Weekly News Scan: August 12, 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!


WSJ: IBM’s Cloud Position: Two Different Assessments

International Business Machines Corp. has touted the rapid growth of its cloud-computing business. But a pair of recent industry reports drew sharply different assessments of whether it is running with or losing ground to rivals  Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Alphabet Inc.’s Google in the fastest-growing segment of the market. The reports from Gartner Inc. and Synergy Research Group underscore IBM’s challenge in adjusting to cloud computing but also persistent ambiguity in definitions of the cloud market. Gartner’s report, issued last week, was the latest of its closely watched “Magic Quadrant” ratings that are deeply researched but ultimately subjective. It ranked companies in the cloud-computing market segment generally known as infrastructure as a service, delivering computing horsepower on demand through the internet.


ReadWrite: How does fog computing differ from edge computing?

When it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), terms like fog computing and edge computing come up frequently. Cloud computing is a great solution when you know that you have full, uninterrupted access to a cloud server capable of processing and transmitting data quickly to the end device. However, IoT devices have to be able to reliably perform at task – sometimes even in the presence of service interruption – localized processing and storage capability becomes increasingly essential. This is where fog and edge computing comes in, and while these two terms have been largely used interchangeably in the industry, there are some important differences between the two.


ZDNet: Half of all cloud services outside of IT departments, but IT is getting wiser

A new study from the esteemed Ponemon Institute says we still aren't doing nearly enough to protect enterprises in the cloud. For starters, the survey of 3,476 IT and IT security practitioners, commissioned by Gemalto, a digital security vendor, finds that half of all cloud services and corporate data stored in cloud are not controlled by IT departments. So, there's a lot of cloud activity among business units that's potentially not vetted or governed. However, IT departments are getting a better handle on things, the survey also shows. Fifty-four percent of respondents are "confident" that the IT organization knows all cloud computing applications, platform or infrastructure services in use - a nine percent increase from a similar survey from 2014.


Computer Weekly: IDC: Global public cloud spend set to double by 2020

The amount of money spent on public cloud services is set to double between now and 2020 as enterprise IT leaders strive to cut costs and retain their competitive edge, IDC has forecast. According to the analyst house’s Worldwide Semi-annual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide, the revenue generated by the public cloud services market will hit $195bn in 2020, up from $96.5bn this year. Benjamin McGrath, senior research analyst for software as a service (SaaS) at IDC, said the next five years would see the use of public cloud software explode in the enterprise.


TechCrunch: Mirantis and SUSE team up to give OpenStack users new support options

Mirantis, which specializes in offering software, support and training for running OpenStack, today announced that it is partnering with Germany-based SUSE, best known for its Linux distribution, to offer its customers support for SUSE’s enterprise Linux offering. The two companies also said that they will work on making SUSE Linux Enterprise Server a development platform for use with Mirantis OpenStack. What’s even more important, though, is that the two companies will also work together to support Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS. All of this may sound rather odd at first. Why, after all, would Mirantis want to offer support for these competing distributions, especially given that both SUSE and Red Hat offer their own OpenStack solutions, too. In reality, though, few companies only run one Linux distribution.


Reuters: Alibaba cloud computing arm to help foreign tech firms enter China

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is offering to help international technology firms such as SAP SE to enter China, a market where foreign tech companies face increased government scrutiny. Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, said in a statement on Tuesday it aims to assist technology firms overcoming business obstacles in China. It said it's offering foreign firms joint ventures and partnerships through its cloud computing programs. The company said its AliLaunch program has signed up 11 partners including German software maker SAP, Hitachi Data Systems - a unit of Japanese industrial group Hitachi Ltd - and AppScale Systems Inc of the United States.


Business Insider: Google just bought a startup for over $100 million to catch up with Microsoft in the cloud wars

Google just announced the acquisition of Orbitera, a startup that helps other startups sell their software to businesses, almost like an app store for the enterprise.  TechCrunch's Ingrid Lunden places the value of the deal at "just north of $100 million." Now, Orbitera will join Google Cloud Platform, the search advertising giant's cloud computing platform, where businesses can rent access to fundamentally unlimited computing power. It's a big move for Google as it tries to overtake Microsoft's Azure for the #2 spot in the ongoing war for cloud computing supremacy. Amazon Web Services remains #1 with a bullet, but Google sees a shrinking gap.

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