Comprehensive software reviews to make better IT decisions
EPYC Changes: Google Brings AMD EPYC Hardware to Its Cloud Customers
Google Cloud has announced a partnership with AMD to bring that company’s EPYC processors to its customers. Cloud nerds rejoice! According to Google, “These will be the largest general-purpose VMs we’ve ever offered.” AMD has been on a bit of a tear lately, and the news of performant processors penetrating previously predominantly-Intel environments is welcome from a competition perspective, and will lead to improved services for consumers.
This is important news because cloud providers make money by delivering as similar a service as possible to as many customers as possible. Often, this means sacrificing customizability. Some workloads end up running in non-optimal instances. But Google is committed, it says, to simplifying its offering while maintaining customer choice, and has therefore moved to adopt AMD tech.
The addition of an AMD offering to the Google Cloud expands the menu of available instances, potentially creating an opportunity for users to experience lower costs or greater efficiency.
Google is not the first cloud provider to offer AMD instances. The first generation of EPYC processors is already generally available in AWS, which claims that “EC2 instances featuring AMD EPYC processors deliver a 10% lower cost compute and memory compared to comparable instances.”
For some workloads, (“high volume, high growth-relevant workloads”), AMD claims that its second generation EPYC processor has a performance advantage of a whopping 80-100%.
Source: Google Cloud Platform, Cloud IaaS Platforms, SoftwareReviews, Accessed August 15, 2019
This isn’t exactly groundbreaking stuff. But AMD’s success in the datacenter market introduces much-needed competition for indolent incumbent inventor Intel, and should generally lead to improvement in the quality of the cloud offerings provided. And for some workloads (Amazon suggests those that do not use the VM’s full CPU capacity) AMD processors may be ideal. The ability to better align workloads with cloud resources is always welcome.
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Microsoft Cloud Services Usage Surges 775% for Teams in Regions With Enforced Social Distancing – Part 2
Experiencing issues when using Microsoft online services? You are not alone. Capacity constraints were being hit, pre-COVID-19, and usage has surged in regions with enforced social distancing.
Google has announced a premium support plan for its cloud customers, promising a 15-minute response to the highest severity tickets. Google’s cloud has long struggled with enterprise customers – especially when compared to giants Microsoft and AWS – and this announcement is the latest incarnation of Google’s push to better serve a critical constituency.
Microsoft Announces Expansion of Azure Canadian Infrastructure, Offers Data Residency and High Availability
In January, Microsoft announced what it’s calling “the largest expansion of its Canadian-based cloud computing infrastructure” since 2016. Additional availability zones and services will increase capacity for cloud-hungry Canadians, and the addition of an Azure ExpressRoute site in Vancouver will guarantee security and performance in a regulated jurisdiction.
Microsoft’s announcement that server-side encryption with customer managed keys for Azure Managed Disks is now available is welcome news for security-minded public cloud customers. Managing one’s own keys in a cloud environment can be an important step in complying with regulatory requirements, and this new feature should open Azure Managed Disks to a wider group of customers who may have held back for this reason.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has provided its customers with better options for Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) ingress routing. Customers will have to consider which works best for their needs.
AWS VPC Traffic Mirroring gives customers more visibility for out-of-band traffic inspection. This feature is another useful tool for monitoring in the AWS cloud.
Microsoft Cloud Services Usage Surges Over 700% in Regions With Enforced Social Distancing: How Could This Impact Your Organization?
Organizations have been running into capacity constraints on cloud infrastructure in regions with enforced social distancing due to COVID-19. Having a back-up plan will be critical to your business continuity plans.
Microsoft has added six months of additional support to Windows 10 Enterprise and Education 1709. This will help reduce pressure to upgrade and provide support in the interim as companies focus on business continuity plans due to COVID-19.
Microsoft’s deep pockets and Financing division can save your IT budget. If your Enterprise Agreement is coming up for renewal in the next six months, we will likely be in an economic downturn.