Cloud

PureSec exits stealth to secure serverless code

PureSec, a startup out of Israel emerged from stealth today to provide a way to make serverless computing more secure. Serverless computing reduces programming to writing functions, so that when a certain event happens, it triggers an automated action. The cloud vendor takes care of the underlying infrastructure and developers just write the code. It may sound like Shangri La for tech, but in reality there are still security concerns. You might think that a process that lasts only milliseconds wouldn’t be subject to conventional kinds of attacks, but the fact is serverless functions are designed to take human checks and balances out of the equation, says company co-founder Ory Segal, and if you don’t set up the functions correctly you could be vulnerable. As with any type of cloud security...

Amazon’s EC2 gets faster processors, new high-memory instances

It’s a big day for Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing service today. Not only can you now run EC2 inside a Snowball Edge device, but the company also announced a bunch of new EC2 instance types in the cloud. Thanks to these new instance types, developers now have access to a new instance type (Z1d) with custom Xeon processors that can run at up to 4.0 GHz, as well as new memory-optimized instances (R5) that run at up to 3.1 GHz and that feature up to 50 percent more CPU power and 60 percent more memory than their predecessors. There are also some bare metal variants of these instances, as well as an R5d version that features local NVMe storage. As Amazon’s Jeff Barr notes in today’s announcement, these new instances types were made possible by AWS’s Nitro system, which allows the company to comb...

Netskope nabs Sift Security to enhance infrastructure cloud security

Netskope, a company that focuses on security in the cloud, announced today it has acquired Sift Security, a startup launched in 2014 to help secure cloud infrastructure services like Amazon, Microsoft and Google using machine learning. The company did not share terms of the deal, but Sift’s 10 technical employees will become part of Netskope’s 500+ person team and Sift CEO Neil King will lead the Netskope IaaS product management team moving forward. While Netskope provides comprehensive cloud and website security from a single interface, Sift uses machine learning to provide breach detection and automated response for Infrastructure as a Service environments, even across multiple clouds. Netskope founder and CEO Sanjay Beri says together the two companies can offer more security visibility...

Serverless computing could unleash a new startup ecosystem

While serverless computing isn’t new, it has reached an interesting place in its development. As developers begin to see the value of serverless architecture, a whole new startup ecosystem could begin to develop around it. Serverless isn’t exactly serverless at all, but it does enable a developer to set event triggers and leave the infrastructure requirements completely to the cloud provider. The vendor delivers exactly the right amount of compute, storage and memory and the developer doesn’t even have to think about it (or code for it). That sounds ideal on its face, but as with every new technology, for each solution there is a set of new problems and those issues tend to represent openings for enterprising entrepreneurs. That could mean big opportunities in the coming years for companie...

Microsoft launches two new Azure regions in China

Microsoft today launched two new Azure regions in China. These new regions, China North 2 in Beijing and China East 2 in Shanghai, are now generally available and will complement the existing two regions Microsoft already operates in the country (with the help of its local partner 21Vianet). As the first international cloud provider in China when it launched its first region there in 2014, Microsoft has seen rapid growth in the region and there is clearly demand for its services there. unsurprisingly, many of Microsoft’s customers in China are other multinationals who are already betting on Azure for their cloud strategy. These include the likes of Adobe, Coke, Costco, Daimler, Ford, Nuance, P&G, Toyota and BMW. In addition to the new China regions, Microsoft also today launched a new ...

Workday acquires Rallyteam to fuel machine learning efforts

Sometimes you acquire a company for the assets and sometimes you do it for the talent. Today Workday announced it was buying Rallyteam, a San Francisco startup that helps companies keep talented employees by matching them with more challenging opportunities in-house. The companies did not share the purchase price or the number of Rallyteam employees who would be joining Workday . In this case, Workday appears to be acquiring the talent. It wants to take the Rallyteam team and incorporate it into the company’s engineering unit to beef up its machine learning efforts, while taking advantage of the expertise it has built up over the years connecting employees with interesting internal projects. “With Rallyteam, we gain incredible team members who created a talent mobility platform that uses m...

