The overall Liftr Cloud Index for the week ending Friday 1/04/2018 is 101.7 (+0.1%), up marginally from the previous week.
Alibaba Cloud Sentiment (103.3, -6.0%) is returning to baseline levels after receiving a boost the previous week from FIFA football (soccer) related tweets. Despite this decrease, Alibaba Cloud Sentiment still remains the highest among all tracked CSPs. However, Alibaba Cloud’s Overall Index score (60.8, -0.7%) lags the other tracked CSPs, weighed down by its Momentum, Adaptability and Security scores.
AWS Sentiment recovered (98.7, +2.2%) based on a wide range of generally positive buzz after the holidays. AWS’s dominant Momentum score (150.9, 0.0%) reflects its position as market leader, allowing AWS to maintain its #1 position on the Overall Index (106.1, +0.3%).
Following negative chatter about an email scam spreading Trojans through Google Cloud Storage, Google Cloud Sentiment (99.6, +0.8%) recovered somewhat due to positive chatter about machine learning and healthcare as well as newly published dates for its Cloud Next 19 conference. Although ahead of Alibaba Cloud, Google Cloud’s Overall Index score (80, +0.1%) is far below AWS and Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft Azure’s Sentiment score drifted downward (96.7, -1.2%) and is now the lowest among the tracked CSPs. This drift is primarily due to a disproportionate volume of technical tweets with neutral or slightly false negative values. Microsoft Azure’s Overall Index score (103.6, -0.2%) continues to encroach on AWS, driven by strong Adaptability, Instance and Security scores.
Our overall observation is that North American based CSPs lost Sentiment during Christmas week as they stopped generating positive buzz about themselves. We predict the volume of positive retweets of corporate messages to return to normal levels next week, as marketing and social media professionals return from vacation.
News, Analysis, Commentary & Opinion
As we expected, the Liftr Cloud Index did not move substantially over the winter holidays and first few days of 2019. This week and last, most analysts, reporters and investors focused on the overall stock market instead of the public cloud sector. However, there were some bright spots for cloud service providers (CSPs).
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning
Clouds Gather at CES 2019
On Tuesday January 8, 2019 IBM’s president and CEO Ginni Rometti, will deliver the opening CES keynote about upcoming AI, quantum computing and blockchain technologies.
Amazon will focus on “Alexa Everywhere” at CES. It will host sessions for product developers to take advantage of Alexa hardware and software solutions. CES watchers can follow #AskAlexa on Twitter for announcements and details, plus Amazon’s retail site has a dedicated CES page to highlight new products.
Google is expected to host the largest outdoor booth at the event, located near the Las Vegas Convention Center’s (LVCC) Center and North Halls. Google has not yet hinted at announcements, but we expect Google Assistant and Google Home to go head-to-head with Amazon Alexa in terms of both product announcements and hype.
On Wednesday afternoon January 9, 2019, Alibaba will host an off-CES press and partner event at Cesar’s Palace. We expect to hear customer use cases about Alibaba Cloud’s support for consumer industry features and competitiveness. CES watchers can follow #AlibabaCES on Twitter.
Microsoft partner Avnet will focus on linking the Internet of Things (IoT) to Azure with Avnet’s Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit. Microsoft will try to catch up to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant using Microsoft Cortana, Azure Bot Service and Azure Cognitive Services. Gigabyte says it will announce an “Azure-Powered AI Laptop” at CES but has given no indication yet how it might be related to Microsoft’s Azure public cloud.
While Huawei has been prohibited from competing in key North American product segments, it is both a worldwide CSP and consumer electronics giant. We expect Huawei will also focus on cloud AI-backed consumer devices.
Outages Followed Gifted Product Activations
Philips Hue suffered a multi-day outage starting Christmas day, with some customers unable create a new account, log in or link their accounts to third-party apps. Philips has not disclosed details about its cloud-based account management or application programming interface (API) services.
We predict that outages like these will continue for the foreseeable future, manifesting during major product announcements and holidays. While clouds are designed to scale, scaling reaction time is not infinitely fast, nor does any CSP have infinite resources available for scaling. However, the risk of a sudden spike in product demand causing a temporary outage is generally low and consumers rapidly forget outages if a product behaves properly after it is activated and running.
Serverless Exploit Seen In the Wild
An attacker (in this case a web security company) responded to an automated bot’s requests with a challenge designed to consume processing resources. The bot was running in AWS Lambda and apparently had no limits set to refuse the challenge deployed against it or to simply stop responding if resource usage increased. The net effect is that whoever deployed the bot is likely to see a very large AWS Lambda invoice. Learn from this bot’s mistake: set limits on serverless resource usage.
The start of a calendar quarter is typically slow for earnings calls, even for companies using fiscal quarters offset from calendar quarter. Calendar Q1 CSP earnings calls will start with IBM’s on January 22, 2019. Alphabet (Google Cloud), Amazon (AWS), and Microsoft (Azure) earnings calls typically follow IBM by a week. We will keep you up-to-date on their earnings call dates as those dates are announced.
Oracle Cloud Day, New York City, January 15, 2019
Oracle’s series of international Cloud Day events continues into 2019 with a first stop in NYC. The remaining North American stops will be Atlanta, Boston and Chicago.
IBM Think, San Francisco, February 12-15, 2019
Liftr Cloud Insights Principal Analyst Paul Teich will attend IBM Think. We’ll provide more insight into IBM Think closer to the event.
Paul R. Teich, Principal Analyst,
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