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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Windows 10 is here to help regain Microsoft’s leading position in ICT

My verdict: The 3 phase launch strategy is almost flawless, as well as the functionality of the product. So the remaining question is whether the execution will be as flawless or not?

July 29, 2015, BBC NewsMicrosoft boss Nadella on Windows 10

From this interview 2 things are very important to remember:

  1. Cortana is the near term means to generate excitement for the Windows 10.
  2. Then the Hololens is to be launched within a year to drive that excitement even further into the augmented and virtual reality scenario which is expected to generate $150 billion in combined annual revenue by 2020, according to Digi-Capital, a research and advising firm.

Finally in the end of that interview Nadella is mentioning another important point:

It is a 5 year journey. It’s a beginning. Even the smart phone journey with touch was a 7 year – 8 year journey. So this is how you should think about these fundamental changes.

With all the client markets out of their real growth period such a way of thinking is the only possible one. See the specific posts on the client categories, with additional remarks highlighted here from them:

  • Aug 5, 2015PC Market Trends is particularly drawing the attention to the fact that phones and tablets with detachable keyboards, i.e. 2-in-1 devices running either Windows or Android are remaining a competitive issue for the category.
  • Aug 4, 2015Tablet and smartphone market trends on the other hand is emphasizing that the key going forward for the Windows will be if the coming wave of 2-in-1 detachable tablets (expected to be on the market in Q4) is a hit with consumers or if they go the way of the netbook-style laptops. This will determine how much the current Q2 2015 9% market share (which was just 5% in Q2 2014) of Windows-branded tablets could increase with the new Windows 10.
    Investors.com comments on tablet and smartphone market trends -- Q2'2015

Additional readings/information on Windows 10 Mobile:

  • July 29, 2015: Windows 10 coming soon to Lumia smartphones – Microsoft – Global which has indicated that “The following Lumia smartphones will receive a free upgrade when available: Lumia 430, Lumia 435, Lumia 532, Lumia 535, Lumia 540, Lumia 640, Lumia 640 XL, Lumia 735, Lumia 830, and Lumia 930. … In order to upgrade to Windows 10, your Lumia device will need to have the Lumia Denim software update [Jan 7, 2015] installed.
  • Aug 4, 2015 8:03 tweet by Gabriel Aul, Vice President, WDG Engineering Systems team, Re: “No new builds today Sooo, maybe on Friday? And what build is currently in testing? 10240 or even newer?”: “It will be a few more days. We’re moving to a new branch for [Windows 10] Mobile and that takes a bit of prep. Newer than 10240.” Note that people on the Insider program currently using the 10166 version.
  • Aug 4, 2015 8:20 tweet by Gabriel Aul, Vice President, WDG Engineering Systems team: “10240 has a blocking bug for [Windows 10] Mobile, we need a newer build with the fix.

Remark as of Aug 5, 2015: The Windows 10 launch caused below average rate of interest. One evidence is this same July 31 post. It had just 5 views so far and at least 3 of them were based on my Hungarian Facebook post. Even my “Embedded Android — a VIA Technologies …” post of July 28 had 12 views just in the first 3 days and none of them were generated from my Facebook page as I’ve not posted there about that.

July 29, 2015Windows 10 UK Launch Party by Microsoft UK for a “launch atmosphere”

IMHO Microsoft’s irresistible message is:

The upgrade to Windows 10 is free within the first year, and once you’ve upgraded it remains free on your device for life!

So I did the upgrade for both my devices yesterday, and it went very smoothly. One 2GB “classic” Toshiba laptop with Win7 on it, and a 4GB Lenovo Flex 2 dual-mode laptop with Win8.1.  The upgrade took about 3 hours on each, and now I am absolutely satisfied with the new Windows on them in all respects. Recommending the upgrade for everyone ASAP.

July 21, 2015: CEO Satya Nadella on “some amount of delay due to Windows 10 on the OEM side” in the Windows business, from Q4 2015 Earning Call Transcript (the 2 video inserts are mine), in order to understand Microsoft’s business strategy with the Windows 10 launch:

The way the Windows ecosystem works is there are phases to it … in some sense we’ve taken a very different approach with this Windows-as-a-service even when it comes to OEM relations and how they’re able to co-create the products with us. … there are three distinct phases:

  1. The first phase is what I will describe as the upgrade phase. That’s what starts in a week’s time, and that is a more retail execution and upgrade.
    July 28, 201510 Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10: WINDOWS STORE (the other 9 you can find in the 10 Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10 playlist of the Windows YouTube channel)

    July 28, 2015How to customize the Start Menu after Upgrading to Windows 10 by Scott Hanselman from Microsoft
    for more information see Scott’s Getting Started with Windows 10 post containing other very useful videos as well
  2. Then come the fall, you will see the devices from all the OEMs going into the holiday quarter.
  3. And then the enterprise upgrades; in fact, we have a release of enterprise features, which I mentioned in my script, which will ship in that timeframe. And I expect piloting to start and deployments to start in the second half of the fiscal year.

So that’s how I would think about the OEM as well as enterprise adoption. So my bullishness [in business sense] for Windows 10 is more in the second half of the fiscal year, and of course it will build. It will build starting in a week’s time in retail and in the upgrades, but I see this in three phases.

July 28, 2015Microsoft Windows 10 Official Demonstration by Ger Lynch from Microsoft Ireland for a mix of a salespitch (in good sense) and a walkthrough:

July 21, 2015: CEO Satya Nadella on “the new strategy around the phone business” and “how … that business trending over a longer period of time” from the Q4 2015 Earning Call Transcript (for the phone-specific Win10 information read the Windows 10 coming soon to Lumia smartphones page by Microsoft and note the “In order to upgrade to Windows 10, your Lumia device will need to have the Lumia Denim software update installed.” warning):

The big shift that we are making when it comes to phones is to not think about phones in isolation. That’s perhaps the biggest shift because I think about Windows 10 in its entirety, the Windows ecosystem in its entirety.

We clearly are going to have premium first-party portfolio, and you’ve seen some of the numbers, some of the progress we have made in Surface. I feel that we have a formula there that I would like to apply more broadly in terms of growing, just delivering innovation, growing our own economic return for it, stimulating demand, creating categories. All of that is what I want to do broadly. And it applies to phones, it applies to Surface hardware, it applies to Hololens, and that’s how I view it.

I believe our participation in the phone segment by itself with Windows phones and Lumia phones being there is important, and that’s why we picked the three areas where we have differentiation and we want to focus on it.

  1. We’re going to have great flagship phones for Windows 10. That’s actually a segment we don’t today have good devices, and we hope to change that with Windows 10.
  2. We have in fact good traction in the business segment. This is business customers who are actually buying phone devices, which is basically a radio with essentially a smartphone to be able to deploy their line-of-business applications. That’s where we have pretty unparalleled value, which is we have Visual Studio Online and some of the tools I talked about, so you can generate these apps at a low cost of ownership, manage them, secure them, and deploy them to our phone endpoints, and then of course, management and security. So that’s a place where we want to continue to focus.
  3. And in the value smartphones, that’s the place where I want us to be much more efficient. We clearly have some value to add there because of the uniqueness of Office and Skype and our services. But at the same time, I think we want to be smart about how many of these phones do we want to generate, how many, which price points we want to participate. That’s where you will see the most significant operational changes from how we operated last year to the coming year.

May 4, 2015Satya Nadella’s Keynote from Ignite 2015 on the Windows Community YouTube channel (see also the Microsoft announces new solutions
to empower IT professionals press release for more information) in order to understand the place of Windows 10 in the overall strategic setup of the company 

Microsoft - The 3 interlocking ambitions the Microsoft CEO talked about at Microsoft Iginite held on May 4-8, 2015 in Chicago

The 3 “interlocking ambitions” the Microsoft CEO talked about at Microsoft Iginite held on May 4-8, 2015 in Chicago

July 21, 2015: CEO Satya Nadella on Microsoft’s “third bold ambition to create more personal computing experiences with Windows and our devices” as the company’s equally important strategic ambition (in addition to “reinventing productivity in business processes” and “building the intelligent cloud platform with Azure“) from the Q4 2015 Earning Call Transcript

I am thrilled we are just days away from the start of Windows 10. It’s the first step towards our goal of 1 billion Windows 10 active devices in the fiscal year 2018. Our aspiration with Windows 10 is to move people from meeting to choosing to loving Windows. Based on feedback from more than 5 million people who have been using Windows 10, we believe people will love the familiarity of Windows 10 and the innovation. It’s safe, secure, and always up to date. Windows 10 is more personal and more productive with Cortana, Office, universal apps, and Continuum. And Windows 10 will deliver innovative new experiences like Inking on Microsoft Edge and gaming across Xbox and PCs, and also opens up entirely new device categories such as Hololens.

Windows 10 will deliver significant value to enterprise customers as well. Windows 10 provides advanced security capabilities with additional features for hardware-based security, mobile work and data protection. It also provides a single device management platform across all devices, from phones to laptops to Internet of Things devices. And Windows 10 helps enterprises stay up to date with Windows Update for Business and Windows Store for Business.

While the PC ecosystem has been under pressure recently, I do believe that Windows 10 will broaden our economic opportunity and return Windows to growth.

  1. First, we have an OEM ecosystem that is creating exciting new hardware designs for Windows 10. In fact, our OEM partners have over 2,000 distinct devices or configurations already in testing for Windows 10 upgrades as well as hundreds of new hardware designs. We are delighted that the first of these exciting new devices will start to be available on Windows 10 launch day, and by this holiday we will be selling the widest range of Windows hardware ever available.
  2. Second, we will generate new growth through gross margin on our own differentiated first-party premium device portfolio. We will also significantly reduce our losses on the phone by operating more effectively and efficiently with a more focused portfolio.
  3. Third, we will grow monetization opportunities across the commercial and consumer space. In the enterprise, customers will continue to value our unparalleled management security, app dev, and servicing capability. And for consumers, Windows 10 creates monetization opportunities with store, search, and gaming. We are confident that these are the right levers to revitalize Windows and restore growth. The progress we made this quarter and the forward-looking guidance that Amy will share shows the opportunity for renewed growth is real.

In hardware, both Surface and Xbox had an incredible Q4.

  1. We more than doubled Surface revenue to nearly $900 million this quarter, capping off a year in which it delivered more than $3.6 billion in revenue. Both consumers and enterprise customers love this device. Surface is clearly a product where we have gotten the formula right, earned fans, and can apply this formula to other parts of the hardware portfolio.
  2. Gaming is an important scenario for Windows 10, and our success with Xbox this quarter gives us a strong starting position heading into launch. Xbox Live users grew 22% this quarter and logged nearly 3.5 billion hours of gameplay. Our growing fan base is excited for the best games lineup in our history. All of this comes together with Windows 10, when fans can connect with each other, stream all of their Xbox One games to Windows 10, and experience the best virtual reality platform given our partnership with Oculus Rift and Valve.
  3. In search, Bing will now power both differentiated experiences on Windows 10 such as Cortana as well as search and search advertising across the AOL portfolio sites in addition to the partnership we already have with Yahoo!, Amazon, and Apple. With advertising revenue growth of 21% year over year, Bing will transition to profitability in the coming fiscal year.

July 28, 2015Windows 10 available in 190 countries as a free upgrade Microsoft news release for the summary of what has been launched worldwide overall

REDMOND, Wash. — July 28, 2015 — Microsoft Corp. announced that Windows 10 will become available Wednesday as a free upgrade1 or with new PCs and tablets. Windows 10 includes innovations such as Cortana,2 an Xbox app and Microsoft Edge for a familiar, yet more personal and productive, experience. The most secure Windows ever, Windows 10 is delivered as a service and kept automatically up-to-date with innovations and security updates. Windows 10 offers one experience that will become available on the broadest range of devices, including PCs, tablets, phones, Raspberry Pi, Xbox One, HoloLens and more — with more than 2,000 devices or configurations already in testing. The new Windows Store and Windows Software Development Kit also become available Wednesday, opening the door to new and innovative app experiences on Windows 10.

People around the world will celebrate the launch of Windows 10 Wednesday at fan celebrations in 13 countries and via a new yearlong initiative to celebrate people and organizations making a difference around the world. Microsoft encourages people to share how they plan to #UpgradeYourWorld and to vote for a global nonprofit to receive a cash donation by simply mentioning the nonprofit in a post on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and using the hashtags #UpgradeYourWorld and #vote. More information on Upgrade Your World can be found at http://www.windows.com/upgradeyourworld.

“A new era of Windows starts today. From the beginning, Windows 10 has been unique — built with feedback from over 5 million fans, delivered as a service and offered as a free upgrade,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president, Windows and Devices Group, at Microsoft. “Windows 10 delivers on our more personal computing vision, with a natural, mobile and trusted experience. Along with our partners, we’re excited to deliver the best Windows ever, which will empower people and organizations around the world to do great things.”

Windows 10: Best Windows ever

Windows 10 is fast and familiar — with the return of the Start menu and Live Tiles for instant, streaming updates of what matters most. Windows 10 is the most secure Windows Microsoft has ever released, with enhancements to Windows Defender and SmartScreen to help safeguard against viruses, malware and phishing and innovations such as Windows Hello, which offers a fast, secured, password-free way to log in.3 Keeping up-to-date is also simple, as free updates will help people stay current with the latest features and security updates for the supported lifetime of the device.

Windows 10 is more personal and productive, with voice, pen and gesture inputs for natural interaction with PCs. It’s designed to work with Office and Skype and allows you to switch between apps and stay organized with Snap and Task View. Windows 10 offers many innovative experiences and devices, including the following:

  • Cortana, the personal digital assistant, makes it easy to find the right information at the right time.
  • New Microsoft Edge browser lets people quickly browse, read, and mark up and share the Web.
  • The integrated Xbox app delivers the Xbox experience to Windows 10, bringing together friends, games and accomplishments across Xbox One and Windows 10 devices.
  • Continuum optimizes apps and experiences beautifully across touch and desktop modes.
  • Built-in apps including Photos; Maps; Microsoft’s new music app, Groove; and Movies & TV offer entertainment and productivity options. With OneDrive, files can be easily shared and kept up-to-date across all devices.
  • A Microsoft Phone Companion app enables iPhones, Android or Windows phones to work seamlessly with Windows 10 devices.
  • The all new Office Mobile apps for Windows 10 tablets are available today in the Windows Store.4 Built for work on-the-go, the Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps offer a consistent, touch-first experience for small tablets. For digital note-taking needs, the full-featured OneNote app comes pre-installed with Windows 10. The upcoming release of the Office desktop apps (Office 2016) will offer the richest feature set for professional content creation. Designed for the precision of a keyboard and mouse, these apps will be optimized for large-screen PCs, laptops and 2-in-1 devices such as the Surface Pro.

Windows 10: Best platform for businesses

Feedback from millions of IT pros has shaped Windows 10, the most extensively tested version of Windows ever. Ready for corporate deployments, Windows 10 will help companies protect against modern cyberattacks, deliver experiences their employees will love and enable continuous innovation with a platform that keeps companies up-to-date with the latest technology. Businesses will be able to control the frequency of their updates and select the features and functionality that are right for each group of their employees.

Windows 10 includes built-in, enterprise-grade security, so customers can replace passwords with more secure options, protect corporate data and corporate identities, and run only the software they trust. New management and deployment tools simplify device management, help lower costs, and enable companies to power their business with the enterprise strength of the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Top apps available on Windows 10

The new Windows Store will open Wednesday and begin accepting new apps for Windows 10. The Windows Store offers one-stop shopping for popular free and paid apps, games, movies, TV shows and the latest music, which can work across all Windows 10 devices. The new Windows Store is the only store where people can use Cortana to control apps with their voice5 and get real-time notifications on their app tiles. All Windows Store content is certified by Microsoft to help keep devices safer. In addition to existing Windows 8.1 apps such as Netflix, Flipboard, Mint.com, “Asphalt 8: Airborne” and The Weather Channel, the Windows Store provides a constant stream of new and updated Universal Windows Apps and games, including Twitter, “Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition beta,” Hulu, iHeartRadio, USA TODAY, “Candy Crush Saga” and others including WeChat and QQ, which will launch soon.6

Easy upgrade, devices now available

Upgrading to Windows 10 is easy for customers running a genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 PC or tablet. Starting Wednesday, people who reserved their upgrade to Windows 10 will be notified in waves when their upgrade is ready to be installed. For business customers, Windows 10 is available to start deploying within their work environments, and starting Aug. 1, organizations that have volume licensing can upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education.

