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Google Stadia: Hardware Makers Should Be Worried
If Microsoft and Google are going to let you play Red Dead Redemption 2 on your smart fridge, where do consumer gaming hardware brands fit? More generally, what are the implications for the IT device industry?
In March 2019 Google announced a new cloud gaming initiative. Stadia, which will launch later this year, is a cloud gaming service that Google says will offer a seamless gaming experience in its Chrome browser. Game streaming services allow vendors and developers unprecedented control over the user experience and minimize friction for end users.
Hardware makers should be worried. Specialty OEMs like Razer and Alienware serve the gaming market with high-end, graphically capable devices. If cloud services like Stadia are going to abstract away consumers’ hardware needs, where does that leave OEMs? As devices matter less, it stands to reason that the device market will matter less as well.
Stadia (and other equivalents) represent the withering away of the high-end consumer hardware industry. As cloud services improve and users get used to the SaaS model, their device expectations will change. Gaming is the frontier today; tomorrow it could be video editing.
Cloud gaming is less important for IT professionals than the inevitability it represents. Vendors want you in their datacenters, whether you’re a Fortune 500 company running analytics on customer data or a fan of the latest Assassin’s Creed game. Adjusting user expectations and requirements to comport with cloud experiences is a must.
Stadia is yet further evidence of the cloud’s encroachment into all facets of IT. Improved capabilities, custom cloud hardware, low latency networks – all of these have their place in areas other than gaming. Google has a huge consumer business, so Stadia is more than a cloud proof of concept. It is, rather, an important demonstration of the cloud’s potential to change how we deliver IT services.
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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.