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!
Amazon Web Services, the biggest of the cloud-computing providers, has a new line of work: Taking other cloud-computing giants into other countries. On Wednesday, Salesforce.com announced it would use A.W.S. to expand in Canada and Australia, in a deal valued at about $400 million. If successful, the value of the transaction will most likely get much bigger. “For sure, we’re talking of billions of dollars in services over the next several years,” said Marc Benioff, the co-founder and chief executive of Salesforce.
Cray has always been associated with speed and power and its latest computing beast called the Cray Urika-GX system has been designed specifically for big data workloads. What’s more, it runs on OpenStack, the open source cloud platform and supports open source big data processing tools like Hadoop and Spark. Cray recognizes that the computing world had evolved since Seymour Cray launched the company back in the early 1970s. While the computers they are creating remain technology performance powerhouses, they are competing in an entirely different landscape that includes cloud computing where companies can get as many computing resources as they need and pay by the sip (or the gulp in the case of Cray-style processing).
Open-source software won the hearts and minds of corporate tech strategists, but the first-generation of open-source software startups largely failed to gain commercial traction. A new generation is selling to the CIO in a different way. Early open-source software companies adopted a strategy of selling services to support technology freely available on the Web. Red Hat, which has about $2.0 billion in annual revenue, demonstrated that open-source software companies could scale, but it is one of several exceptions to the rule, according to Jake Flomenberg, a partner at venture capital firm Accel Partners.
If you want to get a better grasp of what cloud computing can do for business, don’t turn to technical manuals, and don’t bet on anyone’s cost savings estimates. Rather, check out a seminal work first published in 1995, by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema called The Discipline of Market Leaders. Their insights on what it takes to succeed in business provides valuable lessons on the direction cloud efforts need to take as well. That’s the word from Joe Weinman, cloud economics guru, and author of Cloudonomics and more recently, Digital Disciplines. Speaking at a recent IBM confab in New York, he stated that looking to cloud simply as a cost-reduction strategy is the wrong message. “That’s missing the bigger picture,” he remarked. “We live in a digital era, and face the rise of assorted digital players, moving into markets not even adjacent to their own. Often, those markets are completely random.”
Public cloud vendors are establishing unique characteristics that indicate the market won't be a zero-sum game that'll support multiple players. Cowen & Co. conducted a survey of 314 public cloud customers and found Amazon Web Services is the top dog with Microsoft Azure a strong No. 2. Meanwhile, IBM and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), which is grabbing more workloads, are above average in quality of IT support.