Cloud computing Stories July 9, 2015

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BlackBerry has snapped up a couple of Android-y domain names very recently. Logs show that BlackBerry Limited bought AndroidSecured.com and AndroidSecured.net on July 7th. This move, of course, adds more fuel to the rumors that the company is planning to launch a Google-powered smartphone in the near future.

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Cloud computing Stories April 2, 2014

Google improving performance of Cloud Platform with Andromeda virtualization stack

On the Google Cloud Platform blog, Google has announced that it has now publicly released its ‘Andromeda’ virtualization stack to all Platform users. Users on its US central and western European servers should see ‘major’ performance gains automatically. Google is rolling out the same changes to its other zones in the coming months, so all users will benefit from the same efficiency gains.

Andromeda’s goal is to expose the raw performance of the underlying network while simultaneously exposing network function virtualization (NFV). We expose the same in-network processing that enables our internal services to scale while remaining extensible and isolated to end users. This functionality includes distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection, transparent service load balancing, access control lists, and firewalls. We do this all while improving performance, with more enhancements coming.

Hence, Andromeda itself is not a Cloud Platform networking product; rather, it is the basis for delivering Cloud Platform networking services with high performance, availability, isolation, and security. For example, Cloud Platform firewalls, routing, and forwarding rules all leverage the underlying internal Andromeda APIs and infrastructure. Our site presents the details of these and other advanced network capabilities.

Full technical details of the Andromeda changes can be found in the blog post.

Cloud computing Stories March 13, 2013

Google doubles its Seattle offices in Microsoft/Amazon’s backyard to work on the ‘biggest, baddest’ Cloud platform

Google is blowing up its Seattle presence, already the company’s third largest after Mountain View and New York City, reports the New York Times.

Google plans a major recruiting effort to increase its Seattle-area engineering staff by as much as five times. There is already fierce competition among tech companies for talented engineers, and many of those with skills in cloud computing work at Google’s rivals in Seattle.

“We’re not the first in this rodeo, but we have the history of Google,” said Brian Goldfarb, Google’s leader of cloud platform marketing, who joined the company last year after a decade at Microsoft. “We have the best data centers on the planet. You can’t really give engineers a bigger, badder thing to work on.”

Google is also adding 180,000 square feet to its office in Kirkland, Wash., which together with its Seattle office already houses more than 1,000 employees, making it Google’s third largest in the country after its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and its office in New York.

Oh, some interesting  App Engine Stats were slipped into page 2:

The company says that 250,000 developers use it to run 1 million apps that generate up to 7.5 billion page hits a day.

Cloud computing Stories January 15, 2013

Google Apps consultants Cloud Sherpas acquire Innoveer Solutions and Navigis

Cloud Sherpas, last year’s Google Enterprise Partner of the Year, which helped over a million users migrate to Google Apps, today announced it will acquire two companies to accelerate growth: advisory and technology consulting services provider Navigis, and top CRM advisory and cloud integration services firm Innoveer Solutions. The terms of the deals were not disclosed, but CloudSherpas issued the following press releases:

Cloud computing Stories January 1, 2013

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As 2013 kicks off, Babak Parviz, head of the Google Glass project that launched in spring of last year, sat down in an interview with IEEE Spectrum to give word on what to expect next.

We saw several prototype versions of Google Glass, as it readies shipping to the mainstream, and today, Parviz gave some insight into what has changed. “We constantly try out new ideas of how this platform can be used. There’s a lot of experimentation going on at all times in Google,” said Parviz. “We’re also trying to make the platform more robust. This includes making the hardware more robust and the software more robust, so we can ship it to developers early this year.” The early 2013 shipping time was announced at Google I/O 2012. It is nice to see Google is still on-track; however, new features for the platform have not been revealed. “The feature set for the device is not set yet. It is still in flux,” Parviz said.

Parviz also covered how Google will make a business out of Google Glass, and, maybe as a surprise to many, the Mountain View company currently doesn’t have plans to include advertising—its bread and butter. The business model is still being worked on: “This is still being worked on, but we are quite interested in providing the hardware…At the moment, there are no plans for advertising on this device.”

Other revelations in the interview include a cloud-based API so developers can integrate their Android apps into Google Glass. An example given was email and calendar services. Lastly, Parviz said the Glass team has worked hard on battery life and making sure the device is safe on the eyes. You can read the full interview for more. [IEEE Spectrum] expand full story

Cloud computing Stories June 18, 2012

Google’s reduction of energy use for servers and server cooling.

