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Google Pairs Up with Broad Institute
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Google Pairs Up with Broad Institute

by Erin MJune 30, 2015

Google has paired up with high profile Broad Institute at MIT to develop its cloud genomics platform. The scientific community has needed new technologies to deal with the scale of genomic information and Google and the Broad Institute are looking to provide that.

This technology will process store, process and share genomic information as well as making it useful and accessible. The institute released a statement saying: “The goal is to enable any genomic researcher to upload, store, and analyze data in a cloud-based environment that combines the Broad Institute’s best-in-class genomic analysis tools with the scale and computing power of Google.”

Broad Institute will make its Genome Analysis Toolkit, or GATK, available as a service on the Google Cloud Platform. Initial access to the GATK will be limited, but eventually the service will be made more widely available. Any user will be able to upload their data to the cloud and GATK will analyze it using Google’s computing capacity.

 

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Product manager at Google Genomics, Jonathan Bingham, wrote in a blog post: “In order to scale up by the next order of magnitude, Broad and Google will work together to explore how to build new tools and find new insights to propel bio-medical research, using deep bioinformatics expertise, powerful analytics, and massive computing infrastructure.”

This partnership allows researchers to outsource the configuration of technical specifications and maintenance of computing capacity to Google.

GATK could give Google an edge over other cloud computing companies such as Amazon Web Services in the genomic field; however, Google partnership with Broad is not exclusive.

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North State Communications to Acquire Stalwart
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North State Communications to Acquire Stalwart

by Erin MJune 25, 2015

North State Communications, a leading fiber optic network, data center and cloud services provider, has announced its plans to purchase Stalwart, an IT security integration firm. The purchase will complement DataChambers, North State Communication’s data center and cloud computing subsidiary. While North State Communications said that it expects to close the deal in the third quarter, no details pertaining to the deal were disclosed.

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Royster Tucker III, CEO of North State describes, “North State is extremely pleased to be gaining such a highly qualified and well-rounded IT security firm as Stalwart. Their professional integrity and mastery of advanced threat protection are ideal counterparts for DataChambers’ data center and cloud offerings. Bringing Stalwart onboard further fuels our strategic growth and helps round out our ability to effectively address some of the greatest IT challenges facing businesses today.” Tucker also said that the deal originated from North State Communication’s search for ways to add value for business customers.

Tucker also said, “As businesses begin to move into the cloud and IT infrastructure becomes distributed and moves into the cloud, we wanted to build that business and Stalwart has real expertise in IT infrastructure and security. Today more than ever, you have to wrap that in an envelope of security, and that’s what Stalwart brings to the table.”

Bill Cooper, CEO of Stalwart, also shared his opinion of the deal:  “North State is a strategic acquirer who shares our core virtues and beliefs. This, more than anything, will continue to make Stalwart unique and better. It is exciting to think of the myriad ways our team will now be able to create additional value for our coveted and growing customer base.” Bill Cooper will continue to lead Stalwart as it joins North State.

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Oracle Looks to Compete With Companies Like Amazon
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Oracle Looks to Compete With Companies Like Amazon

by Erin MJune 25, 2015

Oracle has been working to establish itself as a major player in the cloud computing industry and is preparing to take on Amazon Web Services.  Oracle Executive Chairman Larry Ellison has said the company will offer online storage and customers will be able to have their applications run entirely on Oracle’s cloud network.

The new cloud service, called Oracle Cloud Platform, will be a lower cost alternative to Amazon Web Services and will contain automation to improve cost efficiency and faster processing. In addition, there will be 24 new cloud services such as Oracle Database, Oracle Integration and Oracle Process Cloud to increase Oracles presence in SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. These programs are designed to give users a better experience while increasing productivity, allowing Oracle to compete with the big names in cloud computing like Amazon. As an example of the cost differences between Oracle and Amazon, Ellison has said “Our new archive storage service goes head-to-head with Amazon Glacier and it’s one-tenth their price.”

 

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Also, Oracle Cloud Services has been growing rapidly. Ellison notes, “Oracle is growing really fast. We sold $426M worth of business in SaaS and PaaS last quarter, a 200 percent increase over the same quarter last year. That’s an industry record; no company has ever sold that much in just one quarter… Oracle is the only company on the planet that can deliver a complete, integrated, standards-based suite of services at every layer of the cloud. Those technology advantages enable us to be much more cost-effective than our competitors.”

So, while Amazon Web services may be the big name in cloud computing for now, Oracle is on the rise in the rapidly expanding industry.

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Box Teams Up with IBM
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Box Teams Up with IBM

by Erin MJune 24, 2015

Box and IBM have paired up to boost both of their sales in a corporate setting. Both companies will benefit from this pairing; IBM becomes more modern with the integration of box into its cloud services and Box has a new channel with larger corporations and will be able to reach customers in new settings like finance and healthcare.

Box users will be able to store files on IBM’s SoftLayer cloud platform and IBM’s mobile apps will deliver Box services on Apple’s iPhones and iPads long with IBM’s content management and security tools. “We see this partnership as a kind of blueprint for where enterprise technology is going to go,” said Box CEO Aaron Levie. While building Box into SoftLayer will take more than a year, BM could start building Box’s services into custom software immediately.

