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The Cloud Software Industry Is at a Moment of Reckoning – Business Insider

In September, Box CEO Aaron Levie just barely won a tough board fight against the activist investor Starboard, which sought to replace several members of the cloud storage company's board with its own slate. Its chief complaint: Box's annual growth rate of 11% on $770.8 million in 2021 just isn't enough.

Not quite as dramatically but no less significantly companies like Zoom , Autodesk, and DocuSign also recently suffered the consequences of disappointing Wall Street. Each gave investors lowered guidance reflecting the reality that the slow return to the office meant the pandemic-driven boom in their respective businesses was likely over. Each saw their stock take a major dip.

Industry insiders see it all as a sign that even the hottest cloud software companies are suffering from a case of heightened expectations: After almost every major cloud company saw huge growth, much of Wall Street now seems to believe that even good, dependable revenue expansion isn't good enough.

"The cloud ecosystem has gotten a big tailwind from decentralized workforces and the work-from-home mandates," said Byron Deeter, a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners and a longtime investor in the cloud space. "And so what used to be considered acceptable growth is now being pushed out. And I think that is adding pressure on some of the slower-growing public cloud companies to perform even more."

Meanwhile, the titans of the cloud industry Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, and Salesforce have only gotten stronger over the past two years and show no signs of giving up ground in the market. That's made it increasingly hard for smaller software companies to compete.

This dynamic is pushing software companies like Zoom and others to find new ways to grow as the world returns to normal. Analysts say to expect further consolidation in the market as software companies that didn't grow massively during the pandemic or are showing signs of slowing down look for new options.

Zoom, for example, is focusing on its cloud phone business and telephony as what could be its next big market. (Its aborted $14.7 billion deal to buy Five9 would have marked a big push into the contact-center business.) Box launched an e-signature product to compete with DocuSign, while the 32-year-old firm Citrix bought the task-management startup Wrike in a productivity push.

The stakes are high for those companies, analysts say, with growth often depending on how well it navigates expansion beyond the core business. Those that can't nail it often face the end of their existence as an independent company.

"Best-of-breed companies either become multiproduct companies, and they can continue their organic or inorganic kind of standalone growth, or the thing that they do, they tap out, and they don't really know how to do the other stuff, and so then they get acquired," said Alex Zukin, an analyst at Wolfe Research.

While software is more important than ever to keep a business running, companies are looking to reduce the amount of software they buy, RBC analysts said in a recent note to clients. That, in turn, is leading them to spend with larger platforms, like Salesforce, Microsoft, or AWS, that bundle many products into subscription suites, the analysts wrote.

That puts even more pressure on independent software companies. Slack , the workplace chat app, spent the early days of the pandemic facing investor scrutiny about its ability to compete with Microsoft Teams in a remote-first world. Ultimately, Salesforce acquired Slack for $27.7 billion.

Experts say that getting snapped up isn't always a bad thing; it helps the larger players "inject modernity" into their business, Zukin said, while giving the acquired company access to the sales and marketing resources they need to stand a better chance of competing.

Ultimately, however, the experts agreed that in this environment of heightened expectations, the only way for a software company to ensure survival or at least independence is to become "mission critical," literally irreplaceable to customers, including by expanding their product lineup.

"So it is increasingly important that software companies have the ability to become a larger platform," RBC analysts said in a note earlier this year. "Otherwise they risk being unable to gain meaningful traction beyond a certain threshold."

Do you have insight to share? Contact this reporter via email at pzaveri@insider.com or Signal at 925-364-4258. (PR pitches by email only, please.)

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Cloudflare Challenges AWS with R2 Storage and No Egress Fees – InfoQ.com

Cloudflare has recently announced R2 storage, a S3-compatible service to store large amounts of data with no egress bandwidth fees associated. An automatic migration of objects from Amazon S3 to Cloudflare R2 will be offered to facilitate the transition or integration for existing AWS deployments.

Cloudflare claims that they will eliminate egress fees, deliver an object storage that is at least 10% cheaper than S3, and make infrequent access free. In the announcement, Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare, explains:

Since AWS launched S3, cloud storage has attracted, and then locked in, developers with exorbitant egress fees. (...) Our aim is to make R2 Storage the least expensive, most reliable option for storing data, with no egress charges.