Retail partners are ready to help people upgrade to Windows 10 with our largest tech bench program ever, including more than 100,000 trained retailers and tens of thousands of stores around the world. Free upgrade programs will be available Wednesday, with Windows 10 software becoming broadly available in retail stores around the world between mid-August and September. Devices running Windows 10 will be available in some retail stores on Wednesday, with many, many more devices to become available in the weeks and months ahead.

Microsoft has also worked closely with retailers to introduce programs to help people easily upgrade, including Best Buy, Bic Camera, Croma, Currys/PC World, Darty, Elkjøp, Fnac, Jarrir, Incredible Connection, Media Markt, Staples, Yamada Denki, Yodobashi and many more leading retailers from around the world.

Information on upgrading, new and compatible devices, and apps for Windows can be found at http://www.windows.com. Additional information and media assets are available at http://blogs.windows.com/launch.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

1 Limited time free upgrade offer for qualified and genuine Windows 7 and 8/8.1 devices. Hardware and software requirements apply; see http://www.windows.com/windows10upgrade for details.

2 Cortana available in select markets at launch; experience may vary by region and device.

3 Windows Hello requires specialized hardware, including fingerprint reader, illuminated IR sensor or other biometric sensors.

4 An Office 365 subscription is required to edit Office apps on Windows 10 PCs or larger tablets.

5 Hardware dependent.

6 Some apps and content sold separately. App and content availability and experience may vary by region and device.

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Embedded Android — A VIA Technologies Strategic Direction in addition to its earlier joint CPU venture with the Shanghai government

– Nov 12, 2012 – July 11, 2014: Can VIA Technologies save the mobile computing future of the x86 (x64) legacy platform? for preliminary reading on this blog
– October 8, 2014: Coming very soon from Centaur Technology: A Leap Ahead in Chip Design as a very small glimpse into the next generation by the Centaur Technology
– October 13, 2014: Centaur Technology: Do the same job that an Intel processor can do, but doing it less expensively, with a much smaller group and Glenn Henry in charge as another as a very small glimpse …
June 3, 2015VIA pushing for profitability in 2015 by DIGITIMES

VIA Technologies [威盛電子] president Chen Wen-Chi [陳文琦 the spouse of Cher Wang Chairwoman and CEO of HTC] has maintained that the company will not be delisted from the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE) and will have a good chance of turning profitable in 2015. [http://technews.tw/2015/06/02/via-technologies-condition/: “this year the operation has turned the corner, there is the opportunity to turn profit, but not sure]

Chen said during a shareholders meeting on June 2 that VIA’s revenue performance became stable in 2014, while losses have also started narrowing. With its embedded platform and digital signage businesses starting to contribute profits, VIA is expecting an optimistic result for 2015.

As for the recent market rumor about Intel considering acquiring its subsidiary GenieNetworks[a CDMA licensing business having 2 clients by the end of 2014], Chen declined to comment.

December 29, 2014: Ownership of the Centaur Technology has been transfered to VIA CPU PLATFORM, INC. established on December 17, 2013 (⇒威盛電子:代子公司VIA USA Inc.公告進行美國子公司Centaur Technology Inc.股權之投資架構調整) and whose president is Timothy Chen (陳主望), Cher Wang’s nephew

December 25, 2014VIA to return to profitability in 2015, says company president by DIGITIMES

… As for the China government’s recently announced strategy to fully support and nurture local semiconductor players, Chen believes it could bring a strong challenge to the Taiwan and worldwide semiconductor industries, but VIA has been forming partnerships with China’s players and will only see limited impact from the policies.

November 21, 2014VIA stock demoted in TSE; expects strong performance in 4Q14 by DIGITIMES

VIA Technologies has recently been demoted to become a full-cash delivery stock by the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE) because its stock’s net asset value dropped below NT$5 (US$0.16) in the third quarter. Commenting on the incident, special [technical] assistant to the president [also Head of Sales and Marketing since 1996 according to LinkedIn and VP Business Development and Strategy, VIA Technologies, HTC according to World Economic Forum 2015], Timothy Chen pointed out that the company had losses in the third quarter because its embedded solution orders were delayed and it had non-recurring engineering (NRE) expenses.

Although VIA’s CPU business continues to suffer from losses, the company’s invested Wondermedia [in 2014 focused on ARM-based tablet and STB processor development], VIA Labs [having USB 3.0 chips already for the 2014 market] and GenieNetworks as well as the joint venture with the government of Shanghai, China still contribute income.

Chen noted that VIA has not yet given up the x86 CPU market and its licensing agreement with Intel is valid until 2018. Although VIA did not achieve much performance in the PC market, the company is seeing stable orders for embedded applications such as digital signage.

The company’s joint venture with the Shanghai government is currently developing x86-based processors and 3D graphics chips and should help the company return to the PC market in the second half of 2015. The joint venture has R&D centers in Shanghai, Beijing and Wuhan, China and has about 600 employees currently.

February 19, 2014VIA reportedly moving x86 CPU resources to new joint venture in China by DIGITIMES

VIA Technologies is rumored to have started shifting its x86 CPU technologies and related personnel to its newly formed IC design joint venture with a China government-owned investment firm, according to market watchers

The joint venture was announced in early 2014 with VIA owning a 20% stake in the company.

Because VIA’s x86 CPU business is licensed by Intel, moving related resources to a new joint venture is expected to attract Intel’s attention. However, the chip giant may not be able to do much because Intel reached an agreement with the US’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) in 2010 to not interfere with competition in the CPU and chipset markets, and extend its licensing of PCI Express to VIA by at least another six years. Intel is also unlikely to wish to offend the China investment firm, which has support from the China government, the market watchers analyzed.

VIA Alliance Semiconductor Co., Ltd. > Introduction:

VIA Alliance Semiconductor Co., Ltd. [磐聚网] was established in April 2013 with a total registered capital of USD$250M. As a joint venture between Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. [SAIL] who is affiliated to Shanghai SASAC and VIA Technologies, Inc., VIA Alliance Semiconductor Co., Ltd. has about 1000 employees and locates its headquarter at Zhangjiang of Shanghai with branches in Beijing, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Taiwan, California and Texas of America.

With the forefront technologies and know-how in the design of CPU, GPU and chipsets, VIA Alliance Semiconductor Co., Ltd. is well known to provide high security, high performance, low power dissipation, and low cost SoC solutions.

As a fabless SoC factory, VIA Alliance Semiconductor Co., Ltd. adopts advanced 40nm and 28nm semiconductor processes. VIA Alliance Semiconductor Co., Ltd.’s main products include CPU and chipsets for desktop PC and laptop and ARM Cortex series SoC with its state of the art Elite series GPU and Video Engine IPs. VIA Alliance Semiconductor Co., Ltd. aims at becoming the leading SoC solution supplier for smart TV, smart phone and enterprise

January 17, 2013: VIA forms IC joint venture with Shanghai Alliance Investment by DIGITIMES

VIA Technologies has announced that it has set up an IC design house jointly with Shanghai Alliance Investment Company targeting the growing chip market in China.

The joint venture will be capitalized at US$250 million with Shanghai Alliance Investment contributing 80.1% of total capital, while VIA makes up the remaining 19.9%. An initial investment of US$100 million is slated for completion by the end of March 2013, VIA said.

VIA posted revenues of NT$3.36 billion (US$115.47 million) for 2012, decreasing 20.8% from a year earlier.

September 2014: Research and development of Lenovo M6000/S6000 desktops with ZX-A C4350AL [VIA Nano X2 announced on January 4, 2011] CPU have been completed
November 2014: Mass production of Great Wall desktops using ZX-A C3450AL total solution have been achieved

– Targeting a range of Desktop products ZX-A processors and V11PH solution extend the reach into multitasking and performance-oriented segments and offer end users an optimal, power-efficient computing experience
ZX-A processors are built using the latest 40nm fabrication process. ZX-A processors’ package size is 21mm x 21mm and the die size is only 11mm x 6mm. The launched processor name is C4350AL (the Clock Speed is 1.6G+).
– ZX-A processors are x86 architecture CPUs, support 32-bit/64-bit and the extended instruction sets. ZX-A are the first truly optimized, low power dual-core processors delivering industry leading performance-per-watt and improved multi-tasking ability, without consuming more power. ZX-A processors leverage a multi-core architecture to offer up to twice the performance in multi-thread optimized applications, while staying within the same signature low-power envelope.
– Featuring two out-of-order x86 cores, ZX-A processors come with native 64-bit software support, VT CPU virtualization technology, and PadLock hardware security features.

– Targeting a range of Mobile Notebook products ZX-A processors and VX11H solution extend the reach into multitasking and performance-oriented segments and offer end users an optimal, power-efficient computing experience
– ZX-A processors are built using the latest 40nm fabrication process. ZX-A processors’ package size is 21mm x 21mm and the die size is only 11mm x 6mm. The launched processor name is C4350AL (the Clock Speed is 1.6G+).
– ZX-A processors are x86 architecture CPUs, support 32-bit/64-bit and the extended instruction sets. ZX-A are the first truly optimized, low power dual-core processors delivering industry leading performance-per-watt and improved multi-tasking ability, without consuming more power. ZX-A processors leverage a multi-core architecture to offer up to twice the performance in multi-thread optimized applications, while staying within the same signature low-power envelope.
– Featuring two out-of-order x86 cores, ZX-A processors come with native 64-bit software support, VT CPU virtualization technology, and PadLock hardware security features.

ZX-C series processor is a new generation of quad-core processors, they are designed for high-performance computing
– ZX-C processors are built using the latest 28nm fabrication process. ZX-C processors’ package size is 21mm x 21mm and pin to pin match with ZX-A.
– There are 4 CPU cores integrated on the single chip packaging. Delivering industry leading performance per watt and improved multi-tasking ability, without consuming more power. ZX-C processors leverage a multi-core architecture to offer up to quad the performance in multi-thread optimized applications, while staying within the same signature low-power envelope.
– Featuring four out-of-order x86 cores, ZX-C processors come with native 64-bit software support, VT CPU virtualization technology, and hardware security features.
VX11PH Chipset offering a world-class HD multimedia platform for media-intensive applications

Already visible in July through benchmarks the next stepping of the legacy Isiah line: CentaurHauls Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 14 ⇒ VIA Technology Inc. VT3456 6628AMB, VIA QuadCore @ 2.00 GHz 2 processors, 8 cores

So the once influential VIA Technologies is desparately trying to regain its stance by capitalising on the technological fruits of the smartphone revolution which has already ended by Qualcomm’s alignment with latest developments in China via downsizing, Allwinner and Microsoft collaboration.

There are two lines of strategic actions for VIA which have become public as such recently:

1. May 20, 2015VIA Smart ETK For Embedded Android 

The VIA Smart ETK for Android provides an application programming interface (API) that simplifies Android system development on VIA Embedded ARM platforms by enabling the Android application to access I/O and manageability services provided by the system hardware that are not supported in the Android framework. These APIs help safeguard against system crashes and provide the ability to schedule auto power on and off, as well as periodic system reboots to ensure maximum performance.

The VIA Smart ETK for Android is also bundled with Smart ETK Demo, which is easy to install and has a user-friendly GUI for demonstrating the functions of VIA Embedded ARM platforms. Both the VIA Smart ETK and Smart ETK Demo are easy-to-use tools that help to shorten development time and speed up time to market. Key features include the following:

Watchdog:
This provides an API which allows the user to set a timer to ensure proper operation and help the applications/system to recover from a dead circle or breakdown. When it is set, the system will automatically reboot if no “feeding dog” signal is received.
System Power Off / Reboot:
This provides APIs that allow the user to use an Android application to schedule when the system should power off as well as set periodic reboots to ensure maximum performance is maintained.
RTC Wake-Up:
This provides an auto power on feature by setting the Remote Time Clock (RTC) auto wake-up timer. The RTC supports three auto wake-up modes:
  • Wake-up on a specified hour and minute every day
  • Wake-up on a specified day/ hour/ minute every week
  • Wake-up on a specified day/ hour/ minute every month

Legacy I/O Support:
The VIA Smart ETK enables legacy I/O support such as RS-232, by opening up GPIO, I2C, and CAN bus ports to the application.

February 26, 2015: VIA SMART ETK for Android post on VIA News by Richard Brown VP of International Marketing

We’ve seen a tremendous amount of interest in the VIA SMART ETK at Embedded World this week, particularly for embedded Android system design applications.

As its name implies, the VIA SMART ETK is an embedded tool kit that we offer as part of our software engineering services in order to facilitate the development of embedded systems and devices on based on our ARM and x86 platforms.

The VIA SMART ETK for Android is available with the VIA VAB-600, VIA VAB-820, and VIA VAB-1000 boards, as well as the VIA ALTA DS, VIA ALTA DS 2, VIA ARTiGO A900, and VIA Viega systems. It provides an application programming interface (API) that simplifies Android system development by enabling the Android application to access I/O and manageability services provided by the system hardware that are not supported in the Android framework. These APIs help safeguard against system crashes and provide the ability to schedule auto power on and off, as well as periodic system reboots to ensure maximum performance.

One of the key features we have enabled in the VIA SMART ETK for Android is support for legacy I/O such as RS-232 by opening up the GPIO, I2C, and CAN bus ports to the application. Others include Watchdog, System Power Off/Reboot, and RTC Wake-Up. To learn more, please visit the ARM Software Engineering Services page on our website and download our white paper “Cracking the Embedded Android Code” [January 26, 2015].

We are committed to the continued long-term development of the VIA SMART ETK for Android and regularly issue new releases of it for the boards and systems listed above. Watch this space for news of the latest updates.

2. [February 5, 2015Android-Based Digital Signage SolutionsSignage Solution Pack for Android as the first of software solution packs optimized to meet the requirements of specific vertical market segments

The Signage Starter Solution Pack for Android has been designed to accelerate the development of digital signage solutions using the VIA ALTA DS and VIA ALTA DS 2 [Oct 15, 2014 ⇒ the Solution Pack already came with ⇒Android Signage Goes Dual Screen with VIA ALTA DS 2] systems. It includes a number of APIs that help safeguard against system crashes provide the ability to schedule auto power on and off as well as periodic system reboots to ensure maximum performance, unique to Android OS for digital signage applications. Key features include:

Watch Dog:
Provides an API which allows the user to set a timer to ensure proper operation and help applications/system to recover from a dead circle or breakdown. When it is set, the system will automatically reboot if no “feeding dog” signal is received.
System Power Off / Reboot:
Provides APIs which allow the user to use an Android application to schedule when the system should power off as well as set periodical reboots to ensure maximum performance is maintained.
RTC Wake-Up:
Provides an auto power on feature by setting Remote Time Clock (RTC) auto wake-up timer. The RTC supports three auto wake-up modes:
  • Wake-up on a specified hour and minute every day
  • Wake-up on a specified day/ hour/ minute every week
  • Wake-up on a specified day/ hour/ minute every month

Customer ID:
Provides a unique ID which matches the software to a particular VIA ALTA DS system helping to protect the customer’s application or to identify a particular system.

July 9, 2015: Embedded Android Survey – The Results Are In! by Michael Fox of VIA Technologies

Android-survey-1

The growing popularity of visual applications for displaying increasingly rich data sets is clearly a key driver behind the rising momentum of Android among embedded developers. Industrial Automation (28%), Infotainment (20%), and Digital Signage (12%) were the top three applications in the survey, closely followed by HMI (11%) and Medical (11%).

Andorid-survey-benefits

The ability to add a touch interface (26%) was listed by respondents as the main benefit of adopting Android, with reduced time to market (25%) and customizability (19%) coming in second and third respectively. Native multimedia support (14%) in the O/S and the robust Android app ecosystem (12%) were also seen as important.

As a mobile O/S, Android does offer some critical challenges for developers to overcome when implementing it for embedded applications, including its lack of I/O support for peripherals (23%), the need to maintain different versions of it, and ensuring security (17%). Building up internal Android development expertise (21%) and finding the right development tools (19%) are other key issues embedded developers face in adopting the O/S.

