CloudHealth adds support for Google Cloud amidst growing demand

CloudHealth, a startup that enables customers to manage a multi-cloud environment, announced today it was adding support for Google Cloud Platform. With today’s addition, CloudHealth now supports AWS, Azure, VMware and Google, giving customers a fairly comprehensive view of their cloud usage. Company co-founder and CTO Joe Kinsella says the company has been seeing inbound interest for Google Cloud support dating back to 2014, but up until now there hasn’t been enough interest to warrant a startup investing the resources necessary to support another platform. He says that has changed over the last 12-18 months as they’ve seen an increase in requests and decided to take the plunge.

Google Cloud cost summary page in CloudHealth. Screenshot: CloudHealth

“I think a lot of the initiatives that have been driven since Diane Greene joined Google [at the end of 2015] and began really driving towards the enterprise are bearing fruit. And
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PureSec exits Beta to secure serverless code

PureSec, a startup out of Israel emerged from Beta today to provide a way to make serverless computing more secure. Serverless computing reduces programming to writing functions, so that when a certain event happens, it triggers an automated action. The cloud vendor takes care of the underlying infrastructure and developers just write the code. It may sound like Shangri La for tech, but in reality there are still security concerns. You might think that a process that lasts only milliseconds wouldn’t be subject to conventional kinds of attacks, but the fact is serverless functions are designed to take human checks and balances out of the equation, says company co-founder Ory Segal, and if you don’t set up the functions correctly you could be vulnerable. As with any type of cloud security, there is a shared security model with serverless computing. On the vendor side, they ensure their data centers
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Okta nabs ScaleFT to build out ‘Zero Trust’ security framework

Okta, the cloud identity management company, announced today it has purchased a startup called ScaleFT to bring the Zero Trust concept to the Okta platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. While Zero Trust isn’t exactly new to a cloud identity management company like Okta, acquiring ScaleFT gives them a solid cloud-based Zero Trust foundation on which to continue to develop the concept internally. “To help our customers increase security while also meeting the demands of the modern workforce, we’re acquiring ScaleFT to further our contextual access management vision — and ensure the right people get access to the right resources for the shortest amount of time,” Okta co-founder and COO Frederic Kerrest said in a statement. Zero Trust is a security framework that acknowledges work no longer happens behind the friendly confines of a firewall. In the old days before mobile and cloud, you could be pretty
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Swim.ai raises $11M to bring real-time analytics to the edge

Once upon a time, it looked like cloud-based serviced would become the central hub for analyzing all IoT data. But it didn’t quite turn out that way because most IoT solutions simply generate too much data to do this effectively and the round-trip to the data center doesn’t work for applications that have to react in real time. Hence the advent of edge computing, which is spawing its own ecosystem of startups. Among those is Swim.ai, which today announced that it has raised an $11 million Series B funding round let by Cambridge Innovation Capital, with participation from Silver Creek Ventures and Harris Barton Asset Management. The round also included a strategic investment from Arm, the chip design firm you may still remember as ARM (but don’t write it like that or their PR department will promptly email you). This brings the company’s total funding to about $18 million. Swim.
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Amazon’s EC2 gets faster processors, new high-memory instances

It’s a big day for Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing service today. Not only can you now run EC2 inside a Snowball Edge device, but the company also announced a bunch of new EC2 instance types in the cloud. Thanks to these new instance types, developers now have access to a new instance type (Z1d) with custom Xeon processors that can run at up to 4.0 GHz, as well as new memory-optimized instances (R5) that run at up to 3.1 GHz and that feature up to 50 percent more CPU power and 60 percent more memory than their predecessors. There are also some bare metal variants of these instances, as well as an R5d version that features local NVMe storage. As Amazon’s Jeff Barr notes in today’s announcement, these new instances types were made possible by AWS’s Nitro system, which allows the company to combine the various
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With its Snowball Edge, AWS now lets you run EC2 on your factory floor

AWS’s Snowball Edge devices aren’t new, but they are getting a new feature today that’ll make them infinitely more interesting than before. Until now, you could use the device to move lots of data and perform some computing tasks on them, courtesy of the AWS Greengrass service and Lambda that run on the device. But AWS is stepping it up and you can now run a local version of EC2, the canonical AWS compute service, right on a Snowball Edge. With that, you can now take one of these devices, put it right on your factory floor and run all of your standard Amazon Machine Images on it. That cuts down on bandwidth because you can either handle all of the processing on the device or pre-process it before you send it on to the cloud. And to manage it, you simply rely on the regular AWS management console (or
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Dialpad dials up $50M Series D led by Iconiq

Dialpad announced a $50 million Series D investment today, giving the company plenty of capital to keep expanding its business communications platform. The round was led by Iconiq Capital with help from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Amasia, Scale Ventures, Section 32 and Work-Bench. With today’s round, the company has now raised $120 million. As technology like artificial intelligence and internet of things advances, it’s giving the company an opportunity to expand its platform. Dialpad products include UberConference conferencing software and VoiceAI for voice transcription applications. The company is competing in a crowded market that includes giants like Google and Cisco and a host of smaller companies like GoToMeeting (owned by LogMeIn), Zoom and BlueJeans. All of these companies are working to provide cloud-based meeting and communications services. Increasingly, that involves artificial intelligence like natural language processing (NLP) to provide on the fly transcription services. While none of these services is
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Google Cloud’s LA region goes online

