Cloudflare created the League of Entropy, a global network of servers, to generate random numbers used in cryptography, money lotteries and quantum mechanics.
Google Keeps Data Private
Google has come up with a technique to enable “multiparty computation” without exposing sensitive information to anyone that isn’t supposed to have access to it.
Hyperledger Adds Members
Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies by the Linux Foundation, announced the addition of eight new members.
Descartes Labs System Builds a Supercomputer in the Cloud
Descartes Labs now has the first high performance computing (HPC) cluster on the TOP500 list to run on virtualized public cloud resources.
Liftr Cloud Components Tracker
The Liftr Cloud Components Tracker identifies and catalogs the prices, configurations and components of all the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and bare metal compute instances deployed by tracked cloud service providers, region by region around the entire world.
To celebrate the launch of the Liftr Cloud Components Tracker, we’ve made the first two pages of the first report available as a complimentary download. You may download the free redacted May 2019 sample report here.
Liftr Cloud Index
The daily Liftr Cloud Index compares the competitive state of cloud service provider (CSP) infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) products.
The overall Liftr Cloud Index for the week ending Friday 6/21/2019 was 104.2 (+0.4%), fractionally up from the previous week. Amazon AWS (109.3, +0.1%) is still three percentage points ahead of Microsoft Azure (106.3, 0.0%). Google Cloud (84.3, +2.1%) increased for the second week, while Alibaba Cloud (68.3, +0.7%) recovered from last week’s slight dip.
Alibaba Cloud (also known as “Aliyun”) had a very quiet week. Its overall Liftr Cloud Index score (68.3, +0.7%) recovered from last week’s slight dip following a boost to its Sentiment score (104.8, +5.4%), which is within Alibaba Cloud’s normal range of English language sentiment variance.
Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) overall index score (109.3, +0.1%) was stable on mildly higher Sentiment (101.2, +0.5%), driven by a video released late last week of first overview of AWS Outpost’s on prem hardware stack (more below).
AWS released Amazon Corretto 8, a no-cost, multi-platform, production-ready distribution of the Open Java Development Kit (OpenJDK). Corretto 8 can now be deployed in Docker containers. In early February we reported that AWS previewed Corretto 11. Both Corretto 8 and 11 are available with long term support (LTS).
AWS also announced DeepLens availability for pre-order in seven new countries. DeepLens is the world’s first deep learning enabled video camera for developers.
AWS released a video showing what an AWS Outpost will look like and how it will work. AWS Outposts bring “native AWS services, infrastructure, and operating models to virtually any data center, colocation space, or on-premises facility.” This is an important step for Outposts, because it shows that AWS has locked its hardware specs for Outposts. However, the heavier lift for AWS will be ensuring that Outposts on prem software will be ready for customer preview by AWS re:Invent 2019 (meeting AWS’s 2018 re:Invent commitment). AWS also took a subtle shot at Microsoft’s Azure Stack strategy by tipping that hardware stack management would be run remotely, freeing up all of the on prem compute power for customer applications.
Finally, AWS’ last announcement this week was Amazon RDS support for Storage Auto Scaling. RDS Storage Auto Scaling automatically scales storage capacity in return to growing database workloads, without any downtime. Autoscaling database storage seems like it should be a baseline feature of any cloud-based database offering in the future. Auto-scaling database storage is another reason that relational database administration is becoming more like Cobol programming: a few people still need to know how to do it, but not nearly as many as in its heyday.
Google Cloud’s overall index score (84.3, 2.1%) increased as its Reliability (97.7, +10.8%) and Sentiment scores (102.2, +5.3%) rebounded following its worldwide three-hour Google Calendar outage on June 18.
Google is releasing Private Join and Compute, an open source cryptographic tool to facilitate keeping data encrypted and unreadable during the process of joining numeric columns from different data sets to calculate a sum, count or average. This type of “homomorphic” encryption enables data owners to share data with others without letting the other party actually see the data. The Private Join and Compute open source tool will be useful for organizations wanting to use cloud computing resources without exposing any of their data to potential cloud breaches–which is pretty much everyone these days. Although the language used in this announcement downplays the importance of this contribution, the potential impact here is very large.
MongoDB announced its new Atlas offering on Google Cloud Platform Marketplace with unified billing, allowing for users to receive a single bill for all GCP services as well as MongoDB Atlas. Other enhancements include MongoDB capability with Cloud Key Management Service and support in all 20 Google Cloud regions for low latency. This tight integration between GCP and MongoDB will compete directly with AWS’s DocumentDB, announced in early January as a replacement database service for MongoDB. It’s a smart move for both GCP and MongoDB.
Microsoft Azure’s overall index score (106.3, 0.0%) was unchanged from the previous week and is still three percentage points below AWS’s.