Why Microsoft wants to put data centers at the bottom of the ocean

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced the second phase of Project Natick, a research experiment that aims to understand the benefits and challenges of deploying large-scale data centers under water. In this second phase, the team sank a tank the size of a shipping container with numerous server racks off the coast of the Orkney islands and plans to keep it there for a few years to see if this is a viable way of deploying data centers in the future. Computers and water famously don’t mix, as anyone who has ever spilled a cup of water over a laptop, so putting server racks under water sure seems like an odd idea. But as Microsoft Research’s Ben Cutler told me, there are good reasons for why the bottom of the ocean may be a good place for setting up servers. The vast majority of people live ...

How Yelp (mostly) shut down its own data centers and moved to AWS

Back in 2013, Yelp was a 9-year old company built on a set of internal systems. It was coming to the realization that running its own data centers might not be the most efficient way to run a business that was continuing to scale rapidly. At the same time, the company understood that the tech world had changed dramatically from 2004 when it launched and it needed to transform the underlying technology to a more modern approach. That’s a lot to take on in one bite, but it wasn’t something that happened willy-nilly or overnight says Jason Yellen, SVP of engineering at Yelp . The vast majority of the company’s data was being processed in a massive Python repository that was getting bigger all the time. The conversation about shifting to a microservices architecture began in 2012. The company ...

AWS’s Neptune graph database is now generally available

AWS today announced that its Neptune graph database, which made its debut during the platform’s annual re:Invent conference last Novemberr, is now generally available. The launch of Neptune was one of the dozens of announcements the company made during its annual developer event, so you can be forgiven if you missed it. Neptune supports graph APIs for both TinkerPop Gremlin and SPARQL, making it compatible with a wide variety of applications. AWS notes that it built the service to recover from failures within 30 seconds and promises 99.99 percent availability. “As the world has become more connected, applications that navigate large, connected datasets are increasingly more critical for customers,” said Raju Gulabani, Vice President, Databases, Analytics, and Machine Learning at AWS. “We a...

Alibaba Group leads $26.4M Series B in GPU database provider SQream

SQream CEO and co-founder Ami Gal SQream, the GPU database developer, will deepen its focus on China after raising a $26.4 million Series B led by Alibaba Group. The round also included investors Hanaco Venture Capital, Sistema.vc, World Trade Ventures, Paradiso Ventures, Glory Ventures and Silvertech Ventures. The startup describes the funding, which brings its total raised to a little over $40 million, as a strategic investment from Alibaba. Earlier this year, SQream and Alibaba Cloud announced a new agreement that will give Alibaba Cloud users access to the GPU database starting in October. In a statement to TechCrunch, Chaoqun Zhan, director of Alibaba Database Business, said “Alibaba Cloud and SQream announced a collaboration in February and this investment deepens our relationship, a...

GUN raises more than $1.5M for its decentralized database system

GUN is an open-source decentralized database service that allows developers to build fast peer-to-peer applications that will work, even when their users are offline. The company behind the project (which should probably change its name and logo…) today announced that it has raised just over $1.5 million in a seed round led by Draper Associates. Other investors include Salesforce’s Marc Benioff through Aloha Angels, as well as Boost VC, CRCM and other angel investors. As GUN founder Mark Nadal told me, it’s been about four years since he started working on this problem, mostly because he saw the database behind his early projects as a single point of failure. When the database goes down, most online services will die with it, after all. So the idea behind GUN is to offer a decentralized da...

Platform.sh raises $34 million to simplify cloud deployment

French startup Platform.sh has raised a $34 million funding round. The company wants to help you manage your cloud infrastructure by handling the most tedious part of the job. When you use Platform.sh for your application, the startup is going to handle testing and deployment to your cloud infrastructure. Every time you want to iterate and update your application to a new version, deployment is as easy as a git commit. Partech is leading the round, with Idinvest Partners, Benhamou Global Ventures, SNCF Digital Ventures and existing investor Hi Inov also participating. Platform.sh targets big clients. The company is currently working with 650 enterprise clients, such as Magento, Gap Inc. and The Financial Times. In 2018, revenue has more than doubled compared to the same period last year. P...

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