Microsoft Azure has announced an increase of the character limit for passwords created in its Azure AD system.
Huawei Launches AI-Backed Database
Huawei unveiled a new database product, putting it in direct competition with major vendors like IBM, Oracle and Microsoft.
AWS Lambda@Edge Updates
AWS announced updates to the AMI of the Lambda@Edge Execution Environment.
Liftr Launches Cloud Components Tracker
The Liftr Cloud Components Tracker is the cloud industry’s first in-depth assessment of worldwide Cloud Service Providers IaaS and bare metal compute instances. A free sample report is available here.
See below for more in-depth analysis.
Liftr Cloud Components Tracker
In case you missed it, we are excited to announce that Liftr Cloud Insights launched its Cloud Components Tracker. This new service 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 report available as a complimentary download. You may download the free May 2019 sample report here.
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 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 5/17/2019 was 104.6 (+0.2%), flat from the previous week. Overall index scores for the top 3 tracked CSPs were flat: Amazon AWS (108.8, +0.2%), Microsoft Azure (107.5, -0.1%), Google Cloud (84.1, +0.3%). Only number 4 Alibaba Cloud (66.7, +1.6%) saw any meaningful movement.
Alibaba Cloud’s (also known as “Aliyun”) overall Liftr Cloud Index score (66.7, +1.6%) increased after a significant increase in Sentiment (104.9, +13.4%). Alibaba Cloud announced the addition of nine partners to its EMEA Ecosystem Partner Program. The program is meant to “strengthen the collaboration between Alibaba Cloud ‘s customers and partners in Europe, Middle East and Africa.” For consecutive weeks now, Alibaba Cloud has had a low volume of English social media activity, which negatively impacted its Sentiment. Liftr Cloud Insights is refining options for native Chinese language sentiment analysis to increase sample size for determining Sentiment score across all tracked CSPs.
Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) overall index score (108.8, +0.2%) was flat from the previous week. Sentiment (100.0, +1.8%) increased but was offset by a decrease to its Security score (107.7, -0.5%). AWS announced updates to the AMI of the Lambda@Edge Execution Environment. This newer AMI is designed to offer improvements in capabilities, performance, security and updated packages that application code might interface with.
Google Cloud’s overall index score (84.1, +0.3%) remained flat amid positive Sentiment (106.1, +2.1%). Google Cloud and fashion designer Stella McCartney are collaborating with on a machine learning and data analytics project to improve the sustainability of fashion industry’s supply chains.
Microsoft Azure’s overall index score (107.5, -0.1%) remained flat amid a decrease in Sentiment (102.9, -2.0%). Microsoft Azure announced an increased character limit for passwords created in its Azure AD system to 256 characters, including spaces.
Other Cloud News
Baidu is setting up a cloud computing center in Xi’an, the capital of China’s northwestern province Shannxi. Its new center will serve the company’s central and western regions and plans to install 100,000 servers in the center, which is set to cover an area of 84,700 square meters.
Huawei unveiled a new database product, putting it in direct competition with major vendors like IBM, Oracle and Microsoft. The GaussDB database works both locally as well as on public and private clouds. Huawei claims it uses AI capabilities to improve tuning performance, a process that typically requires human administrators, by 60%.
Liftr Cloud Insights is not a financial analyst firm. We provide strategic analysis of company earnings reports and associated end of quarter statements.
Last week Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (collectively known as ‘BAT’) released quarterly earnings, as well as Cisco, NVIDIA and Oracle.
Alibaba Group cloud computing revenue increased 76% to RMB 7.7bn ($1.1bn) year-to-year with EBITA margins improving from -8% to -2%. The focus for Alibaba Cloud is expanding market presence and upselling customers to higher-value IT services. Alibaba stated it is “seeing significant traction and diversification of customers and revenue, and in fiscal 2019 Alibaba Cloud served over half of the listed companies in China.” We believe that Alibaba will continue to incur capital expenses required to expand Alibaba Cloud’s presence and capabilities, which will in turn continue to affect margins. It’s a long-term investment in competitiveness.
Baidu reported its cloud business grew 133% year-over-year to RMB 1.3bn ($190m). While Baidu Cloud is small compared to the other large CSPs based in China, it is focused on artificial intelligence (AI) leadership and general data center technology innovation. Baidu claims 400 patents on data center technology in China and worldwide, many focused on energy efficiency and clean energy adoption. Baidu is also thinking in the long-term and is already a widely recognized innovator within the AI community.
Cisco, one of the largest suppliers of networking infrastructure to CSPs, used its earnings release to focus on securely connecting on prem and cloud data centers with edge computing, pointing out its partnership with Google’s multi-cloud Anthos platform. With whitebox and bespoke routers and switches becoming more prevalent in CSP infrastructure, Cisco is moving up the value stack to focus on protecting its customers’ data and network traffic, using network security, advanced threat detection and cloud security. Cisco identified security as the driving force for investing in new capabilities and acquisitions. It did not break out cloud-generated revenue from its overall business.
NVIDIA reported data center revenue of $634 million, -10% year-to-year (-7% quarter-to-quarter). It noted that CSPs overbought NVIDIA GPU-based accelerators in 2018 and are absorbing that inventory during the first half of 2019. This inventory challenge seems to be specific to AI training, as NVIDIA also noted that “Amazon and Alibaba joined other hyperscale such as Google, Baidu and Tencent in adopting the T4 in their data centers.” NVIDIA’s T4 Tensor Core GPU is NVIDIA’s latest AI inferencing solution. Liftr Cloud Components Tracker shows Alibaba Cloud and Google Cloud have deployed T4 in production instances, however AWS abstracts the hardware behind its Elastic Graphics and Elastic Inference instances.
Oracle reported its combined cloud services and license support revenue was up 5% year-to-year and up a fraction of one percent quarter-to-quarter, with gross margins flat at 86%. Within that broad group of services, Oracle clarified it is seeing “robust double-digit growth rates for total cloud revenue in all regions, with especially strong growth in Asia-Pacific.” Oracle focused its cloud differentiation on its cloud infrastructure security and active database security.
Tencent Holdings did not report revenue or margins for its cloud business. Chairman and CEO Pony Ma simply stated, “I think the growth trend has been pretty consistent for our cloud business. In terms of margin, it is still losing money on the operating basis.” It should be obvious at this point that China’s web giants have long-term investment and growth strategies. Tencent reported cloud success in smart retail, fintech and municipal services (likely through smart cities initiatives). Tencent emphasized its cloud services integration with its other online properties, such as Weixin, QQ, Officer Accounts, mini programs, payments and WeChat Work.
The week of May 20 will continue with HPE and Lenovo.
KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe Barcelona, Spain May 20-23, 2019
Liftr Cloud Insights Principal Analyst Paul Teich will be at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe conference in Barcelona, Spain. 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.
Alibaba Cloud Summit Singapore Suntec, Singapore May 30, 2019
Attendees of the Alibaba Cloud Summit Singapore 2019 will learn about Alibaba Group’s best practices and its 10-year experience. The summit will include keynotes, executive engagement sessions and product launches. Although we won’t be in attendance, we’ll be monitoring news and announcements closely.
KubeCon + CloudNativeCon China Shanghai, China June 25-26, 2019
Liftr Cloud Insights Principal Analyst Paul Teich will be at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon China conference in Shanghai, China. The event is targeted at cloud service providers, open source cloud operations framework developers and cloud applications developers. Contact email@example.com 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 intently.
Have a great week!
– Paul R. Teich, Principal Analyst, and your Liftr Cloud Insights team
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