Automatic migration from S3 to R2. Source: https://blog.cloudflare.com/introducing-r2-object-storage/

After promoting the Bandwidth Alliance, a group of cloud and networking companies committed to discounting data transfer fees, hoping that AWS would join;Cloudflare highlighted last summer what Prince calls AWSs Egregious Egress and "Hotel California Pricing":

During the last ten years, industry wholesale transit prices have fallen an average of 23% annually. Compounded over that time, wholesale bandwidth is 93% less expensive than 10 years ago. However, AWSs egress fees over that same period have fallen by only 25%.

Analyzing the "Compelling Economics of Cloudflare R2", Coney Quinn, cloud economist at The Duckbill Group, explains how the new service could be used by existing AWS customers:

Cloudflare offers an "S3 proxy" of sorts; you can drop this in front of S3 or, frankly, any S3-compatible object store, which is effectively all of them. And suddenly the fun begins.

In a popular tweet thread, Quinn adds:

I'm really curious what position AWS is going to take on Cloudflare's free egress: 1) That's impossible, Cloudflare will go bankrupt doing this. 2) Yeah, you caught us, we've been ripping you off for years. Have a discount. 3) Complete silence.

The announcement has been discussed and well received by developers on Hacker News and Reddit. Claiming that Cloudflare is "Eating the Cloud from Outside In", Shawn Wang, developer experience at Temporal.io, writes:

Cloudflare took a part of the cloud nobody valued, gave away an insanely good free offering, and quietly accumulated an 80% market share. Meanwhile, when people think of Tier 1 AWS services, its Cloudflare equivalent, Amazon CloudFront, rarely gets any love.

A few users question the name R2, Rapid and Reliable, with Taloflow providing a name generator for future object storage services. R2 is still under development with a waitlist for access. It is expected to cost 0.015 USD per GB per month, not charging data egress and offering zero rate request charges until customers are making double-digit requests per second.

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WhatsApp Working On A Feature To Allow Users Better Manage Their Cloud Storage – Mashable India

Facebook's instant messaging platform WhatsApp is reported to be working on a new feature that'll allow its user to manage the chat backups on the cloud (Google Drive or iCloud). To be more specific, the new feature will allow WhatsApp users to manage the chat backups by eliminating unnecessary contents (like photos and documents) from their cloud backup.

According to the WABetaInfo report, the feature which is currently in the testing stage will initially be available to Android users only, which will allow them to select the content on their cloud. After offering end-to-end encrypted backups, the newly released version (WhatsApp for Android beta 2.21.21.7) will soon allow its users to manage the backup size. Termed as 'Manage backup size', the feature will allow WA users to manage the cloud backup by excluding specific media (like photos and videos) from being included in the next backup. While no specific release date has been announced yet, the WA team is expected to roll out the feature soon.

But what's the main reason behind this update? While the WhatsApp backups didn't count on your Google Drive, the report also suggested that Google may soon stop offering unlimited storage for WhatsApp backups. While no party has yet made any official announcement, Google may limit the storage space to 2000 MB per user, but even WABetaInfo has termed this to be a rumour yet.

Earlier this month, WhatsApp had rolled out a new end-to-end encrypted chat backup feature for iOS and Android users to raise the level of security currently offered on message backups. While the additional layer of privacy and security improves data security, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "WhatsApp is the first global messaging service at this scale to offer end-to-end encrypted messaging and backups."

SEE ALSO: Apple Airpods May Soon Help You Monitor Body Temperature And Posture: Report

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How to change the date and time of a photo in Google Photos – Android Central

Google Photos is one of the greatest cloud storage services that exists for storing your images and videos. There are many options and features the app brings to the table. One being the ability to change the date and time of a photo in Google Photos. If you want to learn how to do so, follow the next steps to a T.

Tap the three dots in the upper-right corner.

Tap on the date to change it.

Tap on the time to change it.

After you have changed the date and time information of a photo, the updated details will sync across all your devices and appear in Google Photos everywhere else as well.

