Microsoft and Oracle Team Up to Take Out
Last Wednesday, Microsoft and Oracle announced that they had reached an agreement to create high-speed links between their data centers, making their two cloud computing services work together. This agreement is a major deal for both companies and is the first time we are truly seeing two major cloud players collaborate in such a way.
The two companies said the high-speed link that will run between their data centers will begin with facilities located in the Eastern US and then spread to other regions. They will also work together to allow joint users to log into services from either company with a single username, as well as get tech support from either one of them.
The move is a clear dig at AWS, the current leading cloud service provider. It also comes at a time when both companies are in the process of pursuing large businesses and possible government customers that are considering moving their data to the cloud.
Microsoft Azure’s Chief,Scott Guthrie stated, “With Oracle’s enterprise expertise,this alliance is a natural choice for us as we help our joint customers accelerate the migration of enterprise apps and databases to the public cloud.” Liftr Cloud Insights will be paying close attention to see how this deal pans out and where that leaves these two in comparison to AWS.
Google Set to Buy Looker
Google revealed last week that they intend to buy the privately held big-data analytics company based out of Santa Cruz, Calif., Looker, for $2.6 billion in cash. This is the biggest deal for Google since it bought Nest back in 2014 and the first major acquisition underneath Google Cloud Chief Executive Thomas Kurian.
The tool Looker provides enables analysts and other workers to define calculations for items such as revenue or high-value customers to be able to visualize trends in their data without writing complicated scripts.
Kurian, in an interview with Reuters, said that doubling down on analytics makes sense. Looker and Google already share a connection, the more than 350 customers that they share, including Blue Apron Holdings Inc and Hearst Communications Inc. Kurian also stated, without elaborating, that the company’s integration with Looker would result in new features.
Google said they expect the deal to be approved this year. Looker Chief Executive, Frank Bien is expected to stay with Google and report directly to Kurian. Google also recently announced that it is launching a capacity reservation system for Compute Engine that allows users to reserve resources in a specific zone for later use.
This ensures that customers have guaranteed access to those resources when needed. Perfect for use cases like disaster recovery or, simply, peace of mind. These two announcements are aimed at boosting Google Cloud’s enterprise image at a time when everyone is focused on competition between AWS, Microsoft Azure, and now Oracle Cloud. Google does not want to be “out of sight and out of mind” while others get enterprise IT press exposure.
Microsoft’s New Blockchain Tool
In a new blog post from Microsoft, the company boasts some of the benefits of its new software, the Azure Blockchain-powered smart contract auditing tools for Ethereum. The company’s smart contracts were first unveiled this past April and are currently still in the prototype phase.
The tool is called Verifier for Solidity, the programming language for Ethereum, or VeriSol for short. The post states that smart contracts “foster trust in adversarial environments, but at the same time makes it challenging to secure compared to traditional code”. The tool pairs with Azure’s blockchain suit and, according to the company, streamlines the code auditing process with automated security checks.
Blockchain is still a relatively new addition to the cloud game and many are still wary of making mistakes in their blockchain contract logic. An example of this is the Ethereum hack, where an intruder discovered a subtle programming mistake in the definition of a blockcahin’s contract logic. The intruder was then able to exploit that mistake to move money into his own account. Microsoft’s new tool would seek to prevent those small logical error occurrences and hacks like this one from happening.
Amazon Introduces StyleSnap
At Amazon’s re:MARS 2019 conference, the company announced a new feature, StyleSnap, for Amazon Fashion. The company noticed the struggle some users had using text-based searching to find a fashion trend they spied on social media.
StyleSnap is an AI powered feature that is designed to make shopping easier. All an Amazon user needs to do is take a photo or screenshot of the look they like, select “StyleSnap” in the Amazon app, and then upload the photo. From there, StyleSnap will recommend similar items available in Amazon’s marketplace that match the look of the photo.
StyleSnap uses computer vision and deep learning to identify apparel regardless of the setting and pose. Deep learning technology also helps the system classify apparel in the photos into categories like “flannel shirts” and “fit-and-flare dresses”.
StyleSnap also allows fashion influencers to expand their communities. In addition, those influencers that are participants in the Amazon Influencer Program are eligible to receive a commission from purchases they inspire.
The feature competes with a similar image recognition software from Alibaba that also allows users to input images to find products and fulfill search requests. Alibaba also operates a ginormous online store where it uses image search. Alibaba’s software was heavily discussed as a differentiator for the company in DoubleHorn’s march webinar titled “‘Same’ Does Not Mean Equal”, which is available for viewing on DoubleHorn.com.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Liftr Cloud Look Ahead. Has your business made major strides using cloud? We want to hear from you! Email us at email@example.com.
See you next week!