Cloud News: Oracle, Microsoft, RightScale, Amazon

Oracle (ORCL) unveils its cloud services, Microsoft (MSFT) adds features to Windows Azure, RightScale to support new option for Linux on Azure, Amazon Spot Instances support AutoScaling.

Here’s a roundup of some of this week’s headlines from the cloud computing sector:

Oracle unveils broad cloud strategy.  In a major strategy update, Larry Ellison announced a broad and advanced Cloud strategy and introduced Oracle Cloud Social Services, a broad Enterprise Social Platform offering. Pundits around the net instantly recalled Ellison's earlier comments about cloud computing and the use (and abuse) of the purely marketing concept. "Almost seven years of relentless engineering and innovation plus key strategic acquisitions. An investment of billions. We are now announcing the most comprehensive Cloud on the planet Earth,” said Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison. “Most cloud vendors only have niche assets. They don’t have platforms to extend. Oracle is the only vendor that offers a complete suite of modern, socially-enabled applications, all based on a standards-based platform.” The Oracle Cloud contains Platform services for database, java, developer, web, mobile, documents, sites and analytics. It delivers  integrated services that provide customers with subscription-based access to Oracle Platform Services, Application Services, and Social Services, all completely managed, hosted and supported by Oracle.

Microsoft advances Azure.  Last week Microsoft's Scott Guthrie hosted a "Meet Windows Azure" event in San Francisco, suspiciously close to the Larry Ellison cloud announcement. Microsoft announced several new or updated services to deliver what they call the "Hybrid Cloud". Enhancements were made to SQL Reporting, caching, a SSAE 16 (SOC1 Type 2) audit report, and a locally redundant storage choice was added to existing Geo-Redundant options. New services include Windows Azure virtual machines, an Azure Virtual network, and Azure Web Sites for packaged, quickly deployed sites and applications. Microsoft also made enhancements to its Azure Management Portal, SDK, and added numerous new languages that are supported, such as Java, PHP, .NET and Python. Available now in 48 additional countries, Azure has many new pricing options and updates. There are numerous learning opportunities available for Windows Azure in the TechEd North America 2012 event held in Orlando this week.

RightScale Supports Windows Azure.  RightScale announced support for Windows Azure for both Windows and Linux. RightScale is now running a private beta with Windows Azure as one of the public cloud choices available for management with RightScale. Pre-built ServerTemplates as a configuration framework facilitate efficient, automated provisioning and operations on Windows Azure. “Microsoft clearly understands customers’ needs when moving workloads between their internal datacenters and the cloud and has built Windows Azure to deliver a smoother transition,” said Michael Crandell, CEO of RightScale. “Now customers can take advantage of Windows Azure’s new offering with RightScale automation and configuration capabilities to on-ramp to the cloud faster and still be able to customize solutions for their specific company needs.”

Amazon Spot Instances integrate auto scaling and CloudFormation.  Amazon announced that users can now use Amazon EC2 Spot Instances with Auto Scaling and AWS CloudFormation. With auto scaling the number of Spot Instances run are automatically based on demand or a defined schedule. For CloudFormation Spot Instances can be easily provisioned using AWS templates. With AWS notifications the user is enabled to generate and manage Amazon SNS notifications when there are changes in the state of Amazon EC2 Instances, current Spot Instance Requests, and Spot Prices within a particular region.

Report to the President on Cloud Computing.  CTOLabs summarizes many of the highlights from a recently released report to the President on Cloud Computing, from the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC). The White House tasked the NSTAC to do this study because they saw a need to address this issue because of the quick-moving push to modernize many national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) capabilities to be cloud based capabilities.

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