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Should Your Company Switch To Microservices?

Should Your Company Switch To Microservices?

Walmart Canada claims that it was microservices that allowed them to replace hardware with virtual servers, reducing costs by somewhere between 20 and 50 percent. Now Slashdot reader snydeq shares an article by a senior systems automation engineer arguing that a microservices approach “offers increased modularity, making applications easier to develop, test, deploy, and, more importantly, change and maintain.”

The article touts things like cost savings and flexibility for multiple device types, suggesting microservices offer increased resilience and improved scalabiity (not to mention easier debugging and a faster time to market with an incremental development model). But it also warns that organizations need the resources to deploy the new microservices quicky (and the necessary server) — along with the ability to test and monitor them for database errors, network latency, caching issues and ongoing availability. “You must embrace devops culture,” argues the article, adding that “designing for failure is essential… In a traditional setting, developers are focused on features and functionalities, and the operations team is on the hook for production challenges. In devops, everyone is responsible for service provisioning — and failure.”

The original submission ends with a question for Slashdot reader. “What cautions do you have to offer for folks considering tapping microservices for their next application?”

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Posted by amiller in Blog, cloud
Amazon Kills Off Unlimited Cloud Storage Option For Amazon Drive

Amazon Kills Off Unlimited Cloud Storage Option For Amazon Drive

Coldeagle writes: It looks like Amazaon is killing off it’s unlimited storage plan and replacing it with a 1 TB plan for the same monthly cost. USA Today reports: “Amazon had the best deal in online storage — unlimited backup for $59.99 — but now unlimited is out. It has been replaced with tiered pricing, the system used by Amazon’s rivals. The new rate, announced to customers Wednesday night, is now $59.99 yearly for 1 terabyte of online backup, with each additional terabyte (TB) costing an additional $59.99 annually. Additionally, Amazon is introducing a lower-priced tier set at 100 GBs of storage for $11.99 yearly.”

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Posted by amiller in Blog, cloud
Apple's New iOS File Manager Coming This Fall As Part of iOS 11

Apple's New iOS File Manager Coming This Fall As Part of iOS 11

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Apple announced the new file manager today. A demo showed that the application will provide access to local files and files in cloud storage services such as Dropbox, iCloud Drive, and Box. It will support nested folders, favorites, search, tags, and a list view in which files can be sorted by size and date. You’ll also be able to drag and drop with other applications, for example by dragging an attachment from e-mail into the file manager. The new manager will be part of iOS 11, shipping this fall.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, cloud
Is Amazon's AWS Hiring 'Demolishing The Cult Of Youth'?

Is Amazon's AWS Hiring 'Demolishing The Cult Of Youth'?

Tech analyst James Governor argues that Amazon’s cloud business is “demolishing the cult of youth.”
It just announced it is hiring James Gosling, one of the original inventors of Java… Meanwhile James Hamilton continues to completely kick ass in compute, network, and data center design for AWS… He’s in his 50s. Tim Bray, one of the inventors of XML, joined Amazon in 2014. He’s another Sun alumni. He’s 61 now. He still codes. When you sit down with one of the AWS engineering teams you’re sitting down with grownups… Adrian Cockcroft joined AWS in October 2016. He graduated in 1982, not 2002. He is VP Cloud Architecture Strategy at AWS, a perfect role for someone that helped drive Netflix’s transition from on-prem Java hairball to serious cloud leadership.

Great engineering is not maths — it involves tradeoffs, wisdom and experience… The company puts such a premium on independent groups working fast and making their own decisions it requires a particular skillset, which generally involves a great deal of field experience. A related trend is hiring seasoned marketing talent from the likes of IBM. Some other older companies have older distinguished engineers because they grew up with the company. AWS is explicitly bringing that experience in. It’s refreshing to the see a different perspective on value.

In a later post the analyst acknowledges engineering managers are generally older than their reports, but adds that “If AWS sees value in hiring engineering leadership from folks that are frankly a bit older than the norm in the industry, isn’t that worth shining a light on?” In response to the article, XML inventor Tim Bray suggested a new acronym: GaaS. “Geezers as a service,” while Amazon CTO Werner Vogels tweeted “There is no compression algorithm for experience.”

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Posted by amiller in Blog, cloud
Microsoft Wants To Monitor Your Workplace With AI, Computer Vision and the Cloud

Microsoft Wants To Monitor Your Workplace With AI, Computer Vision and the Cloud

“If you’re an employee under the heel of a giant corporation you should probably be terrified by the vision of the future of connected gadgets that Microsoft just revealed at its Build developer conference here in Seattle,” warns Gizmodo. Slashdot reader dryriver writes:
Gizmodo reports on a Microsoft Workplace Monitoring demo where CCTV cameras watch a workplace — like a construction site — on 24/7 basis, and AI algorithms constantly oversee and evaluate what is happening in that workplace. The system can track where employees are, where physical equipment and tools are at what time, who does what at what time in this workplace and apparently use Cloud-based AI of some sort to evaluate what is happening in the workplace being monitored. Spotting employees misbehaving, breaking workplace rules or putting themselves and expensive equipment at risk may be the intended “value proposition” this system brings to the workplace. Another aspect may be reducing insurance premiums employers pay by creating a strict, highly monitored work environment. But the system is also very Big Brother — an AI is monitoring people and equipment in a workplace in realtime at all times, and all the data ends up being processed in the Microsoft Cloud. Gizmodo gave their article the title, “Microsoft’s Latest Workplace Tech Demos Creep Me Out.”

