Category Archives: Cloud Computing
Cisco has also faced stiffening competition from rivals like the software maker VMware, which announced a partnership with Amazon last year.
Cisco and Google executives vowed to offer something different. They said companies have been struggling with the fact that they need separate tools to manage software on their own premises and those running in the cloud, a situation that sometimes causes security problems. By combining Google programming technology and Cisco networking and security software, they said, tech managers can create and manage software that can run securely in or outside their companies data centers.
The idea, said Urs Hlzle, Googles senior vice president for technical infrastructure, is to close those security gaps.
Cloud computing has been roiling the strategies of older tech companies for much of the past decade. The concept, besides letting customers sidestep the costs of buying hardware and software, can let companies deploy computing resources more quickly and flexibly.
Amazon Web Services pioneered the concept. Synergy Research Group, a market research firm, said in July that A.W.S. accounted for 34 percent of the roughly $11 billion spent on such cloud services in the second quarter, compared with 11 percent for Microsoft, 8 percent for IBM and 5 percent for Google. Amazon and Microsoft are expected to highlight progress in their cloud businesses when they report quarterly earnings on Thursday.
Google has moved aggressively to catch up. In late 2015, the company gave the job of running its cloud business to Diane Greene, a widely respected Silicon Valley entrepreneur who helped make VMwares technology a mainstay at many corporations.
She made a series of organizational changes, recruited new talent and introduced new technology features. In one important move, Google in September 2016 bought the start-up Apigee Corporation for $625 million, adding capabilities to help customers connect their operations with online services operated by others.
More mature technology companies have taken different tacks to try to hold on to customers. Some, like IBM and Oracle, offer their own cloud services. Others, like Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell Technologies, have shied away from engaging in a spending war in data centers against deep-pocketed internet giants.
So has Cisco. The company, based in San Jose, Calif., promoted a concept called intercloud that amounted to coordinating a federation of cloud services operated by partners.
But Cisco dropped that approach last year, choosing instead to help customers manage hybrid cloud arrangements industry parlance for using a blend of operations in a companys own data centers and those operated by a growing number of cloud services.
We think we are one of the few companies that can navigate this multi-cloud world, said David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of Ciscos networking and security business.
The company has broadly signaled plans to rely more on software and services than on sales of networking hardware, aided frequently by acquisitions. On Monday, for example, Cisco said it would pay $1.9 billion for BroadSoft, which sells online communications services.
Other companies also have embraced the hybrid cloud concept. Microsoft, for example, has longtime ties with corporate software buyers and has come up with ways to run new cloud applications in its data centers or on customers premises, said Al Gillen, an analyst at the research firm IDC.
We see other vendors doing things to compete since what we have is so strong and so unique, said Julia White, a corporate vice president with Microsofts Azure cloud business.
VMware, a subsidiary of Dell, was first known for software technology called virtualization that allows more efficient use of servers but now competes with Cisco with networking software. Russ Currie, a vice president of enterprise strategy at the network monitoring specialist NetScout Systems, said VMware was effectively using its cloud alliance with A.W.S. to court customers. Pat Gelsinger, VMwares chief executive, called the announcement from Google and Cisco a validation of his own companys vision.
Cisco also cooperates in various ways with A.W.S. and Microsoft in cloud computing. But Mr. Goeckeler said that the Google relationship was particularly potent because of the technological specialties of each company.
We are both users of each others products, said Mr. Hlzle of Google. But in this case, this is about working together to give their customers the technology they want, he said.
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Cisco and Google Find Mutual Interest in Cloud Computing …
Thereare several angles you can take if you want to add a few cloud computing stocks to your portfolio. But if you want to bet on the leaders in the business, you should start with Amazon.com, Microsoft, and Alphabet.
Research firm Gartner predicts that the public cloud services market will be worth $383.3 billion by 2020, a massive opportunity that makes it crystal clear why these three key players are in the middle of a fierce battle for dominance. There are plenty of smaller players in this segment, all offering varying types of services, but let’s focus on the giants and how they plan to compete in this space.
