Link: Google takes $1.1bn chomp out of HTC, smacks lips, burps

Google still looking to crack into hardware. Maybe getting a clutch of regular, steady performers instead of startup rock-stars will help:

‘Google has formally completed its $1.1bn (£780m) takeover of a chunk of HTC, under which some 2,000 staff will transfer to work on the chocolate factory’s Pixel phone.

‘In a blog post, Rick Osterloh, senior hardware veep at the megacorp, said “building hardware is… hard,” adding: “That’s why I’m delighted that we’ve officially closed our deal with HTC.”’
Original source: Google takes $1.1bn chomp out of HTC, smacks lips, burps

Link: Google’s AutoML lets you train custom machine learning models without having to code

“The basic idea here, Google says, is to allow virtually anybody to bring their images, upload them (and import their tags or create them in the app) and then have Google’s systems automatically create a customer machine learning model for them. The company says that Disney, for example, has used this system to make the search feature in its online store more robust because it can now find all the products that feature a likeness of Lightning McQueen and not just those where your favorite talking race car was tagged in the text description.”
Original source: Google’s AutoML lets you train custom machine learning models without having to code

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

Link: Cisco is strengthening its ‘cloud first’ posture

Finally, an explanation of that Cisco/Google partnership:

“CloudCenter is key to the hybrid cloud partnership that Cisco and Google recently announced, where CloudCenter will be used to integrate Google Cloud Platform services with on-premises datacenters. The integrated offering includes Cisco’s Hyperflex hyperconverged infrastructure and Nexus 9k networking. Cisco is also leveraging its networking (CSR) and security (Stealthwatch Cloud) portfolio to ensure a consistent environment across the hybrid cloud. Google’s Kubernetes container runtime uses Apigee to consume and manage APIs, as well as Google’s range of cloud services, including machine learning and visual recognition. The open source Istio service management platform is key to the offering, supported in CloudCenter, providing traffic management, observability, policy enforcement and service identity and security for microservices. There will also be integrations to AppDynamics. Solution engineering efforts are underway, and Cisco and Google are working on predefined statements of work that can be executed by both companies’ direct sales teams and by the partner channels. The joint offering will be fully supported by the Cisco Technical Assistance Center. The Cisco-Google partnership on hybrid cloud is non-exclusive, but Google is working closely with Cisco on the joint engineering work around open hybrid cloud.”

Original source: Cisco is strengthening its ‘cloud first’ posture

Link: The surprising thing Google learned about its employees — and what it means for today’s students

While I don’t disagree with this kind of ASTOUNDING FINDING, what it usually means that in addition to engineering, it turns out you need these other skills. I sure STEM is necessary, but not sufficient to be a good nerd in corporate America:

“among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.”
Original source: The surprising thing Google learned about its employees — and what it means for today’s students

Better details on the Cisco/Google partnership around kubernetes and Istio

The cloud initiative combines Google’s de facto standard Kubernetes cluster orchestration platform for managing applications and services across hybrid infrastructure with Cisco’s networking and security expertise. It also leverages Cisco’s push into hyper-converged infrastructure. Along with extending security to application containers and other micro-services, the deal would allow users to monitor application behavior running on hybrid platforms, the partners said.

The other pillar of the collaboration is Istio, another open source tool released earlier this year to help manage micro-services via what developers call a “service mesh network.” Working with Kubernetes, Istio aims to provide a uniform means of connecting and managing micro-services.

And, more here:

The companies will offer the joint solution to a limited number of customers during the first part of 2018 with generally availability coming later in the year.

Source: Cisco, Google Join Forces on Hybrid Cloud

Good, simple explanation of Service Level Objectives (SLOs)

SLOs are objectives that your business aspires to meet and intends to take action to defend; just remember, your SLOs are not your SLAs (service level agreements)! You should pick SLOs that represent the most critical aspects of the user experience. If you meet an SLO, your users and your business should be happy. Conversely, if the system does not meet the SLO, that implies there are users who are being made unhappy!

Source: Building good SLOs – CRE life lessons

60m Americans have used voice devices, 35.6m devices estimated to be sold in 2017

According to a recent research report from eMarketer, 60.5 million Americans will talk at least once a month to their virtual personal assistants named Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and other as-yet unknowns this year. “That equates to 27.5% of smartphone users, or nearly one-fifth of the population,” eMarketer said. Link

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More details on the study:

  • “The e-commerce giant’s Amazon Echo and Echo Dot devices will claim a 70.6 percent share of the U.S. market this year, the study found.”
  • That 60.5m figure is more like “penetration,” people who have tried voice stuff but aren’t active users. By device ownership (I don’t know if this includes or excludes phones with Siri and such): “The number of active U.S. users will more than double for the devices this year, to 35.6 million, eMarketer said.”

See more details over from TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez.

Personally, I still find all this obnoxious. But (a.) I’m more of a podcast and text person, and, (b.) hey, the Echo is a really nice Bluetooth/Spotify speaker.

Kubernetes as the hybrid cloud magic maker

From 451’s report on Google Next:

Google believes that a hybrid architecture will persist in the coming years as enterprises continue to migrate workloads to various clouds. Its hybrid cloud architecture revolves around its virtual private cloud. Google VPC is an instantiation of GCP that can dedicate compute, storage and network resources to an enterprise. It is built upon Google’s proprietary private global network designed for high reliability, low latency and hardened security. Kubernetes acts as the orchestration and operational backplane for hybrid implementations. Elasticity and scale are achieved by linking to Google public cloud services.

It also has many numbers on market-share, SI/channel development, and geographic foot-print.

Source: Google Cloud Next 2017: Slow and steady race to greater enterprise public cloud adoption

Public cloud by the minute

Google is able to automatically reward end users a discount for loyalty through a sustained-use pricing scheme – the company claims its method for high utilization means reservations do not hugely benefit them, and so it would rather reward users for loyalty rather than for paying up front and forecasting capacity. Google also offers a per-minute billing model (as opposed to per-hour offers from many providers), and this advantage can also be attributed in part to containers. However, as we show, the benefit of per-minute billing only becomes important when workloads are very bursty.

Source: Google economics: Containers are the key

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.

This Is the Woman at the Heart of Everything Google Builds

Using RedMonk logic: companies tend to keep what they consider their competative advantage closed source; Google keeps their dev toolchain closed source; Google’s ability to more productive in development (the primary point of a dev toolchain) is a core differentiator for Google. QED.

More: This Is the Woman at the Heart of Everything Google Builds