Inside Cloud - February 14th, 2020

Inside Cloud (Feb 14th, 2020)

Court halts JEDI project / Oracle employees protest Trump fundraiser / A new cloud from Canon

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1. In a major win for former bidder Amazon, a court ruled Thursday that the Pentagon must stop work on its major cloud computing contract that Microsoft won last year. Amazon argues it lost the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, contract to Microsoft because of President Trump’s remarks disparaging the company and its founder, Jeff Bezos. Amazon is suing the Pentagon in the Court of Federal Claims, and filed the request for an injunction on Jan. 22, saying in a statement that “it is common practice to stay contract performance while a protest is pending and it’s important that the numerous evaluation errors and blatant political interference that impacted the JEDI award decision be reviewed.” The judge agreed, issuing a sealed ruling Thursday. Still, a document posted on the Public Access to Court Electronic Records website said the Pentagon is "hereby preliminarily enjoined from proceeding with contract activities ... until further order of the court." – NEW YORK TIMES

2. Employees of software and cloud computing giant are furious over company co-founder Larry Ellison’s decision to host a fundraiser for President Trump next week. A petition began circulating within Oracle calling on Ellison to cancel to a fundraising event at his estate in California’s Coachella Valley, and supporters have also started a Slack channel to discuss the matter. It is difficult to assess what will become of the plans to protest Ellison, Recode says, as the famously conservative culture at Oracle discourages employees from talking about politics. “It signals what I and many others have always feared,” one current Oracle employee told Recode. “Culturally, Oracle is the type of place where you’ll work with many lovely people who you share common ideals with, but those ideals have to be left at the door in service of the company.” – VOX

3. Impending layoffs show several cloud computing software providers and hardware makers are cutting back on staff. Big Switch Networks, a cloud computing and data center networking company, said it would be laying off 60 employees pending a merger with Arista Networks. That is after hundreds of developers were furloughed at Oracle last year, as well as from Fidelity's enterprise cloud computing service. The pink slips come despite trade association CompTI's recent forecast that revenue for the global information technology industry will grow 3.7% this year, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite stock index is up 7% since the beginning of the year. – SF CHRONICLE

4. Google Cloud is taking on frontrunners Amazon and Microsoft with a traditional enterprise sales model, targeting C-suite executives in five industries: retail, healthcare, financial services, media and entertainment and manufacturing. Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud CEO, outlined his sales strategy at the Goldman Sachs technology conference in San Francisco this week. According to a slide deck he presented, Kurian says Google Cloud has developed different selling points for each industry; a common pitch will revolve around Google's strength in both the cloud and artificial intelligence. “When we build these industry-specific solutions, they’re highly differentiated,” Kurian said. “No one has that capability and that allows us to sell not just to IT but to business-owners.” – CNBC

A version of this story ran in today's Inside Sales newsletter.

5. As cloud computing becomes the defining technology of our times, it has the power to reshape everything from communications to transportation, retail, and government services, says Google Cloud technology executive Will Grannis writes in Forbes. But this digital transformation also means a rethink of the responsibilities of the CTO and CIO, Grannis says. "Gone are the days when the CIO was given an affordability target by the CEO and the board and expected to return weeks or months later with a plan," he writes. "CTOs and CIOs in every sector need to transcend traditional role definitions to drive new partnerships both across internal functions and outside their four walls." Grannis outlines the three pillars Google Cloud has used to guide the transition internally. – FORBES

6. Less than two weeks after shutting down its Irista cloud platform, Canon is launching image.cannon: a new “camera cloud platform” that’s less about storage and more about keeping your camera in sync with all your devices and services. The new is being billed as a “hub for users’ content” that will “allow the transfer of image files from connected compatible PCs, smartphones and external web services.” Essentially, it’s a Canon-branded syncing platform that can be used by professionals, enthusiasts, and amateurs alike to access their photos from anywhere. The platform is set to launch in April and will integrate with Google (for storage) and with Adobe (for editing and processing). – PETAPIXEL

7. Getting the data you need out of server log files is a laborious process, says digital marketing consultant Charly Wargnier, but he's got a method to scale your analyses to larger datasets easily. Writing in Search Engine Land, Wargnier outlines how "a pinch of Python and a hint of Google Cloud" can be put to extract meaningful SEO insights from your server logs. In a tutorial that covers everything from system requirements to explaining "what are log files?" Wargnier walks you through using Python in data modeling and visualization. Note: This tutorial looks fairly advanced, but Wargnier offers to help anyone who reaches out on Twitter. – SEARCH ENGINE LAND

Inside Cloud is written and curated by Elizabeth Barr, who creates and consumes at the nexus of media and tech. She ran sections and sites at publications such as the Buffalo News, AOL News and the Huffington Post before becoming a software developer, creating content-discovery products like FitPop and Where the Truck. Elizabeth's all-in on newsletters, covering news and pop culture on the sometimes-funny Mediavore. Follow her on Twitter at @elizabethbarr.

Edited by Sheena Vasani, staff writer at Inside.

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