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BrandPost: NVM Express Has Transformed Fast Storage in the Cloud –...

If we go back to 2009, the work to define NVM Express (NVMe) had just begun, and around that same time, Microsoft Azure made its first major purchase of Serial ATA (SATA) based solid-state drives (SSDs) to help accelerate its storage servers by offloading the storage commit log. Microsoft knew that non-volatile memory (e.g, NAND Flash) would become very important for cloud computing, although it was still very expensive and restricted to use in limited applications.
It was also clear to Microsoft that the SATA interface would be unsuitable to handle the performance of future high performance SSDs.In 2011, as NVM Express had just had its first revision published, a competing standards proposal came on the scene called SCSI Express.
SCSI Express was designed to use the traditional SCSI command set (including three decades of legacy infrastructure for hard drives) on top of the PCI Express interface. Looking at the technical merits, there was consensus in the Microsoft Windows and Azure teams that NVMe was the better interface definition for NAND Flash and to scale to future NVM technologies (e.g., 3D XPointtrade; Technology, MRAM, etc). Microsoft worried that competing standards would lead to many headaches in the market, and thus, Microsoft Azure decided at the time to support the NVMe standard and collaborate with other industry leaders promoting NVMe including Cisco, Dell, Intel, Micron, Microsemi, NetApp, Oracle, Samsung, Seagate, WD to avoid bifurcation of the market by investing in NVMe to ensure it met the needs of the Cloud.
In this article, we will describe the journey of the past five years, where today NVMe is the predominant SSD interface used by Microsoft Azure.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

3 killer cloud skills that will get you hired today

One of the most common questions that Irsquo;m asked is: "What cloud skills do I need that will get me hired quickly?"First, keep in mind that this is an emerging area, so what employers are looking for is constantly shifting.
Second, even if they do hire you for a specific skill, yoursquo;ll be asked to retrain and retool as the cloud technology matures.[ A developerrsquo;s guide: Get started with serverless computing.

Then learnnbsp;how to use Microsoftlsquo;s Azure Functions and how to use AWS Lambda for serverless computing. | Build ’em now! 5 uses for serverless frameworks. ]
Still, here are three skills that should get you hired right now:To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Serverless computing: Don’t make the wrong choices

Serverless computing is all the rage right nowmdash;and for several good reasons:It removes you from having to provision a server yourself; you simply write functions, and the resources you need are automatically allocated to that function. You pay only for the resources you use. No more leaving servers up and running, then getting a big cloud bill at the end of the month. It can automatically scale, determining what cloud services need to scale with demand and then making it happen. [ A developerrsquo;s guide: Get started with serverless computing.

Then learnnbsp;how to use Microsoftlsquo;s Azure Functions and how to use AWS Lambda for serverless computing. | Build ’em now! 5 uses for serverless frameworks. ]
Amazon Web Servicesrsquo; AWS Lambda and Microsoftrsquo;snbsp;Azure Functions are the best-known examples of serverless computing, and both have existed for a few years.
Still, although wersquo;ve had some great success in some serverless areas, there are other serverless areas that need work.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

GitHub Enterprise users get project management, data access improvements

GitHub has added data access tools and advanced project management to GitHub Enterprise, the on-premises version of the companyrsquo;s code-sharing platform.Here are the notable features in GitHub Enterprise 2.10, whichnbsp;can be installed on a userrsquo;s own hardware or on a cloud service such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure:[ Explore the power of the graph — the Microsoft and Office Graph, that is — in your apps: Microsoft Graph: The APIs to Office 365rsquo;s hidden riches • Microsoft Graph and Microsoft Teams reshape Office • Cortana moves way beyond being a personal assistant. | Keep up with hot topics in programming with InfoWorld's App Dev Report newsletter. ]Thenbsp;GraphQL APInbsp;to helpnbsp;developers to build their own tools with greater access to data via the same API used to build GitHub itself.  Project boards give users are provided a history of project activities, including notifications as to which team member was behind each action. For project reviews, a filter prioritizes pull requests, such as a request for items still awaiting review, an approved pull request, or requests that are ready to be merged. Users also can specify who is permitted to dismiss reviews on a protected branch. Version 2.0.0 of Git LFS (Large File Storage), which offers an early version of file locking, to prevent multiple updates at the same time. Administrators can configure API rate limiting, which can prevent overuse of resources, from the management console. To organize repositories, administrators can manually add tags to repositories for search and discovery.

Topics can be designated for adding relevant data and group repositories by languages used, project functions, or teams responsible for maintaining a repository. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Cray puts its supercomputer in the cloud

Cray Research is now offering its Urika-GX supercomputer as a cloud computing service, targeted at life-sciences customers looking for compute cycles to solve some heavy problems.

This offering, done with cloud infrastructure provider Markley, makes Cray one of the last high-performance computing providers to give cloud computing a try.But few companies actually need it.[ A developerrsquo;s guide: Get started with serverless computing. | Microsoft Azure Functions locks in on serverless computing. | Build ’em now! 5 uses for serverless frameworks. ]Most enterprise-based RD shops just need high-performance computing services from time to time, and they rarely need a specific platform such as the Urika-GX.

And they can get the more generic high-performance computing services from Amazon Web Services or other modern cloud providers.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Intrinsic ID Unveils Bold New Authentication Security for IoT Devices

SPARTAN Cloud is the first security product that enables secure connections to AWS, Azure and Google Cloud based on Transport Layer Security (TLS).

