Google Enters Budding On-Demand Supercomputing Business

Google is now offering Preemptible Virtual Machines (or VMs), a new class of computing resources that can be rented for a steep discount and shut down at any time. The only caveat is that customers must be willing to yield the computing resource on short notice. The solution is ideal for universities and companies that can’t or don’t want to buy their own expensive supercomputers. By offering this service, Google is entering an area dominated, up until now at least, by Amazon Web Services’ short-term use program, Spot Instances. Continue reading Google Enters Budding On-Demand Supercomputing Business

Amazon Plans to Acquire Portland-Based Video Formatting Firm

Amazon announced that it has agreed to purchase Elemental Technologies in an all-cash deal valued at about $500 million, marking Amazon’s biggest deal since last year’s $1 billion acquisition of videogame streaming site Twitch. Elemental helps media companies encode and transcode video content for viewing on the Web and via mobile devices. Amazon plans to add Elemental to its Amazon Web Services cloud computing division, one of the company’s faster-growing units. Amazon reportedly beat out both Ericsson AB and Cisco Systems to acquire Elemental. Continue reading Amazon Plans to Acquire Portland-Based Video Formatting Firm

Google Launches New Chrome OS for its Business Customers

Google has unveiled its new Chrome operating system designed for business customers, which includes changes aimed at allowing companies to operate many of their legacy software applications. Dell has announced new Chromebooks and management software designed to work with the new operating system. After years of pushing cloud-based systems for improved security and management, Google has learned that many companies require custom upgrades or rely on virtualized systems to address the multitude of applications that cannot easily move to the cloud. Continue reading Google Launches New Chrome OS for its Business Customers

Netflix Moves Operations to Cloud, Closes Last Data Center

Netflix will be the first large company to move its information technology to a public cloud, more specifically, Amazon Web Services, reporting its plans to shutter its last data center by the end of the summer. After a major hardware failure in 2008, Netflix started moving its operations to AWS in 2009, first shifting its jobs page and, later, its video player, iPhone-related technology, discovery and search, and accounts pages. As a streaming competitor with Amazon, however, Netflix runs its own content delivery network. Continue reading Netflix Moves Operations to Cloud, Closes Last Data Center

Google Debuts Cloud Foundation and New Container Standard

Google simultaneously launched the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, with other technology companies, and its first version of Kubernetes, a method of dynamically scheduling a massive amount of application containers on a large scale. Together, the Foundation and Google’s Kubernetes would service large-scale enterprises, putting the Silicon Valley company and its foundation partners in direct competition with Amazon Web Services and Facebook. Last year, AWS released its own container management services. Continue reading Google Debuts Cloud Foundation and New Container Standard

Facebook Writes and Open Sources Mac OS Security Software

It is a Windows-centric world, but not at Facebook where the company has many more Mac laptops than those running Windows. With a lack of Mac OS X-based security network appliances, Facebook began, 18 months ago, to write its own security software. The result, Osquery, enables its security team to monitor, in real-time, the current state of those laptops’ operating systems. Facebook also made the tools freely available as an open source project, bringing outside security expertise to bear. Continue reading Facebook Writes and Open Sources Mac OS Security Software

Amazon Unveils Data Science Used By 2012 Obama Campaign

Civis Analytics, founded by Dan Wagner, the former chief analytics officer for President Obama’s 2012 campaign, has rolled out a set of big data tools through Amazon Web Services. The year-old Chicago-based firm says it can eliminate much of the time and cost associated with marketing campaigns, in particular using cloud computing but without the need for customization. The service will start at about $5,000 a month, which Wagner claims will be “80 percent cheaper in most cases” than competing services. Continue reading Amazon Unveils Data Science Used By 2012 Obama Campaign