We’d like to thank everyone who responded to the survey for the invaluable feedback they provided. We have already begun analyzing the results in order to determine how we can improve the platforms and services we offer for Embedded Android, and will be updating you on our progress.

Download the full results here.

As the enhancement of the technology portfolio there is the new
Apr 8, 2015: HD Video Monitoring Starter Kit

The VIA HD Video Monitoring Starter Kit is a turnkey solution aimed at accelerating the development of wireless multi-node video monitoring systems for the rapidly growing home and commercial markets.The starter kit includes:


VIA ALTA DS 2 System

ALTA_DS_2_ProductAt the heart of the starter kit is the ultra-compact fanless VIA ALTA DS 2 system. Powered by a 1.0GHz dual core VIA Elite E1000 Cortex-A9 SoC with a high-performance 2D/3D graphics and video engine that supports Open GL ES 3.0 hardware acceleration and simultaneous multiple Full HD video playback. The VIA ALTA DS 2 includes SATA and Micro SD Card support, allowing recorded footage to be stored locally for playback at a later time or offloaded to the cloud.


Customized Android BSP & Smart ETK

Included with the ALTA DS 2 system is an Android BSP (Board Support Package) customized for video monitoring applications which includes the following enhancements:

  • Storage – performance improvement
  • Hardware enabled decoding
  • RTSP & WVTP parse performance improvement
  • Hardware acceleration for on screen preview playback

To enable customers to shorten their development time and speed time to market for their specific application needs, the starter kit also includes the VIA Smart ETK (Embedded Tool Kit), which provides a set of APIs for applications to access I/O and manageability services provided by the system hardware.


VIA Video Management Software (VMS)

VIA VMS application framework provides basic functionality including HD playback support, hardware accelerated decoding for live streaming and local/network backup support.Video Streaming & Recording Performance

Live Stream: (Channels/Resolution/Bitrate) Playback Frame Rate/Stream Recording Performance
1ch 1080p @ 8Mbps 30fps 1Ch 1080p @8Mbps
4ch 720p @ 4Mbps 30fps 4Ch 1080p @8Mbps

Live Playback Layouts

VMS-Layout


Wireless IP Cameras

The starter kit includes 4 validated IP cameras featuring OmniVision’s OV9712 CameraChip™ sensor, developed with their proprietary OmniPixel3-HS™ high sensitivity pixel technology to provide excellent scene reproduction in both extremely high and low-light environments, and their OV788 video signal processor for video compression, 720p HD video streaming, and AES-256 encryption over any Wi-Fi network, the system offers ‘instant-on’ crisp HD video and streaming capabilities in an extremely power-efficient, battery operated package.

Which is related to the
April 8, 2015: OmniVision and VIA Announce Partnership to Develop Battery-Powered Wireless HD Video Monitoring Solution news release as well

Customizable Android™ Based Reference Design to Accelerate Time to Market, Optimize Home and Small Business Monitoring Systems

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 6, 2015 — OmniVision Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: OVTI), a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, and VIA Technologies, Inc., a leader in embedded IoT and M2M platform innovation, today announced a partnership to develop a battery-powered high definition (HD) video monitoring solution that enables OEMs to dramatically reduce time-to-market for wireless multi-node monitoring systems in homes and small businesses.

“This partnership between OmniVision and VIA Technologies exemplifies both companies’ desire to meet the rapidly growing demand for turnkey solutions that can give OEMs the ability to quickly and cost-effectively bring innovative smart devices to market,” said Paul Gallagher, senior director of marketing at OmniVision. “By offering ‘instant-on’ crisp HD video and streaming capabilities in an extremely power-efficient, battery operated package, OmniVision’s OV9712 and OV788 video signal processor together provide excellent capabilities for the advanced solution now under development.”

“By combining OmniVision’s industry-leading imaging technologies with VIA’s advanced video processing technologies and embedded Android system design capabilities, we have produced a highly competitive turnkey solution,” said Epan Wu, head of VIA Embedded. “We look forward to collaborating with OmniVision and driving the development of new and innovative technologies for the rapidly growing market for home and commercial monitoring systems.”

Utilizing the OV9712 CameraChip™ sensor developed with OmniVision’s proprietary OmniPixel3-HS™ high sensitivity pixel technology, the solution will be designed to achieve excellent scene reproduction in both extremely high- and low-light environments. The OV9712 will operate in conjunction with OmniVision’s ultra-low power OV788 video signal processor. That processor will provide video compression, 720p HD video streaming, and AES-256 encryption over any Wi-Fi network, thus allowing users to quickly stream high quality video content using the video monitoring solution.

About OmniVision

OmniVision Technologies (NASDAQ: OVTI) is a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions. Its award-winning CMOS imaging technology enables superior image quality in many of today’s consumer and commercial applications, including mobile phones, notebooks, tablets and webcams, digital still and video cameras, security and surveillance, entertainment devices, automotive and medical imaging systems. Find out more at: www.ovt.com

Qualcomm’s alignment with latest developments in China via downsizing, Allwinner and Microsoft collaboration

July 22, 2015Qualcomm to cooperate with Microsoft, Allwinner for entry-level mobile device market by Digitimes Research

Qualcomm aims to ramp up its penetration in the entry-level mobile device market by cooperating with Microsoft to launch low-cost Windows Mobile 10 products, while also cooperating with Allwinner Technology to launch 3G/4G solutions for connected tablets, according to Digitimes Research.

Qualcomm accounted for about 80% of China’s 4G LTE solution market in 2014, but has seen its share decline significantly since the beginning of 2015 due to the roll-outs of competitive models from MediaTek and Spreadtrum Communications, and also due to Qualcomm’s own mishap in the deployment of mid-range and high-end solutions, Digitimes Research indicated.

To maintain its market share, Qualcomm’s cooperation with Microsoft aims to roll out Windows Mobile 10-based smartphones priced at about US$80 in the end-market, with the first wave of such models to be available in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The low-cost Windows Mobile 10-based models will utilize Qualcomm’s MSM8909 [Snapdragon 210] CPU, running on Windows Mobile platform but without the need of paying licensing fees to Microsoft, therefore, the overall cost of Windows Mobile10 smartphones will be comparable to entry-level Android phones.

Meanwhile, Allwinner will develop and offer total system solutions to support the development of cost-effective 4G LTE-enabled connected tablets based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon family CPU products. Allwinner’s 4G solutions are for production of high-end tablets for mature market in the US and Europe, while the 3G solutions are for tablets targeting emerging markets.

July 23, 2015: a quote from Qualcomm Announces Record Third Quarter Fiscal 2014 Results Revenues $6.8 billion GAAP EPS $1.31, Non-GAAP EPS $1.44 press release by the company

China continues to present significant opportunities for us, particularly with the rollout of 4G LTE, but also presents significant challenges, as our business practices continue to be the subject of an investigation by the China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Please refer to our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the third quarter ended June 29, 2014 filed with the SEC for our most recent disclosures regarding the NDRC investigation.

We also believe that certain licensees in China currently are not fully complying with their contractual obligations to report their sales of licensed products to us (which includes certain licensees underreporting a portion of their 3G/4G device sales and a dispute with a licensee) and that unlicensed companies may seek to delay execution of new licenses while the NDRC investigation is ongoing. We expect calendar year 2014 3G/4G device shipments to be approximately 1.3 billion globally. However, our estimate of calendar year 2014 3G/4G device shipments that we currently expect to be reported to us is approximately 1.04 billion to 1.13 billion, which is adjusted for units that we believe may not be reported to us, are in dispute or are currently unlicensed. We are taking steps to address these issues, although the timing of any resolution is uncertain.

June 29, 2015: quote from Quarterly Report filed to SEC on Form 10-Q

Despite the resolution of the NDRC investigation, China continues to present significant challenges for us. We continue to believe that certain licensees in China are not fully complying with their contractual obligations to report their sales of licensed products to us (which includes 3G/4G units that we believe are not being reported by certain licensees). We continue to make progress, with licensees executing agreements based on the new China terms, and with several other licensees informing us that they intend to retain the terms of their existing agreements. Negotiations with certain other licensees are ongoing, and we expect it will take some time to conclude these negotiations. We believe that the conclusion of new agreements with these licensees will result in improved reporting by these licensees, including with respect to sales of three-mode devices (i.e., devices that implement GSM, TD-SCDMA, and LTE) sold in China. However, litigation and/or other actions may be necessary to compel licensees to report and pay the required royalties for sales they have not previously reported and to compel unlicensed companies to execute new licenses.

July 23, 2015Allwinner chosen to gain government support by DIGITIMES

China-based tablet SoC specialist Allwinner Technology has reportedly been selected as one of the target companies able to gain financial support from the central government, which has set up a national industry investment fund [the Rmb120 billion ($19.6 billion) National Integrated Circuit Industry Ivestment Found Ltd. 国家集成电路产业投资基金 set up on Oct 14, 2014 by the Chinese government and solely managed by Sino IC Capital] focusing on investing in the construction of advanced process capacity, semiconductor firm reorganization, and mergers.

Allwinner will use investment funds from the government to make itself more competitive, and contribute effectively to growth of the local IC industry and the self-sufficiency rate of ICs in China, said the sources.

With government support, Allwinner will also make strategic acquisitions locally and internationally, the sources indicated. Allwinner is likely to first merge with fellow company Rockchip Electronics to form a new, state-owned entity, which will gear up to tackle the market for IoT and wearable devices, the sources said.

Spreadtrum Communications was the first investment target chosen by the China government in the IC design industry. Spreadtrum is about to merge with RDA Microelectronics to establish a leading China-based SoC provider for smartphones as well as TVs, the sources noted.

July 22, 2015: Quotes from QUALCOMM (QCOM) Steven M. Mollenkopf on Q3 2015 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

  1. Full-time head count in QCT [Qualcomm CDMA Technologies] will be reduced by approximately 15%, which is in alignment with the overall company reductions. Our company resources are being realigned to our highest return businesses, and we’ll also make significant reductions in our temporary work force. Our team and organization will be streamlined. We will have fewer office locations overall, and we’ll shift some of our resources to lower-cost regions.
  2. We continue to see significant opportunities for growth in new areas outside of QTL [Qualcomm Technology Licensing] and QCT. While we are sharply focused on managing costs, we are not sacrificing the future for the present. We are taking a highly disciplined approach to our investments. We will invest in areas where we can apply our existing technology, such as small cells, or areas that are natural extensions of our capabilities, such as data centers.
  3. We have recently concluded the NDRC[China’s National Development and Reform Commission] investigation and announced several investments in China that position us well to grow our businesses in China going forward.
  4. With respect to the carrier aggregation question in China, China Telecom has already launched. It’s starting to work its way through the design cycle and through the ecosystem. China Mobile is expected to launch at the end of this calendar year. And we think this will be a good dynamic and has been anticipated in our roadmap, as you may know. The other dynamic that’s happening in China is just also is just the desire for the Chinese OEMs to be exporters, and that’s also been a good trend for us. But we’re looking forward to this carrier aggregation launch happening in China.
  5. We have identified networking, mobile computing, IoT, and automotive as the highest return areas and will focus our investments there. In fact, we continue to expand our investment in these growth areas. These areas have an addressable opportunity of more than $10 billion today. Based on a mix of third-party estimates and our own forecasts, the serviceable addressable opportunity for these four areas is expected to double by 2020 to more than $20 billion.
  6. The current industry environment has seen OEM share shift in the highly profitable premium tier, where the top player continues to take share and where, according to IDC, the top two manufacturers together now have more than 85% share of premium tier shipments. The current product cycle also has seen certain OEMs pursue vertically integrated strategies at increased levels compared to the past. These developments along with other product cycle issues are currently impacting our business.
  7. We are guiding to a 45 million unit sequential decline in MSM shipments. This decline is explained by two factors. First, our previous guidance expected MSMs to be down sequentially by 10 million to 15 million units in the fourth quarter. And the addition of 5 million units into the third fiscal quarter brings the anticipated impact closer to 20 million units. Second, the remaining approximately 25 million unit reduction is largely explained by the premium tier developments I explained a few minutes ago.

July 22, 2015: excerpt from the Third Quarter Fiscal 2015 Earnings Executive presentation
Qualcomm MSM Chip shipments -- 2011-12-13-14-15

June 2, 2015Qualcomm and Leading Tablet Solutions Provider Allwinner Technology to Collaborate in Growth of 4G LTE Tablets Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon Processors news release by the company

—Allwinner to offer entry-level 4G LTE-enabled tablet system solutions based on Snapdragon 410 and 210 processors—

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), and Allwinner Technology, Co. Ltd, today announced that they will be collaborating to further extend QTI’s Snapdragon processors into the connected tablet segment which is experiencing strong growth. QTI will be expanding its ability to serve the Chinese tablet design and manufacturing ecosystem by working with Allwinner, which will be offering system solution services for those OEMs and ODMs creating 4G LTE-enabled tablets powered by Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 410 and 210 processors of QTI.

Allwinner, a China-based fabless semiconductor company and a leading provider of total system solutions for the Android tablet ecosystem, will support the quick and cost-effective development of 4G LTE-enabled tablets based on the aforementioned Snapdragon processors for domestic sales and export worldwide. Through the use of its established channel of support and services for the Chinese ecosystem of independent design houses, Allwinner will help expedite commercial deployment of high-quality, cost-effective 4G LTE-enabled tablets featuring QTI’s Snapdragon 410 and 210 processors.

Shared highlights of the Snapdragon 410 and 210 processors:

  • 4G LTE Global Mode, with 7 mode support (LTE FDD, LTE TDD, WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, EV-DO, CDMA 1x, GSM/EDGE)
  • LTE-Broadcast and Dual SIM technology
  • Superior camera capabilities and leading enhanced computational camera functionalities, including Zero Shutter Lag, high dynamic range (HDR), autofocus, auto white balance and auto exposure.
  • Support for the Android™ Lollipop mobile operating system
  • Support for QTI’s Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 2.0 technology, which is designed to support up to 75% faster battery charging than devices without fast-charging technology.

The Snapdragon 410 processor is designed additionally to support features such as:

  • A quad-core ARM® Cortex™ A53 running up to 1.4 GHz per core and a Qualcomm® Adreno™ 306 GPU by QTI
  • Cat 4 speeds of up to 150 Mbps
  • Up to 13 Megapixel Camera
  • 1080p Full HD video playback at 1280×800 resolutions

The Snapdragon 210 [MSM8909] processor is designed to additionally support features such as: 

  • [up to 1.1 GHz quad-core ARM® Cortex™ A7 CPUs]
  • Integrated X5 modem, 4G LTE-Advanced Cat 4 Carrier Aggregation, LTE Broadcast and LTE Dual SIM/Dual Standby — all firsts in this category of products
  • Enhanced performance and power efficiency in the entry-level tier with quad CPUs and Qualcomm Adreno 304 graphics
  • Up to 8 Megapixel Camera
  • 720p HD playback and H.265 (hardware HEVC)

“Qualcomm Technologies’ industry leading Snapdragon processors, combined with Allwinner’s China tablet ecosystem relationships, represents a strong collaboration of proven industry leaders,” said Oliver Tang, executive vice president of Allwinner Technology Co. Ltd.  “We’re pleased to be working with Qualcomm Technologies to help drive further growth in connected tablets, and we expect to see a wave of high-volume, diversely designed, compellingly priced and high-quality 4G LTE-enabled tablets powered by Snapdragon processors in 2015.

“By working with Allwinner, we will be helping manufacturers to further utilize our industry leading processing and connectivity technologies to deliver high-quality consumer devices at great value,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and co-president, QCT. “Our relationship with Allwinner will continue to help expedite the development and deployment of Snapdragon-enabled 4G LTE connected devices.”

February 9, 2015: Qoutes from Qualcomm and China’s National Development and Reform Commission Reach Resolution press release by the company

– NDRC Accepts Qualcomm’s Rectification Plan –

  • For licenses of Qualcomm’s 3G and 4G essential Chinese patents for branded devices sold for use in China, Qualcomm will charge royalties of 5% for 3G devices (including multimode 3G/4G devices) and 3.5% for 4G devices (including 3-mode LTE-TDD devices) that do not implement CDMA or WCDMA, in each case using a royalty base of 65% of the net selling price of the device.
  • Qualcomm will give its existing licensees an opportunity to elect to take the new terms for sales of branded devices for use in China as of January 1, 2015.