 

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Out of a registered 37 million box users, few pay for the services. In order to increase revenue, Box has built services aimed at markets such as Healthcare.

The partnership will also allow Box to expand globally, as it would be able to utilize IBM 40 data centers in 17 different countries. “We plan to use IBM’s cloud in at least a dozen or so key markets that we’re going after internationally,” Levie said.

Recently, IBM has faced declining revenues in its hardware, software and services businesses. It is looking toward companies like Box to revive it as a cloud services company and enable it to compete with companies such as Microsoft.

This partnership is just one of many both companies have made in recent months. Box has paired with both Microsoft and Cisco and IBM has also made a string of agreements that ally it with the fast growing internet.

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Elastica Partners with Telstra to Expand into Australian Cloud Security Market
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Elastica Partners with Telstra to Expand into Australian Cloud Security Market

by Erin MJune 23, 2015

Recently, cloud security firm Elastica has partnered with Cisco and Telstra to expand into the New Zealand-Australia region in response to the growing threat of “Shadow IT” that has stemmed from increased cloud use.

Elastica’s APAC managing director John Cunningham describes that problems may arise from the struggle to monitor activities of the many apps operating on their network as well as the data that is left unmonitored in the system. This may pose a threat to the system. Elastica is a company whose aim is to secure the cloud.

 

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Because of Australia’s demand for cloud based solutions, it is the perfect market for companies like Elastica, for when cloud networks are needed, cloud security is necessary as well.  Cunningham describes, “Typically with technology, it starts in the US and then it would expand globally, maybe to Japan, maybe to Europe, and then Australia. But this time, it’s a little bit different. Cloud is going out simultaneously around the world, so our investment in Australia is going to be there to support that rapid adoption of cloud applications within Australia.” He then pronounces the importance of cloud security, “For every use of a cloud application, there are millions of events being generated … that becomes a data science problem. As humans, and with the scale of activities happening on cloud application, data science is required to help organizations get visibility of what is important.”

Telstra director of security practice John Ieraci said that Telstra was very impressed by Elasticas ability to handle issues that came from ‘Shadow IT.” “When Elastica appeared in mid-2014, we were impressed with the ability to monitor, track, and block sensitive data in real time and quickly identify shadow IT and shadow data for cloud applications, both SaaS and IaaS, using a data science approach and with zero deployment.”

 

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Alibaba’s Cloud Computing Market Strategy
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Alibaba’s Cloud Computing Market Strategy

by Erin MJune 20, 2015

Alibaba Group may be the underdog of the global cloud computing industry when compared to cloud giants like Amazon Web Services and Google, but it may have an advantage. It’s Chinese.

 

Earlier this week, Alibaba acquired a deal with the city of Dalian to build a cloud-computing center and provide online government services. This deal joins many between Alibaba and the Chinese government and has arisen through the Chinese fear of foreign technology.

 

Due to this fear, Alibaba’s cloud unit, Aliyun, has been able to gain experience in the Chinese market before challenging leaders like Amazon, Google, or Microsoft on a global scale.

 

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James McGregor, at US communications consultancy Apco Worldwide, said, “Basically, they are following the political trends and they’re grabbing the business opportunities that result. China wants control of its information, of its data, of its news, of its technology food chain, and so there are huge opportunities.”

 

The cloud-computing sector has boomed largely because it has become cheaper for companies to store data in the cloud rather than maintaining servers in-house.

 

While Aliyun is still relatively small, China has the largest market share in cloud computing so it has plenty of room for growth. Acquiring enough expertise to become a major global player will take some time, so for the time being Aliyun is taking advantage of China’s unwelcoming environment for foreign providers. It has made cloud arrangements with other Chinese cities and provinces like Shanghai and Guangdong.

 

 

Cheng Jing, an Aliyun director, has stated his main priority: “First, we have to be sure our services can make money. If these services can also promote Ali’s relationship with the government then that’s a good thing.”

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Oracles Financial Details About Cloud Computing
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Oracles Financial Details About Cloud Computing

by Erin MJune 19, 2015

In past endeavors, Oracle has sold database software to major businesses using licensing agreements. In contrast to companies like IBM, Oracle has seen where it must go in order to thrive in the new high tech world. It is going to the cloud.

 

In the latter part of 2014, Oracle acquired major cloud companies, such as Datalogix, a data analytics firm. Oracle can both store information and analyze it, making it able to not only provide technology but also a solution.

 

The Oracle cloud engine has four distinct parts: Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service and, most recently, Data-as-a-Service. The aim of the Oracle cloud engine us to be able to provide a solution to a company no matter what level it is.

 

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Due to the rise of the cloud and companies such as Amazon that operate outside of the standard of locking customers into contracts, Oracle has had to be become more flexible in order to keep its customers.

 

Oracles latest financial report exemplifies how well it has been performing in the cloud market. While Wall Street was looking for earnings of 87 cents per share with $10.95 billion in revenue, Oracle reported non-GAAP revenue of 78 cents per share on revenue of $10.7 billion. Oracle blamed this disappointing news on currency fluctuation.

