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Weekly Tech Roundup: Microsoft Updates Azure, Amazon Launches Zocalo and IBM Future Chip

11 Jul 2014

The past couple of weeks saw IBM launch its cloud based big data service, partner with Applause to improve the app quality offerings in the enterprise and Oracle updating the mobile suite for enterprise mobile development. Let’s take a look at the tech news of more recent times with IBM, Amazon and Microsoft being the focus.

Microsoft Updates Azure with 2 New U.S. Regions and Improved Hybrid Storage Solution

Microsoft announced a number of new features for its Azure cloud computing platform ahead of its upcoming Worldwide Partner Conference. The highlights are two new Azure regions for the U.S. (US Central in Iowa and US East 2 in Virginia) that will go live in the coming week, as well as the launch of Microsoft’s newest Azure StorSimple hybrid storage arrays for enterprise customers.


As part of its focus on hybrid clouds, Microsoft also announced that it will expand access to Azure through ExpressRoute – which allows for private connections between Azure and on-premise infrastructure — to six new locations around the world (up from three in the U.S. and Europe that were available at launch).

Amazon Launches Zocalo for Secure Enterprise Storage

E-Commerce giant Amazon has started to make competitive inroads into the cloud services market with Amazon Web Services, and it has added another feature that will put it into direct competition with the likes of Box and Dropbox: Zocalo, a secure enterprise storage service.


Zocalo, a secure enterprise storage service directly competing with Box and Dropbox

Amazon describes the service as “fully managed, secure enterprise storage and sharing service with strong administrative controls and feedback capabilities that improve user productivity” that lets users “store, share, and gather feedback on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, webpages, images, PDFs, or text files – from the device of their choice.” In other words, it competes directly with the likes of Box and Huddle in offering enterprises a place to store, access and collaborate on documents. The product includes native apps for iOS and Android.

IBM Commits $3 Billion to Future Chip, Systems Research

IBM thinks chip and system design research is fundamental to its future and that is why it is putting up $3 billion over the next five years on a wide variety of technologies that could end up in systems someday.


This $3 billion in funds is for future chip research, not for development, according to an IBM spokesperson, and it is not incremental increase in spending above and beyond the current levels but rather a concentration of spending in research projects that IBM is betting will be necessary to build the systems of the future. The reason IBM is investing in these chip technologies today is to have them ready for when silicon does run out of gas and they understand that moving from research to commercialization takes time.


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