Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Continues Stellar Start With Windows Azure

Grazed from CloudTweaks. Author: Glenn Blake.

At last week’s BUILD developer conference in San Francisco, Microsoft announced major changes to their cloud computing platform, Windows Azure. These changes included added support for foreign languages and third-party tools, and the introduction of the Azure Preview Portal, which allows developers to build and manage instances while they are running. These improvements will go a long way to helping Microsoft compete with other cloud computing giants like Google and Amazon.

When Satya Nadella was appointed CEO of Microsoft in February 2014, the company was stagnant in terms of product innovation. The man Nadella replaced, Steve Ballmer, does deserve credit for raking in enormous profits for the company. But under Ballmer’s tenure Microsoft lagged behind the technology developments of its competitors, especially in the realm of cloud computing...

Cloud Price Wars: Are IaaS Players Finally Ready to Challenge Amazon?

Grazed from Wired. Author: Ryan Koop.

The race to $0 is heating up in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) space:

  • March 25th - Google fires the first salvo in the pricing wars at their Google Cloud Platform Live event by reducing GCE by 32% across all sizes, regions, and classes.
  • March 26th - AWS quickly responds by reducing EC2, S3, RDS, ElastiCache, and Elastic MapReduce pricing effective April 1st.
  • March 31st - Microsoft wants to play too and after renaming Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure, they are cutting prices on compute by up to 35% and storage by up to 65%.

Bingo. Bango. Bongo... Hey Rackspace, where you at? And this isn't the start of the price wars either. Things started in 2012 and continued through 2013 (see RightScale's solid cloud price analysis for 2013). The above is just the most reactive back-and-forth we've seen yet...

Microsoft Azure embraces outside technologies

Grazed from ITWorld. Author: Joab Jackson.

As it rolled out tools and features for coders at its Build developer conference Thursday, Microsoft showed that it is ready to embrace technologies and platforms not invented within its walls. Rather than relying solely on internal tools, the Azure cloud services platform has incorporated a number of non-Microsoft technologies, including popular open source tools such as the Chef and Puppet configuration management software, the OAuth authorization standard, and the Hadoop data processing platform.

The company has also taken steps to incorporate open source into its product roadmaps, by releasing the code for its new compiler and setting up a foundation for managing open source .Net projects. "Clearly Microsoft's message is its support of multi-platform. It will take any part of your stack, it doesn't have to be just Microsoft software," said Al Hilwa, IDC research program director for software development. "This is good for Microsoft and good for the ecosystem."...

Microsoft Azure becomes available in China

Grazed from PCAdvisor.  Author: Zafar Anjum.

Microsoft Azure is now generally available for all customers in China, making it the first global public cloud provider to have comprehensive cloud operations in China, Microsoft China announced today.  Operated by 21Vianet, Microsoft Azure provides fully functional services to cloud customers in China, and is already leading the market with over 3,000 customers, including CNTV, LineKong, GMW.cn, and Coca-Cola China, the software vendor said in a statement.

"Cloud computing is a strategic, growing industry in Shanghai that is playing a significant leading role in economic transformation and long-term sustainable development. Shanghai has a long-standing relationship with Microsoft, which has resulted in many contributions to local economic development and innovation," said Zhiqin Rong, the general secretary of Shanghai Municipal Commission Of Economy and Informatization...

Learning the Ropes: Cloud Computing Services IaaS and PaaS

Grazed from BusinessBee.  Author: Alexia Chianis.

Cloud computing is no longer reserved for Fortune 500 companies. Its popularity has skyrocketed in among small business owners who are reaching to the Cloud to boost productivity, support their emerging virtual workplace and gain access to the latest computing technology. As a bonus, Cloud services deliver the scalability the small business IT guru craves, and a flexible pay-as-you-go pricing structure that will please number crunchers.

There are many benefits of moving to the Cloud, but if you’re just getting started with Cloud computing you may find the slew of terms that accompany it make your head dizzy. If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur who wants to sort out what Cloud computing terms are all about, you’ve come to the right place...

IaaS Tops ODCA Member Cloud Usage Models

Grazed from TalkinCloud. Author: Chris Talbot.

A survey of the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) membership found that the most popular usage model for members is infrastructure as a service (IaaS), which was noted by 86 percent of the respondents. It far outweighs any other category, including service orchestration (49 percent), virtual machine interoperability (48 percent), service catalog (39 percent) and scale-out storage (39 percent).

According to the ODCA, the survey highlights the continued growth in cloud computing adoption by the organization's members—not a far stretch considering part of the purpose of the ODCA is to push adoption of cloud computing models. But the ODCA goes even further, noting its members are ahead of broad market trends...

ODCA Delivers 2.0 Usage Models For Service Orchestration And Compute IaaS

Grazed from ODCA. Author: PR Announcement.

Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) today announced it has published 2.0 versions of cloud deployment usage models in the areas of service orchestration and Compute Infrastructure as a Service (CIaaS). The alliance has also updated its conceptual model document map, which provides an overview of the organization's usage models, particularly how they fit into a larger cloud computing and next generation data center context.

The documents that have been updated include:

* Open Data Center Alliance Master Usage Model: Service Orchestration Rev. 2.0-describes the processes, interfaces and aspects to be considered when deploying services on cloud platforms. This usage model includes 19 usage scenarios of a cloud service engagement as well as the foundation for the next phase of usage development including bursting between clouds and other areas that include Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). The Service Orchestration Rev. 2.0 usage model is available for free download on the ODCA website...

Why IaaS Won't Happen At Most Enterprises

Grazed from InformationWeek. Author: Jonathan Feldman.

After speaking last week on a webinar about government cloud computing and doing some thinking-out-loud with colleagues, I've come to the conclusion that infrastructure-as-a-service will get bypassed by platform-as-a-service at most enterprises -- because infrastructure folks will continue to act as an impediment to progress.

The benefits of cloud computing are clear: Improved agility and efficiency through dynamic provisioning; and lower labor costs and more fault tolerance through automation. The private versus public cloud debate has been over for some time. There are use cases for each. But getting IaaS into your enterprise probably won't happen soon...

Cloud Computing: Windows Azure Tackles Credit Card Security

Grazed from eWeek.  Author: Pedro Hernandez.

In oddly fitting timing, Microsoft announced on Jan. 16 that its Windows Azure cloud platform has been validated to conform to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS 2.0), credit card industry policies and requirements that govern how merchant IT systems handle sensitive payment information.

"The PCI DSS is the global standard that any organization of any size must adhere to in order to accept payment cards, and to store, process, and/or transmit cardholder data," wrote Windows Azure General Manager Steven Martin in a company blog post. He added that his company's cloud "delivers a compliant framework" that enables customers to run their "own secure and compliant applications."...

IaaS, SaaS markets will dominate in the cloud

Grazed from FierceCIO. Author: David Weldon.

By all accounts, activity in the cloud will continue at a thunderous pace in 2014, and the SaaS and IaaS markets are expected to be especially strong. A recent study by GigaOM Research finds that the cloud computing market is on pace to grow by 126 percent in 2014, Business 2 Community has reported. That includes a growth in the software-as-a-services market of 119 percent, and growth in the infrastructure-as-a-service market of 122 percent.

The news isn't all good in the IaaS space for vendors, however, as Gartner recently predicted that one-in-four IaaS vendors will disappear by the end of the year, due to feverish competition. Another major trend: "as the cloud matures, larger established businesses and enterprises have started to get on board public and private cloud platforms," the article notes...