Alibaba’s Push Against Scrutiny
Alibaba is charting an uncertain path in Australia’s cloud computing market. As the Chinese internet conglomerate seeks to grow its operations, it also must manage heightened scrutiny on Chinese technology firms. Alibaba’s earnings growth in the country fell to 41 percent in the December quarter; its slowest since 2016. However, the company’s cloud computing remained among the fastest growing part of their business, with Alibaba reporting a revenue increase of 84 percent year-on-year to $1.3 billion.
Heightened scrutiny on Chinese technology firms is due heavily to a crackdown from Western countries on Chinese telecommunications company Huawei over allegations of espionage and fraud. Alibaba Cloud general manager for Australia and New Zealand, Raymond Ma, stated: “We are committed to complying with local regulations and industry standards across the world—Alibaba is no exception.”
Rigetti Introduces Quantum Computing Cloud
Rigetti, a California-based computing company, launched a public Beta of its quantum computing cloud, named Quantum Cloud Services (QCS), two weeks ago on Jan. 30. The launch competes with IBM Q Cloud-based quantum computers as the only general-purpose quantum computers available for widespread use. The QCS platform introduces an “entirely new access model for quantum programming that is centered on cloud architecture.” Once registered, users will have access to their own dedicated quantum machine image, which comes preloaded with tools, such as PyQuil, their quantum simulator, to start building quantum programs.
The company is also deploying two Aspen QPUs to the QCS platform, which users can book with an online reservation system available on the QCS Web Dashboard. Beta users will receive $5,000 in credits to use toward writing programs on the QPU during their first month. Further, the company is distributing the first set of applications built by their developer patterns, including Quantum Feature Detector and QCompress.
Oracle Cloud Compares Its Compute Instances to AWS’s
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is comparing its AMD EPYC compute instances to AWS’s; the first time Liftr Insights is aware that a top-10 CSP is competing head-to-head with another top-10 CSP on non-intel Instances. This is good news not only for AMD, but for Arm and other architectures.
The company says their AMD compute instances perform 30 percent better and provide 3 times better price-performance than comparable instances offered by AWS. Oracle was the first public cloud provider to offer AMD EPYC processor-based compute instances, unveiling at Open World 2018 in October. AWS followed with their announcement at Re:Invent 2018.
The company along with the data from their AWS comparison has also created the hashtag #LetsProveIt on Twitter and LinkedIn to continue to show how Oracle Cloud outperforms the competition.
Microsoft Partners with Tom Tom
Microsoft and Tom Tom announced early last week that they are expanding their partnership, bringing Tom Tom’s maps and traffic data into a multitude of mapping scenarios across Microsoft’s cloud services. This move will make Tom Tom the leading location data provider for Microsoft Azure and Bing Maps and Microsoft Azure will become Tom Tom’s preferred cloud provider. Anders Truelsen, Managing Director at TomTom Enterprise said, “TomTom is proud of the relationship we’ve built with Microsoft to offer Microsoft Azure customers access to build location-aware applications and look forward to deepening that relationship as we extend our high-quality location technologies to an even larger audience base.”
Azure customers now have native support ranging from building map-based dashboards to visualize IoT spatial analytics to mobility scenarios for vehicle movement. This is an important alliance for Microsoft as it seeks to hold its own against more popular mobile consumer driven mapping systems from Google and Apple.
Google Cloud Hits the Court
Google Cloud has announced that they are partnering with the NBA Champion team, the Golden State Warriors, and Chase Center, the Warrior’s new arena in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood. Through the partnership, Google Cloud will be named the official public cloud provider of the Golden State Warriors and a founding partner of Chase Center.
Under the agreement, the warriors and Chase center will collaborate with the Google Cloud team on a phased approach to create a seamless technology integration, as well as an ongoing exploration of opportunities to leverage technology for the Warriors and Chase Center events and programming. The partnership will also focus on ways to use Google Cloud analytics and machine learning capabilities to enhance decision-making and provide coaches, staff, and players with more data-driven touch points than ever before and provide faster analysis of high volumes of data for coaching staff and front office.
Google Cloud will also host the Warriors and Chase Center mobile applications, along with hosting all data warehouses for the club and Chase Center. Warriors Owner and Ceo, Joe Lacob, declared, “As the first professional sports team to partner with Google Cloud, we’re looking forward to combining our individual expertise into an overall unique and exciting fan experience for everyone attending events at Chase Center.”
Also, in recent news for Google Cloud, the provider is introducing new certification and training to address the cloud skills crisis. The increase in cloud adoption has resulted in a corresponding increase in the need for workers skilled in cloud technologies; a workforce that is currently hard to come by. Ops Ramp’s recent survey of 124 IT managers found that 94 percent say it’s at least “somewhat difficult” to find candidates with the right technology skills; a situation they deem a full-blown crisis.
Google is expanding their role-based certifications to help businesses identify qualified talent. The company is adding four new certifications to their portfolio: Professional Cloud Developer, Professional Cloud Network Engineer, Professional Cloud Security Engineer, and G-Suite Certification; as well as localizing cloud learning and certification programs in Japanese, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese to increase accessibility.
Lastly, Google Cloud’s parent company Alphabet released their earnings last week. The company reported their fourth-quarter revenue was $39.3 billion, up 22 percent year-on-year and up 23 percent in constant currency citing Youtube, Cloud, and Desktop Search combined as contributing factors to those reported numbers. The company’s total revenue for 2018 was $136.8 billion, up 23 percent over 2017.
Liftr Principle Analyst Paul Teich will be attending IBM Think this week from February 12-15 in San Francisco, California. It is, as the company dubs, their flagship technology conference. Check the Liftr Insights Twitter page for coverage of Teich’s trip and make sure to tag us in any questions you have for him as he heads for the Bay Area.
Following that, Teich will be participating in emerging technology discussions at the KeyBanc Capital Market’s 14th Annual Emerging Technology Summit, also in San Francisco from February 26-27. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a meeting with Teich during these events.
Trent Warren and Paul Teich will be attending SXSW here in Austin coming soon in March. Contact email@example.com to schedule a meeting. Tune in to future Look Aheads to hear more upcoming events for Liftr Cloud Insights.
That’s a wrap on this week’s Liftr Cloud Look Ahead. Has your business made major strides using cloud? We want to hear from you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.