Amazon Unveils New Web Services to Stream From the Cloud

In its effort to get apps, games and entire desktops running on the cloud, Amazon is launching two new Web services. The first, AppStream, enables developers to run and render an application in Amazon’s cloud. It can then be distributed to users on a variety of platforms. The second, WorkSpaces, will allow virtual desktops to be managed through Amazon’s cloud, a solution that Amazon claims would run for less than half the cost of a company maintaining its own virtualization servers. Continue reading Amazon Unveils New Web Services to Stream From the Cloud

Verizon: Big Corporations Still Moving to the Public Cloud

Verizon recently released a study that found that NSA surveillance concerns have not decreased the adoption of public cloud services by large corporations. Companies have been increasing their amount of data stored in the cloud. Public clouds remain attractive as they allow companies to decrease or increase the scale of resources, and to share the cost of ownership among users. But some big companies are looking to vendors outside the U.S. to avoid the NSA. Continue reading Verizon: Big Corporations Still Moving to the Public Cloud

Amazon Web Services: Outage During Bid for CIA Contract

Amazon’s Web Services went down on Sunday due to a technical issue at a North Virginia data center. The outage was caused by a problem with a single networking device, and reveals that many companies do not distribute their Web services in different locations for service redundancy. This comes as Amazon is bidding on a CIA contract to manage their data services, and competitors are critical of whether Amazon can manage the demands of government data. Continue reading Amazon Web Services: Outage During Bid for CIA Contract

Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, Buys The Washington Post

Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, will pay $250 million for The Washington Post and its affiliated publications. Amazon will not have a part in the purchase. Bezos alone will buy The Post and be its sole owner, while keeping the existing management and operations. The sale saves the financially troubled newspaper, and Bezos brings a new technology focus that it desperately needs as print continues to be affected by digital news competition. Continue reading Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, Buys The Washington Post

Mobile: Amazon Turns to the Cloud for Streaming Flash Video

Amazon has been quietly testing what it hopes will be an improved means of viewing Flash video content on mobile devices. For the past six months, some Kindle Fire users have been provided with an “experimental streaming viewer” option when they attempt to access video clips on sites including CBS.com, Fox.com and NBC.com. The Silk browser for Kindle Fire enables the streaming by splitting the workload between the mobile devices and Amazon cloud servers. Continue reading Mobile: Amazon Turns to the Cloud for Streaming Flash Video

AT&T to Expand 4G LTE Network with Verizon Spectrum Deal

AT&T announced it will acquire licenses for Verizon’s 700MHz spectrum, which would allow AT&T to expand its 4G LTE coverage to 42 million people across 18 states in the U.S. The carrier will spend $1.9 billion to acquire the licenses from Verizon. AT&T will also provide licenses of its AWS spectrum to Verizon in markets including Los Angeles, Fresno and Portland in order for Verizon to further deploy its own network. Continue reading AT&T to Expand 4G LTE Network with Verizon Spectrum Deal

Are There Implications to Consider Regarding the Silk Web Browser?

  • As part of its New York press event yesterday that unveiled the Kindle Fire tablet and three new Kindle e-readers, Amazon announced Silk, a new Web browser powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and available exclusively on its new tablet.
  • Amazon Silk is an important part of the Kindle Fire pitch, and as a “split browser” exclusive to the tablet it “gets the heavy lifting done on its EC2 cloud servers and promises faster access as a result,” reports Engadget. “Dubbed Silk to represent an ‘invisible, yet incredibly strong connection,’ it takes advantage of Amazon’s existing speedy connections, and that so many sites are already hosted on its servers to speed up Web access.”
  • Amazon’s cloud-accelerated browser may have some technical implications. First, Amazon may release a Silk desktop browser. It’s reliance on Amazon’s EC2 infrastructure may cut off access to the Web for customers during outages. That said, if Amazon succeeds, it may push other browser developer such as Google, Apple and Microsoft to follow. Mozilla may have a difficult time doing the same.
  • From a privacy perspective, Amazon talks about learning from “aggregate traffic patterns,” but in reality each Kindle has its own Amazon ID. Thus, Amazon will be able to track your personal Web habits, buying patterns and media preferences in detail.
  • “Until the Kindle Fire ships, there are more questions than answers,” suggests ReadWriteWeb. “I’m eager to get hands on a Fire so I can test out Silk and see for myself how it works. I’m not yet concerned about the privacy issues, but I do think they bear watching. What do you think? Is the Silk model something you’re excited about, or is Amazon a middle-man you’d rather do without when browsing the Web?”

Amazon Elastic Cloud Tech: Stretching the Boundaries of Cloud Computing

  • Cycle Computing demonstrated the potential power of cloud computing by building a 30,000-core cluster running CentOS Linux for molecular modeling using Amazon’s Elastic Cloud 2 (EC2).
  • The cluster, created for an unnamed “Top 5 Pharma” customer, ran about seven hours at a peak cost of $1,279 per hour (including fees to Amazon and Cycle Computing) and performed approximately 10.9 “compute years of work.”
  • “Amazon EC2 and other cloud services are expanding the market for high-performance computing,” reports Ars Technica. “Without access to a national lab or a supercomputer in your own data center, cloud computing lets businesses spin up temporary clusters at will and stop paying for them as soon as the computing needs are met.”
  • The statistics are rather impressive; highlights include 30,472 cores, 26.7TB of RAM and 2PB (petabytes) of disk space. The cluster — dubbed “Nekomata” — ran across data centers in three Amazon regions in the United States and Europe.
  • It is unknown whether or not Nekomata is the largest cluster run on EC2 to date. “I can’t share specific customer details, but can tell you that we do have businesses of all sizes running large-scale, high-performance computing workloads on AWS [Amazon Web Services], including distributed clusters like the Cycle Computing 30,000 core cluster to tightly-coupled clusters often used for science and engineering applications such as computational fluid dynamics and molecular dynamics simulation,” indicated an Amazon spokesperson.