In addition, the NDRC imposed a fine on the Company of 6.088 billion Chinese Yuan Renminbi (approximately $975 million at current exchange rates), which Qualcomm will not contest. Qualcomm will pay the fine on a timely basis as required by the NDRC.

  • Expanding Qualcomm’s longstanding relationship with Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), one of China’s largest and most advanced semiconductor foundries, which has led to SMIC’s major milestone of producing high-performance, low-power mobile processors using cutting-edge advanced 28nm technology.
  • Creating a China-specific investment fund of $150 million to further the development of mobile and semiconductor technologies, including initial investments from the fund in five innovative Chinese companies.

February 25, 2015: Government-led investment funds to drive China IC design growth by Digitimes Research

China’s government policies for supporting the local IC design industry have put less emphasis on intervention measures such as offering tax breaks, providing direct financial support, and making purchases of domestic products, while shifting their focus to the establishment of investment funds, according to a recent Digitimes Research Special Report.

The report, titled 2015 China IC design market forecast, notes that investment funds will be set up by not only China’s central government, but also local governments, aiming to foster the development of the local IC design industry. The government-led funds will play an important role in driving the industry growth during the nation’s 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), Digitimes Research said.

The No. 18 Document of China’s State Council already gave strong support to IC companies with tax incentives, direct financial assistance and government purchases of domestic products, Digitimes Research suggested. Between 2001 and 2010, the number of China-based IC foundries grew to nine companies from four, while the number of IC design firms increased rapidly to 479 companies from 98.

The No. 4 Document announced by China’s State Council in 2011 showed that tax incentives awarded to the local IC companies have been narrowed significantly. The move indicates a change in government policies for supporting the local IC industry.

Microsoft Cloud state-of-the-art: Hyper-scale Azure with host SDN — IaaS 2.0 — Hybrid flexibility and freedom

[v0.7 yet] Microsoft is poised to bring its market leading cloud technology to private and hosted clouds with the upcoming Windows Server 2016. While the server product with all the planned additions is not available yet (a test build is due out later this summer), the cloud technologies in it were very much disclosed by the company in the last two months. Microsoft is also adding virtualized containers, Nano Server mode to Windows Server 2016 in order to serve the Next Generation Cloud market in a highly competitive way. Then System Center 2016 will also be an important part of that effort, among others. See the whole Cloud Platform roadmap public preview site which came first live on Jan 30, 2015, and since then it is offering a continuously updated “snapshot of what Microsoft is working on in the Cloud Platform business”.

I’ve been tracking this all along since then (but not posting about that here), and now I’ve come to conclusion that this will revolutionize the whole cloud solution market, particularly the one targeting the network operators and telcos who are in a great need for proven solutions in their “Networked Society” efforts.

Microsoft - Leading the journey to the Intelligent Cloud by Scott Guthrie -- 16-July-2015

July 13, 2015: Partners for the journey to build the Intelligent Cloud by Scott Guthrie, EVP of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Additional information:
July 13, 2015Announcing Cortana Analytics Suite and New Partner Investments at WPC 2015 by Takeshi Numoto, Microsoft CVP, Cloud + Enterprise, on Microsoft Azure Blog

Microsoft - Partners for the journey to the Intelligent Cloud by Scott Guthrie -- 16-July-2015Microsoft - Partners #2 for the journey to the Intelligent Cloud by Scott Guthrie -- 16-July-2015Microsoft - Cloud and partner momentum by Scott Guthrie -- 16-July-2015

Additional information about the 3 partners participating in Scott Guthrie’s keynote:
June 13, 2015Rackspace Unveils Fanatical Support for Microsoft Azure news release by the company
June 13, 2015Try DataStax Enterprise on the Microsoft Azure cloud for FREE! by DataStax
July 15, 2015Announcing new and improved DataStax Cluster deployment experience on Azure Marketplace By Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Azure
June 13, 2015VMob CEO Shares Partner Success Story at Microsoft WPC Vision Keynote 2015 press release by the company

July 13, 2015Product innovation and channel evolution by John Case: He discusses the momentum around product innovation and channel evolution, and emphasizes the role of partners in the announcements made around CSP (Cloud Solution Partner program) and Office 365.

Beginning today, Microsoft will expand CSP to additional markets, bringing the total number of markets in which CSP is available to 131. Additionally, Azure and CRM Online will join Office 365, Windows Intune and Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) as available services in the CSP.

Today we’ll share that we are introducing a new premium Office 365 enterprise suite called E5 before the end of this year. E5 will encompass the core value of Office 365 productivity and collaboration capabilities, as well as significant new innovations, including newSkype for Business services such as Cloud PBX and Meeting Broadcast; Power BI & analytics features, like Power BI Pro and Delve Organizational Analytics; and new advanced security features, such as eDiscovery, Customer Lockbox, and Advanced Threat Protection. The E5 suite will provide a significant new opportunity for partners to build new service offerings around real-time communication and analytics, and to reach new customers with important new security features.

The Business Development Side:
1. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Soundbites
2. WPC Conference B-Roll
3. Enabling more personal computing
Hololens with Autodesk Maya demo
– Soundbites from Satya Nadella keynote
4. Building the intelligent cloud
– Cortana Analytics Suite demo
– Soundbites from Satya Nadella keynote
5. Reinventing productivity and business processes
– Project GigJam app demo
– Soundbites from Satya Nadella keynote

Additional information: CEO Nadella talks Microsoft’s mobile ambitions, Windows 10 strategy, HoloLens and more

July 13, 2015: Microsoft 2015 Worldwide Partner Conference Day 1  New technology innovations were showcased, including Project GigJam and the Cortana Analytics Suite, demonstrating Microsoft’s ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes, build the intelligent cloud and create more personal computing. There was Another Windows Holographic demo showing universal apps running on the HoloLens.
The Business Execution (i.e. sales and marketing) side:
We have a growing opportunity!
By 2018 —
  • Cloud market will grow over
    14% CAGR YoY to more than $200B
  • Cloud BizApps spend will grow
    17% CAGR YoY to $50B
  • Client devices spend will grow to $735B

Additional information: Microsoft reveals FY 2016 plans; includes phones

July 15, 2015: Achieving more together by Kevin Turner, Microsoft COO 
 “The cloud where the real growth is.” … “We have market momentum,” Turner continued, citing a survey done last June, a couple of weeks ago. “Forty-six percent said such spending will increase with Microsoft.” … “Building the intelligent cloud, our strong foundation: …”

Market momentum for Microsoft and opportunity for Partners to be the market leaders: Microsoft - Market momentum for Microsoft and opportunity for Partners to be the market leader by Kevin Turner -- 15-July-2015


TECHNOLOGY INTRODUCTIONS

I. Hyper-scale Azure with host SDN*:
*Software Defined Networking

In order to understand the true impact of the upcoming Microsoft Cloud Platform I will quote here from the Microsoft Gives Software Networking a Hardware Boost article of June 30 on LightReading, a leading community driven media for the communications industry:

To achieve scale, Microsoft had to use “hyperscale SDN,” breaking away from a proprietary appliance combining management, control and data plane and separating those functions. Now, the management plane exposes APIs, the control plane uses the APIs to create rules, and then passes those rules to switches.

The company has developed its own SmartNIC to offload networking processing loads from hosts, which can dedicate their processing power to application workloads.

“With this, we can offload functionality into the device, saving CPU,” says Mark Russinovich, Microsoft Azure CTO, speaking at the Open Networking Summitthis month.

The SmartNIC improves performance to 30 Gbit/s on host networks using 40Gbit/s NICs.

The SmartNIC uses an Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) for reconfigurable functions. Microsoft already uses FPGAs in Catapult, an FPGA-based reconfigurable fabric for large-scale data centers developed jointly by Microsoft Research and Bing. Using programmable hardware allows Microsoft to update equipment as it does software.

Microsoft programs the hardware using Generic Flow Tables (GFT), which is the language used for programming SDN.

The SmartNIC can also do crypto, QoS, storage acceleration and more, says Russinovich.

But can we truly call it software-defined networking if it includes a custom hardware component? Does it matter? Microsoft has found a solution that works for it, and that other network operators might want to emulate.

In addition to the following infomation representing the OpenStack V4 level state-of-technology-development as of June 25, 2015 see my related, but specific update post:
– OpenStack adoption (by Q1 2016), ‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 7, 2016

OpenStack Promise as per Moogsoft -- June 3, 2015To understand the real significance of that statement by the author of the communication industry media article we should briefly characterize the state-of-the-art of cloud technology which has been the focus of network operators and telcos so far. This is OpenStack, the only available open source technology primarily deployed as an IaaS solution which all the rest of the cloud technologies is going to be built upon. Its promise has been huge, but “OpenStack is heading to the Trough of Disillusionment on the Technology Adoption Curve” as it was characterized by Randy Bias in his State of the Stack v4 address to the attendees of the OpenStack Summit held on May 20, 2015:

OpenStack is heading to the Through of Disillusionment on the Technology Adoption Curve -- 20-May-2014 by Randy Bias in his State of the Stack v4 address

Randy told the audience there: “This is some information from Gartner and some others. Yeah, you know, there’s a lot of coaching I find. But what I found most interesting is this quote at the bottom which is that I want quote to you. … It dovetails completely with what I’ve been thinking, and what I’ve been hearing. Which is that number one is difficulty of the implementation is a problem. Two, shortage of skills, people who can actually build these things. Three, conflicting or uncoordinated project governance, and this is stuff that we’ve started to address with the “Big Tent” approach, and things like that. But you know there needs to be more. And, weak spots in some projects. And then, integration with the existing infrastructure, which I violently disagree with. You know, if you’re building OpenStack you should produce on new stuff, on net new stuff. But whatever, Gartner’s smarter than me, I guess, or supposedly. But this [is] pretty smart.” See also his slides.

For the continuation of my appraisal (highly recommended) of the OpenStack state-of-the-art go to my homepage here, scroll down to the above image, and read the information following it.

My conclusion at the end of that appraisal  was that most of the network and telecommunications oriented contributions to the code will come in the future OpenStack releases. My personal guess there was that about 2 more years will be needed for “telco/carrier grade” hardening of the OpenStack code together with the necessary enhancements in the functionality (see the May 12 2014 “OpenStack as the Key Engine of NFV” story by Ericsson indicated in the appraisal earlier).

This is representing a huge window of opportunity for the 2016 wave of Microsoft Cloud platform products (Windows Server 2016 et. al.) to penetrate the market of network operators and telcos which is crucial for the Microsoft survival. I will cover the upcoming Microsoft moves in that direction with future posts, and just indicate that here.

II. IaaS 2.0 (INTRODUCTION):

Here the best thing for introduction is the whole Virtual Machines and Containers in Azure article of July 2, 2015 by Ralph Squillace, a Senior Content Developer at Microsoft:

Azure offers you great cloud solutions, built on virtual machines—based on the emulation of physical computer hardware—to enable agile movement of software deployments and dramatically better resource consolidation than physical hardware. In the past few years, largely thanks to the Docker approach to containers and the docker ecosystem, Linux container technology has dramatically expanded the ways you can develop and manage distributed software. Application code in a container is isolated from the host Azure VM as well as other containers on the same VM, which gives you more development and deployment agility at the application level—in addition to the agility that Azure VMs already give you.

But that’s old news. The new news is that Azure offers you even more Docker goodness:

And because you can programmatically create VMs and Linux containers on Azure, you can also use VM and container orchestration tools to create groups of Virtual Machines (VMs) and to deploy applications inside both Linux containers and soon Windows Server Containers.

This article not only discusses these concepts at a high level, it also contains tons of links to more information, tutorials, and products related to container and cluster usage on Azure. If you know all this, and just want the links, they’re right here.

The difference between virtual machines and containers

Virtual machines run inside an isolated hardware virtualization environment provided by a hypervisor. In Azure, the Virtual Machines service handles all that for you: You just create Virtual Machines by choosing the operating system and configuring it to run the way you want—or by uploading your own custom VM image. Virtual Machines are a time-tested, “battle-hardened” technology, and there are many tools available to manage operating systems and to configure the applications you install and run. Anything running in a virtual machine is hidden from the host operating system and, from the point of view of an application or user running inside a virtual machine, the virtual machine appears to be an autonomous physical computer.

Linux containers—which includes those created and hosted using docker tools, and there are other approaches—do not require or use a hypervisor to provide isolation. Instead, the container host uses the process and file system isolation features of the Linux kernel to expose to the container (and its application) only certain kernel features and its own isolated file system (at a minimum). From the point of view of an application running inside a container, the container appears to be a unique operating system instance. A contained application cannot see processes or any other resources outside of its container.

Because in this isolation and execution model the kernel of the Docker host computer is shared, and because the disk requirements of the container now do not include an entire operating system, both the start-up time of the container and the required disk storage overhead are much, much smaller.

It’s pretty cool.

Windows Server Containers provide the same advantages as Linux containers for applications that run on Windows. Windows Server Containers support the docker image format and the docker API. As a result, an application using Windows Server Containers can be developed, published, retrieved, and deployed using similar commands to those on Mac and Linux. That’s in addition to having new docker support in Microsoft Visual Studio. The larger container ecosystem will give everyone tools to do the work they need to do with containers.

That’s pretty cool, too.

Is this too good to be true?

Well, yes—and no. Containers, like any other technology, do not magically wipe away all the hard work required by distributed applications. Yet, at the same time containers do really change:

  • how fast application code can be developed and shared widely
  • how fast and with what confidence it can be tested
  • how fast and with what confidence it can be deployed

That said, remember containers execute on a container host—an operating system, and in Azure that means an Azure Virtual Machine. Even if you already love the idea of containers, you’re still going to need a VM infrastructure hosting the containers, but the benefits are that containers do not care on which VM they are running (although whether the container wants a Linux or Windows execution environment will be important, for example).

What are containers good for?

They’re great for many things, but they encourage—as do Azure Cloud Services and Azure Service Fabric—the creation of single-service, microservice-oriented distributed applications, in which application design is based on more small, composable parts rather than on larger, more strongly coupled components.

This is especially true in public cloud environments like Azure, in which you rent VMs when and where you want them. Not only do you get isolation and rapid deployment and orchestration tools, but you can make more efficient application infrastructure decisions.

For example, you might currently have a deployment consisting of 9 Azure VMs of a large size for a highly-available, distributed application. If the components of this application can be deployed in containers, you might be able to use only 4 VMs and deploy your application components inside 20 containers for redundancy and load balancing.

This is just an example, of course, but if you can do this in your scenario, you can adjust to usage spikes with more containers rather than more Azure VMs, and use the remaining overall CPU load much more efficiently than before.

In addition, there are many scenarios that do not lend themselves to a microservices approach; you will know best whether microservices and containers will help you.

Container benefits for developers

In general, it’s easy to see that container technology is a step forward, but there are more specific benefits as well. Let’s take the example of Docker containers. This topic will not dive deeply into Docker right now (read What is Docker? for that story, or wikipedia), but Docker and its ecosystem offer tremendous benefits to both developers and IT professionals.

Developers take to Docker containers quickly, because above all it makes using Linux containers easy:

  • They can use simple, incremental commands to create a fixed image that is easy to deploy and can automate building those images using a dockerfile
  • They can share those images easily using simple, git-style push and pull commands to public or private docker registries
  • They can think of isolated application components instead of computers
  • They can use a large number of tools that understand docker containers and different base images

Container benefits for operations and IT professionals

IT and operations professionals also benefit from the combination of containers and virtual machines.

  • contained services are isolated from VM host execution environment
  • contained code is verifiably identical
  • contained services can be started, stopped, and moved quickly between development, test, and production environments

Features like these—and there are more—excite established businesses, where professional information technology organizations have the job of fitting resources—including pure processing power—to the tasks required to not only stay in business, but increase customer satisfaction and reach. Small businesses, ISVs, and startups have exactly the same requirement, but they might describe it differently.

What are virtual machines good for?