VPN Deals: Lifetime license for $16, monthly plans at $1 & more

Go to https://photos.google.com/ on your desktop.

Click on the image.

Click on the pencil icon next to the date and time.

Enter new date and time details.

Click Save after entering the new date and time.

We love Google Photos because it's wonderfully simple and incredibly accessible to all Android users. It nails the basics of backing up videos and images, editing tools, auto-sync, and sharing options. What's more, you can even use Photos to create a Photo Book and have it printed in a physical form. Now that's something your everyday gallery app can't do! So whether it's an image viewer you're looking for or a cloud storage platform, Google Photos knocks the ball out of the park.

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MadHive Deal Gives Google A Leg Up In The Cloud Wars – Forbes

Ready to use cloud with screen mode

As data assumes a greater place in the advertising universe, a skirmish of sorts has broken out among the major cloud storage companiesGoogle GOOG and Amazon AMZN in particularto win the hearts and minds of the advertising and media community.

I say skirmish because given the massive size of Google and Amazons cloud storage businesses, the amount of revenue they will get from advertisers and publishers is relatively small.

But in a battle for dominance, every win counts and so the battle lines have been drawn.

Google inadvertently intensified the migration of advertising data to the cloud by its decision to (eventually) do away with cookies, the digital trackers that allow brands to gather information on consumers as they traveled around the web.

While there will be short term pain, overall this is a positive development, since cookies were in many ways like TVs Nielsen ratings: a currency everyone agreed on because an industry had grown up around it and there was no other option, but a currency that many people suspected was far less accurate than it appeared to be.

The demise of cookies will force brands to begin collecting more of their own first party data and then finding wayscloud-based waysto ensure that data is privacy compliant and can then be matched, in a privacy compliant manner, with customer data from publishers and programmers.

The Rise Of The Clean Room

Data matching takes place on a cloud-based platform that is known as a clean room. Clean rooms provide a way to ensure that data from the advertiser, data from the publisher and data from third parties can be compared and matched in a way that ensures neither side actually sees the other sides data unless there is a match. This is critical as it ensures privacy compliance.

The more advertisers and their agencies come to rely on these clean room environments, the more money will be at stake, and if one of the giants can take a clear lead in this area, it will give them a slight leg up over the competition.

$100 Million Is A Big Deal

That is why Google must be very happy about a recent deal brokered by the consulting firm SADA that will see ad tech pioneers MadHive doubling last years initial $50 million in Googles cloud-based solutions. This brings MadHives total investment to $100 million, making it one of the biggest Google Cloud deals in adtech to date.

MadHive has long been one of the most innovative players in the space, rolling out machine learning and cryptography-based solutions to address industry problems like fraud and privacy.

Today, MadHive is a leader in infrastructure-as-a-service enterprise software, focused on accelerating local OTT (over the top TV, also known as CTV) reach extension with major broadcasters like Fox, Scripps and TEGNAs Premion.

By doubling its investment in Google Cloud, MadHive will strengthen its ability to deliver:

Baked in fraud detection and prevention: While fraud is considered to be largely a problem for digital advertisers, its becoming a real issue on OTT as well. MadHive has been a leader in helping to detect and prevent fraud, and the deal will allow them to expand this capability.

Advanced targeting capabilities that fully comply with GDPR and CCPA privacy regulations. As global privacy laws expand, advertisers need to ensure that the solutions they implement stay within the boundaries of these new regulations . MadHive offers cloud-based solutions that help ensure compliance while respecting consumers right to privacy.

Simplified, full-stack software that removes unnecessary middlemen and their fees. When I first met MadHive CEO Adam Helfgott many years ago, I was impressed by his understanding of how brands were being forced to pay an ad tax because of all the middlemen involved in digital advertising and his commitment to eliminating that sort of costly system on OTT. Cloud-based solutions help to simplify transactions and thus eliminate costly middlemen.

Interoperability across various screens and channels, including digital out of home, digital audio, display, and more. Consumers dont just watch TV or just watch videos onlinethey move across all available channels with great frequency. The ability to understand their behavior across all these screens and channels allows for better targeting and an end to overtargeting consumers based on their demographics.

