Azure Stack for Government, Just in Time
With the Pentagon’s 10 million dollar JEDI RFP deadline looming, cloud providers are scrambling to prove they have what it takes to secure the contract and deliver on the requested services. Microsoft Azure made headlines this week, when they launched Azure Stack for Government. This is a big step for Microsoft in the public sector, proving both their dedication to pursuing federal contracts as well as their ability to stand-up a project quickly.
That speed will benefit Azure as they formulate their bid on the contract, because Pentagon officials have stated the quick time-to-deployment as one of the primary motivations for choosing a single cloud provider. Azure Stack for Government is similar to Azure Stack, but comes with some additional federally-compliant security and monitoring features. On of those compliances achieved with the new product is FedRamp, a certification required for a cloud service provider to do business with the federal government.
Meeting this FedRamp certification is one of the necessary steps to fulfill on the contract. The Pentagon is allowing only 30 days after the September 17th RFP deadline to complete the listed unclassified requirements. Additional deadlines for as-yet unrevealed classified requirements will have to be met after the contract is secured.
Oracle Accused of Misleading Investors
The City of Sunrise Firefighters Pension Fund filed a lawsuit against Oracle this week, for allegedly “misrepresent[ing] the true drivers of the company’s cloud revenue growth” in investor calls, press releases, and other official communications. Those pressing for the suit say that the true demand for Oracle Cloud has been fogged by false statements and lies of omission, being largely driven by pressure tactics rather than innovation as the company claimed.
The Florida pension fund claims that Oracle’s true source of cloud sales was “threats and extortive tactics”. One example listed in the lawsuit was threatening to audit existing Oracle products, with offers to resolve the problem if the customer purchased cloud products. The fund says these tactics are unsustainable and not in line with the prior statements made by the company- primarily about cloud growth being driven by innovative technology and excellent customer service.
The spur for the lawsuit is the Oracle report of 3rd quarter results made in mid March of this year, which said it expected “slower sales growth for cloud” than the competition. Oracle head of communications Deborah Hallinger commented on the lawsuit with, “The suit had no merit and Oracle will vigorously defend against these claims.”
AWS Spills GoDaddy Secrets in S3 Leak
Even the experts make mistakes- AWS officials included. This week Amazon S3 buckets made headlines again when it was discovered that Amazon themselves left data unsecured, this time regarding sales strategy and special pricing rates pertaining to GoDaddy, one of the world’s largest Internet domain hosts.
The issue was originally found by UpGuard, a cyber-security sleuth that hunts for these kinds of leaks and notifies the companies involved. According to AWS the employee who made the files available was acting against company policy, and the configuration of the bucket was not adherant to best practices.
Data exposed included what was essentially a plan for a large cloud deployment, which could have exposed trade secrets to GoDaddy’s industry competitors about how they maintain their edge. The unsecured container also contained information about special pricing related to GoDaddy. The server host said in response to the report that the information doesn’t “reflect work currently underway with Amazon.”
Ford-Alibaba Partnership in Autonomic
This week Alibaba partnered with Autonomic, recently acquired by Ford to help build their Transportation Mobility Cloud. The partnership is designed to build and offer a standardized platform where automakers can build services for their vehicles, and it’ll be open to even Ford’s competitors.
The service would be sold on a subscription basis to interested parties, both in China and elsewhere in the world. The stated goal is to form a communal transportation information infrastructure to connect with Alibaba City Brain initiatives, tying them into public transport and rental systems, self driving cars, and ride sharing services. The deal comes on the tail of a broader cooperation agreement penned by Ford, Deerborn, and Alibaba in December of last year.
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