Google wants businesses to make Google Apps their primary productivity suite, so the company is recruiting at full swing today with a new blog post that discloses a few stats about its energy efficiency.

Google Apps is a Google service that features several Web applications like traditional office suites. The services vary per edition but generally include Docs, Gmail, Calendar, Talk, Sites, Groups, Video, and Marketplace. Its popularity among businesses and academicians is rapidly increasing due to enhanced sharing features, accessibility, and cost.

According to Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure Urs Hoelzle on the Official Google Blog:

At Google, we’re obsessed with building energy efficient data centers that enable cloud computing. Besides helping you be more productive, cloud-based services like Google Apps can reduce energy use, lower carbon emissions and save you money in the process. Last year, we crunched the numbers and found that Gmail is up to 80 times more energy-efficient than running traditional in-house email. We’ve sharpened our pencils again to see how Google Apps as a whole—documents, spreadsheets, email and other applications—stacks up against the standard model of locally hosted services. Our results show that a typical organization can achieve energy savings of about 65-85% by migrating to Google Apps.

Hoelzle further explained how lower energy use equals less carbon pollution. The executive supported this statement with an anecdote about the U.S. General Administration. It switched to Google Apps for Government to save $285,000 annually at a 93 percent cost reduction, and it reduced energy consumption by 90-percent and carbon emissions by 85-percent.

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Cloud computing Stories April 20, 2012

Spring is finally here, and Google announced it wants to clean house again with the seasonal change by killing a slue of products.

“Focus is crucial if we are to improve our execution. We have so many opportunities in front of us that without hard choices we risk doing too much and not having the impact we strive for,” explained Cloud Services Director Matthias Schwab on the Official Google Blog. 

Here is a list of products being nixed:

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Cloud computing Stories April 17, 2012

Google praised in Greenpeace’s clean cloud data center report

While Greenpeace’s “How Clean is Your Cloud” report had not so great things to say about Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft’s use of coal energy in their data centers, Google was praised for its “comprehensive energy reduction plan”. The organization is urging consumers to contact the companies to convince them to change their approach to powering the cloud and read the 50-page report to learn more.

“Google has been the most open in the industry about the importance of increasing not only energy efficiency within the sector, but also the need to move our energy sources to renewable energy… Google has a comprehensive energy reduction plan that has resulted in its data centers using half the energy of the industry standard… Google’s commitment to using renewable energy as much as possible has set the bar for the industry.”

Cloud computing Stories April 16, 2012

Google settles Gmail domain dispute in Germany

Google’s cloud-based email service has been available to Germans over for seven years, but they are just now getting the official Gmail domain.

A local businessperson previously held the domain, which forced Google to provide “googlemail.de” addresses to users in Germany. However, according to a recent story by The Financial Times (translated), the Gmail trademark and domain were effectively transferred to Google earlier this month.

There are no further details regarding the settlement.

A leaked video suggests Microsoft’s world-renowned productivity suite will soon feature cloud-like options in an effort to curb Google Apps’ growing market share with its alternate offering.

The 30-second promo above is hosted on YouTube by Within Windows. It emphasizes “Office 15” as the suite’s newly re-branded name. It also focuses on the accessibility of the next iteration through remote access to documents, which is enabled by a normal sign-in procedure. The cloud options will tracks and store all of a user’s virtual papers in Microsoft’s cloud-based Sky Drive service.

Microsoft Office is dueling many cloud-based productivity suites, such as Google Apps, and it is steadily losing market share. The downward spiral even caused the once-great Word processing giant to embark on a smear campaign against Google, where it lambasted the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company as a shady advertiser with alternative motives.

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Cloud computing Stories April 5, 2012

YouTube now automatically allows short 1080p videos to convert to 3D.

The video-sharing platform just announced on the official YouTube blog that it is expanding a beta feature released last year, which gives users the option to convert YouTube videos to 3D with just a click of a mouse. Since the beta launched, creators have converted hundreds of thousands of videos to 3D.

The popularity of the feature encouraged YouTube to implement 3D viewing in the Quality settings under the gear icon on the YouTube player.

“Then pop on your 3D glasses and see YouTube in another dimension (like the video above),” explained Technical Staffer Deb Mukherjee and Software Engineer Chen Wu in the blog post.

The Googlers even recommended watching “YouTube Rewind 2011” to get the full YouTube 3D experience (below).

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