Over the past year, MadHive has been in a period of hyper-growth as broadcasters and brands adopt our technology to power their cross-channel advertising efforts, said Adam Helfgott, CEO at MadHive. This increased investment in SADA and Google Cloud will allow MadHive to create an even stronger infrastructure that allows for lightning-speed insights and campaign optimizations, while solving widespread industry problems like fraud, transparency, privacy and interoperability for our clients.

Creating solutions for advertisers and publishers will be key for cloud computing services in the years ahead. The issue now is around getting traction, about scoring the most high profile wins up front so that the industry has you pegged as the front runner.

While it is still way too soon to declare a winner, Googles deal with MadHive indicates that they have the know-how to get the job done.

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Teen arrested after national organization finds explicit photos, videos involving minors – FOX13 Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. A 19-year-old teen is behind bars after what the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) found on the teens computer.

Fredtravis Trey McKnight was booked on Oct. 13 in the Shelby County Jail for one count of sexual exploitation of a minor after Memphis Police received a tip from the NCMEC.

The NCMEC told MPD their report was initiated after an online cloud storage service reported one of the users uploaded media that was known to be child sexual abuse/exploitation material, an affidavit said.

The online cloud storage service provided the users email addresses and screenname of the suspect Trey McKnight.

According to the affidavit, NCMEC forwarded the complaint to MPD based on the geographical location of McKnights IP address from his computer.

MPD reviewed the information and found eight videos of minors engaging in sex acts plus one video of a nude minor engaging in lascivious display, the affidavit said.

After further investigation, MPD found the user to be a Comcast internet subscriber at a home off Foggy Ridge Cove in Hickory Hill.

McKnight was arrested and his bond was set at $70,000.

He is due in court on Oct. 21.

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To the stars: NetApp bringing cloud-native Astra Blocks and Files – Blocks and Files

NetApp, is announcing the availability of an early preview of a file-focussedaddition to its Astra family of Kubernetes products so that users get block stores and a cloud-native file store.

Astra Data Store (ADS) is a Kubernetes-native shared file unified data store for containers and virtual machines (VMs) with advanced enterprise data management and a standard NFS client. The software is based on NetApps enterprisedata management technologies meaning, we understand, ONTAP.

Eric Han, a NetApp VP of product management, said in a supplied statement: With Astra Data Store were giving customers more infrastructure options to build modern datacentres, with the ability to deploy world-leading primary storage and data management solutions directly into their Kubernetes clusters.

Back in August last year, Han blogged that: the Project Astra team has been redesigning the NetApp storage operating system, ONTAP, to be Kubernetes-native. We think this is the first appearance of cloud-native ONTAP functionality.

ADS has been designed to fix challenges for Kubernetes users, including the lack of mature shared file services, proprietary file clients, and managing data stores separately for virtual machines and containers. It is said to be one ofthefirstKubernetes-native, unified shared fileservicesfor containers and VMs, and offering multiple parallel file systems on the same resource pool.

The ADS software includes replication and erasure coding technologies for Kubernetes-native workloads so as to increase resiliency.

In the coming months NetApp will introduce more data services, hybrid, andmulti-cloudcapabilities by itself and co-developed with partners and customers.

The ADS preview will be publicly available over the coming months, with general availability targeted for the first half of 2022.

By converting its ONTAP storage software functionality to containerised code and moving it into the Kubernetes space, NetApp is making sure that it is in the front line for offering data storage and services to cloud-native applications and developers.

This means NetApp will be able to offer strong competition to cloud native startups such as OnDat, the renamed StorageOS, and Pures Portworx business unit. It will be able to reassure its existing customers that they have no need to move a risky startup to get such services they can stay with trusty NetApp instead. This message could help prevent DevOps people inside NetApps customer base choosing a cloud-native startup for their storage. And NetApp can also go to cloud-native developers outside its base and say it is a more reliable storage supplier than any young startup.

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IBM sprays storage improvements across its Spectrums Blocks and Files – Blocks and Files

IBM has announced enhancements across its Spectrum storage software products, supporting Azure, boosting AIOps, speeding data to GPUs and adding a larger proprietary flash drive.

The news was revealed in an IBM blog with no identified author.