% of Public Cloud Market
Data source: Yahoo Finance and Business Insider.
Don’t feel bad if you’re not exactly sure what cloud computing is. The term can actually refer to several different types of cloud services, including software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS).
Microsoft’s Office 365 is one of the best examples of SaaS, while PaaS includes things like Google’s App Engine tools, which allow developers to build their own products and services. Meanwhile, IaaS involves things like networking features, virtual machines, andactual data storage — which Amazon, Microsoft, and Google all offer.
In this article, we’ll use the general “cloud computing” term to refer to a combination of all of these services, because each of the big three players offers SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the clear leader right now with 40% of the public cloud computing market, according to Synergy Research Group.So investors accustomed to thinking about it as an e-commerce play should look closer. Sure, sales from the company’s retail platform in North America accounted for nearly 59% of Amazon’s revenue in the second quarter, but AWS generates far more of the profit. Amazon’s North American e-commerce sales brought in $436 million in operating income in the second quarter of this year, while AWS hit $916 million.
AWS is the real breadwinner because of its hefty 25% margins and its stellar growth. Its revenue jumped by 70% in 2015 and 55% in 2016.
Amazon isn’t a pure play in the segment, but it’s already proved that it can do both e-commerce and cloud computing very well — and at the same time. AWS revenuegrew by 58% year over year in Q2, and it’s likely to continue growing as a key contributor to the company’s top and bottom lines.
Image source: Getty Images.
Microsoft may be known for its software prowess, but its Azure Cloud Services unit currently holds the No. 2 spot in public cloud computing with an 11% market share.
The cloud computing segment brought in $18.9 billion in fiscal 2017 — a 56% year-over-year increase — and it’s on track to hit $20 billion annually by the end of fiscal 2018.It’s worth pointing out that Microsoft lumps all of its cloud computing revenue (including Office 365 software) into one segment, which pushes its cloud revenue higher than Amazon’s.
Image source: Getty Images.
Azure is important to Microsoft because it helps lock the company’s enterprise customers into its other services like Windows Server. Without Azure, Microsoft could easily lose Windows Server clients and forfeit significant yearly sales. For example, Microsoft said in its fiscal fourth quarter that server products and cloud services revenue jumped by 15%, which was “driven by Azure revenue growth.”
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said back in 2014 that the company would take a “mobile first, cloud first” approach, and so far it has implemented the last part of that strategy quite well. Microsoft may trail Amazon, but it’s still far ahead of its next closest competitor, Alphabet. And the company’s long enterprise experience should help keep it solidly in that No. 2 spot.
It’s a bit unusual to have occasion to describe Alphabet as anything other than a leader, but in cloud computing, it’s still a relatively small player. Google started selling its first cloud services back in 2008, and currently, holds about 6% of the market.
But just because it’s the smallest player on this list doesn’t mean it should be counted out. In typical Google fashion, it’s building out its cloud presence by offering software like its TensorFlow machine learning algorithms for free to developers.
TensorFlow is the magic behind the Google Photos function that automatically categorizes images for you, for example, and its machine learning makes the results of your Google searches more relevant. The company started giving TensorFlow away to developers a couple of years ago as part of its efforts to woo them to the company’s cloud platform.
A recentMIT Technology Review article said that TensorFlow is “becoming the clear leader among programmers building new things with machine learning” and that “the software’s popularity is helping Google fight for a bigger share” of the cloud market because it’s easier to use on Google’s cloud than AWS or Azure.
That strategy may seem like an odd way to build a cloud business, but TensorFlow has made Amazon and Microsoft nervous enough that they’ve teamed up to release a competing machine learning software product.
The head of Google Cloud, Urs Holzle, has said that he wants revenue from Google Cloud services to overtake the company’s advertising sales by 2020. Considering that the tech giant earns nearly 90%of its top line from advertising, that timeline sounds optimistic, to say the least.