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Posted by amiller in Blog, cloud
Leaked Document Sheds Light On Microsoft's Chromebook Rival

Leaked Document Sheds Light On Microsoft's Chromebook Rival

Microsoft has announced plans to host an event next month where it is expected to unveil Windows 10 Cloud operating system. Microsoft will be positioning the new OS as a competitor to Chrome OS, according to several reports. Windows Central has obtained an internal document which sheds light on the kind of devices that will be running Windows 10 Cloud. The hardware requirement that Microsoft has set for third-party OEMs is as follows: 1. Quad-core (Celeron or better) processor. 2. 4GB of RAM. 3. 32GB of storage (64GB for 64-bit). 4. A battery larger than 40 WHr. 5. Fast eMMC or solid state drive (SSD) for storage technology. 6. Pen and touch (optional). The report adds that Microsoft wants these laptops to offer over 10-hour of battery life, and the “cold boot” should not take longer than 20 seconds.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, cloud
Amazon Cloud Chief Jabs Oracle: 'Customers Are Sick of It'

Amazon Cloud Chief Jabs Oracle: 'Customers Are Sick of It'

It’s no secret that Amazon and Oracle don’t see eye to eye. But things are far from improving, it appears. From a report: On Wednesday, two months after Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd called Amazon’s cloud infrastructure “old” and claimed his company was gaining share, Amazon Web Services chief Andy Jassy slammed Oracle for locking customers into painfully long and expensive contracts. “People are very sensitive about being locked in given the experience they’ve had the last 10 to 15 years,” Jassy said on Wednesday on stage at Amazon’s AWS Summit in San Francisco. “When you look at cloud, it’s nothing like being locked into Oracle.” Jassy was addressing a cultural shift in the way technology is bought and sold. No longer does the process involve the purchase of heavy proprietary software with multi-year contracts that include annual maintenance fees. Now, Jassy says, it’s about choice and ease of use, including letting clients turn things off if they’re not working.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, cloud
Microsoft's Rumored CloudBook Could Be Your Next Cheap Computer

Microsoft's Rumored CloudBook Could Be Your Next Cheap Computer

An anonymous reader shares a report: In a few weeks, at its education-oriented software and hardware event in New York, Microsoft could unveil a sub-premium laptop — something more robust than a Surface but not as fancy as a Surface Book. And rather than run good old Windows 10, the new product could run something called Windows 10 Cloud, which reportedly will only be able to run apps that you can find in the Windows Store, unless you change a certain preference in Settings. The idea is that this will keep your device more secure. However, that does mean you won’t be able to use certain apps that aren’t in the Store — like Steam — on a Windows 10 Cloud device, such as the rumored CloudBook. Microsoft is going after Google’s Chromebooks that are very popular in the education space — so much so that they are playing an instrumental role in keeping the entire PC shipments up.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, cloud
Apache Hadoop Has Failed Us, Tech Experts Say

Apache Hadoop Has Failed Us, Tech Experts Say

It was the first widely-adopted open source distributed computing platform. But some geeks running it are telling Datanami that Hadoop “is great if you’re a data scientist who knows how to code in MapReduce or Pig…but as you go higher up the stack, the abstraction layers have mostly failed to deliver on the promise of enabling business analysts to get at the data.” Slashdot reader atcclears shares their report:
“I can’t find a happy Hadoop customer. It’s sort of as simple as that,” says Bob Muglia, CEO of Snowflake Computing, which develops and runs a cloud-based relational data warehouse offering. “It’s very clear to me, technologically, that it’s not the technology base the world will be built on going forward”… [T]hanks to better mousetraps like S3 (for storage) and Spark (for processing), Hadoop will be relegated to niche and legacy statuses going forward, Muglia says. “The number of customers who have actually successfully tamed Hadoop is probably less than 20 and it might be less than 10…”
One of the companies that supposedly tamed Hadoop is Facebook…but according to Bobby Johnson, who helped run Facebook’s Hadoop cluster before co-founding behavioral analytics company Interana, the fact that Hadoop is still around is a “historical glitch. That may be a little strong,” Johnson says. “But there’s a bunch of things that people have been trying to do with it for a long time that it’s just not well suited for.” Hadoop’s strengths lie in serving as a cheap storage repository and for processing ETL batch workloads, Johnson says. But it’s ill-suited for running interactive, user-facing applications… “After years of banging our heads against it at Facebook, it was never great at it,” he says. “It’s really hard to dig into and actually get real answers from… You really have to understand how this thing works to get what you want.”
Johnson recommends Apache Kafka instead for big data applications, arguing “there’s a pipe of data and anything that wants to do something useful with it can tap into that thing. That feels like a better unifying principal…” And the creator of Kafka — who ran Hadoop clusters at LinkedIn — calls Hadoop “just a very complicated stack to build on.”

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Posted by amiller in Blog, cloud
Steve Wozniak Invests In Robot-Powered Paper-Digitizing Startup

Steve Wozniak Invests In Robot-Powered Paper-Digitizing Startup

Steve Wozniak — along with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer — have invested in an automated paper-digitization company named Ripcord, which formally launched on Thursday. An anonymous reader quotes VentureBeat:
Based in Hayward, California, Ripcord has machines that can scan, index, and categorize paper records to make them searchable through companies’ existing systems, via the cloud… Upon receipt, Ripcord unboxes the files and passes them to its machines, which scan, upload, and convert the content into searchable PDFs. Ripcord says that the conversion and classification process is around 80 percent automated and covers handling, the removal of fasteners (e.g. staples), and scanning.
“It sounds silly at first, but a really big part of the reason why this has never been done before are staples,” explains Business Insider. “Existing scanner systems require humans to pull staples, separate three-ring binders, unclip paper clips, and occasionally even unstrip duct tape before they can go through the system — otherwise they jam up the works.”
“Our robots work their magic,” explains Ripcord’s web site. They’re charging .004 cents per page — for every month that it’s stored in the cloud.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, cloud