The blog summed things up by blandly announcing: Today, IBM is announcing new capabilities and integrations designed to help organisations reduce IT complexity, deploy cost-effective solutions and improve data and cyber resilience for hybrid cloud environments.

The announcements cover Spectrums Virtualize, Protect, Protect Plus, Scale, AIOps for FlashSystem and the ESS 3200, which runs Spectrum Scale software.

Spectrum Virtualize is the operating, management and virtualization software used in the Storwize and FlashSystem arrays and SAN Volume Controller. The Storwize brand was absorbed into the FlashSystem brand in February 2020.

Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud (SVPC) is available for the IBM public cloud and was made available on AWS in April 2019, providing a hybrid on-premises-to-AWS capability; its been a long time coming to Azure. IBM announced a forthcoming beta program for Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud on Azure in February this year and now, eight months later, the software is generally available.

That means on-premises FlashSystem and SAN Volume Controller deployments can have public cloud-based disaster recovery sites, can migrate data to SVPC in the cloud and support what IBM calls cloud DevOps. This set of disaster recovery, migration and cloud DevOps facilities can function between public clouds as well.

SVPC on Azure supports IBM Safeguarded Copy, which automatically creates isolated immutable snapshot copies designed to be inaccessible by software. That means it functions as ransomware data protection.

Will we see SVPC supporting the Google Cloud Platform? We think so.

IBMs FlashSystem AIOps capabilities are being boosted by acquired Turbonomic AI-powered Application Resource Management (ARM) and Network Performance Management (NPM) software technology.

In effect we have IBMs response to HPEs industry-leading InfoSight system monitoring and predictive analytics technology. IBM says:

Big Blue says this reduces the need for over-provisioning the arrays and means their density can be increased, by up to 30 per cent on average, with no performance impact. That is surely good news.

It gets better for FlashSystem users with Instana, Red Hat OpenShift, VMware m vSphere or other major hypervisors, since Turbonomic will observe the entire stack from application to array. In IBM speak, This enables all operations teams to quickly visualise and automate corrective actions to mitigate performance risk caused by resource congestion, while safely increasing density.

Other IBM storage news:

There are no public numbers to allow a comparison with other GDS supporting suppliers such as DDN, Pavilion, VAST Data and WekaIO.

In March we reported that Spectrum Scale delivered 94GB/sec to Nvidia GPUs across GDS. A 100 per cent increase would take this to 188GB/sec still shy of Pavilions 191GB/sec.

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Global Cloud Storage Market Share, Size, Global Development ,Growth Status, Sales Revenue, Emerging Technologies, Key Players Analysis, Opportunity…

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How to enable the iOS-style Google Photos memory widget on Android – Android Central

Source: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central

Google Photos has a very nice Memories widget on iOS that Android users have been envious due to its aesthetic nature. Its minimalist, clean look is superb, and the slideshow feature of old pictures gives you a tinge of nostalgia whenever you look at your phone. Thankfully, the iOS-style Google Photos memory widget has finally made its way to the Android platform. Here's how you can enable it and add the cute widget to your Android phone.

Anyone can add this widget to their Android phone as long as they have the Google Photos app. However, remember you will only see the Memories widget on your phone if Google Photos runs version v5.52.0.0387241369 or above.

Tap on Widgets.

Place the Google Photos Memories widget on your home screen.

After placing, tap and hold the Memories widget and readjust the size.

Once you place the Memories widget on your Android phone's home screen, it will display pictures from your Google Photos library. This includes images from different times in the past. If you don't want to see specific dates, people, or pets, then you can head to the settings within the cloud storage app and hide unwanted memories in Google Photos.

There are hundreds of different gallery apps in the Google Play Store, but none come close to Google Photos. Its integration with Google Drive and your Google account makes it extremely useful and accessible at all times. It also enables you to edit your pictures using Google's fantastic photo editing software, gives you the benefits of Google Lens in-app, and more. If you need a cloud storage platform for pictures on Android, your search ends with Google Photos.

Access your photos anywhere

Google has mastered the concept of a gallery app with Google Photos. You get cloud storage services, cross-platform integration, free backups, editing functions, sharing features, and more.

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