Cloud Report - Latest Cloud Product Updates And News

March 30, 2017 Alexander Green


The Cloud Report is a 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, and GCE. 

Here’s what is happening in the world of cloud computing and cloud management today.

Release Notes

Highlights on current release notes from each cloud platform.



AWS CodeBuild is now available in the Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), and EU (Frankfurt) regions. CodeBuild a build service that helps you run tests without needing to spin up new servers. It’s part of Amazon’s Code Services, which is essentially an integrated system for development. You push code to Amazon git repos (CodeCommit), set up a CI/CD pipeline (CodePipeline) and deploy new code (CodeDeploy).


AWS CodeDeploy was recently updated to support blue/green deployments.

AWS CodeCommit now supports viewing the difference between commits from within the console. You can view the differences inline (Unified view) or side by side (Split view).


Amazon RDS added support for copying DB cluster snapshots across regions, copying DB cluster snapshots between accounts in the same region, sharing encrypted snapshots between accounts in the same region, and replicating encrypted DB clusters across regions.


AWS CloudTrail now includes support for AWS Organizations.


Elastic Beanstalk has a bunch of little updates. First, Elastic Beanstalk now enables you to create custom EB platforms based on your application and configuration requirements. Custom Platform provides you with greater control over the AMI, metadata, and configuration options.

Additionally, you can now configure multiple conditions in an AWS Elastic Beanstalk extension file to modify the runtime environment of your Elastic Beanstalk instances.
Lastly, AWS Elastic Beanstalk is retiring legacy platforms, which means you will no longer be able to manage legacy Elastic Beanstalk environments as of August 1, 2017.




Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Azure SQL Data Warehouse is now generally available in four additional regions—Germany Central, Germany Northeast, Korea Central, and Korea South.


Azure Analysis Services on Microsoft Mechanics

Microsoft posted a handy video giving you an overview of Azure Analysis Services. With it, you can host semantic data models in the cloud. Users can hook up to your data models easily can using tools like Excel and Power BI to create reports and perform data analysis.


New VM sizes: the L Series

The L Series for Storage is good for low latency workloads such as NoSQL databases (e.g. Cassandra, MongoDB, Redis). L Series VMs are currently available in the following regions: East US 2, West US, Southeast Asia, Canada Central & East, and Australia East.


Backup Azure VMs using Azure Backup templates

Azure Backup provides file system consistent backups of Linux VMs running in Azure. Now you can create application consistent backups running on the main Linux distros (e.g. Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, etc.). This framework gives you flexibility to execute custom pre and post scripts as part of the VM backup process.


Azure Site Recovery

Azure Site Recovery is available in five new regions: UK South, UK West, Canada East, Canada Central, and US West 2. Azure Site Recovery helps the process of automates protection and replication of Hyper-V machines to premium storage along with remote health monitoring.

DocumentDB: API for MongoDB

DocumentDB: API for MongoDB is generally available. The API for MongoDB allows developers to use the DocumentDB database engine with MongoDB SDKs, toolchains, and libraries.


A few cool things on the API for MongoDB:

Sharded Collections - By specifying a shard key, API for MongoDB will automatically distribute your data amongst multiple partitions.
Global Databases - API for MongoDB allows you to replicate your data across multiple regions.
Read-only Keys - API for MongoDB now supports read-only keys, which will only allow read operations on the API for MongoDB database. Keep the lower tier developers from actually updating every single document in a collection by accident.


Google has been busy creating tutorials for all of the new features and products released from Google Next. While all of the new features are cool and covered in this blog post, here are links to the ones we think developers and admins may find most useful:


Cloud SQL for PostgresSQL

Why you would care: you can schedule automatic daily backups or run them on-demand. You can enable automatic storage increase and Cloud SQL will add storage capacity whenever you approach your limit. Cloud SQL already supports MySQL, and now, PostgreSQL users can also let Google take care of mundane database administration tasks like applying patches and managing backups and storage capacity. There’s also a cool case study on Descartes Labs using Cloud SQL for PostgreSQL on the link.


On using Google Cloud Container Builder as an easy way to get containers into production:


PHP 7.1

While PHP may not be as trendy as it was in 2007, it’s a powerhouse language running the backend of any website built before Rails and Node.js showed up. PHP 7.1 is available on Google App Engine and is currently in beta.


A Few Good Reads:

On creating a data simulator to implement and re-use data for machine learning.


Google’s CREs on reliable releases:


On security breaches and databases:


On the ongoing battle of business collaboration tools products:



And that’s it for this edition of Cloud Report - hope you enjoyed it. 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.

If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me at

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Cloud Report - Latest Cloud Product Updates And News
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