Weekly News Scan: May 20, 2016

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This is a weekly browsing of recent relevant industry news articles, helpful for educating ourselves as well as for sharing with our peers. Please post any thoughts in the comments section!


VentureBeat: Alibaba and SoftBank form SB Cloud, a cloud-computing joint venture in Japan

Chinese Internet behemoth Alibaba has teamed up with Japanese telecom giant SoftBank to form a cloud-computing joint venture (JV) in Japan. SoftBank’s parent company, SoftBank Group, is an existing shareholder in Alibaba, so the deal isn’t exactly a bolt out of the blue. SB Cloud Corporation, or “SB Cloud,” as it will be known, will combine the collective smarts from the two technology titans, and the joint venture will lead to a new data center that provides “competitive and enhanced public cloud computing services” from Alibaba Cloud, according to a press release.


Bloomberg: Microsoft and SAP’s Cloud Computing Platforms to Interoperate

Microsoft Corp. and SAP SE are linking up their software products to make it easier for businesses to rent applications online and workers to manage travel and meetings. SAP’s Hana data analysis tools and S/4 Hana applications will be able to run on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service by the third quarter of 2016, the companies announced Tuesday. The move will let Microsoft customers run SAP software without installing it on their own servers. Workers using Microsoft’s Office 365 suite of applications will also be able to plan trips and manage expenses using SAP’s Concur software directly within Outlook.


Fortune: Amazon Introduces a Dash Button for Cloud Services Because Why Not?

It will let software developers order up cloud computing services. This is one we should have seen coming: Last week, Amazon Web Services announced a version of the Dash button specifically to enable software developers to trigger cloud computing services. Some background: Last year AWS parent company Amazon started offering programmed Dash buttons that consumers can stick around the house, near supplies they need to buy often. If they see that they’re running low on paper towels, for example, they hit the Wi-Fi-connected button, and the order is conveyed to the great Amazon store in the sky and slated for delivery.


Forbes: NVIDIA's New Tesla M10 Could Drive Enterprise VDI Reassessment

NVIDIA is well known for its leadership in graphics processors (GPUs) for gaming, but their business is quickly diversifying with significant growth in other areas like their datacenter and automotive businesses.  Within the datacenter, NVIDIA has been evangelizing a vision for a number of years about the benefits of GPUs for accelerating workloads in high-performance computing and web-scale datacenters.  The company has recently started to see traction for GPU acceleration in the datacenter business for applications like deep learning and artificial intelligence.


InformationWeek: Virtualization Market Now 'Mature,' Gartner Finds

Eighteen years after the practical launch of x86 virtualization in the IT marketplace, the remaining supply of unvirtualized host servers is in such short supply that the market has been declared "mature." That was the conclusion of a recent Gartner report on "Market Trends: x86 Server Virtualization Worldwide 2016." The technology research firm issued a summary of the report on May 12 ahead of the Gartner Infrastructure, Operations, and Data Center Summit taking place May 16 and 17 in Sydney, Australia. Some firms report they have virtualized 90% of their servers, or all of those that they plan to. On average, most firms report 75% or higher virtualization of their data center, "illustrating the high level of penetration," wrote Michael Warrilow, research director at Gartner.

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