Google doesn’t break out its cloud platform revenue (nor any other segment’s sales, for that matter) but that doesn’t mean investors should overlook the potential for Alphabet here. It became a key cloud services player in a short period of time, and now offers important software that developers find very useful. And Microsoft and Amazon appear to be a little worried about Google Cloud’s rapid rise, which by itself should make it clear that it’s shaping up to be a formidable player in the space.
The cloud computing sector is like any other when it comes to investing: You need to have a long-term perspective when buying shares in any of these companies. None of these tech giants are cloud computing pure plays, which means that many other factors — like Amazon’s retail sales, Google’s advertising dollars, and Microsoft’s software sales — will affect their share prices.
But investors should keep in mind that we’re not that far into our cloud computing journey, and the gains these companies could make from these technologies the coming years could be far greater. So be patient, consider the other businesses these companies are in when building your investment thesis, and then sit back and wait for this market to mature.
How to Invest in Cloud Computing — The Motley Fool
The cloud in cloud computing originated from the habit of drawing the internet as a fluffy cloud in network diagrams. No wonder the most popular meaning of cloud computing refers to running workloads over the internet remotely in a commercial providers data centerthe so-called public cloud model. AWS (Amazon Web Services), Salesforces CRM system, and Google Cloud Platform all exemplify this popular notion of cloud computing.
But theres another, more precise meaning of cloud computing: the virtualization and central management of data center resources as software-defined pools. This technical definition of cloud computing describes how public cloud service providers run their operations. The key advantage is agility: the ability to apply abstracted compute, storage, and network resources to workloads as needed and tap into an abundance of pre-built services.
From a customer perspective, the public cloud offers a way to gain new capabilities on demand without investing in new hardware or software. Instead, customers pay their cloud provider a subscription fee or pay for only the resources they use. Simply by filling in web forms, users can set up accounts and spin up virtual machines or provision new applications. More users or computing resources can be added on the flythe latter in real time as workloads demand those resources thanks to a feature known as auto-scaling.
The array of available cloud computing services is vast, but most fall into one of the following categories:
This type of public cloud computing delivers applications over the internet through the browser. The most popular SaaS applications for business can be found in Googles G Suite and Microsofts Office 365; among enterprise applications, Salesforce leads the pack. But virtually all enterprise applications, including ERP suites from Oracle and SAP, have adopted the SaaS model. Typically, SaaS applications offer extensive configuration options as well as development environments that enable customers to code their own modifications and additions.
At a basic level, IaaS public cloud providers offer storage and compute services on a pay-per-use basis. But the full array of services offered by all major public cloud providers is staggering: highly scalable databases, virtual private networks, big data analytics, developer tools, machine learning, application monitoring, and so on. Amazon Web Services was the first IaaS provider and remains the leader, followed by Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and IBM Cloud.
PaaS provides sets of services and workflows that specifically target developers, who can use shared tools, processes, and APIs to accelerate the development, test, and deployment of applications. Salesforces Heroku and Force.com are popular public cloud PaaS offerings; Pivotals Cloud Foundry and Red Hats OpenShift can be deployed on premises or accessed through the major public clouds. For enterprises, PaaS can ensure that developers have ready access to resources, follow certain processes, and use only a specific array of services, while operators maintain the underlying infrastructure.
Note that a variety of PaaS tailored for developers of mobile applications generally goes by the name of MBaaS (mobile back end as a service), or sometimes just BaaS (back end as a service).
FaaS, the cloud instantiation of serverless computing, adds another layer of abstraction to PaaS, so that developers are completely insulated from everything in the stack below their code. Instead of futzing with virtual servers, containers, and application runtimes, they upload narrowly functional blocks of code, and set them to be triggered by a certain event (e.g. a form submission or uploaded file). All the major clouds offer FaaS on top of IaaS: AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, and IBM OpenWhisk. A special benefit of FaaS applications is that they consume no IaaS resources until an event occurs, reducing pay-per-use fees.
