Link: Microsoft sees Red …Hat for OpenShift-on-Azure public cloud offering

‘Rollout of the partnership will occur in two phases, with Azure support for OpenShift Container Platform and Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Azure and Azure Stack available now. The jointly managed OpenShift on Azure project is slated to go into its preview phase “in the coming months.”’
Original source: Microsoft sees Red …Hat for OpenShift-on-Azure public cloud offering

Link: Microsoft has designed an Arm Linux IoT cloud chip. Repeat, an Arm Linux IoT cloud chip

An edge device in every home, office, street corner, etc.

“The way it works is like this: Microsoft makes its system-on-chip (SoC) blueprints available to chip designers, which fabricate the chipset and flog it to IoT device makers. These manufacturers slap the silicon in their products, and run Microsoft’s Linux-based Sphere OS along with their own software on the chip, which connects to Microsoft’s Azure Sphere running on Redmond’s cloud.

Sphere does things like make sure gizmos only run official firmware, and automatically pushes out and installs bug fixes on remote devices, and so on. In the process, the chipmaker moves more silicon, the device vendor gets a turnkey security service to show to customers, and Microsoft gets a cloud customer for the lifespan of the device.”
Original source: Microsoft has designed an Arm Linux IoT cloud chip. Repeat, an Arm Linux IoT cloud chip

Link: Is Microsoft Azure really making up ground on AWS?

In terms of raw figures, not growth, Azure is still a way behind. Even a generous assumption of Azure’s share of that US$5.3 billion intelligent cloud revenue figure for the quarter would put it well behind the US$5.1 billion AWS racked in over a similar period. Dave Bartoletti, a principal analyst at Forrester estimates AWS revenue at US$18 billion and Azure, excluding Office 365 and other non-platform revenue, at US$12 billion for the calendar year. “Azure has been growing faster on a smaller base, yes, but in our view, AWS’s growth is still very strong even at their size,” he added. “Azure is giving AWS a run globally, and is close to feature parity on many services. “Azure has also aggressively built out global regions and is on par with AWS for global data centre locations. It’s a healthy and exciting market, and Azure’s doing quite well.”
Original source: Is Microsoft Azure really making up ground on AWS?

Link: Amazon lost cloud market share to Microsoft in the fourth quarter: KeyBanc

For 4Q2017: “Amazon Web Services had 62 percent market share in the quarter, down from 68 percent a year earlier, KeyBanc’s Brent Bracelin and other analysts wrote in a note on Thursday. Microsoft Azure jumped from 16 percent to 20 percent, and Google’s share increased from 10 percent to 12 percent, they said.”
Original source: Amazon lost cloud market share to Microsoft in the fourth quarter: KeyBanc

What’s in Microsoft Azure Stack

Some BOM’ing of Azure Stack:

Azure Stack is made of two basic components, the underlying infrastructure that customers purchase from one of Microsoft’s certified partners (initially Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo) and software that is licensed from Microsoft.The software includes basic IaaS functions that make up a cloud, such as virtual machines, storage and virtual networking. Azure Stack includes some platform-as-a-service (PaaS) application-development features including the Azure Container Service and Microsoft’s Azure Functions serverless computing software, plus MySQL and SQL Server support. It comes with Azure Active Directory for user authentication.Customers also have access to a wide range of third-party apps from the Azure Marketplace, including OS images from companies like Red Hat and SuSE, and templates that can be installed to run programs like Cloud Foundry, Kubernetes and Mesosphere.On the hardware side, Azure Stack runs on a hyperconverged infrastructure stack that Microsoft and its hardware vendors have certified. The smallest production-level Azure Stack deployment is a four-server rack with three physical switches and a lifecycle management server host. Individual racks can scale up to 12 servers, and eventually, multiple racks can be scaled together. Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo are initial launch partners. Cisco plans to offer a certified Azure Stack platform based on its UCS hardware line by the end of 2017 and Huawei will roll out Azure Stack support by the end of 2018.IDC Data Center Networking Research Analyst Brad Casemore says he believes customers will need to run at least a 10 Gigabit Ethernet cabling with dual-port mixing. Converged network interface cards, support for BGP and data center bridging are important too. Microsoft estimates that a full-sized, 12-rack server unit of Azure Stack can supply about 400 virtual machines with 2 CPUs and 7 GB of RAM, with resiliency.

And Lydia explains the “people want private cloud ¯_(ツ)_/¯” angle:

“This is definitely a plus in the Microsoft portfolio,” says Gartner VP and Distinguished Analyst Lydia Leong, but she says it’s not right for every customer. “I don’t think this is a fundamental game-changer in the dynamics of the IaaS market,” she notes, but “this is going to be another thing to compel Microsoft-centric organizations to use Azure.”

Leong expects this could be beneficial for customers who want to use Azure but some reason such as regulations, data sensitivity, or location of data prevents them from using the public cloud. If a customer has sensitive data they’re not willing to put in the public cloud, they could deploy Azure Stack behind their firewall to process data, then relatively easily interact with applications and data in the public cloud.

Source: “Azure Stack: Microsoft’s private-cloud platform and what IT pros need to know about it,” Brandon Butler

ABB & Microsoft – more software eating 3D objects, i.e., IoT

Microsoft helping out ABB with some cloud ‘n’ IoT fun:

The most significant of these is a new alliance with Microsoft, whose Azure public cloud has been chosen to underpin ABB’s cloud, IoT and digital services across the ABB group. The companies will also work together on projects and services, although the extent of this will emerge over time. ABB also announced an internal reorganization and the appointment of a chief digital officer. All of these moves are part of ABB’s Next Level strategy, now in its third iteration, which sets out targets and priorities aimed at maintaining or increasing growth, profitability and value.

The agreement with Microsoft will help ABB offer cloud-based digital services across all its divisions. Functions such as monitoring, analytics, control, billing, forecasting, machine learning and many others will be delivered via applications and services hosted in Azure by Microsoft.

On ABB:

It has annual revenue of $35.4bn (2015) from operations in 100 countries, supplying switchgear, breakers, substations, generators, uninterruptible power supplies and power electronics, as well as management software.

Source: “ABB says the Next Level is digital, and Microsoft will help it get there”.

Link: Googles challenge in enterprise cloud

Post Alphabet, where any previous inhibitions about pursuing new hobbies have evaporated, it is even harder to imagine the “capital allocators” choosing to invest in thousands of enterprise sales and support people given alternatives involving life extension and/or space elevators. After all, won’t the robotics division eventually solve any problem that today requires humans?

The rest of the state of cloud is pretty good. It’s a regular “pulls no punches and punches everyone” type situation.

If you threw in some charts and numbers, you’d have an even fancier missive, but qualitatively: just Jim-dandy.