3 highlights from Google Next ’17

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is the clear number three player in public cloud behind Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. But it’s standing on a tripod of data, machine learning, and cost advantages, and is counting on those three areas to help them build market share and scale.

At the annual Google Cloud Next ’17 conference, Google did an impressive job of combining those three areas into a message around a fully managed platform that makes each one more accessible and easier to manage than its competitors. The conference was a blend of new product announcements (more than 100 of them), education, networking, customer testimonials, and sales pitches.

Here are the three things that stood out the most at Google Next. Continue Reading…

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AWS outage: Who’s really to blame?

Amazon’s S3 service outage in the US-East-1 Region yesterday shed light on just how much of the internet depends on that single service in a single region. Dozens of sites that stored assets there failed; sites that stored snapshots of volumes they used to launch instances failed; sites that depended on AWS S3 services in that region failed. Organizations across the internet suddenly learned they had a single point of failure they didn’t previously realize existed.

As the dust clears, users are looking for ways to mitigate that vulnerability. Unfortunately, much of the chatter on Twitter and other online venues indicates that many people are missing the point: They’re treating this as a case of having chosen the wrong service or service provider, rather than understanding that the underlying problem was that they have a single point of failure. Continue Reading…

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AWS re:Invent delivers tools for developers, operational teams

aws-reinventOn the second day of keynotes at the fifth annual AWS re:Invent conference, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, took the stage to reveal a set of new tools for technical teams to improve operational excellence and the velocity of software development. Overall, the new tools and services were well received, and some even elicited whoops and applause from the crowd.

Here’s a brief look at the news coming out of re:Invent today. Continue Reading…

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Artificial intelligence and new instances dominate headlines at AWS re:Invent

aws-reinventMore than 32,000 IT pros gathered in Las Vegas this week for Amazon’s AWS re:Invent 2016 and a look at what’s new with the cloud platform. Each day is a firehose of new announcements, ranging from minor updates to major upheavals.

Here are some of the most interesting announcements from the conference so far:

New instances. The first wave of announcements centered on AWS’ bread-and-butter IaaS offerings, with CEO Andy Jassy unveiling new instance families and capabilities during his keynote earlier today. These range from fairly straightforward new generations of the Compute, IO, and memory optimized instances, to some more dramatic announcements, including:

  • GPU-as-a-service – Businesses can now attach “elastic” GPUs to any AWS Cloud instance.
  • Amazon Lightsail – A lower complexity virtual private server offering that lets you very quickly and easily set up simple servers, without the need for deep knowledge of the plumbing of AWS.
  • New F1 – FPGA instances — These deliver the ability to do hardware acceleration through field programmable gate arrays. This will open the door to some interesting new classes of problems moving to AWS where performance is absolutely critical.

Amazon Artificial Intelligence. Some of the biggest announcements today were related to the introduction of three new AI services:

  • Amazon Rekognition — Image recognition-as-a-service that enables you to detect who’s in a picture, what’s going on, and even what emotions are being expressed.
  • Amazon Polly — A text-to-speech engine with a healthy sprinkling of AI. It takes text in and produces naturally phrased speech out.
  • Amazon Lex — The brains behind Amazon’s Alexa, now offered as a service for businesses to build interactive experiences for customers. Even more intriguing, Amazon announced canned connectors between this and a number of enterprise applications, including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and others.

Follow me on Twitter and check back here later this week for more news, products, and reactions coming out of AWS re:Invent.

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5 new products that supercharge Amazon Web Services

AWS SuperchargeAmazon held its annual Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent conference in Las Vegas last week, and as in previous years, it rolled out a number of new capabilities, tweaked existing services, and introduced new tools for AWS and its partner ecosystem that could shake the foundations of other businesses.

The stories coming out of re:Invent fit several broad themes. Amazon emphasized its readiness to support large enterprises, improve integration among its many offerings, deploy secure platforms and environments, deliver significant performance, and still stick to its successful “pay for what you use” model to help manage and reduce costs.

Here are the five most promising new Amazon offerings, and how each can reshape or enhance your business performance with AWS. Continue Reading…

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