The private cloud downsizes the technologies used to run IaaS public clouds into software that can be deployed and operated in a customers data center. As with a public cloud, internal customers can provision their own virtual resources in order to build, test, and run applications, with metering to charge back departments for resource consumption. For administrators, the private cloud amounts to the ultimate in data center automation, minimizing manual provisioning and management. VMwares Software Defined Data Center stack is the most popular commercial private cloud software, while OpenStack is the open source leader.
A hybrid cloud is the integration of a private cloud with a public cloud. At its most developed, the hybrid cloud involves creating parallel environments in which applications can move easily between private and public clouds. In other instances, databases may stay in the customer data center and integrate with public cloud applicationsor virtualized data center workloads may be replicated to the cloud during times of peak demand. The types of integrations between private and public cloud vary widely, but they must be extensive to earn a hybrid clouddesignation.
Just as SaaS delivers applications to users over the internet, public APIs offer developers application functionality that can be accessed programmatically. For example, in building web applications, developers often tap into Google Maps API to provide driving directions; to integrate with social media, developers may call upon APIs maintained by Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Twilio has built a successful business dedicated to delivering telephony and messaging services via public APIs. Ultimately, any business can provision its own public APIs to enable customers to consume data or access application functionality.
Data integration is a key issue for any sizeable company, but particularly for those that adopt SaaS at scale. iPaaS providers typically offer prebuilt connectors for sharing data among popular SaaS applications and on-premises enterprise applications, though providers may focus more or less on B-to-B and ecommerce integrations, cloud integrations, or traditional SOA-style integrations. iPaaS offerings in the cloud from such providers as Dell Boomi, Informatica, MuleSoft, and SnapLogic also enable users to implement data mapping, transformations, and workflows as part of the integration-building process.
The most difficult security issue related to cloud computing is the management of user identity and its associated rights and permissions across private data centers and pubic cloud sites. IDaaS providers maintain cloud-based user profiles that authenticate users and enable access to resources or applications based on security policies, user groups, and individual privileges. The ability to integrate with various directory services (Active Directory, LDAP, etc.) and provide is essential. Okta is the clear leader in cloud-based IDaaS; CA, Centrify, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Ping provide both on-premises and cloud solutions.
Collaboration solutions such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and HipChat have become vital messaging platforms that enable groups to communicate and work together effectively. Basically, these solutions are relatively simple SaaS applications that support chat-style messaging along with file sharing and audio or video communication. Most offer APIs to facilitate integrations with other systems and enable third-party developers to create and share add-ins that augment functionality.
Key players in such industries as financial services, healthcare, retail, life sciences, and manufacturing provide PaaS clouds to enable customers to build vertical applications that tap into industry-specific, API-accessible services. Vertical clouds can dramatically reduce the time to market for vertical applications and accelerate domain-specific B-to-B integrations. Most vertical clouds are built with the intent of nurturing partner ecosystems.
The clouds main appeal is to reduce the time to market of applications that need to scale dynamically. Increasingly, however, developers are drawn to the cloud by the abundance of advanced new services that can be incorporated into applications, from machine learning to internet-of-things connectivity.
Although businesses sometimes migrate legacy applications to the cloud to reduce data center resource requirements, the real benefits accrue to new applications that take advantage of cloud services and cloud native attributes. The latter include microservices architecture, Linux containers to enhance application portability, and container management solutions such as Kubernetes that orchestrate container-based services. Cloud-native approaches and solutions can be part of either public or private clouds and help enable highly efficient devops-style workflows.
Objections to the public cloud generally begin with cloud security, although the major public clouds have proven themselves much less susceptible to attack than the average enterprise data center. Of greater concern is the integration of security policy and identity management between customers and public cloud providers. In addition, government regulation may forbid customers from allowing sensitive data off premises. Other concerns include the risk of outages and the long-term operational costs of public cloud services.
Yet cloud computing, public or private, has become the platform of choice for large applications, particularly customer-facing ones that need to change frequently or scale dynamically. More significantly, the major public clouds now lead the way in enterprise technology development, debuting new advances before they appear anywhere else. Workload by workload, enterprises are opting for the cloud, where an endless parade of exciting new technologies invite innovative use.