 

The company has noted a seventeen percent decline in new software licenses year after year. Customers have began to break away from the traditional model and have started to utilize more recently developed cloud technology.

 

“We sold an astonishing $426 million of new SaaS and PaaS annually recurring cloud subscription revenue in Q4,” CEO Safra Catz wrote. “We expect our rapidly increasing cloud sales to quickly translate into significantly more revenue and profits for Oracle Corporation. For example, SaaS and PaaS revenues grew at a 34% constant currency rate in our just completed Q4, but we expect that revenue growth rate to jump to around 60% in constant currency this new fiscal year.”

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Google Discloses Cloud Information
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Google Discloses Cloud Information

by Erin MJune 18, 2015

Recently, google has been talking more about companies that utilize its cloud business as well as revealing information about its computing resources, which may be the largest on the planet, beating Amazon Web Services. This information includes Google’s ultra-fast fiber network, its big data resources, and the computers and software it has built for itself.

 

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The aim of these disclosures is to present Google as more fit to handle the biggest computational exercises as opposed to a company such as Amazon Web Services. This follows earlier moves by Google Cloud Platform to show off its data analysis capabilities.

Details like the ability to pass information between Europe and the United States in less than 100 milliseconds, and a practice of fully backing up user data in nine different locations, make google seem innovative and cutting-edge.

At an event on Tuesday, Google Cloud Platform will announce HTC as a customer. The company has utilized Google’s services to construct computing architecture that enables smartphone apps to update data fast and reliably to many devices at once, and appear efficient even when the phones are in areas of poor reception.

On Wednesday, it is expected that a Google executive will present a look at the overall network design. This includes key tools that enable large-scale management of computing devices around the globe. As the  senior director of engineering at HTC, John Song, claims, “We are managing two million to three million smartphones in this network. Google is the only player in cloud that owns lots of fiber-optic cable worldwide, and it replicates its users’ data in nine different places at all times.”

While Song did consider other companies lime Amazon and Microsoft, Google’s technical dedication made them stand out. Google crunches large amounts of data and has already begun to branch out specialties in areas such as genomics.  Google Cloud Platform currently has 90 points of presence, where a company’s computers get direct access to the Internet and a local telecommunications service provider, throughout the world compared to Amazons 53.
 

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Microsoft Partnering With Accelerators To Give Startups Free Cloud Computing Credits
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Microsoft Partnering With Accelerators To Give Startups Free Cloud Computing Credits

by Erin MJune 16, 2015

Microsoft has begun to partner with startup accelerators to gift startups that qualify for their BizSpark Plus program free cloud computing on their Azure platform. Beginning July 1, these startups will receive $10,000 a month in credits for one year. They will be able to apply through accelerators or incubators such as Techstars, ERA, MassChallenge, Seedcamp, and 1871.

Startups can use these credits to help alleviate stress related to cloud services. This includes Microsoft’s App Service (a set of tools designed to power mobile, Web and other applications) as well as infrastructure services like virtual machines and high-level services like Azure Machine Learning.

 

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In addition to the Azure credits, startups get access to free software like Office and Visual Studio, which is supported by Microsoft Ventures, a division of the company that works with startups. Startups that qualify for the BizSpark Plus program can also receive up to $750 in Azure credits from BizSpark’s own system.

Getting growing companies to use their products drives Microsoft’s core business growth. Many other cloud service providers, such as Amazon Web Services, also offer similar programs. In order to qualify for this program, startups must be less than 5 years old, be privately owned and have less then $1 million in annual revenue.

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Jaguar Land Rover Applies Cloud Computing to Vehicle Technology
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Jaguar Land Rover Applies Cloud Computing to Vehicle Technology

by Erin MJune 12, 2015

Jaguar Land Rover is currently developing technology that will utilize cloud computing to push data from vehicles to not only other connected vehicles but municipal authorities. This technology takes its MagneRide platform a step forward. In-vehicle sensors record the location and severity of road hazards such as pot holes or manhole covers.  This data is then pushed from the vehicle from which it was obtained onto a cloud computing platform where it is then available to other connected cars within the system as well as municipal authorities.

This information will help other connected drivers avoid the same hazards as well as giving local repair authorities vital information as to which areas of roads need priority maintenance.

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Mike Bell, global connected car director for Jaguar Land Rover, said these developments will “allow the vehicle to profile the road surface under the wheels and identify potholes, raised manholes and broken drain covers. By monitoring the motion of the vehicle and changes in the height of the suspension, the car is able to continuously adjust the vehicle’s suspension characteristics, giving passengers a more comfortable ride over uneven and damaged road surfaces.”

While communication with street authorities is still being designed,  MagneRide technology is currently available in both the Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport vehicles.

This technology exemplifies a practical application of cloud technology, which is often viewed on a large scale perspective without practical use being considered.   This technology will not only help drivers as they drive through more hazardous roads, but will help repair the roads as well.

Bell also noted that this technology could also be another step toward driver-less cars, which Google has seen great success with.

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