Virtual machines provide the backbone of cloud computing, and that doesn’t change. If virtual machines start more slowly, have a larger disk footprint, and do not map directly to a microservices architecture, they do have very important benefits:

  1. By default, they have much more robust default security protections for host computer
  2. They support any major OS and application configurations
  3. They have longstanding tool ecosystems for command and control
  4. They provide the execution environment to host containers

The last item is important, because a contained application still requires a specific operating system and CPU type, depending upon the calls the application will make. It’s important to remember that you install containers on VMs because they contain the applications you want to deploy; containers are not replacements for VMs or operating systems.

High-level feature comparison of VMs and containers

The following table describes at a very high level the kind of feature differences that—without much extra work—exist between VMs and Linux containers. Note that some features maybe more or less desirable depending upon your own application needs, and that as with all software, extra work provides increased feature support, especially in the area of security.

FEATURE VMS CONTAINERS
“Default” security support to a greater degree to a slightly lesser degree
Memory on disk required Complete OS plus apps App requirements only
Time taken to start up Substantially Longer: Boot of OS plus app loading Substantially shorter: Only apps need to start because kernel is already running
Portability Portable With Proper Preparation Portable within image format; typically smaller
Image Automation Varies widely depending on OS and apps Docker registry; others

Creating and managing groups of VMs and containers

At this point, any architect, developer, or IT operations specialist might be thinking, “I can automate ALL of this; this really IS Data-Center-As-A-Service!”.

You’re right, it can be, and there are any number of systems, many of which you may already use, that can either manage groups of Azure VMs and inject custom code using scripts, often with the CustomScriptingExtension for Windows or the CustomScriptingExtension for Linux. You can—and perhaps already have—automated your Azure deployments using PowerShell or Azure CLI scripts like this.

These abilities are often then migrated to tools like Puppet and Chef to automate the creation of and configuration for VMs at scale. (There are links to using these tools with Azure here.)

Azure resource group templates

More recently, Azure released the Azure resource management REST API, and updated PowerShell and Azure CLI tools to use it easily. You can deploy, modify, or redeploy entire application topologies using Azure Resource Manager templates with the Azure resource management API using:

Deployment and management of entire groups of Azure VMs and containers

There are several popular systems that can deploy entire groups of VMs and install Docker (or other Linux container host systems) on them as an automatable group. For direct links, see the containers and tools section, below. There are several systems that do this to a greater or lesser extent, and this list is not exhaustive. Depending upon your skill set and scenarios, they may or may not be useful.

Docker has its own set of VM-creation tools (docker-machine) and a load-balancing, docker-container cluster management tool (swarm). In addition, theAzure Docker VM Extension comes with default support for docker-compose, which can deploy configured application containers across multiple containers.

In addition, you can try out Mesosphere’s Data Center Operating System (DCOS). DCOS is based on the open-source mesos “distributed systems kernel” that enables you to treat your datacenter as one addressable service. DCOS has built-in packages for several important systems such as Spark and Kafka(and others) as well as built-in services such as Marathon (a container control system) and Chronos (a distributed scheduler). Mesos was derived from lessons learned at Twitter, AirBnb, and other web-scale businesses.

Also, kubernetes is an open-source system for VM and container group management derived from lessons learned at Google. You can even use kubernetes with weave to provide networking support.

Deis is an open source “Platform-as-a-Service” (PaaS) that makes it easy to deploy and manage applications on your own servers. Deis builds upon Docker and CoreOS to provide a lightweight PaaS with a Heroku-inspired workflow. You can easily create a 3-Node Azure VM group and install Deis on Azure and then install a Hello World Go application.

CoreOS, a Linux distribution with an optimized footprint, Docker support, and their own container system called rkt, also has a container group management tool called fleet.

Ubuntu, another very popular Linux distribution, supports Docker very well, but also supports Linux (LXC-style) clusters.

Tools for working with Azure VMs and containers

Working with containers and Azure VMs uses tools. This section provides a list of only some of the most useful or important concepts and tools about containers, groups, and the larger configuration and orchestration tools used with them.

Containers and VM technologies

Some Linux container technologies:

Windows Server Container links:

Visual Studio Docker links:

Docker tools:

Docker on Microsoft Azure:

Linux distributions and Azure examples:

Configuration, cluster management, and container orchestration:

Next steps

Check out Docker and Windows Server Containers.

III. Hybrid flexibility and freedom of the Microsoft Cloud (INTRODUCTION):

xxx


TECHNOLOGY DETAILS

I. Hyper-scale Azure with host SDN

Host Networking makes Physical Network Fast and ScalableHost Networking making Azure hyper-scale with SDN -- 17-June-2015

Massive, distributed 40GbE network built on commodity hardware

  • No Hardware per tenant ACLs
  • No Hardware NAT
  • No Hardware VPN / Overlay
  • No Vendor-specific control, management or data plane

This host networking approach we’re taking to SDN has enabled to let us scale these massive physical networks, but still get the agility that we need in the abstractions that our customers need from their API’s, and be able to scale out to these kinds of numbers.

  • All policy is in software – and everything’s a VM
  • Network services deployed like all other services
  • Battle-tested solutions in Azure are coming to private cloud with Windows Server 2016

Building SDN for Hyperscale Learnings

FOR MORE TECHNICAL INFORMATION WATCH THE FOLLOWING VIDEO:
June 17, 2015, Open Networking Summit: Achieving Hyper-Scale with Software Defined Networking By Mark Russinovich, CTO, Microsoft Azure in the Microsoft Azure Blog 

Today, I am excited to deliver a keynote talk at the Open Networking Summit, where I’ll be talking about how Microsoft is leveraging software-defined networking to power one of the largest public clouds in the world – Microsoft Azure.

SDN is probably not a new term to you so what is the hype really about? To answer that question we need to take a step back and look at how the datacenter is evolving to meet the growing need for scalability, flexibility and reliability that many IT users need in this mobile-first, cloud-first world. Cloud-native apps and services are creating an unprecedented demand for scale and automation on IT infrastructure. Across the industry, this is driving the move of control systems from hardware devices into software in a trend called Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC), which means empowering customers to virtualize servers, storage and networking to optimize resources and apps with a single click.

With 22 hyper-scale regions around the world, Azure storage and compute usage doubling every six months, and 90,000 new Azure subscriptions a month, Azure has experienced exponential growth. In this environment, we’ve had to learn how to run a software-defined datacenter within our own infrastructure to deliver Azure services to a growing user base. Since the inception of SDDC, we have applied the principles of virtualized, scale-out, partitioned cloud design and central control to everything from the Azure compute plane implementation to cloud storage, and of course, to networking.

Leveraging SDN for Industry-Leading Virtual Networks

We are investing in bringing a cloud design pattern to networking to deliver scalability and flexibility to our customers consuming cloud services both from Azure and within their datacenters. How exactly are we doing this? For starters, we are delivering industry-leading virtual networks (Vnets), which are critical for any public cloud customer. Vnets are built using overlay and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) technologies implemented in software running on commodity servers, on top of a shared physical network.

By abstracting the software from the hardware layer, we have developed Vnets that are both scalable and agile, but also secure and reliable. Through segmentation of subnets and security groups, traffic flow control with User Defined Routes, and ExpressRoute for private enterprise grade connectivity, we are able to mimic the feel of a physical network with these Vnets.

Elastic Scale through Disaggregating the Network

With the demands on Azure, Vnets must be able to scale up for very large workloads and back down for small workloads. By both separating the control plane and data plane, and centralizing the control plane, we enable networks that can be modified, scaled and programmed quickly. To give a concrete example of the kind of hyper-scale we can achieve in one region, we can scale the data plane to hundreds of thousands of servers by abstracting to hosts.

We use the Azure Virtual Filtering Platform (VFP) in the Hyper-V hosts to enable Azure’s data plane to act as a Hyper-V virtual network switch, enabling us to provide core SDN functionality for Azure networking services. VFP is a programmable switch that exposes an easy-to-program abstract interface to network agents that act on behalf of network controllers like the Vnet controller and our software load balancer controller. By leveraging host components and doing much of packet processing on each host running in the datacenter, the Azure SDN data plane scales massively – both out and up nodes from 1 Gbs to 40 Gbs, and growing.

Scaling up to 40 Gbs and beyond requires significant computation for packet processing. To help us scale up without consuming CPU cycles that can otherwise be made available for customer VMs, Microsoft is building network interface controller (NIC) offloads on Azure SmartNICs. With SmartNICs, Microsoft is bringing the flexibility and acceleration of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) into cloud servers. FPGAs have not yet been widely used as compute accelerators in servers, so Microsoft using them to enable rapid scale with the programmability of SDN and the performance of dedicated hardware is unique in the industry.

Network Security and Reliability with Azure Innovation

Security and reliability are paramount for us. On Azure, one of the ways we ensure a reliable, secure network is through partitioning Vnets with Azure Controllers, which are organized as a set of inter-connected services. Each service is partitioned to scale and runs protocols on multiple instances for high availability. A partition manager service is responsible for partitioning the load among these services based on subscriptions, while a gateway manager service routes requests to the appropriate partition by utilizing the partition service.

Introduced at //Build, Azure Service Fabric is the platform we used to build our network controllers. Service Fabric’s microservices-based architectural design, customers can update individual application components on a rolling basis without having to update the entire application – resulting in a more reliable service, faster updates and higher scalability for building mission-critical applications. Service Fabric powers a broad range of Microsoft hyper-scale services like Azure Data Factory, SQL Database, Bing Cortana, and Event Hubs.

Bringing Azure SDN Innovation to Our Customers’ Datacenters

Every day we learn from the hyper-scale deployments of Microsoft Azure.  Those learnings enable us to bring new capabilities to your datacenter, functioning at a smaller scale to bring you cloud efficiency and reliability.  Our strategy is to adapt the cloud design patterns, points of innovation and structural practices that make Azure a true enterprise grade offering.  The capabilities for the on-premises components are the same, and they’re resident in technology currently in production in datacenters across the world.

We first released SDN technology in Windows Server 2012 including network virtualization and subsequently enhanced this with the release of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2.  SDN capabilities in Windows Server derive from the foundational networking technologies that underlie Azure.  Moving forward, we will continue to enhance SDN capabilities with the release of Windows Server 2016 and Microsoft Azure Stack. New features include a data plane and programmable network controller based on Azure, as well as load balancer that is proven at Azure scale.

To see more of what’s going on at ONS, check out the recording here.

Excerpts
June 17, 2015Microsoft Azure Gives SDN a Hardware Assist By 

… SmartNIC covers those functions that need a hardware boost, or that Microsoft would just prefer to offload from the CPU — the philosophy being that CPUs are better left running virtual machines to serve Azure customers, Russinovich said.

Encryption is a prime example of the “boost” case: Hardware will always be able to do it faster than software. It’s just a question of whether you need that much firepower. You often don’t. But as 100-Gb/s networking starts to become a reality in the data center, Microsoft is worried — rightfully so — about software’s ability to keep up.

So, the SmartNIC is going to be applied inline — meaning traffic flows through it — for functions including encryption, quality-of-service processing, and storage acceleration. “The sky’s the limit, really, with what we can do with an FPGA given its flexible programming,” Russinovich said.

Separately, Russinovich talked about Microsoft’s tiered system of SDN controllers — the tiering being necessary for controlling regions as large as 500,000 hosts apiece.

A regional controller oversees a region and delegates work to cluster controllers, which act as the proxies that talk to network switches.

The regional controller also keeps track of network state. If a cluster controller fails, its replacement can learn its state from the regional controller.

The tiered approach looks like it’s going to be common in large networks. AT&T wants to use tiered SDN controllers as well. A controller based on OpenDaylight Project code would be responsible for a global view, overseeing local controllers based on either ONOS (for white box switches) or OpenContrail (for virtual routers and virtual switches).

II. IaaS 2.0 (DETAILS)

Virtual Machines service with Resource Manager: New scalable Resource Manager for IaaS
⇒ Compute resources: Virtual machines, VM extensions
⇒ Storage resources: Storage accounts (blobs)
⇒ Networking resources: Virtual networks, Network interface cards (NICs), Load balancers, IP addresses, Network Security Groups

Azure Resource Manager V2 - the new management model for IaaS -- May-2015

The classic management model of Azure for IaaS, May 2015.

The classic management model of Azure for IaaS

Azure Resource Manager V2 – the new management model for IaaS
Source: Microsoft, May 2015

⇒ Faster Scalability, Larger overall deployments
⇒ Ability to make parallel configuration changes
⇒ Templates enable single click deployments of complex applications into a resource group. A resource group is a container that holds all related elements of an application and can be managed as a single unit providing granular access control via role based authentication and control (RBAC)
⇒ A single unified Azure Stack for the Microsoft Cloud (public cloud, private cloud and hosted cloud)
FOR MORE TECHNICAL INFORMATION WATCH THE FOLLOWING VIDEO:
May 5, 2015, Microsoft Ignite: Taking a Deep Dive into Microsoft Azure IaaS Capabilities 
Excerpt from
April 29, 2015: Azure peaks in the valley: New features and innovation By Vibhor Kapoor, Director, Product Marketing, Microsoft Azure, in the Microsoft Azure Blog

At the core of every Azure innovation, is our focus to solve for the needs of developers and ISVs . Today at //build, we announced exciting updates to Azure which enable developers of all types with the flexibility to build cloud apps and services across multiple devices and platforms. With the updates announced today, Microsoft has the most complete platform for predictive analytics and intelligent applications, empowering enterprises to realize the maximum value from their data.

SQL Database Enhancements
As Scott [Guthrie] shared on stage this morning, we made a number of updates and enhancements to SQL Database. Developers building software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications can leverage SQL Database to provide flexibility to support both explosive growth and profitable business models.  ….
Azure Data Lake
As part of Microsoft’s big data and analytics portfolio of products, we pre-announced Azure Data Lake, a hyper scale repository for big data analytic workloads. … Azure Data Lake is a Hadoop File System compatible with HDFS that works with the Hadoop ecosystem providing integration with Azure HDInsight and will be integrated with Microsoft offerings such as Revolution-R Enterprise, industry standard distributions like Hortonworks and Cloudera, and individual Hadoop projects like Spark, Storm, Flume, Sqoop, Kafka, etc. …
Azure SQL Data Warehouse
We are also pleased to preannounce Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse. As part of Microsoft’s extension to Data Warehousing, Azure SQL Data Warehouse is an elastic data warehouse-as-a-service with enterprise-grade features based on SQL Server’s massively parallel processing architecture. It provides customers the ability to scale data, either on premise, or in our cloud. …
Azure Service Fabric
Today we are excited to make available the developer preview of Azure Service Fabric [a new PaaS platform announced on April 20th] – a high control platform that enables developers and ISVs to build cloud services with a high degree of scalability and customization. As we discussed last week, Service Fabric supports creating both stateless and stateful microservices – an architectural approach where complex applications are composed of small, independently versioned services – to power the most complex, low-latency, data-intensive scenarios and scale them into the cloud. [Azure Service Fabric is a mature technology that Microsoft is making available to customers for the first time, having powered Microsoft products and services for more than 5 years and being in development for the last 10 years.] …

Azure Resource Manager Support for VMs, Storage and Networking

Azure Resource Manager Support for Virtual Machines, Storage and Networking is now available in public preview. Azure Resource Manager templates enable single click deployments of complex applications into a resource group. A resource groups can contain all elements of an application and can be managed as a single unit providing granular access control via role based authentication and control (RBAC). Furthermore, you have ability to tag resources so you can better manage resources with a granular understanding of costs. We will have also have a starting set of more than 80 templates available in GitHub at preview release.

As part of our Azure Resource Manager availability, we are announcing partnerships across a broad set of PaaS, orchestration and management partners building on the new scalable Resource Manager for IaaS, including Cloud Foundry, Mesosphere, Juju, Apprenda, Jelastic and Scalr. We will also make available templates for Apprenda and Mesosphere directly in GitHub. The initial set of templates will also include many open-source solutions from many sources, including a template for MySQL, Chef, ElasticSearch, Zookeeper, MongoDB, and PostGreSQL. For more information, please visit https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/resource-group-overview/
[⇒Azure Resource Manager Overview]

June 6, 2015Azure Resource Manager Overview By Tom FitzMacken, previously Senior Programming Writer on the Web Platform & Tools Content team website

Applications are typically made up of many components – maybe a web app, database, database server, storage, and 3rd party services. You do not see these components as separate entities, instead you see them as related and interdependent parts of a single entity. You want to deploy, manage, and monitor them as a group. Azure Resource Manager enables you to work with the resources in your application as a group. You can deploy, update or delete all of the resources for your application in a single, coordinated operation. You use a template for deployment and that template can work for different environments such as testing, staging and production. You can clarify billing for your organization by viewing the rolled-up costs for the entire group.