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What is cloud computing? Everything you need to know now …
Huawei and Microsoft executives sign an expanded cloud computing partnership. (Huawei Photo)
Huaweis bid to be a player in Chinas cloud computing scene got a little stronger Tuesday with the signing of a deal with Microsoft to host more of the software giants apps on its cloud.
Just five months into the making of Huaweis public cloud strategy, the two companies signed a deal that will see more of Microsofts enterprise technology software become available on Huaweis public cloud. Huawei launched its public cloud service in April with support for Windows Server and RDS (relational database service) for SQL Server, but customers running other Microsoft apps on-premises will now be able to take advantage of a cloud option for those apps through the new partnership.
Cloud computing in China is the domain of home-grown companies, with Alibaba as the countrys leading provider of cloud computing services. Baidu and Tencent are also going after cloud customers, while U.S. companies like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft operate their cloud services through a local subsidiary. The overall market is a little behind where the global cloud computing market is at the moment, but demand for cloud services in China is expected to surge over the next decade.
Microsoft and Huawei will cooperate on bringing new services to Huaweis customers, the two companies said in a statement. The announcement kicks off the Huawei Connect 2017 conference, which is being held in Shanghai.
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Huawei ups its bet on cloud computing with broader support for Microsoft apps – GeekWire
The Volkswagen Group, the worlds second largest car manufacturer, is planning to use open-source cloud-computing platforms in order to build a private cloud to host websites for its brands Audi, VW, and Porsche. The company is also looking at a comprehensive platform for innovative automotive technology. In fact, VW officials debated for a long time over how to leverage the technology. The Group employs over 600,000 employees globally and of them, there are 11,000 who are internal IT experts.
They first plan to build private cloud to span the thousands of physical nodes across multiple data centers in the USA, Europe, and Asia. The automotive giant then eventually plans to build public cloud in order to create a hybrid cloud. The automobile giant has evolved from a car manufacturer to a global mobility provider and realizes the need to move away from traditional application development processes to those which are agile and can sustain rapid development. For new mobility services, Volkswagen will collect data, analyze it, and store it to make better products for its customers. These are real cases of digital transformation. Volkswagen is in fact one of the many automotive companies that are leveraging transformational technologies for a digital future.
Massive expansion predicted for cloud services globally
Cloud computing is one of the most disruptive forces facing the industry. According to the Bain & Company research report The Changing Faces of the Cloud, globally, the cloud IT market revenue is projected to increase to $390 billion in 2020 from $180 billion, translating into a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 17%. The scale of change is mind-boggling.
The overall global public cloud market will mature, and its growth rate will slightly slow down from 17.2% in 2016 to a 15.2% increase in 2020, says Sid Nag, research director at Gartner. While Brexit and other growth challenges exist, some segments such as financial SaaS applications and the PaaS user markets will still see strong growth through 2020. As buyers intensify and increase IaaS activity, they will be getting more for their investment: ongoing enhancement of performance, more memory, more storage for the same money (which will drive increases in consumptions) and increased automation in traditional IT outsourcing (ITO) delivery, added Nag.
Cloud computing is radically changing the face of the automobile industry
The change is not cosmetic but radical in all aspects and could be truly transformational as it will power and define business processes and supply chains. These are companies genuinely trying to change everything: from the way their structure is managed to the products they sell.
We live in a world where innovation is the only constant. The world is witnessing unprecedented change driven by digital revolution. Everything is changing from how organizations function to how people work. Digital transformation is the buzzword across industries and cloud-based tech is leading that digitalization of processes and supply chains, said Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera, a global cloud provider.
Automotive companies are leveraging modern Cloud-computing platforms for creating Cloud native Applications, Operating System, the Internet of Things (IoT), devising a comprehensive software development methodologyall of which have the potential to literally transform it into a global powerhouse. As the company strives to explore new markets, it is overhauling everything that defines the core of its business and moving towards being a software services company, away from its hallmark of being a leading automaker. The bold move will perhaps lay the blueprint of how automobile enterprises of the future will keep reinventing themselves.
