Tag: Google

Oracle refugee replaces Greene on Google’s cloud

Thomas Kurian, former Oracle President of product development and technologist, is going to head Google Cloud from early next year.

The current CEO of Google Cloud Diane Greene will continue through January, working with Mr Kurian to ensure a smooth transition and will remain a Director on the board of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

Kurian worked at Oracle for 22 years but quit over disagreements with Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison over the future course of the company as the Cloud business gets highly competitive.

“Kurian, a respected technologist and executive, will be joining Google Cloud on November 26 and transitioning into the Google Cloud leadership role in early 2019”, Ms Greene said in a statement on Friday.

Gartner purges half of cloud service providers from Magic Quadrant

lightning-cloudGartner’s latest Magic Quadrant for infrastructure as a service (IaaS), saw eight cloud service providers dropped from the rankings.

Virtustream, CenturyLink, Joyent, Rackspace, Interoute, Fujitsu, Skytap and NTT were all vanished from the analyst firm’s Magic Quadrant, leaving only the six largest companies.

The number cruncher’s reasons for this sudden purge was that it wanted to create a more “stringent inclusion criteria” this year, which effectively excludes all but global vendors who currently have IaaS and platform as a service (PaaS) offerings.

This means Google, AWS and Microsoft Azure in the leaders’ box, with Alibaba, Oracle and IBM a long way behind.

“These changes reflect Gartner’s belief that customer evaluations are currently primarily focused on vendors for strategic adoption across a broad range of use cases. While customers still search for more focused, scenario-specific providers, these providers should be evaluated in the context of that specific workload, rather than compared in a broader market context”, according to the analyst firm.

 

Google polishes the Chrome

google-ICSearch engine outfit Google has expanded the number of enterprise mobility management platforms IT managers can use to control Chrome OS devices.

Google announced it is integrating its Chrome OS Enterprise device management suite with four mobility management vendors to offer unified end-point management (UEM) capabilities.

Last year, Google introduced its Chrome Enterprise suite and offered integration with VMware Workspace ONE’s UEM cloud portal, allowing IT shops to manage Chrome OS devices using both native Chrome Enterprise and VMware tools from a single console.

Google charges $50 per device annually for the Chrome Enterprise management service.

The Search engine Google said it has partnered with Cisco Meraki, IBM MaaS360, Citrix XenMobile and Zoho to further integrate management tools for Chrome OS with the popular EMM vendors.

“With these partnerships in place, enterprises can pick the solution that fits their business best”, Google said.

Google also announced greater capabilities for IT to manage of its Chrome browser by adding enforced existing user sign-on into Chrome.

Google eventually plans to add enterprise reporting capabilities to the browser to give IT admins access to local machine logs so they can better understand each device under their control.

The announcement is part of the company’s cunning plan to give IT administrators a single pane through which they can manage Chrome OS devices.

In general, UEM allows IT, managers, to remotely provision, control and secure everything from mobile phones to tablets, laptops, desktops and now, Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Among other things, Google’s integration with EMM vendors will let IT managers perform some tasks such as locking or disabling Chrome OS devices, whitelisting users to sign onto corporate networks via the devices, and manage other user settings.

Google has its management tools for Chrome, but few companies want to deploy stand-alone device management when they’ve already turned to enterprise mobility management (EMM) and UEM solutions from the likes of AirWatch, IBM, Citrix and others for Windows, Android or iOS.

 

Content delivery Cloud market continues to grow

lightning-cloudTransparency Market Research (TMR) has added up some numbers and divided them by its shoe size and worked out that the global cloud content delivery network market is yet to graduate from its transformational phase.

However, in a report with the punchy title  “Cloud Content Delivery Network Market (Type – Standard/Non-Video CDN and Video CDN; Core Solution – Web Performance Optimization, Media Delivery and Cloud Security; Vertical – Advertising, Media & Entertainment, Online Gaming, E-commerce, Education, Government, Healthcare, BFSI, IT, and Travel & hospitality) – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2017 – 2025.” , TMR thinks that the market is speeding its way through on the back technological breakthroughs and generous spending by the leading companies.

A title like that for a report surely makes the alphabet groan.

The investment spike will give “thrust” to the market’s transformation, letting traditional providers counter challenges posed by new services. Existing companies in the global cloud content delivery network market are paying more attention to new stuff to bust possibilities of security breaches and efficiently compete in the overall market, the report said.

Partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures have kept prospects bright for the players in the global cloud content delivery network market.

TMR identifies Akamai, Limelight, CenturyLink, CDNetworks, Google, Amazon Web Services, NTT Communications, Alibaba Cloud, Oracle, and Cloudflare as some of the leading players in the business.

