By Kelly Teal
As 2019 comes to a close, it’s time to round up some of the cloud news that flew a little under the radar during the last few weeks of the year.
AWS, GCP, Azure Neck and Neck in Performance: Report
Cockroach Labs has found that the top three public cloud providers are performing almost equally.
The software company, which develops commercial database management systems, recently conducted its third annual analysis of each platform. In the first year, it found Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform were almost equal (Microsoft Azure wasn’t included); in the second, AWS outperformed GCP by 40%.
And this year?
More than 1,000 benchmark tests revealed a much more level playing field among the big three.
“Most notably, we saw that GCP has made noticeable improvements in the TPC-C benchmark such that all three clouds fall within the same relative zone for top-end performance,” company representatives wrote in a Dec. 11 blog.
Azure fared best in CPU performance, AWS came out with the best network and I/O capabilities, and Google showed up its rivals in network throughput.
Cockroach Labs has made its 2020 Cloud report available here.
GCP Debuts Transfer Service
Partners with enterprise customers wanting to move data off premises and into Google’s cloud now may handle that process with ease.
Earlier this month, Google Cloud launched its Transfer Service, a managed solution that move data without requiring custom software or off-the-shelf platforms.
“Now, you can complete large-scale data transfers online, which scale to high-speed network connections — up to billions of files, multiple PB of data, and tens of Gbps,” Ash Ahluwalia, product manager for Google Cloud, wrote in a Dec. 12 blog. “Transfer Service for on-premises data validates data integrity, so you can transfer with confidence. It’s also designed to be reliable and secure, so that if agent failures occur, in-progress transfers will not be impacted. And with performance optimizations included from the application to the transport layer, the service can use your available bandwidth to minimize transfer times. Plus, this service requires no code or maintenance, allowing your organization to focus on innovation, not operations.”
Scott Sinclair, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said he sees a lot of enterprises fails to anticipate costs and long-term resources when they try to handle their own data transfers on-premises.
“This solution is a great fit for enterprises moving data for business-critical use cases like archive and disaster recovery, lift and shift, and analytics and machine learning,” Sinclair said.
Into Blockchain? Azure’s Got You Covered
Microsoft in early November announced that its distributed ledger blockchain services built on Azure cloud have some new features: a preview of Azure Blockchain Tokens, a blockchain data manager and an Ethereum development kit.
Azure Blockchain Service launched in 2015. The new additions, still in preview, let users tokenize physical or digital assets. Microsoft says that will hasten business blockchain technology adoption because it simplifies how regulatory-compliant tokens, built on industry standards, are made and managed. To that end, the Azure Blockchain Tokens preview contains templates for common scenarios; Microsoft will support partner-created templates as well.
Microsoft further is issuing updates to the development kit for Ethereum extension for Visual Studio Code. Blockchain developers should experience productivity improvements, according to Microsoft, “whether they are building an application on top of a blockchain network, or connecting a back-end system to produce or consume blockchain data,” Matthew Kerner, general manager for Microsoft Azure, wrote in a blog.
“Blockchain is an exciting and dynamic industry, and we remain committed to simplifying adoption in the enterprise across scenarios like supply chain visibility and traceability and royalty reconciliation, among others,” Kerner wrote. “With investments that span the whole stack – from developer tools to Azure infrastructure services and Azure managed services – enterprise adoption of blockchain is easier than ever.”