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How The Automotive Industry Is Leveraging Cloud Computing – CXOToday.com
A board sports apparel retailer is taking steps to blend its physical and digital retail channels.
Billabong is leveraging the Aptos Singular Commerce platform to support omnichannel retailing across its global enterprise. The cloud-based solution will merge the retailers physical and digital retail channels, and create a single view of customers, inventory and orders, among other operations.
In addition to managing point-of-sale, the solution also supports customer relationship management (CRM), order management, merchandising and auditing functions. By integrating these functions, Billabong is positioned to deliver truly seamless customer experiences regardless where, when or how its customers shop, the company said.
Transitioning to a cloud-based platform also helps Billabong to consolidate its retail technology stack, and accelerate the implementation of new solutions goals that required a seasoned partner.
Aptos global presence, leading cloud-based technology, and professional services and implementation team were important considerations in our selection process, said Michael Yerkes, senior VP, global operations of Billabong International Limited.
Billabong operates 372 retail stores, as well as operates e-commerce sites for each of its key brands, Billabong, RVCA, Element, Von Zipper, Honolua Surf Company, Kustom, Palmers Surf and Xcel.
Sept. 5 Cloud computing lies behind many of todays most popular technologies, from streaming video and music to e-mail and chat services to storing and sharing family photos. Since 2015, theChameleontestbed has helped researchers push the potential of cloud computing even further, finding novel scientific applications and improving security and privacy.
A new grant from the National Science Foundation will extend Chameleons mission for another three years, allowing the project led by University of Chicago with partners at theTexas Advanced Computing Center(TACC), Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), and Northwestern University to enter its next phase of cloud computing innovation. Upgrades to hardware and services as well as new features will help scientists rigorously test new cloud computing platforms and networking protocols.
The $10 million renewal will be officially announced at the inauguralChameleon User Meeting, taking place September 13-14 at Argonne National Laboratory.
In phase one we built a testbed, but in phase two were going to transform this testbed into a scientific instrument, saidKate Keahey, Argonne computer scientist, Computation Institute fellow, and Chameleon project PI. Were going to extend the capabilities that allow users to keep a record of their experiments in Chameleon and provide new services that allow them to build more repeatable experiments.
The new features build upon the projects original philosophies of flexibility and transparency, which provided users with a large-scale, ~600-node cloud infrastructure with bare metal reconfiguration privileges. This unique level of access allows researchers to go beyond limited development on existing commercial or scientific clouds, offering a customizable platform to create and test entirely new cloud computing architectures.
In its first phase, this powerful resource supported advanced work in computer science areas such as cybersecurity, OS design and power management. With Chameleon, scientists could realisticallysimulate cyberattacksupon cloud computing systems to improve their defenses, train students tosearch high-resolution telescope imagesfor undiscovered exoplanets, and develop machine learning algorithms that automatically determinethe most energy-efficient task assignment schemesfor large data centers.
Many of these projects benefited from Chameleon features that allow them to extract detailed, precise data about system performance and status during usage. To further support the conduct of reproducible science, the Chameleon team will make it even easier for scientists to gather and use this information.
Everything in the testbed is a recorded event, but right now the information about those events is in various different places, Keahey said. Were going to make it very easy for users to have a record of everything that was happening on the testbed resources that they used, and well also provide services to replay those experiments.
Additional phase two landmarks include new hardware, including additional racks at UChicago and TACC, infusion of highly-contested resources such as GPUs, and Corsa network switches. The new Corsa switches enable experimentation with software-defined networking (SDN) within a Chameleon site as well as extending individual SDN experiments across the wide-area to include resources from either Chameleon site or even from other compatible testbeds, such as NSF GENI.
New hardware will be complemented by new capabilities allowing users to define entirely new classes of experiments. For the second phase, new team members from RENCI with significant expertise developing such capabilities will join the existing Chameleon team based at UChicago, TACC, and Northwestern University.
