Cloud computing has another killer quarter

To most people, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon is known as the company reshaping the way people buy everything from books to shoes to groceries. But the part of Amazon that is driving Bezos within shouting distance of becoming the world’s richest person doesn’t really sell anything, it rents computing power in the cloud.

The cloud is more profitable than e-tailing

As the New York Times put it on Thursday, “The profit Amazon can make on cloud-computing services is significantly bigger than in its retail sales, and that has helped turn the Seattle company from a consistent money-loser to a respectable moneymaker.”

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Cloud computing has another killer quarter

To most people, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon is known as the company reshaping the way people buy everything from books to shoes to groceries. But the part of Amazon that is driving Bezos within shouting distance of becoming the world’s richest person doesn’t really sell anything, it rents computing power in the cloud.

The cloud is more profitable than e-tailing

As the New York Times put it on Thursday, “The profit Amazon can make on cloud-computing services is significantly bigger than in its retail sales, and that has helped turn the Seattle company from a consistent money-loser to a respectable moneymaker.”

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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Juniper finds its head in the clouds; security is another story

In announcing its Q1 earnings yesterday Juniper company executives were delighted about the company’s returns on its cloud computing directions.

In the results conference call Juniper CEO Rami Rahim said cloud computing sales grew 25% year-over-year and noted that four of the company’s top 10 accounts were cloud-related. Specifically, the cloud vertical earned $ 331.6 million in the first quarter, over $ 264.8 million a year ago.

“As the industry evolves, cloud architectures are no longer the exclusive domain of the cloud providers. Customers across all verticals are developing strategies for moving to cloud service delivery models and this aligns with our strategy to power the cloud transformation,” Rahim said [Seeking Alpha has a full transcript of the call here]. “The cloud is a massive paradigm shift that is reshaping all industries, and I’m excited about the opportunity we have in front of us.”

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Google will try to combat fake news using search and user feedback

Google might not be as responsible for the spread of fake news as social media, but the search giant is still doing something about it: burying known sources of fake news, and letting users weigh in, too.

Google frequently tweaks the algorithms that return relevant search results, sometimes privately, and other times publicly. In this case, Google announced Tuesday that about 0.25 percent of all daily search results have been returning “offensive or clearly misleading content,” and those results will be pushed lower in search results in favor of more authoritative results. 

Google is also implementing Feedback links for users to report on the accuracy of autocomplete search queries and Featured Snippet text.

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Leaked Microsoft document confirms Windows 10 Cloud and a Chromebook competitor

A Microsoft document detailing the minimum hardware specs for Microsoft Windows 10 Cloud-powered laptops seems to be the best evidence yet that Microsoft plans to launch a Chromebook competitor on May 2.

Windows Central obtained a “recommended minimum spec” document, presumably handed out to Microsoft’s partners. The document outlines what Microsoft hopes to achieve with what the document calls an “Edu Cloud device” (and industry watchers have dubbed “Cloudbooks”): all-day battery life, a quick boot and resume cycle, and at least a quad-core Intel Celeron processor powering it all. It’s also titled “Windows 10 Cloud Performance Targets,” confirming the name of the new OS.

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Don’t let cloud providers kick you off like United

As everyone knows, last week a United Airlines passenger was asked to deplane because the airline overbooked and needed his seat for a staff member, then was dragged off the plane by Chicago airport cops when he refused to leave. Yes, the passenger didn’t follow the rules, but the situation ultimately was United’s fault.

Believe it or not, what happened at United is an object lesson for any business that signs up for cloud services. I’ll explain shortly.

Back in 2007, I boarded a United flight that was overbooked, and I was asked to deplane as a result. It was inconvenient and humiliating. However, I didn’t go limp, and the cops didn’t drag me bleeding off the flight.

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Microsoft will cut OneDrive and Skype access to standalone Office users

When Microsoft launched Office 365 in 2010, Microsoft officials said then that customers were asking to move to the cloud. Beginning in 2020, some Office customers will need to buy an Office 365 subscription to do so.

In an update to Microsoft’s Office 365 system requirements released today, Microsoft said that consumers who have already purchased “perpetual”—i.e., standalone—versions of Office, such as Office 2010, Office 2013, and Office 2016, would be cut off from accessing the business versions of OneDrive and Skype after mainstream support expires. Those who have purchased those Office suites will be allowed to connect until Oct. 13, 2020—the day mainstream support ends for Office 2016, and the day the new support policy kicks in. 

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What’s behind VMware’s Wavefront acquisition?

VMware’s acquisition of monitoring software maker Wavefront for an undisclosed sum is a move core to VMware’s strategy to round out its portfolio for facilitating and managing hybrid cloud environments. It highlights in the need to ensure that applications running between private and public clouds perform up to par.

Companies undertaking digital transformations are leaning heavily on hybrid clouds to deploy software, a scenario playing out across nearly every industry. To enable this at a high velocity, companies are instituting DevOps, in which code is constantly written, shipped, run and regularly refined. In DevOps environments, corporate developers code application functionality, called microservices, which they ship via virtual containers to run between private cloud environments and public cloud systems such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

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5 Open Source companies to watch in 2017

As if getting venture funding themselves isn’t exciting enough for open source-oriented startups, seeing an open source-focused company like Deis get snapped up by Microsoft must be a thrill as well.

While it would be more thrilling, perhaps, if Microsoft disclosed how much it paid, I’m sure those in the startup world and their backers have ways of finding out that information. Not that the acquisition path is necessarily the exit route that all of these startups envision for themselves, but such money can obviously talk.