Azure Resource Manager natively integrates access control into the management platform so you can specify which actions a user in your organization can take for a resource group.

NOTE:
This topic describes resources, groups, and templates using the preview portal to demonstrate the concepts. However, you can also create, manage, and delete Azure resources using the Azure CLI for Mac, Linux, and Windows as well as PowerShell.

Resource Groups

A resource group is a container that holds related resources for an application. The resource group could include all of the resources for an application, or only those resources that are logically grouped together. You can decide how you want to allocate resources to resource groups based on what makes the most sense for your organization.

There are some important factors to consider when defining your resource group:

  1. All of the resources in your group must share the same lifecycle. You will deploy, update and delete them together. If one resource, such as a database server, needs to exist on a different deployment cycle it should be in another resource group.
  2. Each resource can only exist in one resource group.
  3. You can add or remove a resource to a resource group at any time.
  4. A resource group can contain resources that reside in different regions.
  5. A resource group can be used to scope access control for administrative actions.

In the Azure preview portal, all new resources are created in a resource group. Even if you create just a single resource such as a web site, you must decide whether to add that resource to an existing group or create a new group for that resource.

The following image shows a resource group with a web site, a database, and Application Insights.

To understand the significance of the Azure Resource Manager availability in terms of partnerships I’ve selected the Jelastic case which I am considering one of the most important ones.

Jelastic support was announced as a unique “multilingual PaaS with a worldwide network of providers“. 2 other popular 3rd-party PaaS solutions were announced for support at the same time: CloudFoundry, “an open source PaaS platform”, and  Apprenda, “an Enterprise Private PaaS offering”. These announcements were made a week after the Service Fabric application platform announcement (April 20, 2015) to show Microsoft’s “strong commitment to offering customers the most choice and flexibility on the Azure platform, and with this wide range of PaaS offerings, whether Microsoft or Partner delivered, meet all customer needs in development, deployment, and management.”Jelastic - Unlimited PaaS and Container-Based IaaSJelastic - Cloud-in-a-Box -- DevOps for Containers -- 3-March-2015

  • Zero Code Change: deploy any new or legacy applications
  • Easy Migration: no restrictions, back and forward — Jelastic’s unique feature
Jelastic Ecosystem of 30+ Public cloud hosting service providers and about 10+ Private cloud customers et al -- 1-June-2015

Jelastic Ecosystem: 30+ Public cloud hosting service providers, 10+ Private cloud customers, 15+ Reselling Partners, 180,000+ Developers and 25+ Countries

  • Jelastic - Elasticity compared to other CloudsAutomatic horizontal scaling by triggers
  • Automatic vertical scaling for legacy application systems
  • Secure containers
  • High availability on application and hardware levels
  • Live migration
  • Smart distribution of containers
  • Hibernation of inactive containers
  • SSH access and open API

More details for the above are available from the Jelastic Slideshare site:
Jelastic is the first company that combined unlimited PaaS ease of use (developer’s productivity) and the IaaS flexibility (agility) within a single platform. Jelastic is a venture-backed enterprise software company that enables hosting service providers, systems integrators, enterprises and OEMs to unleash the full potential of the cloud to generate superior ROI & efficiencies. Jelastic’s proven technology is deployed by over 150,000 developers, more than 50 private & public cloud providers around the world. Jelastic supports popular programming languages such as Java, PHP, Ruby, Node.js, Python & .NET

Let’s watch first the Elastic Java, PHP, Ruby, Python and Node.js in the Cloud, by Jelastic video of January 4, 2015 on the JelasticCloud YouTube channel. It is only 1 and a half minutes long and it very effectively presents the Jelastic value proposition as a solution: 

Jelastic Cloud vs AWS - available regions, data centers worldwide --1-July-2015
Jelastic Public Cloud vs AWS – available regions, data centers worldwide via 36 providers, July 1, 2015 (source: Jelastic)

Next watch John Derrick, CEO of Jelastic [till September 2014 when founder and then CTO, Ruslan Synytsky took back the CEO position] explaining in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo® (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com/), held June 10-12, 2014 that “Jelastic is focused on getting people to the cloud sooner, easier, without having to go to new APIs or different standards, to give them the full benefit of the cloud right away“. 

Next is to understand the .NET/Windows Hosting Beta Support available since March 4, 2015:

Jelastic has begun beta testing of .NET/Windows hosting support. Within its confines, the following servers are provided:

The detailed information on these servers can be found within the corresponding linked guides.

And now let’s reveal the required steps for providing .NET/Windows hosting at your Jelastic Platform:


Hardware Nodes Requirements

If you’d like to get the ability to provide the .NET/Windows hosting services for end-users, your Jelastic cluster needs to contain a separate Windows-dedicated hardware node(s). The hardware requirements for such nodes are similar to the one’s for Linux-based user nodes.

For the detailed requirements and assistance, please contact your dedicated Jelastic account manager.


Required Licenses
… <read the details in the original place>


Enabling Jelastic .NET/Windows Hosting
… <read the details in the original place>
ETC.

++ April 2, 2015A New Resident at Jelastic Polyglot Platform: .NET/Windows Beta Hosting
++ April 4, 2015Test-Drive the Strong Sides of Windows Cloud Hosting with Remote Desktop Access
++ April 21, 2015From IDE to the Cloud within a Minute – Experience the Direct and Blazingly Fast .NET Projects Deployment

… Beside the set of well-known Jelastic outstanding features like auto scalability, live migration and high availability, the .NET hosting at our PaaS provides tight integration with the Microsoft Visual Studio as the most popular IDE for .NET apps’ development. Such a collaboration became possible thanks to the Web Deploy tool, which is simultaneously integrated with the IIS application server and Visual Studio, allowing you to host your projects inside the Cloud, really easily and quickly.

Speaking more specifically, with Jelastic, you can benefit from the immediate deployment of your .NET projects directly inside your environment, in a matter of a few minutes. Nevertheless, you can still follow the more traditional deployment approach, i.e. package your project into a single archive and upload it to the dashboard, where you’ll be able to deploy it manually to any of your environments, at any time you need and without any additional software requirements. …

March 4, 2015: Windows Virtual Private Server (VPS) 2008/2012

Providing the beta support of .NET/Windows hosting, Jelastic allows developers and ISV companies to host the web applications and services, that are run on Windows operating system. Beside the commonly popular software stacks like IIS web-server and MSSQL database server, you can get a separate dedicated virtual private server with the appropriate OS run inside.

Windows VPS hosting at Jelastic provides all the functionality of a virtual private server with the availability of the cloud, backed by the strength of the Windows Operating System:

  • Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a term used to refer to a virtual independent machine, that operates with a separate OS copy. Although running on the same physical computer as other customers’ VMs, virtual private server is in many aspects functionally equivalent to a separate physical computer, since it’s dedicated to the individual customer’s needs, has the corresponding level of privacy, and can be configured to run server software.
  • The Jelastic Cloud ensures that each given account is fully insulated, thus every VPS user works with his own Windows cloud server, getting the deep configurability, high performance and security guarantees. And thanks to the provided advanced management possibilities, the required container can be configured via RDP, with the connection established using either the inbuilt Guacamole HTML5 tool or local RD client.
  • The Windows Server OS (2012 and optionally 2008 R2 versions are provided) allows you to run any Windows-based software on your virtual machine with support of such widely used tools and technologies as ASP.NET, PHP, SQL, Visual Studio, Active Directory etc, wherein the inbuilt Server Manager will help you to adjust your server in a way you need, through setting the appropriate roles and features.

Taking the benefits of these combined solutions, you can easily get the highly available and always ready to automatically scale (based on your needs) bare virtual machine with the Windows Server OS installed – just follow a few simple steps below.
…<read the details in the original place>

Then read the Jelastic on Azure post of June 3, 2015 by Kundana Palagiri, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Azure:

At /build this year, Azure announced support for Jelastic PaaS on Azure IaaS. This is yet another PaaS solution that can now run seamlessly on Azure!  Today Jelastic is available in Azure in two modesJelastic Hybrid cloud and a Virtual Private cloud in Azure along with deployment tutorials to get started.  This blog provides an overview for getting started with Jelastic on Azure.

Jelastic is a multilingual PaaS solutions that supports Java and other popular programming languages like PHP, Ruby etc and requires no code changes for cross platform deployment.  With this integration the Jelastic platform is available for automatic and seamless installation on top of Azure, providing a fast and easy method to get into the cloud. Using Azure Marketplace, any ISV or enterprise customer can create the Jelastic Orchestrator in the Azure cloud. It’s provided via the Azure Marketplace image with ‘Bring your own License’ support. This image provides easy installation of a dedicated Jelastic Virtual Private Cloud on Azure and with simple configuration steps.

To get started, find the Jelastic image in Azure marketplace and follow the deployment guide here.Jelastic Standard Edition on Microsoft Azure

Once the private cloud environment is setup, you can deploy and manage applications on Azure, just like you would on any other cloud platform.   After this you can deploy a Java, Ruby, Python or a .NET application to Azure using the deployment tutorials that are available here.

In the second scenario you can extend your private cloud environment to Azure by creating Jelastic Hybrid PaaS on Azure using the deployment guide. This is ideal for burst to Azure or disaster recovery scenarios.

We also continue to work with our partners to bring to Azure solutions that offer more choice and flexibility to our customers and we’d love to hear from you about solutions that we can integrate with Azure for a seamless experience.

We hope you give this a try and leave us feedback below on how we can make this experience even better!

Also read this July 9, 2015 Guest Post: Why You Should Deploy Jelastic Hybrid Cloud on Azure By Tetiana Fydorenchyk, Director of Marketing at Jelastic on Microsoft Azure Partner Blog

Jelastic provides a cloud platform for container orchestration with entire freedom of choice from technology to vendor and an advanced level of DevOps workload mobility.

With multi-region support within different data centers and clouds, Jelastic offers a hybrid cloud solution with advanced automation for certified containers. The intended outcome is the ability to distribute various companies’ workloads in a variety of regions, within one hybrid cloud.

The multi-region feature makes cloud hosting universal by aggregating and orchestrating various types of hardware, IaaS and third-party cloud tools within a single Jelastic installation. Such an approach doubles efficiency by ensuring extra distribution possibilities for both hosting service providers/ISV companies and their customers. It allows the first group to grow locally and also conquer the remote market and gives the second group impressive flexibility in application life cycle management and smart organization of the dissemination policy.

Jelastic hybrid cloud platform for container orchestration on Azure -- 9-July-2015
Jelastic hybrid cloud platform for container-based orchestration on Azure

 Jelastic has already integrated with Microsoft Azure, enabling ISVs, hosting providers or enterprise customers to allocate extra regions using the Azure Marketplace. As a result, Jelastic Hybrid Cloud is available with the following benefits:

  • Expand hosting business to more countries by selling resources from many data centers (19 compute regions of Azure).
  • Burst to Azure in case of temporary applications’ load spikes or when additional computing power is needed.
  • Disaster recovery using Azure.
  • Backup to Azure.
  • Allocate a dedicated region for a particular type of user (e.g. for enterprise clients separately).
  • Ability to migrate the projects among different regions, depending on the current development stage.

To reveal in more detail how your desired hybrid cloud can be implemented, follow these step-by-step instructions to easily add extra Azure regions to your Jelastic cluster.

If you still don’t have Jelastic installed, contact us to access our free demo for cloud platform evaluation, or just start with a trial registration at one of our hosting partners.

So it is time to understand Why Developers Choose Jelastic as explained by Dmitry Lazarenko, Director of Business Development, Jelastic in this September 22, 2014 video:
And here is the Jelastic Standard Edition on Microsoft Azure Marketplace page for an overview of the Jelastic capabilities itself

Finally here is the Virtual Private Cloud for DevOps – Ruslan Synytsky, WHD[WorldHostingDays].usa 2015 post of June 4, 2015 on the Jelastic blog which presents Jelastic as a “new solution … to provide cloud-in-a-box for DevOps enterprise teams“. Network operators and telcos alike, I will specifically add to that as their are specific companies in that space are mentioned as well.

Recently Ruslan Synytsky, Jelastic CEO [since September 2014 when he took back the CEO position from Derrick], visited WHD.usa and presented a session about Virtual Private Cloud for DevOps, with a market overview for ‪hosting providers and new trends in ‪‎cloud hosting. Below is a transcribed short version of the presentation and the full video of the session. Download the presentation

Today I will talk about new opportunities for hosting companies to attract enterprise customers, specifically enterprise kind of customers. I believe you have all heard about containers and Docker hype and I would like to explain how hosting providers can make money on this DevOps trend.

First of all – waves. Waves are in our life everywhere and your business is like a wave, sometimes it’s surging higher and sometimes it’s receding. We need to think about the future – how to catch the wave. We were smart in 2011 and started to use containers at that time and our partners are already riding this wave, as they know this area very well.

And today I would like to speak about the next big thing, that is coming to the hosting industry.

What is Jelastic? 

Jelastic is a complex solution. It provides Public, Private and Hybrid clouds.

Jelastic - a cloud-in-a-box solution for DevOps teams of Hosting Service Providers, Systems Integrators and Enterprise Customers -- 1-June-2015

Jelastic – a cloud-in-a-box solution for DevOps teams of Hosting Service Providers, Systems Integrators and Enterprise Customers — 1-June-2015

We are working with hosting service providers, systems integrators and enterprise DevOps teams. Our Ecosystem today is not really big, we have about 30 Public cloud hosting service providers and about 10 Private cloud customers, because we are still a start up. But we are about 4 years in the market, so we know this area very well.

Jelastic Ecosystem of 30+ Public cloud hosting service providers and about 10+ Private cloud customers et al -- 1-June-2015
Jelastic Ecosystem of 30+ Public cloud hosting service providers and 10+ Private cloud customers et al — 1-June-2015

Overview

This is high-level overview of our solution. It can be installed on top of bare metal hardware, on top of any public cloud infrastructure. So we support containers: Virtuozzo containers, Docker® containers and Rocket containers as well. And on top we have Jelastic smart management with three panels: one panel for Dev guys, one panel for Ops guys and one panel for small and medium businesses.

Jelastic Solution Overview -- 1-June-2015

Jelastic Solution Overview — 1-June-2015

What is DevOps?

Jelastic DevOps Concept as a new approach to develop software -- 1-June-2015

Jelastic DevOps Concept as a new approach to develop software — 1-June-2015

DevOps is a new approach to develop software. It helps to speed up time-to-market, to automate the Pipeline and reduce the number of fails on production. So, actually, it helps companies to save money.

Below is the main picture in DevOps. It is the Pipeline of the application delivery to production. As you can see, an application or template can be stored in some registry or hub registry. Dev guys pull it to a Dev environment, and after that they move it to a test environment, then to a stage environment, and after that to production. So automation of this Pipeline is very important, because it’s not really easy to build an automated Pipeline.

Jelastic - DevOps Pipeline of the application delivery to production -- 1-June-2015

Jelastic DevOps Pipeline of the application delivery to production which is to be automated

Containers and Docker®

Why did Docker® become so popular? Because they changed the degree of containers. They introduced containers for developers. In the past it was used by hosting service providers, by many of them, but it was not very popular. Today enterprises are looking for solutions with containers.

Why is this important? Because it provides much better flexibility, higher density, elasticity and portability. So it’s easy to migrate an application from one cloud to another.

Jelastic Virtual machines vs Containers -- 1-June-2015

Jelastic Virtual machines vs Containers — 1-June-2015

Containers is not a new technology. This is like an evolution path. And it’s not finished yet. Smart containers are coming.

Jelastic - The Evolution of the Container Technology -- 1-June-2015.png

Jelastic – The Evolution of the Container Technology — 1-June-2015.png

Anyway Container Orchestration is a challenge – it’s not easy to build smart container orchestration. And if you try to do it yourself, I believe you’ll spend a lot of time and efforts. And you need to know what kind of solution it is better to use not to make a mess out of this.