On the software side, the Chameleon team will package CHI (CHameleon Infrastructure), the software operating Chameleon, based primarily on the open-sourceOpenStackproject to which the University of Chicago team made substantial contributions. Packaging the Chameleon operational model will allow others to create their own experimental clouds easily.
Whether somebody wants to provide a Chameleon resource or create their own experimental testbed, CHI will make it very easy for them Keahey said. It is based on a widely used open source system that is increasingly popular in scientific data centers and thus easy to adopt. Ultimately, we would like to make testbeds for Computer Science research cost-effective to operate.
The project will also look to expand their community through outreach events, including workshops, online tutorials, and Septembers user meeting. In addition to training scientists in the use of Chameleon and gathering feedback for future improvements, these events will also be an opportunity for defining the future of cloud computing science, Keahey said.
We would like to go beyond simply providing resources, and give the community the opportunity to focus on experimental methodology in computer science: how to improve it, how to control it, and how to make experimental computer science less about logistics and more about the science.
Source: Computation Institute & The University of Chicago
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Cloud Computing Testbed Chameleon Renewed for Second Phase – HPCwire
Utilizing cloud computing technologies can allow organizations to reduce their information technology spending, whilst harnessing networking innovations to seamlessly offer efficient, accountable, and effective governance.New Delhi: The Software Alliance today will hold a conference, BSA Cloud Computing Roundtable: Successes and Policy Challenges, to promote understanding of global best practices around public and private partnerships and cloud service deployment.
The roundtable will bring together technical experts and representatives from the industry, trade associations, civil society, and academia with an aim to align business, technical, and policy discussions on cloud adoption and encourage the development of Indias digital infrastructure.
The first session of the roundtable focuses on sharing examples of cloud use by governments around the world and India with an aim to understand the merits and learnings from those respective examples, while the second session covers challenges and concerns in terms of cloud related policies from a forward-looking perspective.
Utilizing cloud computing technologies can allow organizations to reduce their information technology spending, whilst harnessing networking innovations to seamlessly offer efficient, accountable, and effective governance.
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BSA is committed to contributing to initiatives that advance cloud computing in India, said Jared Ragland, Senior Director, Policy APAC.
We hope this event will encourage a constructive dialog around implementing a transparent and predictable policy environment which is essential for businesses, consumers, and the public sector to leverage the full benefits of cloud computing and partake in the growing digital economy.
Originally posted here:
The Software Alliance Advances Discussion on India’s Cloud Computing Policy – ETAuto.com
Alibaba’s Post-Earnings Update: Cloud, Mobile Users, Brand Rights PART 5 OF 16
In Alibabas (BABA) fiscal 1Q18 earnings, you can see that its Cloud Computing business only supplied 5.0% of the companys total revenues. Despite the tiny contribution to the companys top line, its Cloud Computing revenues grew 96% year-over-year, making it one of Alibabas fastest-growing businesses.
Alibaba identified the top priority in its Cloud Computing business as market expansion. The company is adding more cloud capacity and rolling out new cloud products and services to support themarket share expansionthat it seeks.
According to estimates by Synergy Research Group, Alibaba is subdued by Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabets (GOOGL) Google, and IBM (IBM) in terms of worldwide cloud computing market share.The chart above shows the rankings of various cloud providers by market share.
In the cloud computing industry, Alibaba has thrown its hat in the ring for a multi-billion-dollar prize. According to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market could grow 18% to reach $246.8 billion in 2017 before expanding to $383.4 billion by 2020. The market was worth ~$209.2 billion in 2016.
Cloud computing has the potential to transform Alibabas financial profile if the company can succeed in this sector. Alibabas overall revenues in fiscal 2017 totaled $23 billion, up 56%. Cloud revenues for that year reached $968 million, up 121%, and represented about 4.2% of the companys total revenues.
