Weekly Roundup: Amazon and Microsoft Cut Prices

4th Feb 2013
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The cloud world seems to have been credited with some interesting announcements over the last week. There were some new feature releases from Microsoft, Amazon and Eucalyptus. Hortonworks has proudly announced its ‘handshake’ with Openstack Foundation and Rackspace certification. Plus, an important announcement on the headcount numbers was made by VMware.

Here’s a quick summary of cloud happenings over the last week.

Early last week, the PaaS player Windows Azure has made some improvements to the SQL SysPrep support in SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU2. This new feature allows a user to leverage business intelligence and other SQL Server features in the VHDs created for on-premise and Windows Azure VMs. Next, they have provided a couple of workarounds to update the existing Windows Azure Cloud Service with .NET 4.5 and OS family 3. They have published detailed steps to update using VIP Swap and by deleting & re-deploying. Yet another announcement was lowering the price of Windows Azure SQL Reporting by up to 82%, which is applicable to everyone currently using the service as well as new customers.

IaaS leader Amazon has launched Amazon Elastic Transcoder, a highly scalable and cost-efficient service for transcoding video files between different digital media formats. Amazon has also announced the availability of Amazon Simple Workflow Service across all the geographies. This is a workflow service used to build scalable, resilient applications with which users can automate business processes and manage complex cloud applications. This release has additional support for AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). Amazon’s final announcement for the week was introducing EC2’s M3 instance family along with slashed price details. Oracle has posted its detailed cloud offerings for organisations looking to build a private or public cloud environment. They have also provided full schedule details of their newly launched roadshow called Oracle CloudWorld. The event already seems to have caught the attention of many at Dubai and Los Angeles, followed by their next stop over at Sydney.

It was reported that VMware is set to lay off up to 900 employees, or up to 7 percent of its workforce, by the end of first quarter 2013. This news apparently comes after its rising revenues in its latest earnings report. Despite the cuts, the company also plans for nearly 1,000 new recruitments this year. Another IaaS player, Eucalyptus open sourced a new driver called DAS Manager, which stands for Direct Attached Storage. This driver provides better troubleshooting and logging, better reporting and support for EMC VNX SAN arrays. It also allows a user to use raw block devices like JBOD arrays, as well as LVM volume groups with Eucalyptus.

Hortonworks, the big data platform provider, has announced that it has joined the OpenStack Foundation, which promotes the development, distribution and adoption of the OpenStack cloud operating system. Customers will now be able to access an enterprise-ready Hortonworks Data Platform built for the cloud. They also proudly announced the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) certification for Rackspace Private Cloud. They are considered as the only Apache Hadoop distribution certified with Rackspace Private Cloud.

Hoping to see a lot more interesting cloud news next week!

- Janakiram MSV, Chief Editor, CloudStory.in

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