Jelastic - It is not easy to build smart container orchestration -- 1-June-2015

And today we see on the market several solutions: Tutum, it is the start up, but they do a really good job on container orchestration, Amazon, Google, IBM and Azure already offer container services, as well as CoreOS who recently introduced Tectonics.  You can see, all big players implemented containers into their platforms.

And containers in Jelastic have been in use since 2011. We use the Virtuozzo containers which is a really good solution and much more secure than LXC containers, default Docker® containers.

Jelastic provides production-ready orchestration, it was polished over 4 years, it’s automated. And many our customers are happy with our containers’ orchestration.Jelastic - Production-ready orchestration polished over 4 years and automated -- 1-June-2015

Virtual Private Cloud

Now about Virtual Private Cloud. What exactly you can sell to end customers and where are the new markets?

Jelastic example of 3 Virtual Private Clouds with a single orchestration platform -- 1-June-2015

Jelastic example of 3 Virtual Private Clouds with a single orchestration platform — 1-June-2015

In the image you can see a cloud with 3 regions. One region is for small, trial/beta users – you can put them all into a shared cloud, like shared hardware.

And big customers, they are looking for dedicated clouds. And you can provide a dedicated cluster specifically for one customer. And you can create one region and then another region for for another customer. Because big customers will not be willing to put their solution inside a shared hardware region. Each region is a separate Virtual Private Cloud, and you can use a single orchestration platform to manage all of these regions.

Hybrid Virtual Private Cloud

Hybrid Virtual Private Cloud – what does it mean? Just imagine that you have enterprise customers, that have sensitive data, they don’t want to put their data into your public cloud, but they can install Jelastic on top of their hardware on premise, and they can use your region from your data center and burst to your data centerwhen they need more resources, or to do some kind of testing, or to create some kind of backup solution. This is Hybrid Virtual Private Cloud. Jelastic - Hybrid Virtual Private Cloud -- 1-June-2015

Multicloud

Imagine you have several data centers where you can install Jelastic and provide services for enterprise customers, ensuring high availability across data centers because you can build a container highway between them.

Jelastic Multicloud example with high availability across data centers by a container highway between them -- 1-June-2015

Jelastic Multicloud example with high availability across data centers by a container highway between them

For example – big projects and companies, like Liquid Robotics (the father of Java, James Gosling is the CTO of this project). They were looking for a solution with multi continent high availability, because they manage robots, so if they lose their connection to a data center, they will lose their robots.

Who are the target customers?

Enterprises, like systems integrators, telcos, industrial companies, banks, retail companies.

DevOps and Developer teamsISV’s, outsourcing teams, software development agencies, gambling, IT and consulting services.

Some of our partners are working with government organizations as well. They provide services for educational institutions, health-care, for financial IT departments and others.

Technical requirements

  • Support of Java, PHP, Ruby, Python, Node.js and .NET, as well as Docke
  • Zero Code Change, no lock-in, easy migration to and from the cloud
  • Automatic horizontal scaling by triggers
  • Automatic vertical scaling for legacy application systems
  • Secure containers
  • High availability on application and hardware levels
  • Live migration
  • Smart distribution of containers
  • Hibernation of inactive containers
  • SSH access and open API

(More details on the mentioned features you can find in the presentation or documentation)

Conclusion

As you can see, it is a new solution for enterprises. Before enterprises were just buying dedicated hardware, now you can combine hardware together with software and provide cloud-in-a-box for DevOps enterprise teams.

Register to try out Jelastic Virtual Private Cloud – install in hours, test for weeks.

As an additional information:  Jelastic Trinity Release 3.3: Seamless Union of Hybrid Cloud with Public and Private Cloud Options

Jelastic introduces Hybrid Cloud with multi-region support for reaching workload mobility across different data centers and clouds, in one seamless multi-cloud solution

Malaga, Spain, June 9, 2015 – Jelastic, Inc., the cloud company that provides a platform for container orchestration with entire freedom of choice from technology to vendor and an advanced level of DevOps workload mobility, today launched the new 3.3 version of the platform, aptly named “Trinity” to represent the union of three cloud options supported from this release. With multi-region support within different data centers and clouds, the company now officially offers a Hybrid Cloud solution alongside Public and Private. The intended outcome is the ability to distribute various companies’ workloads in a variety of regions, within one Hybrid Cloud.

In response to the words of Trinity from The Matrix: “The answer is out there, Neo, and it’s looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.” Ruslan Synytsky, Jelastic CEO, said, “We consider each of our customers to be the Chosen One, and provide them with answers to the issues they face while developing applications, offering cloud services and building businesses. And in this release, our clients and partners found the answer on how to use multiple data centers within just one multi-cloud platform. The hardware equipment as well as cloud resources may differ in parameters, or belong to another data center, located in another country, and that opens the doors to new markets and more business opportunities.”

Hybrid Cloud with Multiple Regions

The basic premise of the multi-region feature is in the provided ability to usevarious types of hardware, anyIaaS or cloud services, either due to variety of parameters or distant geographical location. It produces the biggest benefits for hosting service providers, systems integrators and enterprises by allowing them to:

  • Conquer a new market or cooperate with various hosting providers from different countries by creating a region in a remote location
  • Significantly improve the response time for users closer to the data center, providing geo distribution of applications/data
  • Keep sensitive data on a more expensive private cloud and insensitive data/apps can be stored on a lower-priced public cloud
  • Use additional regions from external clouds in case of temporary burst, with no need to invest in hardware for variable loads
  • Reach lower TCO and higher ROI by providing a combination of regions with hardware of different capacity – critical workloads can be hosted on stable, security-enhanced and as a result, more expensive clouds. Non critical workloads can be hosted on cheaper inferior clouds
  • Gain disaster recovery and high availability across multiple data centers
  • Implement complex access policies and manage hardware usage permissions, for example, providing separate regions for particular team groups like coders, QA, ops that are involved in DevOps workflows, as well as creating dedicated regions for important customers
  • Provide the ability to add cloud resources from public clouds like Microsoft Azure, IBM SoftLayer, Google Cloud and AWS
Jelastic Hybrid Cloud with multi-region support -- 9-June-2015
Jelastic Hybrid Cloud with multi-region support — 9-June-2015

Simultaneously, end users and developers will be able to benefit from the following possibilities:

  • Choose between higher quality or more cost affordable hardware
  • Easily relocate the projects to the superior hardware with the help of environment migration
  • Host applications in a trusted local data center of the preferable hosting service provider
  • Achieve higher availability through geo-distribution by locating the applications on several data centers around the world

Today, Jelastic is available as a public cloud solution via 36 public cloud hosting service providers across the world. A seamless Hybrid Cloud integration with the help of the multi-region feature is advantageous for these partners who have their own data centers, but who want to offer cloud services from several locations for their customers. It is also ideal if they have customers with temporary needs for a large burst during the load spikes and they do not want to invest in extra hardware.

Jelastic Cloud vs AWS - available regions, data centers worldwide --1-July-2015

Jelastic Cloud vs AWS – available regions, data centers worldwide –1-July-2015

“Jelastic Trinity is a milestone release, pulling the two public and private cloud threads of Jelastic’s offering together, forming that important third platform capability – hybrid cloud. Opening new markets and exciting collaboration opportunities for Layershift as the UK’s leading Jelastic partner,” said Damien Ransome, Service Director at Layershift. “I’m expecting to see greater collaboration between Jelastic hosting partners and also between hosting partners and ISVs. Jelastic Trinity will unlock the potential of each partner’s individual success story – through strengthening the value proposition of collaborating hosting partners, whilst ensuring that end users benefit from the increased flexibility and reduced lock-in uniquely offered by the Jelastic ecosystem.”

In addition, the multi-region feature doubles efficiency by positively affecting systems integrators and enterprises who actively use private clouds and can now reach more workload mobility, by adding new regions in different clouds. This allows them to further expand the variety of existing possibilities and achieve even more high-availability for their applications.

“We are very happy that Jelastic has released a hybrid cloud option with support for multiple regions,” said Miguel Hormigo, South Regional Manager at GMV. “GMV is currently using Jelastic private cloud for our internal development and testing processes and as an offering to our customers who are looking for a secure and cost efficient alternative.  The biggest benefit that we foresee from the Trinity release is the ability to provide our clients with a hybrid cloud solution, gaining more control over portability of their applications and data.”

Such a Hybrid Cloud represents an advanced extension to the private cloud-in-a-box solution actively offered by Jelastic to enterprise customers. As a result, they can seamlessly combine the hardware of Dell, IBM, HP and other vendors within one cloud platform, using each region for specific demands of their business.

“Jelastic’s unique private cloud-in-a-box solution, based on Dell’s PowerEdge VRTX, enables rapid application development and deployment through the cloud,” said Juergen Domnik, service provider director, Dell EMEA. “We’ve seen, and been surprised, by the different ways customers are getting value from the Dell PowerEdge VRTX. Its versatility means that small to medium businesses or franchises can optimise office IT environments, or in this instance serve as an ideal platform for DevOps. We’re delighted to provide this solution to Jelastic to better enable their customers.”

Jelastic in a Hybrid Cloud with Azure

As the first practical step in providing Hybrid Cloud, Jelastic has already integrated with Azure for ISVs, hosting providers or enterprise customers enabling them to allocate extra regions using Azure Marketplace. As a result, Jelastic Hybrid Cloud will be available for enterprises and existing Jelastic hosting providers with the following benefits:

  • Expand hosting business to more countries by selling resources from many data centers (19 compute regions of Azure)
  • Burst to Azure in case of temporary applications’ load spikes or in the case  additional computing power is needed
  • Disaster recovery using Azure
  • Backup to Azure

“We’re excited to be working closely with Jelastic to deliver their Hybrid Cloud to our customers,” said Corey Sanders, Director of Program Management at Microsoft Azure. “As strong hybrid cloud offerings are the cornerstone for Microsoft’s cloud differentiation, we are thrilled to bring additional cloud infrastructure options and offerings to our customers through Jelastic’s inclusion in the Azure marketplace.”

June 10, 2015DevOps with Containers for Microservices (slides only at the moment) By Ruslan Synytsky at the DevOps Summit 2015 East on Cloud Expo

Jelastic - DevOps in the Cloud according to DZONE -- 10-June-2015Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively.

In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of DevOps with containers. In addition, he discussed known issues and solutions for enterprise applications in containers.

Jelastic - Container Orchestration Landscape by Ruslan Synytsky -- 10-June-2015

Jelastic - Microsoft Azure container orchestration by Ruslan Synytsky -- 10-June-2015

Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here

The Microservices slide from that deck:

Keywords
Microservices – a software architecture design pattern, it`s complex applications are composed of small, independent processes.

Goals

  • responsibility for one functionality
  • independence within microservices
  • truly loosely coupled
  • relative independence within different teams
  • easier testing
  • continuous delivery or deployment

Jelastic - Microservices software architecture pattern as presented by Ruslan Synytsky -- 24-June-2014

Related blog posts by Jelastic:
March 3, 2015Webinar Roundup – Multi-Containers Orchestration with Live Migration and HA for Microservices Jelastic - Cloud-in-a-Box -- DevOps for Containers -- 3-March-2015
March 16, 2015Multi-Containers Orchestration with Live Migration and High-Availability for Microservices in Jelastic
April 14, 20155 Key Features to Make Containers Reliable for Production Applications
April 27, 2015Smart Container Orchestration within the Cloud Platform. Part1: Installation
May 21, 2015Smart Container Orchestration within the Cloud Platform. Part2: Configurations

More information from Jelastic:
– August 21, 2014An In-depth Interview with Ruslan Synytsky, Jelastic Founder and CTO
September 24, 2014Centerprise PaaS Business Case (video)
January 6, 2015“Jelastic’s Mission is to Upgrade Companies to a New Level of Automation,” Ruslan Synytsky 
March 17, 2015: Jelastic 3.1 – Production Ready Docker Containers and Native .NET Based on Windows Containers
April 27, 2015THE DZONE GUIDE TO CLOUD DEVELOPMENT 2015 EDITION
April 29, 2015Jelastic Virtual Private Cloud and Hybrid Cloud are now Available in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace
May 20, 2015Jelastic Virtual Private Cloud on Azure. Deployment Manual
July 8, 2015How to Deploy Jelastic Hybrid Cloud on Azure
June 10, 2015Jelastic Virtual Private Cloud – Use Cases

Microsoft: With a move to a Windows ecosystem strategy the prospects for the Phone Hardware segment are below original expectations, so the full cost of the Nokia Devices and Services acquisition is written off now + Changes to the mapping business + Selling display advertisement via AOL + Expansion of programmatic advertising via AppNexus

IMPORTANT: This does not mean that Microsoft is exiting the phone business. Not even in the sense of manufacturing. Just the opposite is true. In my June 23 – December 20, 2013 post I was quessing whether Nokia becoming the next Samsung from its new Vietnamese manufacturing base? And now this guessing is closer to the truth than ever.

Just change the name “Nokia” to “Microsoft” as that $300M plant investment has been kept by the company. Then with the February 25, 2015 information that Microsoft to cut 9,000 Nokia jobs in China (which was part of an estimated 18,000 job cuts already announced in the wake of  purchase of the Nokia unit for $7.2 billion by Microsoft) the plant in Vietnam became even more important because of “Microsoft … scheduled the closure of the plants — located in Beijing and the southeastern city of Dongguan — earlier this month and plans to ship some of the manufacturing equipment there to Vietnam.

And indeed AT&T now [June 26] selling the Lumia 640 XL for $249.99 without a contract which IMHO is the best value for the money on the market by far. It is already manufactured in Vietnam, and already corresponds to the new “Windows ecosystem strategy” announced just today and available below. The 640 XL has been clearly designed for one of the three phone customer segments targeted by the strategy: thevalue phone buyers“. In addition Vietnam’s new POLICY OPENS DOOR TO HI-TECH INVESTORS  which will enable to expand from that manufacturing base as much as only will be allowed by the market circumstances.

Finally Microsoft has placed ads during the last month for not less than 31 highly paid senior jobs in the international LinkedIn media alone for its manufacturing operation in Vietnam. These ads generally are talking about the:

Microsoft Mobile Devices and Services (MMDS) Group [which with the announcement given below is now part of the Windows and Devices Group led by Terry Myerson, the previous Windows chief] have always believed in the transformative power of technology. From the initial vision of placing a personal computer on every desktop and in every home, to putting mobile devices into a billion hands, we have connected and empowered generations. We want to make the lives of billions of people better in fundamental ways – that’s what we do today, and that’s what we’ll do tomorrow.

So as far as the phone hardware business is concerned everything is poised to grow after cutting off the whole unnecessary weight which came with Nokia acquisition a year ago.

Additional readings/information:

DETAILS

July 8, 2015: Microsoft announces restructuring of phone hardware business By Microsoft News Center

REDMOND, Wash. —  Microsoft Corp. today announced plans to restructure the company’s phone hardware business to better focus and align resources. Microsoft also announced the reduction of up to 7,800 positions, primarily in the phone business. As a result, the company will record an impairment charge of approximately $7.6 billion related to assets associated with the acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services (NDS) business in addition to a restructuring charge of approximately $750 million to $850 million.

Today’s announcement follows recent moves by Microsoft to better align with company priorities, including recent changes to Microsoft’s engineering teams and leadership, plans to transfer the company’s imagery acquisition operations to Uber, and shifts in Microsoft’s display advertising business that enable the company to further invest in search as its core advertising technology and service.

Today’s plans were outlined in an email from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to Microsoft employees.

“We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem including our first-party device family,” Nadella said. “In the near-term, we’ll run a more effective and focused phone portfolio while retaining capability for long-term reinvention in mobility.”

Microsoft will record a charge in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 for the impairment of assets and goodwill in its Phone Hardware segment, related to the NDS business. This charge has no impact on cash flow from operations and is nondeductible for income tax purposes.

Based on the new plans, the future prospects for the Phone Hardware segment are below original expectations. Accordingly, the company concluded that an impairment adjustment of its Phone Hardware segment assets and goodwill of approximately $7.6 billion is required.

The actions associated with today’s announcement are expected to be substantially complete by the end of the calendar year and fully completed by the end of the company’s fiscal year.

