Jul 10, 2020

Microsoft Azure: the tech giant’s cloud computing platform

Cloud
Azure
AI
Machine Learning
William Smith
2 min
While perhaps still best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system, in recent years cloud has become an ever more crucial part of the company
While perhaps still best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system, in recent years cloud has become an ever more crucial part of the company...

While perhaps still best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system, in recent years cloud has become an ever more crucial part of the company.

Azure was originally announced in 2008, before being released in 2010. It offers services such as compute, analytics, storage and networking, with specialised industry solutions in fields such as ecommerce and finance.

Its products are offered on four different bases: as infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS) and serverless. Azure is charged on a pay-as-you-go basis, billing customers for the specific resources they use, while customer support comes in five tiers, from Basic to Premier.

Its services are very broad in scale, covering such areas as compute, storage, networking, integration, IoT, DevOps, AI and machine learning, blockchain and databases, just to name a few.

Azure also intersects with other cloud technologies on offer from Microsoft, with the likes of Windows Server, Active Directory and SharePoint, as well as its Office365 suite.

Azure is widely recognised as the vehicle behind Microsoft’s renewed impetus, having become a $1trn company back in April 2019, beating Google. A large part of that growth has been in what the company calls its ‘Intelligent Cloud’ business area (up 27% in the last quarter), which incorporates the likes of Azure, and ‘Productivity and Business Processes’ (up 17%), of which LinkedIn is a part.

Azure has been championed by the company’s CEO Satya Nadella, who has said: “Stepping back from the quarter and reflecting more broadly on the next decade, the defining secular trend will be the increasing rate of digitization of people, places and things. This malleable power of software will drive productivity growth across all industries, leading to more inclusive economic growth far beyond the domains of consumer tech today. Tech spend as a percentage of GDP is projected to double over the next decade.” 

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May 12, 2021

Confluent announces new private cloud building platform

Cloud
Data
Technology
Digital
2 min
Confluent launches its Kubernetes platform, providing developers a cloud-native data streaming experience within private cloud infrastructure

Confluent, a platform that sets data in motion, today announced Confluent for Kubernetes, the first platform purpose-built to bring cloud-native capabilities to data streams in private infrastructures.

Confluent for Kubernetes allows platform teams to bring much of the same cloud-native experience found within Confluent Cloud to their self-managed environments while enabling operations teams to retain control of their data and infrastructure. As a cloud-native solution, Confluent for Kubernetes helps achieve faster time-to-value and reduce operational burdens with a fully elastic and scalable cloud-native experience in private infrastructure.

“To compete in the digital realm, organisations need to quickly deliver personalised customer experiences and real-time operations, which are only possible with access to data from all environments and cloud-native advantages,” said Ganesh Srinivasan, Chief Product and Engineering Officer, Confluent.

“For organisations that need to operate on-premises, we’re bringing the benefits of cloud computing to their private infrastructure with Confluent for Kubernetes. Now, any company can build a private cloud service to move data across their business regardless of its environment.”

 

How can Confluent for Kubernetes help?

Organisations who are transitioning to the cloud or who need to keep workloads on-premises can use Confluent for Kubernetes’ cloud-native capabilities, including a declarative API to deploy and operate Confluent. According to the company, the platform also makes moving applications to the public cloud easier by ‘seamlessly migrating workloads to wherever your business needs them with the ability to connect and share data with Confluent Cloud’.

  • Enhanced reliability – As a cloud-native system, Confluent for Kubernetes detects if a process fails and will automatically restart processes or reschedule as necessary. Automated rack awareness spreads replicas of a partition across different racks, improving the availability of your brokers and limiting the risk of data loss.

  • Automated elasticity – Meet changing business demands with the ability to scale up using API-driven operations. The platform will automatically generate configurations, schedule and run new broker processes, and ensure data is balanced across brokers so that clusters can be efficiently utilised.

  • Simplified infrastructure management – Confluent for Kubernetes extends the Kubernetes API, enabling organisations to define the desired high-level state of clusters rather than manage all the low-level details. This infrastructure-as-code approach reduces the operational burden and achieves a faster time to value, while enhancing security with standards that can be easily and consistently deployed across an organisation.

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