Cloud

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Last week, audio sharing service SoundCloud laid off 40% of its staff with reports indicating the free service had just 80 days of operating capital remaining. For musicians, podcasters and others who rely on the service, that has caused great consternation. But an announcement by the CEO and tweets from a musician who made their start on SoundCloud suggest a different story.

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It's take a while but Google has finally flicked the switch and turned on local infrastructure. With many businesses either obligated or preferring to keep their data onshore, this is good news. But I wonder if they've given Microsoft and AWS too much of head-start when it comes to on-shore cloud infrastructure access.

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LogMein has been around the workplace collaboration business for a while. And, as a stand-alone product it's pretty good. But they are looking to broaden their horizons by encroaching into the hotly contested, but potentially very lucrative, CRM market. Their new product Bold360, promises to give businesses a full 360-degree view that pulls in data from traditional CRM systems as well as online channels.

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DynamoDB is Amazon’s database platform for those applications where you need a database but aren’t interested in setting up a server and all the other rigmarole that goes with it. DynamoDB uses a provisioned capacity model. You set the amount of read and write capacity required by your applications and change provisioning for your table with an API call or button click in the AWS Management Console. Now, DynamoDB has new settings that will auto scale as your needs change.

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Dropbox is giving Australian users a performance boost with the opening of a new local point of presence. Running their own dedicated equipment in one of Equinix's Sydney data centres, Dropbox's Dan Iverson, the head of solutions architecture APAC, said the new PoP will act as a proxy server improving performance for Australian users. It follows on the steps of similar initiatives in other regions.

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Back in the day, an email outage at Hotmail/MSN/Outlook.com would have been a big deal. But I'm not sure it's such a big deal these days. However, Outlook is in the throes of an outage that was first reported this morning on Aussie Outages. I'm not sure too many Lifehacker readers will still be running their Hotmail accounts - maybe you've kept one for the odd MySpace request you get - but the outage seems to be localised to Australian and Japanese customers.

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Microsoft has dropped the prices on Dv2 Promo Virtual Machines by between 4% and 7% depending on what region and operating system you choose. According to Brian Hillger, senor director for C + E Business Planning, the idea is to give customers the cost savings of their upcoming hyper-threaded Dv3 VMs prior to launch.

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Backing up data to tape remains a viable path for many businesses. And even though it seems to be old school, it's still being developed even though disk-based backup has been gaining in popularity. IBM recently upped their tape capacities to 15TB. However, with more and more systems being managed remotely through private, public and hybrid cloud services, it's getting harder to justify tape as traditional deployments struggle to capture a complete snapshot of all your business data. That's why tape as a Service is appearing.

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During the opening keynote for Cloud Day at VeeamON, Veeam announced the availability of the release candidate version of their new backup solution Veeam PN (Veeam Powered Network). Veeam PN for Microsoft Azure is designed to simplify and automate the setup of a disaster recovery site in Azure using software-defined networking (SDN). And, given what I saw during a demonstration given by Aussie technical evangelist Anthony Spiteri, it looks like a very powerful tool that is offered at the bargain price of free.

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During the opening keynote on Partner Day at this year's VeeamON event, Danny Allan announced the release of Veeam Backup for Office 365 v 1.5. Allan, who is Veeam's VP Cloud and Alliances Strategy, says the updated product supports multi-repository and multi-tenant architecture. This enables protection of larger Office 365 deployments with a single installation.

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By boosting network capacity between the Australia-new Zealand region and Los Angeles, Megaport says they will allow customers to expand their businesses beyond our shores. The Megaport network includes connectivity to Oracle's Bare Metal infrastructure, Microsoft Azure and AWS so businesses with systems on local instances can improve connectivity for their overseas clients.

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The economics of cloud versus on-prem continue to tip further and further towards to the cloud. Amazon has announced a price cut to EC2 Reserved Instances (RI) with upfront fees three-year term for C4, M4, R4, I3, P2, X1, and T2 Standard RIs dropped and price reductions on non-RIs as well.

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One of the biggest hassles with having multiple computing devices is being able to access your data in the office, at home and when travelling. Back in the 1990s, when I started working in IT, Microsoft had a crack at this with the Briefcase feature that was part of Windows 95 but it was pretty poor.

By the mid to late 2000s, cloud storage services came to the fore, making it easy to access up to date versions of our workfiles wherever and whenever we wanted. But how do we use these services and get the most out of them?