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Inside Cloud (Jan 8th, 2018)

A group of Tier 2 cloud vendors formed a consortium immediately after the Spectre and Meltdown chip vulnerabilities were announced to share information and best practices. A number of large cloud vendors, including Amazon, Google and Microsoft were able to work directly with the chip vendors to patch vulnerabilities. Smaller companies, though, did not have that luxury. Six cloud providers – Scaleway, DigitalOcean, Packet, Vultr, Linode and OVH – teamed up to help one another. That included a slack channel with CEOs, CTOs and engineers to collaborate on fixes as they became available. “We discovered these vulnerabilities in the press before the full disclosure and started to put pressure on manufacturers as fast as we could to fully understand the situation,” Scaleway’s Yann Leger said. “Working with other cloud players is one of the best decisions we’ve made so far to mitigate the issue in the most accurate way.” –TECH CRUNCH

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The Meltdown and Spectre processor vulnerabilities have already affected the online gaming industry. Online game providers have said that their services have slowed down as cloud providers scramble to protect themselves and their customers. Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, said their game has faced login issue and service instability since the vulnerabilities were announced. “We heavily rely on cloud services to run our back-end and we may experience further service issues due to ongoing update,” a company spokesperson said. While gamers may be annoyed, security experts warn that software patches are necessary and the downside of running a vulnerable computer is much worse than simple sluggishness. –THE GUARDIAN

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Microsoft Azure will serve as the backbone of Kohler’s new line of connected kitchen and bath products. While the news itself is not gigantic it does provide insight into Microsoft’s smart home strategy. The Microsoft of the past focused on embedding its Windows operating system wherever it could. It appears the company is now more focused on connecting its cloud services like Azure and Office 365 into endpoint devices like cars and appliances. That’s true with Kohler where products from Google and Amazon are more consumer-facing while Microsoft serves as the product’s engine. -ZDNET

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The Department of Defense has yet not set its cloud strategy going forward and could still veer away from awarding a single contract to one vendor. The Pentagon’s Cloud Executive Steering Group wrote in a strategy document last November it could award a “single award” contract. DoD officials, though, recently clarified that statement, saying the group is still in a “fact-finding phase” and that strategy could change. As recently as mid-December, the Defense Department said it was sticking with its single-award cloud strategy. Yet the Pentagon’s consideration of multiple awards addresses concerns about vendor lock-in or favoring a specific company that industry trade groups voiced. –NEXTGOV

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Cisco showed off its new multi-cloud video management system at CES. Called Cisco’s Infinite Video Platform, the service acts as a control center for the multiple backend cloud systems that global service providers are using to deliver video to customers. As the popularity of over-the-top (OTT) streaming video to mobile devices continues to rise, service providers are increasingly focused on providing advanced services, such as cloud DVR, to enable consumers to stream their video recordings from the cloud to any device over any Internet connection with the touch of an app. Cisco’s new platform, and others like it, allow for a streamlined way to control and monitor these different feeds. -EWEEK

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