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Amazon News & Analysis

Can You Name the 3 Leaders in the Public Enterprise Cloud Space?

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Put your money on hybrid cloud computing — and Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Rackspace.

But be forewarned: Security (or lack thereof) is still a concern and one of the chief reasons for underuse of cloud resources.

The findings, contained in RightScale’s State of the Cloud Report for 2015, paint a picture of a technology space that is well established but still immature in some respects.

It also confirms that hybrid cloud deployments are the preferred path for enterprises movement to the cloud, which explains why leading vendors have invested so many resources into their hybrid cloud portfolio.

Amazon Muscles Deeper into the Enterprise Space

Amazon Web Services has introduced several upgrades aimed at moving it deeper into the enterprise space.

Its identity and access management (IAM) upgrades, for instance, make it easier for enterprise users and, specifically, systems administrators, to manage and change identities and security settings.

Jeff Barr, Chief Evangelist for Amazon Web Services, explained In a blog post that the upgrade enhances longstanding IAM features, which until now been associated with single users and the identities they governed.

Jet Targets Amazon After $140 Million Funding Round

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E-commerce start-up Jet.com, the latest project of Marc Lore, who famously sold Diaper.com to Amazon for $545 million, has just announced it has raised another $140 million on top of the $80 million it already raised.

The Wall St. Journal reported that the investment, in the form of debt that is convertible into equity, is expected to value the company at nearly $600 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

That’s pretty impressive. But what is even more impressive is that Jet.com hasn’t even opened its doors to do business. The new site, which is due to start operating publicly in the next few weeks, has Amazon and Amazon’s e-commerce customers firmly in its sights.

3 Reasons Amazon's Email Could Dent Google, Microsoft

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Think Microsoft and Google have the business email market tied-up? Think again. Amazon has come up with a new business email service called WorkMail that ties in nicely with its file-sharing service Zocalo, and WorkSpaces, a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution.

The new service, launched in preview late last week, provides an email and calendar service that aims to cut into a market that has been dominated by Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google for Work Apps. It has three key features that just might help it dent the market leaders.

CMSWire's Top 10 Hits of 2014: Web CMS

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It’s been a year of drama for the Web CMS space — or at least a fourth quarter of drama – with rumors aplenty at year-end around Ektron sales and mergers and news of Drupal’s “highly critical” security flaw.

Some of these stories made CMSWire’s Top 10 list for the year, but we had lots more to report about Web CMS, including trends, new players and myths about the world’s leading open-source CMS.

AWS Supports Hybrid Cloud with EC2 Container Service #reinvent

“Why do developers love containers?”

This is the question Werner Vogels, CTO and Vice President of Amazon.com, asked attendees of the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas just before announcing the preview availability of EC2 Container Services (ECS) – the new service for managing Docker containers that boosts AWS support for hybrid cloud.

After answering his question with a listing of benefits such as ease of development management, portability between environments, lower risk in deployments, smoother maintenance and management of application components, and the ability for it all to work together, Vogel went on to talk about the challenges of working with containers. 

“It’s really hard, I find,” he said. “Scheduling containers requires a lot of heavy lifting.” For example, he noted issues such as placement for higher availability, dividing resources per container, launching, rolling back, and handling custom management. 

With ECS, he said, customers can get all the benefits of containers without the overhead.

AWS Woos Enterprises with New Security Services #reinvent

Amazon is taking steps to ease enterprises’ biggest concerns around moving to its AWS platform. During a keynote at its AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas yesterday, the company announced three new security and compliance services developed specifically for enterprise customers.

Enterprises have been reluctant to move "the number of workloads they really wanted to move” to the cloud and AWS because of security and compliance issues, said Andy Jassy, senior vice president of Amazon Web Services. “What we see as the new normal now is that security and compliance are becoming reasons that customers are moving to the cloud.”

Sooner or Later We'll Learn How Smart Jeff Bezos Really Is

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Shareholders are getting increasingly impatient with Amazon and its casual attitude toward profits. The company just delivered a disappointing earnings report that surprised the Street -- even though Amazon warned in its last report that the third quarter would be grim.

The numbers, which we will get to in a moment, are almost beside the point. There are larger issues at stake as the shareholder disgruntlement against Amazon grows.