Azure introduced its next generation reading Immersive Reader cognitive service. The company says that Immersive Reader’s features are made to “read the text aloud, translate, focus user attention, and much more” and that the service can be embedded into apps to assist users with text reading and comprehension. Immersive Reader competes with AWS Textract and Google TTSReader (text-to-speech).
Microsoft says it has demonstrated HC-series Virtual Machines running over 20,000 cores in HPC workloads for at-scale, computationally intensive HPC applications. The new release is now generally available in the West US 2 and East US regions.
The preview of Microsoft Azure Bastion was announced. The company says Azure Bastion is a “new managed PaaS service that provides seamless RDP and SSH connectivity to your virtual machines over the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).” Azure Bastion is designed to securely connect enterprise remote private networks to Azure cloud services over the open internet without exposing private IP addresses.
Microsoft and Truffle announced a partnership “to bring a world-class experience to blockchain developers” that allows developers working in Truffle environments to access Azure services and for Azure customers access Truffle’s suite of tools. Microsoft released its Azure Blockchain Service last month.
Cloudflare’s League of Entropy is intended as a solution to the demand for constant generation of substantially large unpredictable numbers used in cryptography, money lotteries and quantum mechanics. The global network of servers will be used as a randomness beacon to generate publicly verifiable random values every 60 seconds. Clients will also be able to generate a private random value that will not be publicly announced. Better random number generation enables harder-to-break encryption, which fortifies high-value applications such as banking and cryptocurrency transactions.
Hyperledger’snew members include Microsoft, the Ethereum Foundation, Nomickel and Salesforce. Hyperledger is a Linux Foundation project intended to offer enterprise-grade, open-source distributed ledger frameworks and code bases. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are based on this kind of distributed ledger. Hyperledger decouples the distributed ledger technology from specific cryptocurrencies to enable distributed ledger use in a wider range of applications.
Descartes Labs says it built “one of the world’s TOP500 fastest supercomputers and the first system on the list to run on virtualized public cloud resources.” The new HPC cluster uses over 40,000 processing cores and 158 terabytes of memory running in AWS, and it was created without AWS knowledge that the project was underway. This is a de facto demonstration of what many in the HPC community had theorized: a competitive supercomputer might be assembled inexpensively using public cloud IaaS instances. The demonstration cost Descartes Labs $5,000 to implement in AWS; an equivalent on prem high-performance server cluster would have taken a budget of tens of millions of dollars..
IBM Cloud and Equinix announced a collaborative expansion to provide private and scalable connectivity to global enterprises via Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric). The agreement enables IBM Cloud customers in 16 major metro areas covered by Equinix to securely connect on prem networks and private clouds to IBM Cloud without using the public internet via IBM Cloud Direct Link and ECX Fabric).
Oracle Cloud introduced its Oracle Intelligent Track and Trace blockchain platform focused on businesses using supply chain management. It is a pre-built platform intended to make blockchain secure distributed ledger technology more accessible to supply chain applications. Oracle says this application is the first of four upcoming pre-built blockchain applications.
Watch the Liftr Cloud Look Ahead, a weekly video series that presents recent cloud news with an eye toward the future. Check out this week’s video to stay current and prepare for what’s next in the cloud industry.
Liftr Cloud Insights is not a financial analyst firm. We provide strategic analysis of company earnings reports and associated end of quarter statements.
Oracle reported its earnings last week. Unlike other companies running public clouds, Oracle does break out its Oracle Cloud infrastructure revenue, reporting that Q4 was up 7% year-over-year. While not spectacular growth, it’s a lot better growth than many on prem server vendors are experiencing, including Oracle’s own hardware business.
Oracle also reported that its technology license growth was up 19% year-over-year. This is roughly equivalent to its on prem software licensing revenue. Oracle customers can exchange purchased on prem software licenses for its “Universal Credits,” which can be used to buy Oracle Cloud services. That has to be an interesting accounting challenge and is likely why Oracle reports “cloud license and on-premise license” as a single line item.
KubeCon + CloudNativeCon China Shanghai, China June 25-26, 2019
Liftr Cloud Insights Principal Analyst Paul Teich is at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon China conference in Shanghai, China this week. The event is targeted at cloud service providers, open source cloud operations framework developers and cloud applications developers. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a meeting with Paul during the event.
AWS re:Inforce Security Conference Boston, MA June 25-26, 2019
Attendees of AWS re:Inforce will experience two days of security, identity and compliance learning and community building. Although we won’t be in attendance, we’ll be monitoring news and announcements closely.
Have a great week!
– Paul R. Teich, Principal Analyst, and your Liftr Cloud Insights team
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