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Cloud Computing

Microsoft Details Project Olympus Servers

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Microsoft Details Project Olympus Servers

Microsoft presents the latest iterations of Project Olympus, its hardware take on Facebook's Open Compute Project (OCP), with designs based on Intel, AMD, Nvidia and, surprisingly, ARM-based processors.

Posited by the Windows maker as the "de facto open compute standard," Project Olympus is an open source server design aimed at advanced cloud workloads such as big data, machine learning and AI. The 2017 OCP Summit has the company show off Project Olympus running on Intel Xeon (Skylake and future updates featuring Intel FPGA or Intel-Nervana accelerators) and next-generation AMD "Naples" processors, marking AMD's increased push the server industry.

Interestingly, Microsoft is also working on a "long-term project" with Qualcomm and Cavium involving ARM-based cloud servers. Qualcomm and Cavium have designed motherboards for the Project Olympus form factor using ARM chips, namely Centriq 2400 and ThunerX2 ARM v8-A. Both are integrated systems-on-chps with PCIe, SATA and gigabits of ethernet.

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Oracle Takes Exadata Cloud On-Premise

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Oracle Takes Exadata Cloud On-Premise

Oracle announces the Exadata Cloud Machine-- an Oracle Cloud at Customer hardware offering allowing customers to run Oracle databases on-premises, with the same interface as the Exadata Cloud Service.

The device is aimed at organisations wanting to move enterprise workloads to the public cloud but need to keep cloud services on-premises due to business constraints or regulation requirements. As such, it provides subscription access to all Oracle Database features, such as Real Application Clusters, Database In-Memory, Active Data Guard and Advanced Security, with 100% compatibility with on-premises and Oracle Cloud applications and databases.

“Oracle Exadata Cloud Machine is an ideal platform for organizations that want the benefits of the cloud brought to their datacenter,” the company says. “For many years, Oracle Exadata has been the platform of choice for running mission critical Oracle databases at thousands of customers, and the Oracle Exadata Cloud Machine extends this value proposition to those customers who want cloud benefits but cannot or aren’t yet ready to move to a public cloud.”

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Typo Brings Down Amazon S3!

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Typo Brings Down Amazon S3!

On 28 February 2016 the Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 cloud storage service failed, bringing down major websites and services, including Imgur, Medium and the Docker Registry Hub. The reason why might just surprise you!

A detailed postmortem reveals what brought down the S3 service-- an employee apparently typed an input command "incorrectly," causing a larger-than-expected set of servers to be removed from the service. The servers in question supported other AWS products and services, leading to a chain reaction demanding reboot of critical AWS systems.

The reboot is what lead to the S3 failure. The cheap and popular Amazon service finds use mainly for file storage, which is why websites were technically still working even if they were loading slowly or not loading images. At one point even the AWS dashboard was down because of the S3 issue.

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Microsoft Intros Network Performance Monitor

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Microsoft Intros Network Performance Monitor

Microsoft presents the Network Performance Manager-- a means for Operations Management Suite (OMS) customers to diagnose network connectivity problems affecting hybrid cloud setups.

Part of the Log Analytics services in the OMS IT management and monitoring offering, Network Performance Manager continuously tests for reachability between various points on the network across public clouds, datacentres and user locations. As a result it enables admins to quickly identify a specific network segment or device causing problems, such as performance dips below a desired threshold.

Network Performance Monitor appears as an own tile in the OMS portal. It does not require direct access to network devices, meaning it can be used to supplement existing network management tools. As a standalone solution, it supports several use cases, including monitoring the health of connections between on-premises networks and public clouds, as well as the monitoring of links between multiple datacentres and office connected via public or private networks. Microsoft recommends customers use two agent for each subnet they want to monitor.

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Gartner: WW Public Cloud Services Grow 18% in 2017

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Gartner: WW Public Cloud Services Grow 18% in 2017

According to Gartner the global public cloud services market will grow by 18% in 2017 to total $246.8 billion, up from $209.2bn in 2016.

The highest growth in 2017 is set to come from IaaS-- 36.8% to reach $34.6bn. SaaS follows, with growth reaching 20.1% for revenues worth $46.3bn, even if such growth is forecast to slow down "slightly" in later years as SaaS offerings (namely HCM and CRM) mature.

"The overall global public cloud market is entering a period of stabilisation, with its growth rate peaking at 18% in 2017 and then tapering off over the next few years," the analyst remarks. "While some organisations are still figuring out where cloud actually fits in their overall IT strategy, an effort to cost optimise and bring forth the path to transformation holds strong promise and results for IT outsourcing (ITO) buyers. Gartner predicts that through 2020, cloud adoption strategies will influence more than 50% of IT outsourcing deals."

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