A Roundup of the latest Cloud Computing News Stories

December 20, 2014 - 8 minutes read

Evolve or get left behind’ is the running theme in today’s world of business. The latest trend doing the rounds amongst businesses is subscribing to cloud service providers rather than investing in on-premise servers, platforms or applications. Businesses today are rapidly adopting the cloud ecosystem on account of the various benefits it brings to the table. However, there are many businesses that are reluctant to move to cloud – these enterprises might see their profits plummeting in 2015.

Cloud computing is having a dramatic impact on the way businesses function. A business that has moved to the cloud or is planning a move to the cloud needs to keep track of all the changes happening in this field to make correct business decisions related to cloud computing.

We are trying to do our bit to help businesses zero in on the latest information regarding the cloud by compiling a list of cloud based news stories every month.

Here’s this month’s list of 4 cloud computing stories that you might have missed:

1. Google’s Cloud Platform is Now in Compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI)- Data Security Standards (DSS)

This was an announcement made by Google in the first week of December. With this move, Google seeks to keep up with its two big competitors – Amazon and Microsoft. These companies have already achieved similar certification for their cloud offerings earlier. PCI-DSS is a global security standard certificate needed for enterprises that handle payment card information like credit or debit card details of customers. Until recently, Google’s Cloud Platform wasn’t meant to process or store credit card information. But with this step, Google has moved its hosting entirely to the cloud.

So, what does this mean for Google’s customers? Since Google’s Cloud Platform is now complaint, its customers will be able to store, process and exchange cardholder information. If there is a sudden spike in demand, it will allow customers to add servers in seconds. This gives some ISVs that are using Google’s platform as a service, another reason to stick to the Google cloud ecosystem rather than moving to another rival cloud environment. ISVs or developers can even use Google’s platform to build and operate their own secure and compliant solutions.

2. Microsoft Enhances Azure Cloud

Over the past few weeks, Microsoft has announced several updates to its cloud platform. These updates include:

  • For developers who prefer to use Azure SQL Database service instead of running SQL Server on Azure, many of the Server 14 features are now available in preview. This feature is designed especially for analytics and data warehouses.
  • The other change is related to Azure Site Recovery. Previously, the Azure Site Recovery service needed to deploy a System Center Virtual Machine Manager at primary site for automating failover and recovery to Azure. This was only suitable for enterprises. But recently, Microsoft extended its Site Recovery service to serve as a disaster recovery solution without requiring the need to run System Center.

So, what does this mean for Microsoft’s customers? Microsoft’s in-memory column store puts each column on its own set of disk pages. This saves users from loading an entire table when loading information from just a few columns. This latest development from Microsoft makes it easy for customers to move their existing business workloads to Microsoft cloud.

The other feature of Site Recovery is highly useful for smaller businesses.

3. Amazon Web Services Cuts through Cloud Costs

The competition between cloud service providers is getting fiercer. After Microsoft’s announcement of slashing prices last month, early this month, Amazon offered big discounts for its pre-paid virtual servers (called as Reserved Instances) on Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).  The company announced two new billing tiers for its Reserved Instances. The changes have been pretty substantial from the original all-upfront pricing model in place since AWS launched Reserved Instances in 2009.

So, what does this mean for Amazon customers? Charges for Reserved Instances infrastructure according to recent changes are based on how much a customer is prepared to pay upfront. Initially, Amazon customers were required to pay upfront for a full one or three year term, but with recent updates, customers get the option of paying part of the cost at the start of the contract. According to a blog post announcing the new options, paying the full price of the instances will save users an average of 63 percent off the monthly on-demand price over three years; while paying nothing upfront (an option only available in one-year terms) will result in savings of about 30 percent. Though AWS has offered big discounts for Reserved Instances, Google is still cheaper.

4. Google says Shift to Cloud is Accelerating

“The pace at which customers are moving their data to the cloud is picking up.” – said Barak Regev, Google’s cloud chief for Europe at Bloomberg Enterprise Technology Summit. He even added that “The adoption curve is extremely accelerating and we’re seeing it coming from a variety of companies. Cloud is bigger than any market out there if you think about the potential for adoption – even bigger than the advertising market”.

So, what does this mean for consumers? Though it may seem that in the ongoing price war against Google, Microsoft and Amazon, there will be a huge price slash next year, this is not going to be the case. This means, if you were planning to save your dollars in 2015 thinking there would be considerable reduction in the prices of cloud services, then according to Google that is not going to be the case. Prices will drop at a slower pace next year compared to this year.  Cloud promises you proper security and speed so even if your budget is constrained, you definitely need to consider it for your business next year.


If you have already invested or are planning to invest in cloud technology next year, you need to stay updated with the current changes and trends happening in the cloud ecosystem.

Stay updated, keep reading this section and make smarter business decisions!

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