The ongoing global pandemic has witnessed the cloud services industry step-up in a huge manner and make several services possible in these times of restrictions. Last month too saw many announcements being made, launch of new services, and two major events held virtually. The headlines were — Google announcing general availability of AI Platform Prediction, Microsoft’s Azure for Operators’, and Forrester’s rankings for cloud providers in Australia and New Zealand. The major events included Microsoft Ignite 2020 and Alibaba – Apsara 2020. We also covered another event that kicked off at the end of last month — VMware’s VMworld 2020. We covered all the major news in the cloud computing industry for the month of September, but if you think we missed anything let us know in the comments below.
1. Alibaba Cloud Enters Next Phase With Cloud 2.0, New Cloud OS, First Cloud Computer
Alibaba made major announcements at its annual event Apsara 2020, which was held virtually this time around. The event witnessed the Chinese giant making several announcements about its different businesses, including the Cloud services business. The top announcement for the event was Alibaba Cloud 2.0, which has been dubbed by the company as the next phase of Alibaba Cloud. The 12th edition of the Apsara Conference was held in Hangzhou, China, and was themed “Leap into the Future of Digital Intelligence.”
One of the most crucial parts of Alibaba Cloud 2.0 is the launch of a new operating system for cloud computing, called the Digital Native Operating System. Meanwhile, another interesting announcement was the launch of Wuying, which the company touted as its first cloud computer. The aforementioned Cloud services announcements were made by Jeff Zhang, the CTO of Alibaba Cloud, during the keynote address.
2. Microsoft Announces’ Azure for Operators’ — a Carrier-Grade Cloud for Telecom Operators
Microsoft doubled down on its move of partnering with major telecom providers and announced its ‘Azure for Operators’ initiative. The Redmond-based giant defined the initiative as “a new chapter in our close collaboration with the telecommunications industry.” Under Azure for Operators, Microsoft will partner with telecom providers to deliver a carrier-grade cloud and bring Microsoft’s cloud technology to the operator’s edge.
Microsoft had also recently acquired cloud-native network functions companies Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch. Microsoft stated that Azure for Operators will help carriers roll out their 5G services at scale. Carriers can use Azure services to move to a “more flexible and scalable model, drive down infrastructure cost, use AI and machine learning (ML) to automate operations and create service differentiation.” Microsoft will also offer technologies like software-defined networking and service-based architectures to help carriers evolve their infrastructure and operations.
3. Google Announces General Availability of AI Platform Prediction; Rolls Out New Features
Google Cloud announced the general availability of its AI Platform Prediction. The new service allows enterprises to build, run, and share Machine Learning (ML) models in the cloud. The AI Platform Prediction allows users to create a machine learning environment over Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) managed services, thereby eliminating the need to set up a production-grade ML environment. Already equipped with conventional features such as auto-scaling, access logs, and request/response logging, the platform also received several new updates.
Google also introduced new endpoints in three regions — US-central1, Europe-west4, and Asia-east1. Additionally, Google added the feature of isolating the machine learning models to provide better security by keeping them separated from other organizations’ cloud environments. Another new feature of the new AI Prediction platform is Resource Metrics. It allows administrators to view the models’ cloud infrastructure utilization via Google’s Cloud Console and Stackdriver monitoring tools. This will help organizations make optimal utilization of resources.
4. Ignite 2020: Microsoft Launches New Services, Availability Zones, Azure Marketplace
At its virtual event Ignite 2020, Microsoft announced additional availability zones in two existing regions i.e., Canada Central and Australia East. This brings Microsoft’s total number of Availability-Zone-enabled regions to 14. Microsoft also unveiled its Azure Resource Mover to help users manage migration and move multiple Azure resources between regions to meet specific data-residency needs. Available in public preview, this service aims to provide a “single pane of glass” solution to customers for data migration.
Other than new availability zones and Azure Resource Mover, Microsoft also made two more announcements. The first one is Zone to Zone disaster recovery, which will enable VM replication between the zones and inside the same region. The other is Azure Orbital, which gives satellite operators a platform to communicate with their satellites and process data. Additionally, Microsoft also introduced its private Azure Marketplace service at the virtual event. It is a new feature of the current Microsoft Azure Marketplace and will come with computing, networking, security, AI, and IoT applications.
5. Google Cloud Extends VMware Engine Availability To Europe, Americas, and APAC
Google recently announced that its Google Cloud VMware Engine is now available across America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. Google had announced the general availability for Cloud VMware Engine only a few months back, and now it has been made available in most of the continents along with expansion into the Europe-west3 (Frankfurt), Europe-west2 (London), and Asia-northeast1 (Tokyo) regions.
Google’s VMware Engine helps users seamlessly migrate their on-premise workloads to the cloud without impacting the workflow. Also, a worldwide presence ensures that users can communicate across many regions without any VPN options.
6. Forrester Ranks Cloud Providers for Australia and New Zealand With Google at Helm, Read Details
The Forrester Wave evaluation has come up with an assessment of top public cloud vendors in the market, with a focus on PaaS and IaaS. Alibaba, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Tencent have come up as the seven prominent vendors in Forrester’s research.
The Forrester Wave: Public Cloud Development And Infrastructure Platforms, Australia/New Zealand, for the third quarter of 2020, captures the trends for a unique market. The study says ANZ market is as unique because it represents North American and Chinese markets’ juncture. The report used a total of 39 criteria to analyze the cloud providers, and Google emerged at the top spot with 21 points. This proves to be of significant importance as the ANZ market is looking to leverage the cloud in a major manner, and Google is also aiming at global expansion.
7. Red Hat Marketplace Now Generally Available, Learn More About Hybrid Cloud Application Store
Red Hat and IBM recently announced the general availability of Red Hat Marketplace. The new launch is of immense importance to enterprises using hybrid cloud, as it offers a structured marketplace for enterprise applications. Red Hat Marketplace is being positioned as a “one-stop-shop” experience to help users explore, buy, try, and even deploy enterprise applications for hybrid cloud environments.
The applications on Marketplace run on OpenShift like a cloud service as these are built on Kubernetes Operator Framework. This allows the applications to have features such as automated install and upgrade, backup, failover, and recovery. As of now, there are over 50 applications present on the Marketplace divided into 12 categories, including Monitoring, Security, Storage, and Big Data, among others. Red Hat also stated that each application purchased from Marketplace comes with metering enabled by default. This allows enterprises to accurately track the usage and spending of resources.