It’s been an exciting week for the cloud industry! Kicking off, Google Cloud launched Cloud Composer, a workflow automation tool that can span hybrid and multi-cloud environments. The project was built on the Apache Airflow platform, an incubator project that Google has recently become involved in.
The new tool is designed to allow teams to build infrastructure in a consistent and systematic way, allowing standardization of language and structure within a cloud environment. The product is a director competitor to AWS Step Functions. Google is also becoming a contributing member of the Airflow community, including having submitted several pull requests to date.
A segment of the Sentiment score is measured using the Gartner Peer Insights tool, which verifies cloud customers and then allows them to rate and review the service of each provider. This week, Google Cloud jumped a tenth of a point in their Gartner Review Score, from 4.3 to 4.4, bringing them level with AWS, who has led this metric among the major providers for some time.
With less than three tenths of a point separating AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, small point changes like this can have lasting impacts on the overall Index scores. At the time of publishing, Google Cloud leads Sentiment scores with an upward trend over the course of the week.
AWS announced this week that they would be releasing several Blockchain templates, which users can use to host distributed ledgers or cryptocurrency networks. This came as a surprise to some, as the Amazon Cloud giant has previous expressed some concern over how useful the application of blockchain technology could be in these early stages of development.
Both Microsoft Azure and Alibaba Cloud have had Blockchain support in some way for years, and because offerings from AWS will initially be very basic, many speculate that it was customer demand rather than an internal drive that motivated the company to support Blockchain technology. Regardless of their motivation, Amazon will need to prove itself if it wants to compete with the established players in that arena.
Amazon has also undergone some loss of sentiment this week, following the issuance of an email to communications company, Signal. Signal is an open-sourced private messaging and calling application, similar to Skype, with added features like ephemeral messages and secure calling. The email warns that Signal is violating the Service Terms Agreement using a technique called ‘domain fronting’ to circumvent IP blockages in several countries. Google Cloud previously issued a similar warning to Signal, which prompted them to switch to AWS late last year.
Signal, like other media giants including Skype, What’sApp, Apple Facetime, and Google Duo, had been banned in several countries for failing to meet strict government guidelines. Oman, Egypt, Iran, and the UAE are just a few examples of locations where Signal employed the technique to “hide” their IP address behind that of another company. AWS warned that if Signal did not stop using AWS to circumvent censorship laws, they would be forced to terminate service.
The messaging company has been outspoken about the email, claiming that what they’re doing isn’t actually against the Service Terms laid out in their contract. They have stated, “…our interpretation is ultimately not the one that matters, we don’t believe that we are violating the terms.” The communication from Amazon, however, has the public buzzing about censorship, and possible implications for the future.
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