The global cloud services market is expected to grow from 18% annually to $246.8 billion this year, according toGartner’s latest estimates. Wikibon expects enterprise cloud spending to grow at a compound annual growth run rate of 16% between 2016 and 2026.
Those figures make the cloud computing market a lucrative one for tech investors, but it’s tough to narrow down the best buys in the industry. Today, I’ll focus on three “no brainer” stocks in that market, which will benefit from the growth of the cloud computing market over the next few years.
Source: Getty Images.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is the 800-pound gorilla of cloud computing, since its AWS (Amazon Web Services) platform is the biggest cloud infrastructure service in the world. AWS stores data and hosts content for companies, and its tools enable developers to create and run cloud-based apps. It added over 400 new tools to AWS in the last quarter alone.
During thatquarter, AWS’ revenue rose 42% annually to $4.1 billion and accounted for 11% of Amazon’s top line. That gives the segment a run rate of $14.5 billion over the past four quarters. Wikibon expects AWS to generate $43 billion in annual revenues by fiscal 2022 — which would account for 8.2% of all cloud spending worldwide.
AWS’ operating profit rose 28% to $916 million last quarter, compared to just $628 million in operating income for the entire company. Therefore, the growth of the higher-margin AWS unit easily offsets bottom line declines at its North American and International marketplace businesses — which are using low-margin and loss-leading strategies to lock in customers. That virtuous cycle enables Amazon to continue dominating both the cloud computing and e-commerce markets.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) rules the software-as-a-service market with consumer-facing products like Office 365, Dynamics CRM (customer relationship management), and Skype. Its cloud platform, Azure, is the second largest cloud infrastructure platform in the world after AWS. Microsoft reported that all these services generated a “commercial cloud” annualized run rate of$18.9 billion last quarter.
That puts Microsoft on track to exceed CEO Satya Nadella’s goal of hitting $20 billion in annual cloud revenues by the end of fiscal 2018. That figure would represent nearly a fifth of its projected revenue for the year, and reduce its overall dependence on traditional Windows licenses.
Microsoft missed the shift toward mobile operating systems, and itrecently killed off Windows Phone. But it’s clawing its way back in the mobile market with mobile versions of its flagship apps (Office, Outlook, OneDrive, and OneNote) for iOS and Android. By tethering its cloud-based ecosystem to those two operating systems, Microsoft can remain relevant in the “mobile-first, cloud-first” market which Nadella highlighted in hisfirst email to Microsoft employees.
Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) is thelargest provider of cloud-based CRM services in the world. These services help companies retain and organize relationships with customers. Salesforce controlled 18.1% of that market in 2016, according to IDC, while its closest rivals — Oracle and SAP– respectively controlled just 9.4% and 7.2%.
Salesforce is still firing on all cylinders. Its revenue rose 26% to $8.39 billion last year, and analysts anticipate 24% growth this year. Its non-GAAP earnings also jumped 35% last year, and Wall Street expects 30% growth this year. However, the bears often note that Salesforce isn’t consistently profitable on a GAAP basis. They also point out that Microsoft’s Dynamics is gaining ground in the CRM market with the support of Outlook, Skype, Azure, LinkedIn, and other applications.
Nonetheless, Salesforce remains the go-to vendor for CRM solutions, and new features like Einstein — which uses AI to crunch customer data into business predictions — should further widen its moat against the competition.
Amazon, Microsoft, and Salesforce are all smart ways to invest in the growing cloud computing market, but investors shouldn’t ignore the risks. Amazon and Salesforce’s valuations are high relative to their peers, so a market downturn could sink both stocks. Microsoft’s cloud growth is impressive, but those investments are also weighing down its bottom line growth.Investors should weigh these risks against the potential rewards to see if these cloud-oriented stocks are right for their portfolios.
Teresa Kersten is an employee of LinkedIn and is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft. Leo Sun owns shares of Amazon. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and Gartner. The Motley Fool owns shares of Oracle. The Motley Fool recommends Salesforce.com. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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3 No-Brainer Stocks to Buy in Cloud Computing – Motley Fool