applications demand it.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: HPE's Mesosphere reseller agreement heats up the container management market | Rackspace is cutting 6% of its workforce +

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Containers? What are containers? Mon, 23 Jan 2017 09:35:00 -0800 Brandon Butler Brandon Butler

Surveys of IT users are a dime a dozen, but every once in a while one pops with a surprising statistic. Like this one: A poll of more than 300 IT works by UBM found that 8% didn’t event know what an application container is.

Containers have been the buzzword du jour for the past couple of years in cloud and application development circles. But surveys like this independent are a reminder that new technology is slow to catch on.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Oracle outlines plans to take on Amazon in the cloud +

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