The global cloud content delivery network market was pegged at $3,019.6 million by TMR in 2016. Showing a 25.5 percent CAGR, the market will be worth $18,564.5 million by the end of 2025, it estimates. The market is likely to witness “soaring” demand from the media and entertainment segments. Regionally, big vendors will “catapult” North America to the head of the ratpack. Besides this, Asia Pacific is likely to show tremendous growth during the forecast period.

The demand for low-latency and high-quality digital data has increased. The report reckons that the “global society” is increasingly communicating, buying, relaxing, transacting, and learning using the internet, the demand for building efficient cloud content delivery network will rise. As traffic in video streaming grows, quality of services provided will be very important.

“As cloud content delivery networks offer improved quality control, the world will witness a spike in their deployment in the forthcoming years. Other than this, recent advances in the internet network, which have made it agiler will bode well for the market’s prospects. Also, basking in increased broadband speed and exponentially rising downloadable content, the cloud content delivery network market is likely to gain major impetus in the coming years. With organizations migrating their IT services on the cloud, TMR expects the market to gain considerable momentum shortly.”

On the negative side, the global cloud content delivery network market will continue reeling under concerns about data security, the report said.

The market is also likely to face challenges from latency problems.  Whew, the alphabet can relax a bit, now.

 

Cloud giants headed towards per-millisecond billing

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudThe cloudy giants like Amazon, Microsoft and Google are moving towards per-millisecond billing.

Microsoft and Google already have adopted the billing method and now Amazon has gone the same way – at least for some of its services.

Amazon’s move to introduce per-second billing for some of its services forms part of a wider industry trend and could inspire similar moves by other cloud players, according to partners.

The cloud giant has announced that it will begin billing some forms of Linux instance of its EC2 and EBS services in one-second increments, bringing it into line with public cloud rivals Microsoft Azure and Google.

Amazon’s partners were happy as it seems to be part of an inexorable trend towards ‘per-millisecond’ pricing in the cloud world.

The feeling is that the world will get used to the idea and other cloud companies to follow this trend.

AWS will be able to provide sustained usage discounts, which is one remaining area where competitors claim they are cheaper.”

It appears to customers because they can reduce their TCO for workloads in cloud which in turn increases the appeal of moving new or more workloads to it.

Per-second is very helpful when running very heavy workloads, but a lot of the very large migrations to the cloud are just datacentre migrations where the private cloud providers like IBM play.  It will be less interesting to some customers.

 

Google offers second tier cloud

MI0002204246Search engine outfit Google is offering a cheaper and cheerful version of its GCP cloud network.

While it will have lower specs than the real deal, Google insists that it matches those offered by its public cloud competitors.

Writing in his bog, Google’s SVP of technical infrastructure  Urs Hölzle, said that the search engine was the first major cloud provider to offer a tiered network service, breaking its Google Cloud Platform (GCP) into a Premium Tier and a Standard Tier.

“Over the last 18 years we [have] built the world’s largest network, which by some accounts delivers 25 to 30 percent of all internet traffic. You enjoy the same infrastructure with Premium Tier. But for some use cases, you may prefer a cheaper, lower-performance alternative. With Network Service Tiers, you can choose the network that’s right for you, for each application.”

The Standard Tier is available at a lower rate because it uses ISP networks to deliver traffic to a user’s cloud applications, rather than its own private network – which is used for the likes of Google Search and YouTube, Google said.

Google is unlikely to find many takers to opt for the lower standard, but that the move will be used to market the high performance of its network. The move is being touted in the channel as clever marketing.

Google lags in the size and number of datacentres but it can say its rivals don’t have the same quality.

 

Disloyal punters ignore brands claims Salmon

Salmon-of-Knowledge-Irish-Stamp-from-An-PostBeancounters at global ecommerce consultancy Salmon have discovered that the era of the ‘disloyal consumer’ is upon us.

Apparently, brand loyalty is tumbling as consumers increasingly prioritise speed, innovation and convenience when they shop.

A new study of over 6,000 consumers across the UK, US and Benelux conducted, showed that 88 percent of consumers believe speed of delivery is more important to them than the brand being ordered (78 percent).

The study also found that consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with new and innovative ways to shop, with 45 percent using or likely to use digital assistants such as Amazon Echo’s Alexa or Google Home in the next 12 months. They are more likely to use these devices than smart lighting (42 percent), smart fridges and other white goods (42 percent), Virtual Reality (40 percent) and Apple Home (37 percent). As these services look to control the products shoppers buy, brand loyalty looks set to decline even more.