Google Cloud’s new region in Los Angeles is now online, the company announced today. This isn’t exactly a surprise, given that Google had previously announced a July launch for the region, but it’s a big step for Google, which now boasts five cloud regions in the United States. It was only three years ago that Google opened its second U.S. region and, while it was slow to expand its physical cloud footprint, the company now features 17 regions around the world. When it first announced this new region, Google positioned it as the ideal region for the entertainment industry. And while that’s surely true, I’m sure we’ll see plenty of other companies use this new region, which features three availability zones, to augment their existing deployments in Google’s other West Coast region in Oregon or as part of their overall global cloud strategy. The new region is launching with all
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Microsoft launches two new Azure regions in China

Microsoft today launched two new Azure regions in China. These new regions, China North 2 in Beijing and China East 2 in Shanghai, are now generally available and will complement the existing two regions Microsoft operates in the country (with the help of its local partner, 21Vianet). As the first international cloud provider in China when it launched its first region there in 2014, Microsoft has seen rapid growth in the region and there is clearly demand for its services there. Unsurprisingly, many of Microsoft’s customers in China are other multinationals that are already betting on Azure for their cloud strategy. These include the likes of Adobe, Coke, Costco, Daimler, Ford, Nuance, P&G, Toyota and BMW. In addition to the new China regions, Microsoft also today launched a new availability zone for its region in the Netherlands. While availability zones have long been standard among the big cloud providers, Azure
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MongoDB launches Global Clusters to put geographic data control within reach of anyone

MongoDB‘s Atlas service has been giving companies a managed database service in the cloud for some time. Mongo deals with all the heavy lifting behind the scenes, relieving the developer of creating it all themselves. Today the company announced it was taking that a step further by allowing customers to have granular control over where the data lives with a new feature called Global Clusters. This allows companies to choose a cloud provider, then move data from a MongoDB database running in Atlas to any location in the world. As MongoDB CTO and co-founder, Eliot Horowitz explained, it doesn’t matter who the cloud provider is, you can set a data location policy, select a cloud vendor and data center location, and see what the results will look like on a graphical representation of the world map. When you give the OK, Mongo moves the data automatically for you in
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Codefresh raises $8M Series B round for its container-centric CI/CD platform

Codefresh, a continuous integration and delivery platform built for the Kubernetes container ecosystem, today announced that it has raised an $8 million Series B round led by M12, Microsoft’s venture fund. Viola Ventures, Hillsven and CEIF also participated in this round, which brings the company’s total funding to $15.1 million. In a market where there are seemingly more CI/CD platforms every day, Codefresh sets itself apart thanks to its focus on Kubernetes, which is now essentially the de facto standard for container orchestration services and which is seeing a rapid growth in adoption. The service promises that it can help developers to automate their application deployments to Kubernetes and that teams will see “up to 24X faster development times.” That number seems a bit optimistic, but the whole point of adoption Kubernetes and CI/CD is obviously to speed up the development and deployment process. “The meteoric
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With Cloud Filestore, the Google Cloud gets a new storage option

Google is giving developers a new storage option in its cloud. Cloud Filestore, which will launch into beta next month, essentially offers a fully managed network attached storage (NAS) service in the cloud. This means that companies can now easily run applications that need a traditional file system interface on the Google Cloud Platform. Traditionally, developers who wanted access to a standard file system over the kind of object storage and database options that Google already offered had to rig up a file server with a persistent disk. Filestore does away with all of this and simply allows Google Cloud users to spin up storage as needed. The promise of Filestore is that it offers high throughput, low latency and high IOPS. The service will come in two tiers: premium and standard. The premium tier will cost $0.30 per GB and month and promises a throughput speed
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YC grad ZenProspect rebrands as Apollo, lands $7 M Series A

ZenProspect, a startup that emerged from the Y Combinator Winter 2016 class to help companies use data and intelligence to increase sales, announced today that it was rebranding as Apollo. It also announced a $7 million Series A investment. The round was led by Nexus Venture Partners. Social Capital and Y Combinator also participated. Apparently Y Combinator liked what they saw enough to continue to invest in the company. Apollo helps customers connect their sales people with the right person at the right time. That is typically a customer that is most likely to buy the product. It does this by combining a number of tools including a rules engine to automate prospect routing, a lead scoring tool and analytics to measure results at a granular level, among others. The company also uses data they have collected from 200 million contacts at 10 million companies to match sellers to
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Tact $27 M Series C attracts Amazon, Microsoft and Salesforce

