Amazon AWS Translation Notes

May 26, 2020

DarkCyber wants to say, “Good job” to the person who assembled “Amazon Web Services.” The write up is a list of more than 160 AWS services. Each service is identified by the often wonky Amazon name and followed by a brief description. The list is a medieval gloss for a 21st century cloud vendor’s service, product, frameworks, and features. The monks who compiled Psychomachia of Aurelius Prudentius would be envious.

Amazon wants to offer something for everyone, and as the company has emitted services, coherence has been a casualty. Worth downloading and tucking in one’s “We Want to Be Number One” folder. I assume a mid tier consulting firm or a WFHer will put the list into Excel and indicate which of these AWS offerings are available and mostly working from competitors like Google, IBM, and Facebook.

Stephen E Arnold, May 26, 2020

Zoom to the Oracle

April 30, 2020

One Dolphin Way is flipping with excitement. DarkCyber spotted “Oracle Wins Cloud Computing Deal with Zoom as Video Calls Surge.” From the truthy real news outfit DarkCyber learned:

Zoom and Oracle did not disclose the size of the deal, but said traffic for “millions” of meeting participants is being handled by Oracle’s cloud service and about 7 million gigabytes of Zoom data per day is flowing through Oracle servers.

With a nifty new computer security wizard providing advice, Zoom is taking steps to become a more reliable outfit. (Never mind that the security wizard was on watch when the unfortunate Yahoo and Facebook glitches took place. It is the PR that counts.)

Will Oracle deal with the Zoom feature of disallowing connections?

What’s interesting is that Oracle is working overtime to gain traction in what looks like a two horse race: Microsoft Azure on the outside and the Bezos bulldozer’s AWS on the inside rail.

Worth watching; that is, if one can connect to a meeting.

Stephen E Arnold, April 30, 2020

HPE Signals That Its Channel Partners Cannot Move Product and Services

April 27, 2020

I was not surprised when I worked through “HPE Outlines Additional Channel Partner Relief Measures.” The language of the write up worked overtime to dodge the basic message: Channel partners cannot move HPE’s products and services.

This is a surprise?

The write up explains:

The HPE Partner Ready program has suspended revenue target thresholds so partners can keep their eligibility for the 2021 program, as well as Aruba’s Partner Ready for Networking Program.

and this:

HPE Financial Services has also allocated $2 billion towards helping customers and partners. Initiatives include providing liquidity for buying partners, virtual solutions for partner enablement, and hybrid IT solutions for partners and customers.

or this:

HPE aims to provide liquidity to partners, particularly in North America and Europe through early pay discount terms and factoring terms. The company has not stated whether these also apply to Asia Pacific partners. The company has also suspended or reduced strategic development initiative targets in most geographies – however, this incentive does not apply to partners in Asia Pacific and China (APAC). Hybrid IT solutions for partners and customers include the free-of-charge use of remote server management Integrated Lights-Out Advanced. It will be offered free for the remainder of 2020. Additionally, HPE is working to support service provider partners by providing increased business continuity services to customers, via a centralised Spotlight page on Cloud28+.

The angles of this particular nine-ball pool game are challenging.

But taken as whole cloth, the moths appear to be ruining the fabric in which HPE wanted to craft a new prom gown.

What will the HPE partners’ wear? Maybe Amazon AWS or Google Cloud t shirts?

Stephen E Arnold, April 27, 2020

Google Cloud: A Fog Bank Persists

April 26, 2020

Protocol  published “Google’s Thomas Kurian on COVID-19, Customers in Crisis and the Big Cloud Fight.”

Let’s look at one slice of this interview with Google’s stratocumulus of cloud computing. One interesting question and Thomas Kurian’s answer is:

Google has a reputation for closing down services that it believes aren’t being used in sufficient numbers. Among people I talk to, that sometimes raises a red flag when it comes to working with Google. As you work with these new customers who are in really, really severe difficulty right now, what kind of assurances are you giving them that, as they bet on these services from you, you’ll be there over the long haul?

Our cloud services are offered under a standard support agreement. For cloud services publicly, for example, all the GCP services are exactly the same as those from our competitors. So we give them assurances that we won’t deprecate a service without the proper notice period, and the notice periods are exactly the same as competitors.

DarkCyber noticed the word support in the write up five times in the 1900 word write up.

One wisp of condensed information wafted through the write up: “Google has struggled to win the trust of the enterprise buyer.” Why? Perhaps the list of discontinued services displayed on the Killed by Google Web site explains the challenge. With little or no warning, with little or no explanation, and with little or no interest in the users and “customers” relying on these services—more than 190 products and services have been disappeared. To make Google’s “strategy” more clear, Google Hangouts which was marked for death is now trying to be like Zoom.

The article is a showcase for Google to make clear that it really, really is committed to delivering commercial grade cloud services. Google was committed to Google Plus as well as the other 190 plus products and services dismissed with a Googley insouciance.

The write up is crafted to make clear that Google is an enterprise class service provider. The company made that pitch to the US Department of Defense, only to pull out of Project Maven because employees were not happy with the application of a Google technology to a US government need. And there are other examples of the words of the Google not matching the actions of the Google. One example: Search services for China. Yep, waffling.

What’s the challenge for the online advertising company? One clue is that according to the write up, Google’s cloud revenues for the fourth quarter of 2019-2020 was $2.9 billion. Compare that to Amazon AWS revenue of $9.9 billion. Google likes data. Well, that gap is a data point.

Is the Google Cloud going to approach the enterprise with the track record of Microsoft and its partners or the go-go roar of the Bezos bulldozer?

Google has the vocabulary for the task. The Googler uses two interesting words in his clarification of the Google approach. These words are re-pivot and re-platform. Those terms remind me that Google re-placed Diane Greene, the previous stratocumulus of cloud computing.

Did the interview convince DarkCyber that Google will stick with cloud computing? Sort of. You know like the fog comes in on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on.

Stephen E Arnold, April 26, 2020

Do Big Clouds Pay Forward?

April 26, 2020

This spring’s sudden increase in work- and school-from-home arrangements has been a huge boon for cloud providers. Many of their business clients, however, have suffered revenue losses of as much as 50 or 60 percent this season. You would be wrong if you thought the biggest providers would have mercy on their small-business customers. Taipei Times reports, “Amazon, Microsoft Offer Little Relief to Cloud Clients.” We’re told Google joins those two in their lack of compassion.

A hallmark of the cloud business model has been flexibility, where companies pay for what they use. However, big providers have been pushing long term contracts with minimum spending thresholds. Companies who could once cover these minimums with ease are now stretched thin, and many feel betrayed. While countless landlords and regulated utilities have offered relief programs, cloud providers are doing little to nothing of the sort. Perhaps they are too busy counting their growing piles of coin. Journalists Mark Bergen and Matthew Day report:

“By the middle of last month, John Lyotier’s travel software business Left Technologies Inc was cratering with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeking to cut costs, he reached out to his office landlord, who offered rent relief. Then he contacted Amazon.com Inc, asking to ‘explore creative financing opportunities’ for his monthly cloud-computing bill. The response was succinct: ‘Nope, that’s the way it is.’ … With the economic devastation of COVID-19, entrepreneurs such as Lyotier feel that the fate of their businesses rests on the benevolence of their cloud provider. While Amazon Web Services (AWS) is restructuring some large contracts on a case-by-case basis, according to a person familiar with the decisions, smaller companies are not receiving the same flexibility. Half a dozen start-up executives said that recent appeals to these cloud companies have gone unanswered. While older technology providers, such as Cisco Systems Inc, are offering credits to customers, the major cloud companies have not made any public announcements about deferring or cutting bills for clients.”

As this pandemic and its economic repercussions continue, perhaps big tech will decide to extend some grace to its clientele. After all, one cannot make money off of customers who have gone out of business.

Cynthia Murrell, April 26, 2020

In Cobol News: Cloudflare Gets Interested in Revealing That It Is a Time Sharing Company

April 21, 2020

Legacy systems exist. This is perhaps big news for the recently unemployed Silicon Valley types. Some states are struggling to find Cobol programmers. IBM has rolled out Cobol training.

Cloudflare Workers Now Support Cobol” reports:

COBOL can now be used to write code for Cloudflare’s serverless platform Workers.

The write up provides a number of historical factoids, including sample code and a Game of Life example.

Quick thought: Has the mainframe returned to offer coding opportunities and a career path to the thumb typing millennials?

What’s next for Cloudflare? Lab coats, glass walls, and elevated floors, sign up sheets for keypunch machines, and greenbar paper?

Has cloud computing become a time shared mainframe?

PS. My first programming project relied on Cobol. That was in 1963. I also used Cobol for the Psychology Today / Intellectual Digest readability work I did in the 1970s. Am I relevant again? I miss JCL too.

Stephen E Arnold, April 18, 2020

About Those Cloud Services?

April 3, 2020

Okay, Amazon can’t deliver. Microsoft can’t scale. Now Google Cloud Engine just falls over. What were the techno experts saying about those cloud services?

Navigate to to “Google Cloud Engine Outage Caused by Large Backlog of Queued Mutations.” The article reports:

A 14-hour Google cloud platform outage that we missed in the shadow of last week’s G Suite outage was caused by a failure to scale, an internal investigation has shown.

But why?

The outage was caused by a lack of memory in the company’s cache servers…

To simplify. Google’s smart scaling failed. Does this mean that Google and Microsoft are more alike than different? If Amazon can’t deliver, does this mean Google cannot deliver?

About those cloud services powering decision making? Well, sort of.

Stephen E Arnold, April 3, 2020

Microsoft Azure: The Reoccurring Blues

March 30, 2020

On a call this weekend, a person mentioned this explanation: “Microsoft Details Impact of Coronavirus on Cloud Services Usage.” The main idea is that “A 775 percent increase in overall cloud services usage in those regions that have enforced social distancing or shelter in place orders.”

Short version: Microsoft’s cloud services do not scale seamlessly.

That “gee, Microsoft is good to me” explanation is interesting, just muffled by snuggling.

This morning (March 30, 2020), the DarkCyber news feed presented this interesting write up: “Microsoft Teams Not Working Again – Here’s What You Need to Know.” This write up reports:

Research from online outage watchdog Downdetector saw a huge spike in complaints concerning Microsoft Teams at 9am BST as much of the UK and Western European workforces came online.

Let’s assume that the snuggle report and the down again report are accurate. DarkCyber concludes:

  • Not even Microsoft’s influence can snuff out grousing about its online collaboration Teams service. (Skype? Ho, ho, ho)
  • Microsoft hopes to build the cloud centric services for the US Department of Defense. Sounds good, but will the outage and scaling blues color the deal. (An armed conflict? Sorry may not make the DoD comfortable.)
  • The yipyap about automatic scaling, failover, and redundancy is definitely marketing baloney. (Down means fail, doesn’t it?)

Net net: Microsoft’s cloud like the Amazon and Google clouds are billing machines. The complexity almost guarantees problems. Google’s follow through on stuff that does not work; Amazon’s magical invoices with mysterious line items; and now Microsoft’s magic.

Silver or azure bullets? Ho, ho, ho.

Stephen E Arnold, March 30, 2020

Amazon AWS Challenge to Microsoft JEDI Win Reported

March 27, 2020

If you follow the grudge match between Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure, you may be interested in “AWS Charges Pentagon Wants to Give Microsoft a Do-Over on Contested JEDI Bid.” The article states:

In a court filing made public today, Amazon Web Services Inc. is charging that the Pentagon is unfairly favoring rival Microsoft Corp. as part of its reevaluation of the JEDI contract.

The today is March 24, 2020.

The article quotes the document as saying:

“Offerors would be able to change only the services they proposed for Price Scenario 6, and would not be allowed to adjust the unit prices and discounts for those services.

Discriminatory? Maybe.

The article also quotes the document as saying:

“DoD provides no meaningful commitment to evaluate the other serious errors identified by AWS’s protest,” the company wrote. “Even if taken at face value, DoD’s proposed corrective action fails to address in any meaningful way how it would resolve the technical issues AWS has raised, or which specific technical challenges it intends to address.”

Stay tuned.

Stephen E Arnold, March 26, 2020

Microsoft Azure: A Capacity Problem?

March 27, 2020

In a conversation earlier this week, an expert in Microsoft Azure pointed out that Azure, despite its technical challenges, was pretty good at billing.

There are other challenges at Microsoft too. How about those Windows 10 updates, bugs, and delays?

The Register reports that there is another Microsoft hitch in the gitalong. “Azure Appears to Be Full” states:

Customers of Microsoft’s Azure cloud are reporting capacity issues such as the inability to create resources and associated reliability issues.

And what about Microsoft Teams, which is another attempt by Microsoft to pile more utensils in its digital kitchen sink. The article includes this paragraph:

Is it possible that resource capacity allocated to Teams is affecting customers of other kinds of resource? We have asked Microsoft for any information it can share and will report back.

Is Microsoft up to the task of becoming the go to vendor for the US government? Sure, good enough technology may be what the procurement system is designed to deliver.

But the company’s billing system seems to be working just fine.

PS: The Register is offering free job ads. For information, send email to regjobs@sitpub.com.

Stephen E Arnold, March 28, 2020

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