Nearly 60 percent say they can see the personal benefit of Programmatic Commerce – allowing technology to automatically purchase goods for them based on their set of product preferences – compared to 53 percent the year before.

Consumer hunger for new retail technology is growing with 23 percent identified as “digitally obsessed”, making almost all of their purchases online.

This need for speed and convenience plays into a wider shift in consumer shopping behaviour, as they value the variety of digital services on offer and experience that they receive overall: 60 percent say that if a retailer was more digitally innovative, they would be more likely to shop there – emphasising the lucrative potential retailers could be tapping into, especially as 73 percent say they plan to spend more in the future.

Two thirds of consumers in fact feel all online retailers should offer same-day delivery, compared to 2016’s research showing that the average expected delivery time was 2.6 days – no doubt fuelled by services such as Amazon Prime.

Consumers are preparing for the next generation of retail technology – reflected in the fact that on average, there are four devices per household (increasing to five in the US) and over half (51 percent) of all surveyed also said they could not comfortably live one day without connected devices.

What is holding everything back is that retailers are failing to provide these elevated digital and innovative experiences for customers.

More than 57 percent believe the technology, apps and services they use in their own life are more sophisticated than that provided by digital retailers. Almost 70 percent said they want to see greater innovation to improve the customer experience, showing a desire to shop with only the most forward-thinking stores.

Hugh Fletcher, global head of Consultancy and Innovation at Salmon, said: “Loyalty is a complex thing. Across all sectors, we’re seeing fewer people favouring and remaining strongly aligned to certain brands and companies. This is especially prevalent in digital commerce – where the consumer focus on finding the lowest prices and fastest delivery doesn’t lend itself to being loyal to a certain product.

“However, as the study shows, loyalty is still there to be captured. Consumers are increasingly loyal to services over retailers – this is largely because the likes of Amazon is seen to be innovating and delivering the best overall experience to the consumer.

“It is this ‘experience’ that drives loyalty and will be the difference between being a leader in digital commerce and being left behind,” continued Fletcher. “What this means, however, is that retailers need to offer consumers a host of convenient services and harness innovative technologies in the process if they are going to attract and retain customers’ attention. As consumers are becoming more open to trying new technologies – or expect to in the coming months –retailers need to put in the ground work from now if they are to meet high expectations.”

Google hit by weak pound

google-ICWeaknesses in the British pound  slowed EMEA growth for tech giant Google in the second quarter.

Group revenues for the firm’s parent company Alphabet grew by 21 percent year over year for the three months ending 30 June to $26.01 billion, or 23 percent in constant currencies.

Operating income meanwhile fell by 30.8 percent to $4.12 billion, largely due to Google incurring a record €2.42 billion fine from the European Commission for allegedly breaching antitrust rules to push its own shopping comparison service. As a consequence, operating margins fell from 28 percent posted in the Q2 of 2016, to 16 per cent this year.

Excluding the EU fine, operating incomes from Google came in at $7.8 billion, up from $6.99 billion reported in the same quarter last year. Alphabet’s “other bets” segment – which includes emerging technologies such as smart homes, Google’s venture capital arm and self-driving car technology –   dragged group operating income down after posting a $772 million loss.

Speaking to analysts on an earnings call,  Alphabet’s CFO Ruth Porat claimed that while all geographical regions grew on an annual basis, EMEA’s growth was slowed down by weaknesses in the British pound and the euro.

EMEA revenues hit $8.5 billion, up 14 percent annually, while the US saw 23 percent growth to $12.3 billion. APAC hit $3.7 billion, up 28 percent year over year while the America’s – which include Canada and Latin America, reached $1.4 billion, up 31 percent annually.

Google also lauded its progress within its cloud business, which is lumped in with its hardware and Android app sales under “other revenues”. This segment grew 42.3 percent annually to $3.09 billion.

The US giant also increased its headcount by 9,031 employees to 75,606 staff compared with the end of Q2 2016, with CEO Sundar Pichai claiming that the firm has driven up recruitment in its cloud business.

“In terms of product areas the most sizable headcount additions were once again made in cloud for both technical and sales roles consistent with the priority we place on this business,” he said on the same earnings call.

“Google Cloud Platform (GCP) continues to experience impressive growth across products, sectors and geographies and increasingly with large enterprise customers in regulated sectors. To be more specific about our momentum with big customers, in Q2 the number of new deals we closed worth more than $0.5 million is three times what it was last year.”

He added: “We also continue to build out our partnerships, in Q2 we announced an expansion of our partnership at SAP and a new partnership with Nutanix to integrate their products with GCP. So customers can run workloads in hybrid environments, on-prem and in the cloud.”