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IDG Contributor Network: Move to the cloud: The barriers are all removed

Still have concerns about moving to the cloud? It’s time to take another look. Like you, I was skeptical, risk-averse, downright nervous. Since overcoming my self-induced psychological roadblocks, I finally drank the Kool-Aid. I have not purchased an on-premise application in over five years. I’ve bought only cloud technology and have never looked back. Historical barriers I was concerned about relating to flexibility, cost, staffing and most importantly security are now gone, or reduced significantly to remove any obstacles to full-scale adoption. I am now looking at the competition…in my rear-view mirror.

Flexibility

With an on-premise architecture, enhancements to your platform may require additional investments in hardware, software and networking to mention a few. These cannot only be expensive, but take considerable time to implement. With a cloud platform, enhancements can be a mere phone call away, reducing your implementation time significantly.

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IDG Contributor Network: Move to the cloud: The barriers are all removed

Still have concerns about moving to the cloud? It’s time to take another look. Like you, I was skeptical, risk-averse, downright nervous. Since overcoming my self-induced psychological roadblocks, I finally drank the Kool-Aid. I have not purchased an on-premise application in over five years. I’ve bought only cloud technology and have never looked back. Historical barriers I was concerned about relating to flexibility, cost, staffing and most importantly security are now gone, or reduced significantly to remove any obstacles to full-scale adoption. I am now looking at the competition…in my rear-view mirror.

Flexibility

With an on-premise architecture, enhancements to your platform may require additional investments in hardware, software and networking to mention a few. These cannot only be expensive, but take considerable time to implement. With a cloud platform, enhancements can be a mere phone call away, reducing your implementation time significantly.

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Boycott ISPs that abuse privacy, net neutrality

After Congress repealed the FCC’s broadband privacy rules two weeks ago, new Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai promised that the personal information they give to their ISPs would continue to be, well, private. Indeed, Pai said that he planned to work with the Federal Trade Commission to police ISPs around privacy issues.

However, many believe that this will not only fail to provide effective broadband privacy protections, but will also come at the cost of removing the FCC’s net neutrality rules. As you may recall, net neutrality prohibits ISPs like Verizon and Comcast from picking winners and losers on the open internet. Indeed, we could be heading for a day where the FTC actually won’t be able to regulate ISPs at all.

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On-premises HR users risk being left behind, Oracle says

Oracle is telling customers that the future of its HR platform will be in the cloud. It’s trying to do this without alarming users who host its applications internally.

Users of on-premises PeopleSoft and E-Business Suite HR system users won’t be abandoned as cloud use grows, Oracle promises. These systems will get regular updates and new features. There’s no end-of-life risk, said Mark Hurd, Oracle’s CEO. “No worries about that,” he said.

Even with that, however, Oracle’s cloud-basedHuman Capital Management (HCM) system will see many more new features and will pull ahead in capability over on-premises systems, said Hurd.

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Fortinet upgrades for better cloud, SD-WAN protection

Fortinet has rolled out a new version of its FortiOS operating system that gives customers the ability to manage security capabilities across their cloud assets and software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) environments.

With FortiOS 5.6, the company’s Fortinet Security Fabric gives a view of customers’ public and private clouds – including Amazon Web Services and Azure – as well as assets on and their software-defined WANs, says John Maddison, Fortinet’s senior vice president of products.

+More on Network World: DARPA to eliminate “patch & pray” by baking chips with cybersecurity fortification+

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Data centers decline as users turn to rented servers

Data centers are declining worldwide both in numbers and square footage, according to IDC — a remarkable change for an industry that has seen booming growth for many years.

Users are consolidating data centers and increasingly renting server power. These two trends are having a major impact on data center space.

The number of data centers worldwide peaked at 8.55 million in 2015, according to IDC. That figure began declining last year, and is expected to drop to an expected 8.4 million this year. By 2021, the research firm expects there to be 7.2 million data centers globally, more than 15 percent fewer than in 2015.

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Microsoft acquires Deis to boost its Kubernetes chops

Microsoft is acquiring Deis, a company that makes tools to work with the Kubernetes open-source container orchestration system. The deal, announced Monday, marks Microsoft’s continued interest in container orchestration.

Deis creates tools that aim to simplify the development of modern, containerized applications. Containers allow developers to write an application for an isolated, portable runtime that is supposed to be easily transferrable from a workstation to a server environment.

Tools like Deis’s Workflow, Helm, and Steward are supposed to ease the complex process of managing multi-container applications. They build on top of Kubernetes, the popular open-source container orchestration system that Google released to the world in 2014. Deis plans to continue its contributions to those tools as part of Microsoft, company CTO Gabe Monroy said in a blog post.

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University examines cloud phone service

Georgetown University is testing a cloud phone service intended to replace its 25-year-old system, which would cost millions of dollars to replace. The move, part of a broader telecommunications infrastructure overhaul, advances the private university’s plan to migrate to consumer-friendly cloud and mobile software, says CIO Judd Nicholson.

Georgetown University CIO Judd Nicholson. Georgetown University

Georgetown University CIO Judd Nicholson.

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Georgetown University CIO Judd Nicholson. Georgetown University

Georgetown University CIO Judd Nicholson.

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Why Google BigQuery excels at BI on big data concurrency

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Review: Amazon QuickSight covers the BI basics

When I reviewed self-service exploratory business intelligence (BI) products in 2015, I covered the strengths and weaknesses of Tableau 9.0, Qlik Sense 2.0, and Microsoft Power BI. As I pointed out at the time, these three products offer a range of data access, discovery, and visualization capabilities at a range of prices, with Tableau the most capable and expensive, Qlik Sense in the middle, and Power BI the least capable but a very good value.

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(Insider Story)
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