It’s not often you can get three cloud giants like Amazon, Microsoft and Salesforce to agree on much of anything, but today they were all part of a $27 million Series C investment in Tact.AI, a startup that has been trying to change the way sales people interact with information in CRM systems using voice. Amazon Alexa Fund, Salesforce Ventures and M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures) joined Comcast Ventures as strategic investors in the company this round. Traditional VCs Accel Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Upfront Ventures also participated. Tact has now raised over $53 million, according to Crunchbase. Amazon is of course deeply invested in voice interfaces and has recognized what Tact is trying to do in an enterprise setting with this investment. In fact, Tact was one of the first services to launch as part of Alexa for Business last fall. “Just as people were quick to adopt voice
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Oracle could be feeling cloud transition growing pains

Oracle is learning that it’s hard for enterprise companies born in the data center to make the transition to the cloud, an entirely new way of doing business. Yesterday it reported its earnings and it was a mixed bag, made harder by changing the way the company counts cloud revenue. In its earnings press release from yesterday, it put it this way: “Q4 Cloud Services and License Support revenues were up 8% to $6.8 billion. Q4 Cloud License and On-Premise License revenues were down 5% to $2.5 billion.” Let’s compare that with the language from their Q3 revenue in March: “Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) revenues were up 33% to $1.2 billion. Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) plus Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) revenues were up 28% to $415 million. Total Cloud Revenues were up 32% to $1.6 billion.” See how
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Google injects Hire with AI to speed up common tasks

Since Google Hire launched last year it has been trying to make it easier for hiring managers to manage the data and tasks associated with the hiring process, while maybe tweaking LinkedIn while they’re at it. Today the company announced some AI-infused enhancements that they say will help save time and energy spent on manual processes. “By incorporating Google AI, Hire now reduces repetitive, time-consuming tasks, like scheduling interviews into one-click interactions. This means hiring teams can spend less time with logistics and more time connecting with people,” Google’s Berit Hoffmann, Hire product manager wrote in a blog post announcing the new features. The first piece involves making it easier and faster to schedule interviews with candidates. This is a multi-step activity that involves scheduling appropriate interviewers, choosing a time and date that works for all parties involved in the interview and scheduling a room in which to conduct the
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Cisco buys July Systems to bring digital experience to the real world

Customer experience management is about getting to know your customer’s preferences in an online context, but pulling that information into the real world often proves a major challenge for organizations. This results in a huge disconnect when a customer walks into a physical store. This morning, Cisco announced it has bought July Systems, a company that purports to solve that problem. The companies did not share the acquisition price. July Systems connects to a building’s WiFi system to understand the customer who just walked in the door, how many times they have shopped at this retailer, their loyalty point score and so forth. This gives the vendor the same kind of understanding about that customer offline as they are used to getting online. It’s an interesting acquisition for Cisco, taking advantage of some of its strengths as a networking company, given the WiFi component, but also moving in the
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Crate.io raises $11M and launches its hosted IoT data platform.

Crate.io, the winner of our Disrupt Europe 2014 Startup Battlefield competition, today announced that it has raised an $11 million Series A round. In addition, the company also launched its ‘Crate Machine Learning Platform’ today, a new hosted solution for businesses that want to use the company’s SQL-based database platform for working with IoT data. The new funding round was led by Zetta Venture Partners and Deutsche Invest Equity, with participation from Chalfen Ventures, Momenta Partners and Charlie Songhurst. Existing investors, including Draper Espirit, Vito Ventures and Docker founder Solomon Hykes also participated. Crate co-founder and CEO Christian Lutz told me that over the course of the last year or so, the company has seen a large increase in paying customers, which now tally up to about 30. That has also allowed Crate to grow its revenue beyond $1 million in annual run rate. He attributed the current
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Adobe could be the next $10 billion software company

Adobe reported its Q2 FY’18 earnings yesterday and the news was quite good. The company announced $2.2 billion in revenue for the quarter up 24 percent year over year. That puts them on an impressive $8.8 billion run rate, within reach of becoming the next $10 billion software company (or at least on a run rate). Revenue was up across all major business lines, but as has been the norm, the vast majority comes from the company’s bread and butter, Creative Cloud, which houses the likes of Photoshop, InDesign and Dreamweaver, among others. In fact digital media, which includes Creative Cloud and Document Cloud accounted for $1.55 billion of the $2.2 billion in total revenue. The vast majority of that, $1.30 billion was from the creative side of the house with Document Cloud pulling in $243 million. Adobe has been mostly known as a
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App Maker, Google’s low-code tool for building business apps, comes out of beta

It’s been a year and a half since Google announced App Maker, its online tool for quickly building and deploying business apps on the web. The company has mostly remained quiet about App Maker ever since and kept it in a private preview mode, but today, it announced that the service is now generally available and open to all developers who want to give it a try. Access to App Maker comes with any G Suite Business and Enterprise subscription, as well as the G Suite for Education edition. The overall idea here is to help virtually anybody in an organization — including those with little to no coding experience — to build their own line-of-business apps based on data that’s already stored in G Suite, Google’s Cloud SQL database or any other database that supports JDBC or that offers a REST API (that that’s obviously a bit more of
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