Most top vendors suffering

220px-Dramaten_mask_2008aNumber crunchers from Gartner group claim that four of the top five IT vendors suffered a fall in sales last year.

Out of Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and IBM, only Google grew its revenues.

In its Gartner, Global Top 100: IT Vendors report, the number crunchers attempted to rank the top 100 largest tech companies based on estimates for their revenue across IT and component market segments.

Despite seeing estimated IT revenue fall from $235 billion to $218 billion year on year, Apple topped the rankings, well ahead of Samsung, which saw its haul shrink from $142 billion to $1391 billion.

Google grew its revenues from $74.9 billion to $90.1 billion, while Microsoft shrank from $88.1 billion to $85.7 billion and IBM fell from $79.6 billion to $77.8 billion.

Gartner said its figures will help illustrate the shift in the industry from the ‘Nexus of Forces’ to digital business as the driver of IT purchasing.

For those who came in late, or find it difficult to care, the Nexus of Forces, Gartner’s term for the convergence of social, mobility, cloud and information. It believes it has propped up many of the IT market’s leading players – including Apple and Google – in recent years.

Gartner vice president John-David Lovelock said that the needs of IT buyers are shifting. CEOs were focused on growth and are more focused on realising business outcomes from their IT spend, Big G said.

We are not sure about this, people have been saying that sort of thing since the 1990s when we started reporting on the IT market. In fact, it was the reason so many companies moved to outsourcing.

Digital giants, like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent will leave their mark in 2017, Gartner said.

These seven companies will be involved in 20 percent of all activities an individual engages in by 2020, Gartner predicted.

“Digital giants effectively become gatekeepers for any business that delivers digital content and services to consumers. Any company that wants to engage consumers in, or through, their digital world will have to consider engaging with one or more of these digital giants,” Lovelock said.

Google cloud glitch forces SQL backups

cloudGoogle’s Cloud SQL service was hit by rather a nasty glitch over the weekend and more than seven percent of clients using the service’s first-generation code were not backing up properly.

Google announced it was “forcing” backups “as short-term mitigation” and was expected to issue a patch today.

The news comes just as Google is announcing the release of its new Cloud Spanner product.

For those who came in late, Cloud Spanner is a horizontally-scalable and strongly consistent relational database, combining the company’s two other DBaaS solutions, NoSQL and RDBMS, offering a wider range of services including ACID transactions and SQL semantics. It’s targeting AWS’s RDS and Microsoft’s SQL Database in the public cloud.

Product manager, Dominic Preuss wrote in his bog that Google had carefully designed Cloud Spanner to meet customer requirements for enterprise databases — including ANSI 2011 SQL support, ACID transactions, 99.999% availability and strong consistency — without compromising latency”.

“As a combined software/hardware solution that includes atomic clocks and GPS receivers across Google’s global network, Cloud Spanner also offers additional accuracy, reliability and performance in the form of a fully-managed cloud database service.”

While traditional databases guarantee transactional consistency, while NoSQL databases offer horizontal scaling and data distribution. The aim for Cloud Spanner is to offer cloud developers both capabilities.

Cloud Spanner is available now via a trio of data integration partners, Alooma, Informatica and Xplenty.

“Cloud Spanner is one of those cloud-based technologies for which businesses have been waiting: With its horizontal scalability and ACID compliance, it’s ideal for those who seek the lower TCO of a fully managed cloud-based service without sacrificing the features of a legacy, on-premises database,” Xplenty said.

Google is offering a free trial of Cloud Spanner so companies can see how it would work for them.

Amazon, Microsoft and Google need channel help

R-9020249-1473392859-8701.jpegBeancounters at Canalys say that AWS, Microsoft and Google need the channel as they look to capitalise on the “next phase” of cloud adoption.

The analyst outfit said that AWS, Microsoft and Google grew their cloud infrastructure revenues by 43 percent, 93 percent and 74 percent respectively in Q1, as the overall market rose by 42 percent to $11.4 billion.

Canalys principal analyst Matthew Ball said that the three have worked out that building an indirect business will be the only way to maintain that order of growth.

“We’re seeing the next phase of cloud adoption beyond the big marquee projects like Netflix and Snapchat. The cloud providers are now looking at corporate and mid-market accounts, and for that they need greater reach and scale, and that’s where the role of the channel comes in.

“So we are seeing a lot of the big cloud providers, AWS and Google in particular – those that haven’t come from an enterprise IT background – starting to mature their partner programmes and channel engagements. They are looking to focus on that more because they recognise that the channel has those relationships with customers. So we believe that the channel will be a part of their go-to-market strategies going forward, especially if they want to maintain their high levels of growth each quarter and year.”

