Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Oracle accused of cooking “cloud services” books to boost stock price

(credit: Peter Kaminski)

A former senior finance manager for Oracle claims the software maker fired her for not inflating revenues in its cloud services division. In a whistleblower and wrongful termination lawsuit, Svetlana Blackburn also claims that Oracle ultimately inflated the numbers without her assistance.

“The data, she knew, would end up in SEC filings and be touted on earnings calls, used to paint a rosier picture than actually existed on the ground,” Blackburn says in her nine-page lawsuit. (PDF)

The Silicon Valley software maker, having a market cap of roughly $165 billion, said it fired the woman for inadequate work.

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Amazon cloud has 1 million users and is near $10 billion in annual sales

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (credit: Dan Farber)

Amazon Web Services (AWS) will become a $10 billion business this year, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a letter to shareholders this week.

While Amazon as a whole “became the fastest company ever to reach $100 billion in annual sales” in 2015, Amazon Web Services will hit the $10 billion mark “at a pace even faster than Amazon achieved that milestone,” Bezos wrote. AWS is used by more than 1 million people from “organizations of every size across nearly every industry,” he wrote.

AWS launched in March 2006 with the Simple Storage Service (S3). It expanded with the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) a few months later, letting customers rent virtual machines over the Internet. The service allowed developers to obtain computing capacity on demand without having to operate their own servers, and over the years, many startups have built online businesses with Amazon’s data centers and services providing the back-end infrastructure. It’s not just small companies relying on Amazon, though, as big names like Adobe, Capital One, GE, MLB Advanced Media, Netflix, and Pinterest use the online platform.

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Amazon Lambda takes the administration out of cloud computing

At its AWS re:Invent cloud computing conference today, Amazon announced AWS Lambda, a way of performing computing in the cloud in response to events without the need for virtual machines, compute instances, or any kind of administration.

The usual model when performing computation in cloud services is to create some kind of a persistent application, such as a Web server on a virtual machine. Sometimes the developer manages everything on the VM. Sometimes aspects of this are abstracted away—Azure’s Web roles, for example, leave management of the base operating system and server up to Microsoft, letting developers focus solely on the Web content—but those persistent deployments, with their time-based billing, have become the basic model of cloud computing.

With Lamba, those things are abstracted away even further. Developers write functions—currently using JavaScript running on node.js, though Amazon says there will be more options available in the future—and plumbs those functions into event sources, such as file uploads to S3 storage. Every time an event fires, Amazon’s cloud will trigger the Lambda function, seamlessly taking care of managing the underlying resources.

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Analysis: Aereo’s death leaves cloud computing hanging in the balance

Dime-sized antennas, by the thousands, housed in an Aereo datacenter in New York.

There’s no dispute that the Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday in the Aereo case puts the fledgling TV-over-the-Internet startup out to pasture.

But the outcome goes well beyond Aereo and its paying subscribers’ abilities to stream broadcast television without the broadcasters’ consent. Instead, the 6-3 decision (PDF) siding with broadcasters presents an even more important question involving cloud computing and its future.

There was a lot of chatter ahead of Wednesday’s decision that a loss for Aereo would also upend the cloud, which is expected to become a $1.1 trillion industry by next year. If Aereo were to be blocked from allowing consumers the ability to stream their content at will, what would prevent rights holders from making the same claim against cloud storage providers?

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Aereo analysis: Cloud computing at a crossroads

Dime-sized antennas, by the thousands, housed in an Aereo datacenter in New York.
Aereo

The question of whether online broadcast television is to remain in the hands of a stodgy industry that once declared the VCR the enemy is being put directly before the Supreme Court.

Broadcasters’ latest legal target is 2-year-old upstart Aereo—which retransmits over-the-air broadcast television using dime-sized antennas to paying consumers, who can watch TV online or record it for later viewing. Broadcasters like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and others haven’t given Aereo permission to do that, and they say it violates US copyright law.

The industry will ask the Supreme Court during a Tuesday hearing to kill the New York-based Aereo service. The high-stakes oral arguments come 30 years after Hollywood told the justices that the VCR—and its time-shifting elements—would doom television and its producers forever.

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Windows Azure no more: Microsoft renames its cloud computing service

Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, currently known as “Windows Azure,” is going to be renamed. From April 3 onward, it will be known simply as “Azure.”

I’ve wanted this change for a while. The Windows name has seemed increasingly out of place in Azure, especially with the service’s virtual machine role supporting Linux VMs. Removing the Windows branding and emphasizing that Azure is a platform not just for Windows and .NET, but for Linux, Java, Oracle, and more, is a sensible and welcome change.

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Free Cooling: the Server Side of the Story

Servers that support higher inlet temperatures could significantly reduce or even eliminate the cooling costs of the data center. We received the 2U supermicro 6027R-73DARF that supports the latest Xeon E5-2600 V2 (Ivy Bridge EP) processors. Supermicro claims this server can cope with up to 47°C even when using 130W Xeons. We'll check their claims and see how the server copes with high inlet temperatures.


    







Free Cooling: the Server Side of the Story

Servers that support higher inlet temperatures could significantly reduce or even eliminate the cooling costs of the data center. We received the 2U supermicro 6027R-73DARF that supports the latest Xeon E5-2600 V2 (Ivy Bridge EP) processors. Supermicro claims this server can cope with up to 47°C even when using 130W Xeons. We'll check their claims and see how the server copes with high inlet temperatures.


    







Free Cooling: the Server Side of the Story

Servers that support higher inlet temperatures could significantly reduce or even eliminate the cooling costs of the data center. We received the 2U supermicro 6027R-73DARF that supports the latest Xeon E5-2600 V2 (Ivy Bridge EP) processors. Supermicro claims this server can cope with up to 47°C even when using 130W Xeons. We'll check their claims and see how the server copes with high inlet temperatures.


    







Free Cooling: the Server Side of the Story

Servers that support higher inlet temperatures could significantly reduce or even eliminate the cooling costs of the data center. We received the 2U supermicro 6027R-73DARF that supports the latest Xeon E5-2600 V2 (Ivy Bridge EP) processors. Supermicro claims this server can cope with up to 47°C even when using 130W Xeons. We'll check their claims and see how the server copes with high inlet temperatures.