WeWork and Alibaba Cloud Partner
In an effort to attract global companies, WeWork and Alibaba, along with the help of enterprise consultancy firm, Softbank Telecom China, announced a partnership late last week. The companies, together, will launch a service platform named “China Gateway” to help foreign companies scale in China.
“China Gateway” will provide clients with access to cloud and data intelligence technologies, cross-border information technology infrastructure, as well as enterprise solutions from Alibaba Cloud. Customers will also have access to WeWork’s co-working spaces and networking events in the greater China region. Softbank will provide information technology consulting services.
Alibaba Cloud and WeWork have partnered previously. In 2018, WeWork began waiving deposit requirements for customers with Sesame Credit scores, the ranking system of the Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, higher than 1350. For WeWork, which is gearing up for a US IPO, this partnership move may help attract global clients. For Alibaba, the service could aid in introducing users to its massive ecosystem of services and products.
According to Principal Analyst Paul Teich, “China Gateway” is a direct competitor to other efforts to establish a route for non-Chinese companies to have public or private cloud resources on Chinese soil, like Chayora. We expect to learn more about “China Gateway” at Alibaba Cloud’s next summit in Malaysia later this year.
AWS Launches Textract
AWS announced last Wednesday that Textract has become generally available for its customers. Textract is a cloud-hosted and fully managed service that uses machine learning to comb through data tables, forms, and entire pages for text and data.
Textract is designed to be more capable than the average optical character recognition system. Textract can find information and the context it is presented, such as names, social security numbers, or photographed receipts. It can also integrate with database and analytics services like Amazon Elasticsearch Service; Amazon DynamoDB; or Amazon Athena, as well as machine learning products like Amazon Comprehend; Amazon Translate; and Amazon SageMaker for post-processing.
Vice President of Amazon Machine Learning, Swami Sivasubramanian said, “The power of amazon Textract is that it accurately extracts text and structured data from virtually any document with no machine learning experience needed.” A few AWS customers that are already using Textract include the UK’s national weather service, The Globe and Mail, and Blue Prism. Textract is currently available in AWS’ two US East regions, as well as its US West and EU regions.
Microsoft enabled a similar feature earlier this year under their Azure Cognitive Services called Computer Vision, which the company has enabled in Excel. It allows users to translate a scanned picture of text into a workable table or document. However, currently, the service only recognizes English text.
Microsoft Azure Makes Adaptive Network Hardening Generally Available
Azure Cloud unveiled in a blog post that adaptive network hardening in the Azure Security Center is now generally available. The company found that its customers had issues knowing which network security group rules should be in place in order to make sure Azure Workloads are only available to required source ranges when connected to the public internet.
The adaptive network hardening feature tells the Azure Security Center to learn the network traffic and connectivity patterns of a customer’s Azure Workloads, and provide them with NSG rule recommendations for their internet-facing virtual machines. This should help customers better configure their network access policies and limit their exposure to attacks.
The Azure Security Center uses machine learning to fully automate the feature, including an automated enforcement mechanism. The security center will alert users when traffic is identified from IPs that aren’t recommended by the algorithm. Adaptive network hardening is available within the standard pricing tier of the Azure Security Center.
Cockroach Labs’ New Partnership Program
Cockroach Labs has launched what is considered to be one of the broadest public cloud partnership programs to date. The partner program allows companies to deploy CockroachDB on-premises; in the cloud; or across clouds, enabling enterprises to replicate or partition data across cloud vendors, or specifically target the most appropriate vendor for the task at hand.
The program highlights Cockroach Labs’ ability to maximize IT flexibility for businesses. Cockroach Labs, led by a team of former Google engineers based in New York City, is the company behind CockroachDB, a leading enterprise-grade SQL database. Baidu and Bose are two major customers of Cockroach Labs. The company also touts several major investors backing it, including Benchmark, Redpoint, Index Ventures, Google Ventures, and Sequoia.
Cockroach Labs CEO and co-founder, Spencer Kimball, stated, “Larger companies are less comfortable with the concentration risk inherent in a single cloud vendor. Even assuming that risk, the complexity of existing legacy deployments mandates hybrid solutions which consolidate technologies across private and public clouds.” The company currently has partnerships with what seems like the majority of major cloud players, including AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, Rackspace, Oracle Cloud, Digital Ocean, and Openshift.
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.
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