As its losses mount, will Amazon be forced to stop making myriad — and expensive — investments in other companies and technologies and settle down to business, namely its e-commerce empire?

Or will shareholders be proved wrong about their growing ire over Amazon's investment spree?

Or, to put it in its most stark terms: will Jeff Bezos' vision for the company, no matter how seemingly schizophrenic right now, be proved correct in the end?

Take a Seat Google, Amazon: Microsoft's Cloud Wins the Day

Though the new mobile-first, cloud-first Microsoft is more open and plays nice with everyone, it also wants to knock the socks, shirt and hat off of the competition. And, if CEO Satya Nadella is right, it has everything it needs to do so.

While mobile, as Microsoft now defines it, is “not about the device” whether it’s a sensor, small screen or large screen, but about “powering mobility with intelligence,” the productivity and collaboration tools are all Microsoft (Office 365 and Dynamics).

And when it comes to the cloud, Microsoft may have one few others can match. We’re not talking only about a super-charged, hyper-scale cloud in the heavens, but also about a new Azure-like appliance that Enterprises can deploy in their own data centers. It has been designed specifically to handle big data workloads (32 cores, 450 gigabytes of RAM and 6.5 terabytes of local solid-state drive storage). Officially named the Microsoft Cloud Platform System (CPS), powered by Dell it is, in essence, an “Azure consistent cloud in a box” with pre-integrated hardware from Dell and software from Microsoft.

B2B Suppliers are Losing Market Share to B2C Websites

B2B buyers in the United States are more active online than ever before. But few are successfully leveraging their suppliers’ websites to find the information and make the purchases they need.

Instead, they're turning to third-party e-commerce sites like Amazon, according to the 2014 Acquity Group State of B2B Procurement.

Rackspace CEO: We Screwed Up During Cloud Reboot

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Rackspace's CEO didn't mince words in an email to customers yesterday. He admitted the company made communication mistakes as it worked this week to patch a security vulnerability affecting certain versions of XenServer, a popular open-source hypervisor.

Taylor Rhodes, CEO and president of the San Antonio, Texas-based public and private cloud hosting provider, said the problem ultimately forced a reboot for about a quarter of Rackspace's 200,000 customers.

"In the course of it, we dropped a few balls," Rhodes said. "Some of our reboots, for example, took much longer than they should. And some of our notifications were not as clear as they should have been. We are making changes to address those mistakes. And we welcome your feedback on how we can better serve you." 

Oops! Is Rackspace Rethinking its 99.99% Uptime Boast?

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Eleven hours and counting. 

It's been a long haul of public-cloud downtime for David Björkevik and his team at Schemagi, a Linköping, Sweden-based company that makes schedules for nurses and other healthcare personnel using advanced optimization techniques.

Schemagi is one of the Rackspace public cloud customers experiencing downtime because of a maintenance reboot scheduled by the San Antonio, Texas-based managed hosting provider that offers public and private cloud hosting services.

Rackspace posted an "urgent notice" early Saturday morning ET on its website notifying customers of cloud server reboots in light of a potential problem with its public cloud environment.

The news comes around the same time the company 99.99 percent OpenStack API uptime guarantee for its new release of its private cloud software on its cloud computing open source OpenStack creation. 

Amazon Widens Its Moat

2014-02-September-Forbidden-City.jpgLast Christmas Eve, Amazon received an early gift in the shape of a patent for "anticipatory package shipping." The patent describes a method for shipping a package of one or more items to an end destination’s geographical area without specifying the delivery address at time of shipment -- the final destination is defined en route. While last Christmas may have been good to Amazon on several fronts, this patent and some other actions it's pursuing indicate how determined Amazon is to expand the already sizable moat between it and other retailers.

Zocalo + Amazon Web Services Could Be Game Changer

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Things are already pretty messy in the productivity space between Microsoft and Google. But it could get a whole lot messier.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)  just announced that its document storage, sharing and collaboration application for the enterprises is now on general release.

Amazon Zocalo has been in limited preview since July, but is now available to all AWS customers with bargain basement prices, and could be a game changer in the document collaboration and sharing and sync space.

Move Over, Google AdWords?

Amazon may be trying to step on Google's online advertising toes.

The online web shopping giant is producing software for placing ads online much like its long-time cyber nemesis does so well with Google Adwords, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

What will they do? Replace ads on its own pages that Google owns with its own.

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