Cloud Computing Weekly Digest: October 1

by Joe Kinsella

The big news this week came from Microsoft Ignite 2016, which brought IT professionals, partners and vendors to Atlanta for their annual user conference. I was impressed by the size, product diversity and logistical scale of the event (let’s just say all 23K+ people got their 10K steps in this week). But I was most impressed with the newfound swagger of Microsoft, which only a decade ago was driving in the HOV lane toward technical irrelevance. Somehow Satya Nadella and his Redmond nerd herd have made Microsoft cool again. I even started wondering whether it’s time to trade in my beautiful polished-chrome MacBook Pro for a less cool but more feature-rich Microsoft Surface. But then I realized: could I really show up at Philz Coffee in Palo Alto with a Surface? As we like to say in the business: what would Steve think (and yes, Microsoft, there is only one Steve)?

Okay, time for our week in review.

Adobe Goes Azure

The CEOs of Microsoft and Adobe were on stage at Ignite in Atlanta to announce a new partnership. Satya Nadella and Shantanu Narayen stood under a projection of “Adobe ♥ Azure” to tell the audience that Adobe will be making Azure its “preferred cloud platform”. This is a big win for Microsoft, providing them yet another high profile customer. The CEOs also said they will collaborate on “great digital experiences”, which I assume is the tech equivalent of friends with benefits. If I’m right, we can expect Adobe to be calling Microsoft next time it is on its way home from a late night of drinking. Or maybe they will break up in Orlando next year when Microsoft starts to get serious with someone else?

Microsoft Bets on a Hybrid Future

While Microsoft made a series of strong Azure announcements at Ignite in Atlanta (e.g. new VM types, improved IOPS, ExpressRoute, VNet Peering, Azure Monitoring service), the hottest topic of conversation was around its private cloud Azure Stack. The decision to not support an open hardware platform at launch and the push of the release date to mid-2017 elicited much controversy. While conference attendees seemed conflicted on whether Azure Stack will be a Microsoft Office or Microsoft Bob (hint: no one wants to be Bob), I believe the decision to limit the hardware platforms was a good move, since it gives the product a fighting chance to not become OpenStacked (yes it’s a real word; definition below).

OpenStacked [oh-puh n stakt] (verb) — to attempt to solve all problems for all partners and users in a technical community, thereby solving no meaningful problems for anyone.

Google Rebrands Its Cloud

After years of insisting they could have a three letter acronym like AWS, Google has finally thrown in the towel. The service formerly know as Google Cloud Platform — or GCP — is now going to be called Google Cloud. I’m actually a strong +1 on this move, as long as they don’t go all Prince on me and become an emoji in a few years. But I’m not so sure about their rebranding of Google Apps to G Suite. There are many images this name conjures in my head (e.g. G-men, G.Love and the special sauce, the G-string, Glorified G), but none of them involve business productivity. After several odd brandings that include Alphabet, YouTube Red, Google Now, and now G Suite, it seems like branding is… well, not in Google’s G-Spot.

New AWS Region In Paris

Oui, monsieur, nous avons une région AWS à Paris. Yes, you heard it right: AWS is launching their fourth AWS region in Paris. This continues the rapid global expansion of Amazon data centers, providing customers multiple in-region options for their cloud infrastructure. But in Amazon’s commitment to providing a homogeneous user experience, I feel they sometimes miss out on the opportunity to personalize their regions based on local culture and customs. Some ideas to make the Paris region feel like Paris: (1) scatter digital dog poop around the cloud, (2) randomly shut down and/or block services each August for worker strikes, and (3) treat all non-French API calls with disdain (especially those attempting badly to speak French).

Google Expands Globally

Google announced eight new locations for its cloud platform, including Finland, Frankfurt, London, Mumbai, Northern Virginia, Sao Paulo, Singapore and Sydney. This makes it official: we have entered a new phase of the cloud arms race, where the ability to rapidly build global data centers is an impediment to success. A representative of one cloud provider said to me: “Our business is limited by our ability to pour and cure concrete.” This left me thinking if any cloud provider is running low on concrete, feel free to take Boston City Hall. Some people call it a testament to concrete modernism. But I suspect these people have never actually seen it.

Well, that’s all from the cloud this week. See you back here next week.

Originally published at