Microsoft devs: How to create apps for alien platforms

Microsoft has made major strides to take its development tools out of a Windows-only world, both for the applications you can create and the platforms they run on.

The open source .Net development tools that Microsoft got when it acquired Xamarin two years ago are key to Microsoftrsquo;s cross-platform transformation.That transformation is very much evident today, with much of the Xamarinrsquo;s tools folded into Microsoftrsquo;s Visual Studio development platform over the last year, and its MacOS Xamarin Studio rebranded as Visual Studio for Mac with additional features for working with Azure and .Net Core.[ Review: Visual Studio 2017 is the best ever. | First look: Visual Studio for Mac. | Keep up with hot topics in programming with InfoWorldrsquo;s App Dev Report newsletter. ]To support Microsoft CEO Satya Nadellarsquo;s focus on an “intelligent cloud and intelligent edgerdquo; mission, Xamarinrsquo;s cross-platform development strategy is key to delivering the edge elements of that vision. Microsoftrsquo;s mobile strategy has pivoted away from its own Windows Mobile OS (at least for now), and the company is now concentrating on delivering applications for the previously alien platforms iOS and Android.
Itrsquo;s a shift that also means bringing its developer ecosystem to new platforms – especially if itrsquo;s to deliver on its Project Rome vision of applications and content that migrate from device to device, letting your work follow you wherever you go.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Make sense of edge computing vs. cloud computing

The internet of things is real, and itrsquo;s a real part of the cloud.

A key challenge is how you can get data processed from so many devices.

Cisco Systems predicts that cloud traffic is likely to rise nearly fourfold by 2020, increasing 3.9 zettabytes (ZB) per year in 2015 (the latest full year for which data is available) to 14.1ZB per year by 2020.As a result, we could have the cloud computing perfect storm from the growth of IoT.

After all, IoT is about processing device-generated data that is meaningful, and cloud computing is about using data from centralized computing and storage.

Growth rates of both can easily become unmanageable.[ Read the InfoWorld reviews: Amazon eases developers into IoT. | Azure brings IoT to .Net developers. | Stay up on cloud happenings with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ]So what do we do? The answer is something called “edge computing.” We already know that computing at the edge pushes most of the data processing out to the edge of the network, close to the source of the data.

Then itrsquo;s a matter of dividing the processing between the edge and the centralized system, meaning a public cloud such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Does Microsoft’s Cosmos DB promise too much?

Microsoft apparently missed database godfather Michael Stonebrakerrsquo;s memo.
In 2005 Stonebraker declared the “one size fits allrdquo; mentality of the database market is an idea whose “time has come and gone.” Fast forward to 2017 and Microsoft launched Azure Cosmos DB, a new database that promises to do... everything.No, really.

Everything.Relational data? Check.

Documents? Yep.

Graph? Of course.
Strong consistency? Bingo! Eventual consistency? That, too! In fact, Cosmos DB has five consistency models to choose from.Not surprisingly, euphoric cries greeted the press release, with one developer gushing that it “absolutely beats any competitor in the cloudrdquo; and, as such, “not sure why would you go for anything else today.” Microsoft, even less surprisingly, agreed, calling Azure Cosmos DB “the first globally-distributed data service that lets you elastically scale throughput and storage across any number of geographical regions while guaranteeing low latency, high availability, and [five well-defined] consistency [models].”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Eastwind Networks Enables Cloud-App Visibility with Cloud Connectors

Users mistakenly think that if they put their infrastructure into Amazon (AWS), Google Cloud or Azure, that theyrsquo;re also providing securitymdash;but thatrsquo;s a fallacy.

Google’s Firebase taps serverless Cloud Functions

Firebase, Google Cloud’s back end and SDK for mobile and web application development, is being enhanced with serverless compute capabilities. Google Cloud Functions for Firebase, now available in a beta release, allows developers to run back-end JavaScript code that responds to events triggered by Firebase features and HTTPS requests.Developers upload their code to Google's cloud, and the functions are run in a managed Node.js environment. There is no need for users to manage or scale their own servers. “[Cloud Functions] enables true server-less development,” Google's Ben Galbraith said. Like AWS Lambda and Microsoft's Azure Functions, Cloud Functions allows users to deploy and run code without provisioning servers. Developers code to cloud APIs, and the cloud takes care of managing and scaling the functions.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Cortana moves way beyond being a personal assistant

Microsoftrsquo;s Cortana voice-based personal assistant has always seemed a little out of place in the enterprise.
Itrsquo;s a useful tool for search, for reminders, and for letting you know when you need to leave to get to that meeting on time.

But compared to Amazon Alexarsquo;s growing list of skills, itrsquo;s lagging in the personal assistant race.Yes, it connects to Office 365 and LinkedIn to give you some insight into your work, but then again so does Alexa.

But if Microsoft delivers the Windows promises made last week at its Build 2017 developer conference, thatrsquo;s all going to change.[ Put itnbsp;all together: Microsoftrsquo;s plan to one-up Applersquo;s Handoff. • Inside the Microsoft Graph APIs. • How to build Microsoft bots. • Reinventingnbsp;Microsoft Teams with private bots. • How to use Azure Functions. • Just what is Project Rome? ]As part of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadellarsquo;s rearticulation of his original “mobile first, cloud firstrdquo; vision as one of “an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge,” Cortana is getting a promotion. More than a basic piece of personal assistant software, with the next release of Windows 10 it will be the face of the intelligent agents that will populate Microsoftrsquo;s new blurring of the cloud and PC worlds.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here