IDG Contributor Network: Challenges in realizing the promises of the holistic edge

Cloud providers such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft are already rolling out distributed cloud infrastructure. Whilst the central cloud is established as an integral part of current and future networks, there are key issues that make the central cloud simply not the solution to several use cases.

  • Latency, also known as the Laws of Physics: The longer the distance is between two communicating entities, the longer the time it takes to move content there. Whilst the delay of reaching out to the cloud today might be tolerable for some applications, it will not be the case for emerging applications that will require nearly instantaneous responses (e.g. in industrial IoT control, robots, machines, autonomous cars, drones, etc.).
  • Data volume: The capacity of communication networks will simply not scale with the insane amount of raw data that is anticipated will need ferrying to and from a remote cloud center.
  • Running costs: The cost of a truly massive computational and storage load in the cloud will simply not be economically sustainable over the longer term.
  • Regulatory: There are and will very likely be new constraints (privacy, security, sovereignty, etc.) which will impose restrictions on what data may or may not be transferred and processed in the cloud.

So it certainly does make sense to distribute the cloud and interconnect this distributed infrastructure together with the central cloud. This process has already begun. One good tangible example is Amazon’s launch of the AWS GreenGrass (AWS for the Edge) product and their declared intentions to use their Whole Foods Stores (in addition to the small matter of selling groceries) as locations for future edge clouds/data centers. In general, cloud providers, perhaps driven by their real estate choices, have a relatively conservative view of the edge, restricting it to a point of presence typically 10 to 50 km from the consumer.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Lending as a service (LaaS) and why it matters

The financial crisis of 2008 caused global shockwaves, wrecking businesses and wiping away thousands of dollars’ worth of individuals’ savings. World markets are still recovering to this day, and governments have enacted strong reforms to prevent a repeat occurrence. These new, stricter regulations have deeply changed the financial world. Along with shifts in consumer preferences, banks and lenders are now faced with a vastly different financing landscape.

Traditional financial services providers have tightened their lending requirements, leading to tougher barriers for regular customers to find funding. Whereas customers with weaker credit had few problems finding loans in the past, banks are now turning them away in droves. For many small business owners, this harder path to access financing through loans means that they are left with few channels to uncover the capital they need. However, developments in financial technology and online lending offer small businesses a new alternative in the form of lending as a service, or LaaS.

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CIO Cloud Computing

Serverless computing may kill Google Cloud Platform

Google, which has had to claw its way back into cloud relevance in the shadows of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, suddenly finds itself playing catchup again, thanks to the rise of serverless computing. Although Google Cloud Platform still trails AWS and Azure by a considerable margin in general cloud revenue, its strengths in AI and container infrastructure (Kubernetes) have given it a credible seat at the cloud table.

Or would, if the world weren’t quickly moving toward a serverless future.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Get started with Azure Event Grid for serverless events

Microsoft’s Event Grid is an important addition to Microsoft’s serverless options, providing the back end needed to build distributed applications that can work at scale, with minimal management and orchestration. It brings to Microsoft’s serverless tools an event routing fabric that simplifies subscribing to events raised by other Azure services and by external sources.

There’s a lot to be said for using serverless computing models as the basis of a modern cloud application architecture. For one thing, there’s no need to worry about the underlying infrastructure, or even the network you’re using, reducing the management load on your application orchestration tools. But serverless models, like Microsoft’s Azure Functions, are themselves limited, launching on demand in response to events. If they don’t receive the appropriate signals, they don’t fire.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Microsoft acquires cloud-based HPC developer

Microsoft pulled off a big get with its acquisition of Cycle Computing, the developer of a suite of high-performance computing (HPC) services called CycleCloud for cloud orchestration, provisioning and data management in the cloud.

You may not know its name but Cycle Computing is actually a major player. In 2012, it helped Amazon create the first massive cloud-based supercomputer, spanning 51,000 cores. For just one hour of run time, the bill was $ 5,000.

+ Also on Network World: Azure Stack: Microsoft’s private-cloud platform and what IT pros need to know about it +

In 2013, Cycle Computing hit its biggest cloud run, creating a cluster of 156,314 cores with a theoretical peak speed of 1.21 petaflops that ran for 18 hours and spanned Amazon data centers around the world. The bill for that monstrosity was $ 33,000. 

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Network World Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Artificial intelligence and digital communication are disrupting the contact center space

The customer service (contact center) space is accelerating faster than the market has ever seen up to this point. Artificial intelligence and digital communication is changing everything.

Let’s start with some context. Right now we’re in the middle of a major market disruption by cloud-based contact center software platforms. They’re turning the conservative call center space into cutting-edge contact centers by helping them give up the expense and complexity of their hosted gear for easy-to-use, budget-friendly software as a service products in the cloud. They’re doing a great job of convincing and it’s coming at the expense of the traditional on-premise sellers at nearly 24% year over year growth (projected average over the next five years). That’s a ton of market share to lose in a very short amount of time.

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CIO Cloud Computing

Microsoft acquires cloud-based HPC developer

Microsoft pulled off a big get with its acquisition of Cycle Computing, the developer of a suite of high-performance computing (HPC) services called CycleCloud for cloud orchestration, provisioning and data management in the cloud.

You may not know its name but Cycle Computing is actually a major player. In 2012, it helped Amazon create the first massive cloud-based supercomputer, spanning 51,000 cores. For just one hour of run time, the bill was $ 5,000.

+ Also on Network World: Azure Stack: Microsoft’s private-cloud platform and what IT pros need to know about it +

In 2013, Cycle Computing hit its biggest cloud run, creating a cluster of 156,314 cores with a theoretical peak speed of 1.21 petaflops that ran for 18 hours and spanned Amazon data centers around the world. The bill for that monstrosity was $ 33,000. 

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Network World Cloud Computing

iCloud security: How (and why) to enable two-factor authentication

Given that so many of the details of our digital lives are either with us (on our smartphones) or easily accessible (via the web), you should be doing everything you can to protect that information and data. On iPhones and iPads, data is largely kept in a vault, sealed behind strong encryption and (hopefully) a strong password. Even if the device is lost or stolen, chances are good that encryption will keep data safe. (That vault is secure enough to frustrate even the FBI.)

Although iOS devices are designed and built to be secure, data is also stored and accessible online. With security breaches occurring routinely, your data is vulnerable to anyone in the world with an internet connection and a halfway decent browser. If a breach occurs and thieves gain access to your email and password, they can easily reset any account linked to that email, change the password, and lock you out of your own data.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Cloud computing reversal: From ‘go away’ to ‘I can’t miss out’

Isaac Asimov once said, “I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.” That quote has stuck with me to this day. There’s no doubt that computers and computing have changed our lives. Without them, we would be slaves to processes and paper.

I was reminded of Asimov’s quote when I saw the results of a recent poll done by Comvault of 100 IT leaders. More than two thirds said that they were worried about keeping up to date with the latest products and iterations across the major cloud providers. In other words, they fear missing out.

About a quarter (24 percent) of those polled said they were a cloud-only organization, which perhaps means they are very small or very new businesses. Additionally, 32 percent said they are cloud-first, with plans to become cloud-only, so they are likely mid-sized businesses. Also, 6 percent said they did not have a specific migration plan, which means they are BDCs (big dumb companies).

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing