Former head of Intel’s Data Center Group Diane Bryant has been appointed Chief Operating Officer of Google Cloud, bringing an engineering background and 30 years of industry experience to the position, as well as experience leading a group that brought in $17 billion in revenue last year, according to a blog post announcing her appointment.
Bryant left her role at Intel in May, taking a lengthy leave of absence for family reasons. At the time Intel CEO Brian Krzanich credited her with transforming the group “from a server-centric group to a business that spans servers, network, and storage across all end-user segments, and with product lines and business models that extend beyond the traditional.” At the same time Intel’s shift included a greater focus on the server business, including an appearances by Bryant at AWS re:Invent to announce new chip deployments.
“Google Cloud is the most technologically advanced, most highly available, and most open cloud in the world,” Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene wrote in the blog post. “We are growing at an extraordinary rate as we enable businesses to become smarter with data, increase their agility, collaborate and secure their information. Diane’s strategic acumen, technical knowledge and client focus will prove invaluable as we accelerate the scale and reach of Google Cloud.”
Bryant had worked at Intel since 1985, and was promoted from senior VP to executive VP in April 2016. She also serves on the board of United

 

(Bloomberg) — Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud unit dominates the market for computing power delivered over the internet. But there’s one area where it has lagged: artificial intelligence tools that let customers parse data, understand speech and recognize images without buying their own expensive machinery.

Amazon Web Services has quickly added AI enhancements, hired experts in the field and signed up customers like software maker Intuit Inc. and insurer Liberty Mutual Group Inc.
See also: Amazon Agrees to Sell Some Cloud Assets to Chinese Partner
Amazon is playing catch-up because this market is likely to fuel growth in cloud computing - and right now Microsoft Corp. and Google are using it to pry customers from AWS. Sales of software for creating AI applications are forecast to rise about 40 percent through 2021 to more than $8 billion, according to research firm IDC. Growth for those products in the cloud will be even higher, said IDC analyst David Schubmehl, as companies turn to internet-based services to assemble and run increasingly complex programs that use the latest AI advances.
But for a company that boasts one of the most successful consumer AI gadgets — Amazon’s Echo devices — AI cloud services have been slow to arrive. Google and Microsoft have beaten AWS in rolling out early products and have natural advantages that stem from their large research labs stocked with AI experts and years of experience in

 

(Bloomberg) — Amazon.com Inc. agreed to sell some of its Chinese cloud assets to its local partner but said it’s committed to a domestic market for internet-based computing that could be worth $30 billion.
Beijing Sinnet Technology Co. will buy servers and other unspecified “operational assets” in the country’s capital from Amazon Web Services for as much as 2 billion yuan ($302 million), it said in a filing to the Shenzhen stock exchange. The sale is intended to comply with government regulations and improve service, it said.
Amazon’s business in China has been hollowed out by the rise of local rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which has come to dominate e-commerce and is expanding in cloud computing with new data centers. Amazon, the global leader in internet computing, is vying for a slice of domestic spending on cloud services and gear that IDC estimates will reach $30 billion by 2021. But the U.S. company has to deal with laws introduced this year that mandate the storage of data within the country and bolster government control over the movement of information.
On Tuesday, the e-commerce giant rejected media reports tying its asset sale to an imminent departure from the Chinese market. It said instead it was selling hardware to comply with laws that forbid ownership or operation of certain types of cloud technology.
“AWS did not sell its business in China and remains fully committed,” the company said in an emailed statement. “We’re

 

AWS is targeting developers of artificial intelligence (AI) applications with new EC2 instances powered by NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs.
The new P3 instances deliver 14x performance improvement over P2 instances for machine learning applications, AWS said Wednesday.
The instances are designed for uses including intensive machine learning, deep learning, computational fluid dynamics, computational finance, seismic analysis, molecular modelling, and genomic workloads, according to a blog post by AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr.
The Tesla V100 GPUs are based on NVIDIA’s next-generation Volta architecture, and each have 5,120 CUDA cores and 640 Tensor cores, with speeds up to 125 TFLOPS mixed-precision floating point operations per second. Tensor cores are designed for fast training and inference of large-scale neural networks, and the GPUs will shorten the time necessary to train machine learning models from days to hours, according to the announcement.
The launch means AWS is the first provider to bring Volta-powered instances to market, giving it a potentially significant edge for developers of cutting-edge AI applications. At NVIDIA’s annual conference in May, CEO Jensen Huang said in a keynote address that a “flood” of AI workloads is coming to data centers.
“Comparisons between the P3 and today’s scale-out supercomputers are harder to make, given that you can think of the P3 as a step-and-repeat component of a supercomputer that you can launch on as as-needed

 

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That didn’t take long.
A week after Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced per-second billing for EC2 and EBS instances, Google said that starting Tuesday, per-second billing is available on a number of its cloud services, including Compute Engine.
Paul Nash, group product manager, Compute Engine, said that its per-second billing option is now available on Compute Engine, Container Engine, Cloud Dataproc, and App Engine flexible environment VMs.
“These offerings join Persistent Disks, which has been billed by the second since its launch in 2013, as well as committed use discounts and GPUs; both of which have used per-second billing since their introduction,” Nash said in a blog post. 
The changes come shortly after Google introduced network tiers which allow customers to save money by opting for less performance.
Unlike AWS’ per-second billing, which is only available to instances running Linux, Google per-second billing is applicable to all VMs, including Preemptible VMs and VMs running Windows Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and SUSE Enterprise Linux Server.
“In most cases, the difference between per-minute and per-second billing is very small — we estimate it as a fraction of a percent,” Nash said. “On the other hand, changing from per-hour billing to per-minute billing makes a big difference for applications (especially websites, mobile apps and data processing jobs) that get traffic spikes. The ability to

 

(Bloomberg) — VMware Inc. stock has gained almost 50 percent since last October, riding a wave of optimism about a partnership with Amazon.com Inc. that was meant to save the software maker from oblivion as customers shifted more of their systems to the cloud.
The accord was announced with fanfare last year as a way for VMware to keep close ties to clients even as they move to internet-based computing – a business Amazon dominates, and one where VMware lagged. It was seen as a win for all parties. Customers that rely on VMware’s software for making servers more efficient could move some of their applications – for whatever the task, be it billing, payroll or email – over to Amazon’s cloud service without having to completely rewrite them. The resulting product, VMware Cloud on AWS, was released on Monday, with VMware Chief Executive Officer Pat Gelsinger and Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy touting the release at VMware’s big annual conference in Las Vegas.
See also: You Can Now Spin Up VMware Servers in Amazon Data Centers
Here’s the problem: there’s nothing keeping Amazon from developing its own competing set of products down the road. Should that happen, VMware would be poised to lose customers – including some that it helped introduce to Amazon Web Services through this partnership.
“We’ll have to see how this relationship evolves over the next three to five years, but that is the thing that VMware will have to navigate very

 

Brought to you by Data Center Knowledge
Ever wish you could just run VMware on Amazon’s cloud? Now you can, but not on the entire AWS cloud, just in one availability region hosted in Amazon data centers in Oregon.
This morning, on stage at VMworld, VMware’s big annual conference in Las Vegas, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and AWS CEO Andy Jassy announced initial availability of VMware Cloud on AWS, which is essentially VMware’s server virtualization platform running on bare-metal servers inside Amazon’s data centers customers can consume the same way they consume AWS cloud server instances.
See also: VMware Wants to be ‘Cloud Switzerland’
The two companies announced a partnership with the goal of seamlessly extending VMware’s environment from the enterprise data center to AWS about one year ago. VMware is nearly ubiquitous in corporate and public-sector data centers, where users deployed the platform to radically increase the utilization rate of each physical machine.
While many large IT organizations have deployed applications on public cloud platforms, such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform, by many accounts they still run most of their workloads in their own data centers. Giving them a way to deploy software in the cloud using the same underlying software stack they use in-house and the associated management tools will presumably further reduce the friction they face when using cloud services.
See also: VMware Pitches Hyper-Converged

 

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It’s only been two weeks since Microsoft made news by signing up as a platinum member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a Linux Foundation project and the organization behind the open source container orchestration platform Kubernetes. At the time, that made Amazon Web Services the only major public cloud provider that wasn’t a member, and it wasn’t expected to sign on anytime soon because it has its own container orchestration platform, Elastic Container Service.
Actually, Amazon’s homegrown platform serves to make AWS a walled garden where containers are involved, since it isn’t portable. When it comes to containers orchestrated on AWS with ESC, its the cloud equivalent of “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”
Now, however, AWS has evidently decided that if you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em.
Today CNCF announced that AWS has agreed to pay $370,000 per year to join Microsoft, Google, Huawei, IBM and 11 others as a top level platinum member. AWS’s vice president of cloud architecture strategy, Adrian Cockcroft, will join CNCF’s governing board — which is one of the perks of having a platinum seat.
So why the sudden turn around? For starters, Kubernetes might be the most well known and largest project managed by CNCF, but there are others that are officially supported on AWS — most notably containerd, the container runtime that ironically provides

 

Brought to you by Talkin’ Cloud
IBM is suing a former senior manager for violating a non-compete agreement as he starts a new job at Amazon Web Services (AWS) three months after leaving his role as CIO for transformation and operations at IBM.
According to a report by Westfair Online, IBM sued Jeff S. Smith last week in White Plains, NY, demanding that he repay $1.7 million in stock bonuses. Smith had worked at IBM since 2014.
IBM argues that in starting his job at AWS on Monday, he would “inevitably be involved in decision-making about how best to compete against IBM and would inevitably disclose or use IBM trade secrets.” The lawsuit also alleges that Smith had shared inside information with AWS CEO Andy Jassy while he was working for IBM, wiping his company phone and tablet to make it impossible to detect communications, the report said.
The judge, who blocked Smith from starting his job at AWS on Aug. 1 until a full hearing could be scheduled, amended the order to allow him to begin work Monday in “listen and learn mode” for training purposes.
According to IBM, Smith signed a non-compete agreement where he agreed not to work for a competitor for one year. He notified IBM in June of his plans to start work at AWS in August.
IBM has asked the court to ban Smith from work for AWS until May 2, 2018. There is a hearing scheduled for Aug. 21.
In June, AWS won a temporary restraining order to prevent a former executive from joining Smartsheet, a collaboration

 

Brought to you by Data Center Knowledge
Now that top cloud providers have released their quarterly numbers, Synergy Research Group has had a chance to augment the numbers they released a couple of weeks back, but there are no surprises. The future remains rosy for the industry — at least for the top players.
Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google’s Cloud Platform continue to grow market share, with IBM holding its own. Quarterly cloud infrastructure service revenues (including IaaS, PaaS, and hosted private cloud services) are at nearly $11 billion and continue a growth rate of over 40 percent per year. This means worldwide revenues from cloud and SaaS remain on track to surpass $200 billion by 2020, according to Synergy.

John Dinsdale, chief analyst and research director at Synergy, said in a statement:
“The increasing dominance of hyper-scale players continues to play out, with all four leading companies having cause to celebrate. While Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform are doubling in size, IBM continues to dominate in hosted private cloud, and AWS is still over three times the size of its nearest competitor. Some of the numbers are actually pretty spectacular.”
According to Q2 figures, Microsoft Azure, with 11 percent of the total public cloud market, showed the largest growth in market share, with a 3 percent gain over the last four quarters. AWS, which commands 34 percent of the total market, and GCP, with a 5 percent share, both saw

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