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A brief roundup of the latest cloud news from the tech industry.

Worldwide IaaS Public Cloud Services Market Grew 31% in 2016

Gartner has revealed that the worldwide IaaS public cloud market totalled $22.1 billion in 2016, up from $16.8 billion in 20151. Amazon was the No. 1 vendor in the IaaS market in 2016, followed by Microsoft and Alibaba.

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Perhaps surprisingly, it’s Alibaba which has grown the most, jumping 126% with Google not far behind on 100%. These are growing off relatively small bases however – Amazon grew 46% but off a much higher base to record by far and away the largest overall growth.

AWS has a major headstart in this arena and is by far and away the largest supplier of IaaS, but experts predict growth will begin to slow as competitors such as Microsoft, Google and Alibaba eat into AWS market share. The good growth recorded by these companies is evidence for this, but they still have a long way to go to reach anywhere near the size of Amazon.

AWS, Microsoft To Expand Cloud Computing Data Centers

Cloud leaders Amazon, Microsoft and Google are in an arms race of sorts, building data centers around the world to put computing and storage capacity near potential users and to satisfy requirements by some governments to keep data in the country of origin.

To this end, Microsoft has added additional data center capacity to two of its cloud regions in the U.S. and Europe, and plans to do the same to all of its data centers going forward2.

Microsoft is adding availability zones, which are basically separate-but-connected data centers each with their own power supply, cooling system, close to existing data centers. This arrangement enables customers to move workloads from one zone to another quickly, important if one of the zones experiences a localized problem.

By the same token, AWS announced that it plans to open an infrastructure region in the Middle East by early 20193. Currently AWS provides 44 availability zones across 16 infrastructure regions worldwide, with another 14 availability zones, across five AWS regions in China, France, Hong Kong, Sweden, and a second GovCloud Region in the U.S. expected to come online by the end of 2018.

With latency becoming a key performance indicator for cloud computing, opening up data centers in various parts of the world helps cloud companies better serve local customers with high-performance cloud services in those regions.

Oracle Introduces New Cloud Programs

Oracle has released two new cloud programs titled ‘Bring Your Own License to PaaS’ and ‘Universal Credits’, in a move designed to make it easier for customers to move to the cloud and consume cloud services4.

With the ‘Bring Your Own License’ program, customers can use their existing software licenses for Oracle platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings, including Oracle Database, Middleware and Analytics, in a way that’s similar to Oracle’s existing offering which lets customers do the same with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

With the Universal Credits program, users can gain on-demand access to all services and lower cost pre-paid services, alongside the ability to upgrade, expand or move services across data centres as required, and can also benefit from using new services with their existing set of cloud credits. Users can also switch IaaS and PaaS services without having to notify Oracle.

1http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3808563
2http://fortune.com/2017/09/22/microsoft-cloud-data-center-expansion/

3http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170925005374/en/Amazon-Web-Services-Announces-Opening-Data-Centers
4http://www.zdnet.com/article/oracle-unveils-universal-credits-license-mobility-for-easy-cloud-consumption/

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