AWS releases first public version of Amazon QuickSights - Cloud Report

November 22, 2016 Alexander Green

Welcome to the first edition of Cloud Report. This is a bi-monthly blog post aimed to keep IT administrators and developers up to date on the world of cloud computing. We focus on the latest news and releases from cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, GCE, and OpenStack. We’ll also be talking about other popular technologies and tools, such as containers, load balancers and more.


Release Notes

Current release notes and information from each cloud platform.

Amazon Web Services



AWS released the first public version of Amazon QuickSights - which enables businesses to quickly gather insights from their data. Administrators can either upload data or have it passively collected directly from your instances. Different visualization methods are available along with the ability to export insights and collaborate on information with team members. QuickSights is a more direct way for you to get information about your infrastructure, directly from your infrastructure.



🚩We recently had a webinar about differences between AWS vs Microsoft Azure. Watch the recording here!



Microsoft Azure


Azure Advisor is now available for public preview. Azure Advisor is a tool that recommends best practices for spinning up new Azure instances and detects risks and issues with your current VMs. For example, Azure Advisor will recommend you shut down infrequently used VMs to lower cost, integrate with Azure Security Center to alert you to security best practices, advise configurations to keep your application running during scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, and more.


Azure Security Center is now available in the UK.


VMware Backup with Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS) is now available. MABS enables to administrators to backup servers and workloads without compromising. VMware Backup enables administrators to back up to their desk or to cloud to copy data or for long-term retention. While Azure Backup Server has been available since July 14th, 2014, VMware Backup is new - prior to this MABS only allowed SQL, Exchange, Sharepoint and files on Windows servers running either on physical machines or Hyper-V, VMware virtual machines.


This tool utilizes the VADP API, and and thus doesn’t require installing agents on VMs, minimizing complication.

Google Compute Engine

Compute Engine is focusing on expanding internationally. At the top of the month, Customer-Supplied Encryption Keys are now available in an array of new countries, including Belgium, Ireland, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. GCE automatically handles data encryption via Google supplied keys, however if you’d like to personally control the flow of data encryption, you now have the ability to do so in more countries.


Compute Engine expands with the new Asia-Northeast-1 region, based in Tokyo.


Regional Managed Instance Groups are now in General Availability. This allows administrators to spread an application across zones in a region, improving availability. Regional Managed Instance Groups support auto scaling, network load balancing, and HTTP(s) load balancing. The benefit to using a Regional Managed Instance Group is avoiding zonal failures where an application has instances in only one zone, and avoids using multiple instance groups across zones inside a single region. In essence, Regional Managed Instance Groups keep your focus on the region your instance groups are in as opposed to abstracting down to the different zones.


In Other News

All the news that’s fit to upload in the world of cloud computing services.


Oracle buys web-service provider Dyn (via CIO)


Dyn, founded in 2001, serves as a web service provider for thousands of U.S. based companies. You might know Dyn thanks to that massive DoS attack from last month that disabled a large majority of U.S. based websites including Netflix and Twitter, but they’ve been behind the scenes in the DNS sphere for a long time. Oracle has acquired them for that infrastructure and one other key reason - Dyn helps enterprises optimize applications for faster access, reduce load times, and create higher user satisfaction. Oracle announced that by purchasing Dyn, the computing empire can improve it’s IAAS - Infrastructure as a service and get access to a ton of data points and information about user behavior. A secondary note is that Oracle is looking to transform itself from a business software company to a cloud computing company - and having data backed by Dyn will make that transition all the easier.


IDG releases its 2016 Cloud Computing Survey (via IDG, Forbes)



The data for these results were gathered via a survey of over 900 qualified responses - people who are audience members of the six IDG Enterprise brands (CIO, ComputerWorld, MacWorld, Infoworld, ITWorld, and NetworkWorld).


The Highlights:

  1. Enterprise size companies have moved approximately 45% of their applications and infrastructure to the cloud
  2. Companies estimate that by 2018, they will have over 50% of their infrastructure be cloud based
  3. IT decision makers (VPs, administrators, etc) of companies with over 1000 employees say that they plan to allocate at least a quarter of their IT budget on cloud spending in 2017
  4. Conversely, IT decision makers of smaller companies (under 1000 employees) are more focused on other industries
  5. 75% of enterprise companies have at least one application in the cloud
  6. 90% of all organizations have an application in the cloud
  7. 45% of respondents believe that cloud computing with increase IT collaborating with other departments, overall improving business

One major question that people ask when they look at enterprise cloud is just simply, why?


Here’s what the top reasons respondents had:

1. Lower total cost of ownership

2. Releasing on-premise legacy systems

3. Increases development speed

4. Enabling business continuity 


Microsoft joins the Linux Foundation (via CIO)

Microsoft announced during Microsoft Connect(); 2016 that SQL Server 2016 will have support for Linux & Docker - finally acknowledging that enterprise IT is fundamentally messy - customers don't like being forced to adopt specific operating systems and that most enterprise companies have complex hybrid platforms.



And that’s it for the first edition of Cloud Report - hope you enjoyed it! Our singular mission is to become the de-facto resource for the cloud computing industry by keeping users consistently informed. Don’t bother sifting through release notes, product updates and bug logs - that’s our job. Questions, comments, or concerns? Shoot us an email and let us know what you’d like to hear more about. We’ll be back mid-December for another update in the world of cloud computing.


For those of you going to AWS re:Invent 2016 later this month in Las Vegas, Scalr will be there on the show floor! We have a lot of great improvements coming down the pipeline and we’re excited to see what the rest of the industry is up to. Come by and say hi at Booth 2334 or schedule an on-site meeting now!



Related posts:

- Security Groups AWS vs Azure >> Read

-  AWS vs GCE vs Azure: Instance Pricing Comparison >> Read

- How to Restrict User Access on AWS - IAM  >> Read

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