Microsoft Announces Azure DevOps
Lessons learned from more than 15 years of cloud operations investment and learning has lead to Microsoft launching Azure DevOps. DevOps extends over the complete development lifecycle to enable developers to ship software faster and with better quality.
DevOps includes services such as Azure Pipelines, Azure Repos, and Azure Artifacts. The company says this marks the evolution of Visual Studio Team Services or VSTS. They also added that VSTS users will be upgraded into Azure DevOps projects automatically.
Will this be their move into AWS and Google Cloud’s territory on DevOps, two companies that are the main leaders in that field? It will be up to their customers to decide.
Alibaba Teams Up With Russian Tech Giant
Alibaba has just agreed to take a 10% stake, worth about $484 million, in one of Russia’s largest tech players, Mail.Ru Group. Mail.Ru is a prominent Russian internet firm that started out as a simple email service. It also owns Russia’s most popular social network, VKontakte or VK.
This unusual high profile strategic partnership was announced following a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The head of the state owned Russian Direct Investment Fund, a shareholder of this new venture, Kirill Dmitriev said in a statement, “Russ-Chinese cooperation in tech is one of the most promising avenues for bilateral relations.”
The joint venture will provide Alibaba with access to almost 100 million users of VK but also something more. Both companies reside in nations with a history of continued steps to rein in the use of internet by censoring content and controlling access. How will this move affect the push of other major cloud providers in these regions? We will be on the look-out for you.
Google Cloud Picks New Leader for AI
Google Cloud has announced a change in their artificial intelligence leadership. Andrew Moore, the computer science dean at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, is leaving the academic world to lead the AI program at Google. He will be taking the roll at the end of this year replacing the current leader Fei Fei Li.
Li will be returning to Stanford University but staying on the Google Cloud AI team as an advisor. Google says this reshuffling was always a part of the original plan.
Diane Greene, the CEO of Google Cloud mentioned in a blog post, “Google’s Cloud AI group aims to democratize AI by making it easy, fast, and useful. We believe that if we can get every developer in the world using AI in great ways, we can spurn innovation that will benefit everyone.”
Microsoft Opens Up About Data Center Outage
A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft experienced what in their words was an ‘unprecedented’ Azure outage in the South Central U.S. region. The outage, which affected customers on the VSTS service, required more than 21 hours to recover all facilities. There was also an additional incident regarding an offline database taking an extra two hours to resolve.
The Azure data center went down following a temperature spike in the facility which was later reported to be due to a high number of storms in the Texas area causing power surges. Buck Hodges, Director of Engineering for Azure DevOps, apologized to customers and said the company was exploring the feasibility of asynchronous replication.
Deploying asynchronous replication would solve the problem where data that has not yet been copied across the network a second server might be lost if the first server fails. Synchronous replication, where the first server waits for the second to acknowledge that it has received data, is already available and does solve the problem. But Hodges noted that synchronous replication also has challenges, particularly across regions. We will have to wait to see how Microsoft plans to handle these issues in the future.