Canalys said that AWS’ Q1 cloud infrastructure sales were more than $3.5bn, but the market leader’s success need not be at the cost of the channel as the rise of cloud has in some cases expanded the role played by resellers.

“The channel has made good business selling datacentre infrastructure in the past, and we believe they still will do going forward. Cloud is another choice for customers in terms of how they operate their IT environments and, for sure, it’s a concern for channel partners. But we’ve seen some partners being affected by cloud and others changing their business model to develop consultancy or professional services to help their customers define a cloud environment.”

Solution providers need to change

bodenA Google executive has warned that solution providers need to invest in next-generation technologies to stay ahead of the curve.

Nan Boden, head of global technology partners at Google’s Cloud division, said solution providers need to pull their socks up and get new skills and services. She said more customers wanted to target digital transformation for their businesses and there were new consumption models and buyers who wanted a part of the lucrative cloud economy.

Talking at the NextGen Cloud event, Boden said that industry models will be based less on products and more on services.

“This is putting pressure on partners to provide services to customers. It requires a different motion and skill set that is not optional, and we’re seeing successful channel partners get ahead of that.”

She added that punters were demanding faster time-to-value, minimal up-front commitment, and increased flexibility and scalability for their businesses, requiring solution providers to move away from a sales and marketing reseller model to a more value-added services model.

This includes offering managed services and even packaged IP technology solutions to solve customer needs, she said.

“We’re seeing partners using machine learning, the cloud and analytics together in ways that are transforming industries. We believe that if you invest in innovations for your line-of-business customers, that will pay off.”

Cloud suppliers promise not to harm customers

lightning-cloudThe UK Competition and Markets Authority has managed to get a promise from BT, Dropbox, Google and Mozy that they will not try to screw over cloudy punters with dodgy terms and conditions.

Apparently the four were compelled to take the pledge after the CMA started peering into cloud service providers’ contract terms and tutting that they discriminated against consumers.

After making its pledge, BT had promised that “free accounts will not be terminated due to inactivity during the first 365 days of the contract”. It has also promised to give 90 days’ notice in writing when it wants to zap unused cloud backup accounts. It also “agreed to amend” its terms and conditions, which at present give it the right to unilaterally change prices on a whim.

Dropbox has promised not to kill customers’ accounts without notice. Apparently that right existed in the terms and conditions and no one spotted it.

Google has agreed to “ensure consumers are given an opportunity to remedy their breaches” before terminating their accounts, as well as giving 30 days’ notice of a price increase “or storage plan decrease”.

The search engine outfit will now ensure that consumers can bring legal proceedings in their local courts and under their local laws if it breaks the terms of its own contract

Mozy, which provides Windows and Mac OS X backup services, made much the same promises as BT and Dropbox.

 

Salesforce says Twitter Ye Not

frankie-loopmasters1Salesforce has said it has given up on its plans to buy social notworking site Twitter.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told the Financial Times his company has “walked away” from cutting a deal and he was pretty much the last one left.

Neither Google nor Disney plan to bid on Twitter, despite reports saying both were interested. Apple is long gone and Verizon immediately launghed off the speculation.

Facebook was said to be uninterested, and someone mentioned Microsoft but then realised that it made no sense for Vole which is becoming an increasingly enterprise-focused company.

This is going to put pressure on the social notworking site to work out a way to restart user growth and improve its revenue.

Twitter will update investors on its earnings again two weeks from now, on 27 October and it’s likely the company will either address or be asked about where any acquisition talks go from here.

Google buys Apigee for $625 million in cloud plan

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudGoogle is buying software development toolmaker Apigee for $625 million, to improve its cloud-based businesses offerings.

Alphabet’s Google has agreed to pay a 6.5 percent premium to Apigee’s shareholders and the deal will be completed by the end of the year.

For those who came in late, Apigee sells a platform that aids companies manage APIs to help developers build software that talks to each other and shares information without revealing the underlying code. APIs have become an integral part of cloud software development, allowing one application to pull data and use services from multiple other programmes.

Diane Greene, senior vice president of Google’s cloud business wrote in her bog: “The addition of Apigee’s API solutions to Google cloud will accelerate our customers’ move to supporting their businesses with high quality digital interactions.”

Apigee has customers which include Walgreens Boots Alliance, AT&T, Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and Burberry Group. Green said that Walgreens uses Apigee to offer APIs and analyse how the tools are being used.

Google has been improving enterprise-focused products, having lagged behind Amazon.  and Microsoft in flogging public cloud computing software.

The Apigee acquisition will also help support Google’s own set of APIs, which include ones that allow developers to pull information from YouTube as well as the Translate and Maps software to imbed in their own apps.