Amazon Faces Growing Competition in Lucrative Cloud Business

Amazon is the current leader in the cloud computing business, with its Amazon Web Services division bringing in $1.57 billion in just the first quarter, but Microsoft and Google have their eye on a market that is projected to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars. To maintain its lead, Amazon has rushed to provide other software and analytics services and increased its network of resellers. The real winner, though, will be determined by what company hosts established enterprises. Continue reading Amazon Faces Growing Competition in Lucrative Cloud Business

Amazon Launches Unlimited Cloud Storage for $60 Annual Fee

Amazon’s latest cloud storage plan, Unlimited Everything, offers customers unlimited cloud storage for only $60 per year. At that price point, Amazon’s new plan is virtually unmatched by any other storage plan available on the market today. Amazon has also launched Unlimited Photos, a plan available for $12 per year that offers customers unlimited photo storage and 5GB of space for other files. Previously, 5GB of free storage was only made available to Amazon Prime members. Continue reading Amazon Launches Unlimited Cloud Storage for $60 Annual Fee

IoT: Amazon Acquires Connected Enterprise Startup 2lemetry

Amazon recently confirmed that it has acquired 2lemetry, a startup with a focus on creating real value of data being processed and shared via Internet-connected devices. Under Amazon, Denver-based 2lemetry will continue to service its existing clientele, which includes companies such as Honeywell and First Mile. All other deal details remain undisclosed. Amazon’s acquisition of 2lemetry reflects the company’s early efforts to develop an Internet of Things business strategy. Continue reading IoT: Amazon Acquires Connected Enterprise Startup 2lemetry

Amazon Targets Companies with New Corporate Email Service

Amazon is previewing WorkMail, a corporate email service that aims to compete with Google Gmail and Microsoft Outlook. Although the corporate email market is heavily congested, Amazon believes there are customer problems not being addressed by any of the existing corporate email providers. With WorkMail, Amazon promises to deliver on two things: simplicity and security. The company also wants to let users keep the interfaces and applications with which they are already familiar. Continue reading Amazon Targets Companies with New Corporate Email Service

Race to Zero: Reduced Costs of Cloud Storage and Services

As the market for cloud computing continues to expand, customers can expect to pay less for more. Increased competition in cloud computing is leading to greater storage at lower prices. And at the given rate at which customers are being offered lower prices, tech companies await their greatest challenge — “the race to zero” — or the moment when unlimited storage will be available at no cost. Amazon is one of the first companies to reflect this trend with the cost of its Web Services. Continue reading Race to Zero: Reduced Costs of Cloud Storage and Services

Amazon Introduces “Prime Pass” with British Fashion Retailer

The expedited shipping available to members of Amazon’s $99 Prime service may soon become available to external retail sites. Amazon recently secured a partnership with British fashion retailer AllSaints that allows Prime members to enjoy free next-day shipping on all purchases made via AllSaints.com. While Amazon hopes to expand its partnerships with other retail sites, it has already encountered some early resistance from retailers that are weary of the “Prime Pass” program. Continue reading Amazon Introduces “Prime Pass” with British Fashion Retailer

Security Experts Warn of Potentially Dangerous Shellshock Bug

In 1987, programmer Brian J. Fox wrote one of the Internet’s most widely used tools. The software is named “Bash” (short for Bourne-Again Shell) and now appears in more than 70 percent of devices connected to the Internet, including computers, routers, servers and some mobile phones. Yesterday, security experts warned that Bash contains a software bug called “Shellshock” that could potentially be used to take over hundreds of millions of machines, including Mac computers and smartphones that run Android. Continue reading Security Experts Warn of Potentially Dangerous Shellshock Bug

Twilio Aims to Help Businesses Send Photo, Video Messages

The company behind Uber’s driver calls and Airbnb’s text messages is now offering multimedia messages for businesses that want to reach their customers with photos and videos. Twilio’s API enables businesses to run call centers and send voice and text messages through Amazon Web Services for mere pennies. The new multimedia offering will work via MMS, or multimedia messaging service, through contracts with phone carriers in the U.S. and Canada. Continue reading Twilio Aims to Help Businesses Send Photo, Video Messages