Cloud Computing Weekly Digest: October 7

I like the month of October for many reasons: the cool crisp New England air, the color of autumn leaves, Dunkin Donuts pumpkin spice lattes, Tom Brady, and of course postseason baseball. Had the cloud not interrupted my life, I like to think I would have been a five-tool major league baseball player. All I would require is some natural talent, an ability to hit a fastball, and well… five more tools. So there is nothing I enjoy more than watching postseason baseball, complete with its drama, in-game strategy and of course statistics. So when you hear announcers talking about exit velocity, route efficiency, average pitch velocity and ball trajectory, take a moment to thank the cloud. With the help of on-field sensors, MLB Statcast, smart software, and AWS, our 170+ year-old game has totally upped its geek-cred (and with it, my personal enjoyment). So get together with fellow fans this October, crack open a nice cold Sam Adams and watch some postseason baseball powered by the cloud. Oh and… go Red Sox!

Let’s get started with our week in review.

Oracle’s Cloud Washing

It’s worth viewing ZDNet’s Oracle is not a cloud power article just for the Photoshopped picture of Larry Ellison’s head atop a muscle-bound body, staring down at us with a combination of pity and roid-rage. The author’s points are clear: (1) that’s not really Larry’s body, and (2) Oracle is not really in the cloud. The look of pity / roid-rage, however, is 100% real Larry; no need for Photoshop there. The author expresses strong skepticism on the conversion of Oracle to the cloud, making one of the most public accusations of cloud washing to date. It’s almost as if he’s saying if cloud computing were women’s fashion, Oracle wants Wall Street to believe red (Oracle) is the new orange (Amazon).

VMware Goes Amazon

Okay which one of these is the least believable: (1) NASA spotted a giant alien-made cube hurtling towards earth, (2) Donald Trump is being considered for a Nobel Peace Prize, (3) someone actually bought and used the Amazon Fire Phone, or (4) VMware is partnering with Amazon. If you picked the Amazon Fire Phone, you’d be wrong. The right answer is… (drum roll please)… VMware is partnering with Amazon. As they say on ST:TNG: “Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.”

The U.S.S. Cisco, Dell and HP

A couple years ago at Structure Conf in San Francisco, I watched Adrian Cockcroft give a talk that went like this: 1st slide — “Dell is a sinking ship that turned itself into a submarine by going private”; 2nd slide — “EMC is a sinking ship that decided to merge with the Dell submarine”; 3rd slide — “HP is a sinking ship that split itself in two in hopes of sinking slower.” InfoWorld’s Matt Asay channels his best Adrian with Why the cloud is bad news for Cisco, Dell, and HP. He discusses the triple threat to server manufacturers: (1) the continued shift to the cloud, (2) the squeeze by no-name ODMs, and (3) an increasing hardware self-reliance within cloud providers. Matt’s message is clear: if the server market is a large cruise ship, don’t be surprised when you see Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet on board.

Microsoft Invests in EU

Microsoft announced it has spent more than $3B on cloud infrastructure in Europe, signaling its continued commitment to be an EU market leader. The investment includes opening UK and German data centers, the development of a new French data center, and the delivery of in-country data for many of its cloud services (e.g. Office 365). The investment follows the policies of Microsoft’s A Cloud for Global Good, which is a forward-thinking roadmap to making the cloud “trusted, responsible and inclusive.” Yes, you heard it first here: Satya Nadella and Microsoft want to Make the Cloud Great Again.

Amazon Launches the P2

GPUs are ideal for high performance parallelizable workloads such as scientific computing, machine learning, and computational finance. To support the growing number of workloads requiring advanced GPU computers, Amazon has released a new instance type called the P2, which comes with 1 to 16 GPUs, 61 to 732 GB of RAM (yes you read that right), and costs $0.90 to $14.40 per hour. The P2s break through the memory barrier of the G2s, offering the potential to bring more complex workloads to the cloud. It took only an hour post-announcement for Bitcoin/altcoin miners to answer the question on everyone’s mind: can this new instance type profitably mine Bitcoin? Short answer: no. Longer answer: not legally.

That’s all from the cloud this week. Look for me behind home plate at World Series game 7 of the Cubs vs. Red Sox.

Originally published at