More information about these charges will be provided in Microsoft’s fourth-quarter earnings announcement on July 21, 2015, and in the company’s 2015 Annual Report on Form 10-K.

email from … ⇒ July 8, 2015: Satya Nadella email to employees on sharpening business focus By Microsoft News Center

Team,

Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared with you our mission, strategy, structure and culture. Today, I want to discuss our plans to focus our talent and investments in areas where we have differentiation and potential for growth, as well as how we’ll partner to drive better scale and results. In all we do, we will take a long-term view and build deep technical capability that allows us to innovate in the future.

With that context, I want to update you on decisions impacting our phone business and share more on last week’s mapping and display advertising announcements.

We anticipate that these changes, in addition to other headcount alignment changes, will result in the reduction of up to 7,800 positions globally, primarily in our phone business. We expect that the reductions will take place over the next several months.

I don’t take changes in plans like these lightly, given that they affect the lives of people who have made an impact at Microsoft. We are deeply committed to helping our team members through these transitions.

Phones. Today, we announced a fundamental restructuring of our phone business. As a result, the company will take an impairment charge of approximately $7.6 billion related to assets associated with the acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business in addition to a restructuring charge of approximately $750 million to $850 million.

I am committed to our first-party devices including phones. However, we need to focus our phone efforts in the near term while driving reinvention. We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem that includes our first-party device family.

In the near term, we will run a more effective phone portfolio, with better products and speed to market given the recently formed Windows and Devices Group. We plan to narrow our focus to three customer segments where we can make unique contributions and where we can differentiate through the combination of our hardware and software. We’ll bring business customers the best management, security and productivity experiences they need; value phone buyers the communications services they want; and Windows fans the flagship devices they’ll love.

In the longer term, Microsoft devices will spark innovation, create new categories and generate opportunity for the Windows ecosystem more broadly. Our reinvention will be centered on creating mobility of experiences across the entire device family including phones.

Mapping. Last week, we announced changes to our mapping business and transferred some of our imagery acquisition operations to Uber. We will continue to source base mapping data and imagery from partners. This allows us to focus our efforts on delivering great map products such as Bing Maps, Maps app for Windows and our Bing Maps for Enterprise APIs.

Advertising. We also announced our decision to sharpen our focus in advertising platform technology and concentrate on search, while we partner with AOL and AppNexus for display. Bing will now power search and search advertising across the AOL portfolio of sites, in addition to the partnerships we already have with Yahoo!, Amazon and Apple. Concentrating on search will help us further accelerate the progress we’ve been making over the past six years. Last year Bing grew to 20 percent query share in the U.S. while growing our search advertising revenue 28 percent over the past 12 months. We view search technology as core to our efforts spanning Bing.com, Cortana, Office 365, Windows 10 and Azure services.

I deeply appreciate all of the ideas and hard work of everyone involved in these businesses, and I want to reiterate my commitment to helping each individual impacted.

I know many of you have questions about these changes. I will host an employee Q&A tomorrow to share more, and I hope you can join me.

Satya

recent changes ⇒ June 17, 2015: Microsoft aligns engineering teams to strategy By Microsoft News Center 

REDMOND, Wash. — June 17, 2015 — In an email to employees Wednesday, Microsoft Corp. announced changes to its Senior Leadership Team to drive engineering alignment against the company’s core ambitions: reinvent productivity and business processes, build the intelligent cloud platform, and create more personal computing.

“We are aligning our engineering efforts and capabilities to deliver on our strategy and, in particular, our three core ambitions,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “This change will enable us to deliver better products and services that our customers love at a more rapid pace.”

Changes to the Senior Leadership Team include the following:

Executive Vice President Terry Myerson will lead a newly formed team, Windows and Devices Group (WDG), focused on enabling more personal computing experiences powered by the Windows ecosystem. This new team combines the engineering efforts of the current Operating Systems Group and Microsoft Devices Group.

Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie will continue to lead the Cloud and Enterprise (C+E) team focused on building the intelligent cloud platform that powers any application on any device. The C+E team will also focus on building high-value infrastructure and business services that are key to managing business processes, especially in the areas of data and analytics, security and management, and development tools. As a part of this announcement, the company will move the Dynamics development teams to the C+E team, enabling the company to accelerate ERP and CRM work and bring it into the mainstream C+E engineering and innovation efforts.

Executive Vice President Qi Lu will continue to lead the Applications and Services Group (ASG) focused on reinventing productivity services for digital work that span all devices and appeal to the people who use technology at work and in their personal lives.

As a result of the organizational moves, Stephen Elop, Kirill Tatarinov and Eric Rudder will leave Microsoft after a designated transition period. Unrelated to the engineering restructuring changes, Chief Insights Officer Mark Penn has decided to pursue another venture outside Microsoft and will be leaving the company in September.

Following these changes, Microsoft’s Senior Leadership Team totals 12 executives:

  • Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer
  • Chris Capossela, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
  • Kurt DelBene, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Planning
  • Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise
  • Amy Hood, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
  • Kathleen Hogan, Executive Vice President, Human Resources
  • Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Business Development
  • Qi Lu, Executive Vice President, Applications and Services Group
  • Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President, Windows and Devices Group
  • Harry Shum, Executive Vice President, Technology and Research
  • Brad Smith, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Legal and Corporate Affairs
  • Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world and is focused on empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

June 17, 2015: Satya Nadella email to employees on aligning engineering to strategy By Microsoft News Center 

From: Satya Nadella
To: All Employees
Date: June 17, 2015
Subject: Aligning Our Strategy & Structure

Team,

As we approach a new fiscal year, I’d like to share with you how we are aligning our structure to our strategy and the changes to our Senior Leadership Team.

Over the past year, I have said that Microsoft aspires to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. To do this, building the best-in-class productivity services and platforms for the mobile-first, cloud-first world is at the heart of our strategy, with three interconnected and bold ambitions:

  • Reinvent productivity and business processes
  • Build the intelligent cloud platform
  • Create more personal computing

To better align our capabilities and, ultimately, deliver better products and services our customers love at a more rapid pace, I have decided to organize our engineering effort into three groups that work together to deliver on our strategy and ambitions. The changes take effect today.

  • Terry Myerson will lead a new team, Windows and Devices Group (WDG), enabling our vision of a more personal computing experience powered by the Windows ecosystem. We will combine the engineering efforts of our current Operating Systems Group and Microsoft Devices Group (MDG) led by Stephen Elop. This new team brings together all the engineering capability required to drive breakthrough innovations that will propel the Windows ecosystem forward. WDG will drive Windows as a service across devices of all types and build all of our Microsoft devices including Surface, HoloLens, Lumia, Surface Hub, Band and Xbox. This enables us to create new categories while generating enthusiasm and demand for Windows broadly.
  • Scott Guthrie will continue to lead the Cloud and Enterprise (C+E) team focused on building the intelligent cloud platform that powers any application on any device. The C+E team will also focus on building high-value infrastructure and business services that are unique to enterprise customers, such as data and analytics products, security and management offerings, and business processes. Today, we are also moving the development teams who build ourDynamics products to C+E, which will enable us to accelerate our ERP and CRM work even further and mainstream them as part of our core engineering and innovation efforts. C+E will work closely with ASG to ensure the end-to-end experience is cohesive across communications, collaboration and business processes.
  • Qi Lu will continue to lead the Applications and Services Group (ASG) that is focused on reinventing productivity. This group is leading the charge in building productivity services for digital work that span all devices and appeal to the people who use technology at work and in their personal lives. ASG has already made advancements in these areas, and the only change as part of today’s announcement is that the engineering efforts to build solutions for Educationwill move to ASG.

Changes of this nature require us to look at our leadership structure overall, and as a result a few Senior Leadership Team members will leave Microsoft at the conclusion of a transition period.

When Stephen Elop returned to Microsoft, he oriented MDG to create the best Microsoft experience through its devices, inclusive of hardware, software and services. He has been a strong advocate of the need to drive focus and accountability around the delivery of these experiences and has helped drive tighter alignment toward the ambition of more personal computing. With the structural change described above, Stephen and I have agreed that now is the right time for him to retire from Microsoft. I regret the loss of leadership that this represents, and look forward to seeing where his next destination will be.

Kirill Tatarinov is going to explore what’s next for him. Under Kirill’s leadership, the Dynamics business has grown to a nearly $2 billion business with an ambitious wave of products on the horizon. Perhaps most important though, Kirill and team have shown us that participating in a meaningful way in the CRM and ERP market opens up new opportunities we can uniquely take advantage of by bringing Dynamics into Microsoft’s mainstream engineering, sales and marketing efforts. I am very thankful for Kirill’s unswerving leadership in bringing Dynamics to this point and building a strong leadership team to carry it forward.

After more than 25 years at Microsoft, Eric Rudder has decided to try something new. Eric has played a number of key roles at Microsoft including founding and growing the Server and Tools business in its early days, leading Microsoft Research, and most recently driving our advanced technology and education efforts. I will deeply miss Eric’s passion, technical and business acumen, and keen intellect, and I appreciate all he’s done for Microsoft.

Lastly, a number of months ago, Mark Penn shared with me that he is planning to leave Microsoft in September to form a private equity fund, among other things. Over the years, Mark has leveraged his talents and insights on Microsoft’s behalf. From helping craft a Super Bowl ad and helping design new business and marketing models to his work in data analytics, Mark has helped me set the company on a new course. I’m thankful for the wise strategic counsel Mark has provided, and I look forward to seeing what he does next.

I’ve worked closely with Stephen, Eric, Kirill and Mark and have incredible respect for each of them and wish them well.

I’m counting on our Senior Leadership Team to inspire innovative products and services and lead excellent execution. Our competition and our customers don’t care about our organization structure — they care about innovation. While we are distinctly aligning our engineering structure and core capabilities, our ambitions are interconnected. Success requires all of us — and particularly the Senior Leadership Team — to work across boundaries as one Microsoft and in harmony with our partners. Here’s the new team effective today:

  • Chris Capossela, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer (will now also take on responsibility for Dynamics and Education marketing)
  • Kurt DelBene, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Planning
  • Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise
  • Amy Hood, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
  • Kathleen Hogan, Executive Vice President, Human Resources
  • Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Business Development (will now lead our partnerships with mobile operators around the world)
  • Qi Lu, Executive Vice President, Applications and Services Group
  • Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President, Windows and Devices Group
  • Harry Shum, Executive Vice President, Technology and Research
  • Brad Smith, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Legal and Corporate Affairs
  • Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer (will also now take responsibility for the Dynamics sales and partner organization)
  • Jill Tracie, Chief of Staff

I’m certain that matching our structure to our strategy will best position us to build products and services our customers love and ultimately drive new growth. Please feel free to send any questions you have to one of the Senior Leadership Team members or me.

Looking forward to what we can do together.

Satya

shifts ⇒ June 29, 2015: Microsoft expands partnerships with AOL and AppNexus, Bing to power search for AOL properties by Rik van der Kooi, Microsoft corporate vice president of advertising and consumer monetization, and Frank Holland, Microsoft corporate vice president of A&O on the Microsoft Fire Hose blog

Today we are announcing new levels of partnership with both AOL and AppNexus.

Bing will now power search and search advertising across the AOL portfolio of sites. This 10-year agreement will enable AOL users to have access to world-class search powered by Bing across the company’s global portfolio of sites. Now with 20 percent organic market share in the U.S., Bing continues to grow organically as well as through key partnerships like the one with AOL. This deal with AOL is the latest to validate the quality of Bing results and the performance of the Bing Ads marketplace. Bing is also an integral part of popular first- and third-party devices and services.

In addition to the search partnership, AOL will become our seller of all display formats, including mobile and video, for the Microsoft portfolio across nine markets (Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States).

Microsoft and AOL share a commitment to customer service and collaboration, and together we will create a powerhouse media offering with a remarkable set of differentiated assets. By introducing one selling motion across AOL’s world class portfolio of sites, such as Huffington Post, Engadget, Adap.tv and TechCrunch and Microsoft’s much-loved consumer services, including MSN, Xbox, Outlook.com, and Skype, we are uniquely positioned to deliver more scale of premium inventory and target audiences across display, video and mobile. Our advertising customers will have one consistent experience as we transition our sales and trade marketing employees in these nine markets to AOL, subject to compliance with local law and employee consultation obligations.

With our expanded AppNexus partnership, they will become our exclusive programmatic technology and sales partner in 10 markets (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland). Business in these markets will transfer over the coming months, subject to compliance with local law.

Today, AppNexus is the lead technology partner for our programmatic business, across 39 different markets around the world. Last year, we started a pilot program in the Nordic countries to take those markets to a fully programmatic sales motion. We feel very good about the results – more than 50 percent of business in these markets today is programmatic and we’re taking that to the next level with today’s announcement across the 10 markets. The expansion of our partnership will give advertisers programmatic access to more supply of premium, brand-safe Microsoft inventory, while simplifying the buying process and capturing the momentum of explosive programmatic growth in the industry.

Today’s news is evidence of Microsoft’s increased focus on our strengths: in this case, search and search advertising and building great content and consumer services. The evolution in our approach to display advertising allows us to keep this focus, while working with industry leaders to market our services. We remain as committed today as we have been in the past decade to digital advertising and its effectiveness in delivering free services to consumers worldwide.

Posted by Jennifer Chen
Microsoft News Center Staff

June 30: AppNexus and Microsoft Announce Multi-Year Extension and Expansion of Technology Partnership By AppNexus PRESS RELEASES

–New York – June 30, 2015 – AppNexus, the world’s leading independent ad tech company, today announced an agreement to extend and expand its global technology partnership with Microsoft. The deal creates a multi-year extension of the Microsoft-AppNexus engagement, expanding AppNexus’ role as Microsoft’s exclusive partner for programmatic technology and sales in ten markets. In total, AppNexus powers Microsoft’s programmatic advertising today in over 39 markets.

The expanded engagement builds on a highly successful pilot program in the Nordic region, where AppNexus helped to convert almost 50 percent of Microsoft’s advertising operations to programmatic within six months.

“We are thrilled to extend and expand our strategic global partnership with Microsoft,” said Michael Rubenstein, president of AppNexus. “Over the past five years, we have jointly introduced remarkable innovation into the digital advertising marketplace. We look forward to building on this highly successful collaboration to bring more leading-edge advertising technology to market in such areas as mobile and video, automated guaranteed and private marketplaces, holistic yield management, and much more.”

Today’s agreement names AppNexus as Microsoft’s technology and programmatic sales partner in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.

“AppNexus has been and continues to be a trusted strategic partner, working with us in 39 markets around the world today as the lead technology partner for our programmatic business,” said Rik van der Kooi, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft. “We are expanding our partnership in 10 of these markets to give advertisers access to more supply of premium, brand-safe Microsoft inventory programmatically, while simplifying the buying process and capturing the momentum of explosive programmatic growth in the industry.”

ABOUT APPNEXUS

AppNexus is a technology company whose cloud-based software platform enables and optimizes programmatic online advertising. Its enterprise technology platform maximizes yield and campaign performance for sellers and buyers of online inventory. As the world’s leading independent ad tech company, AppNexus is led by the pioneers of the web’s original ad exchanges. Headquartered in New York City with 23 global offices, AppNexus employs more than 900 of the brightest minds in advertising and technology who believe that advertising powers the Internet. For more information, follow us at @AppNexus or visit us at www.AppNexus.com.

“The term programmatic media (also known as programmatic marketing or programmatic advertising) encompasses an array of technologies that automate the buying, placement, and optimisation of media inventory, in turn replacing human-based methods.[1] In this process, supply and demand partners utilise automated systems and business rules to place advertisements in electronically targeted media inventory.[2] It has been suggested that programmatic media is a fast-growing phenomenon in the global media and advertising industry.[3]
Source: Programmatic media, Wikipedia article

More information:
June 5, 2014: Why and how ‘programmatic’ is emerging as key to real-time marketing success (PDF) By AppNexus

MediaTek CorePilot™ 3.0 with Tri-Cluster™

Follow-up on this same blog: 16nm / DDR4! MediaTek Helio X30 / X22 Exposure [Aug 10, 2015]

June 25, 2015:

MediaTek’s latest advancement – CorePilot 3.0 – expands further with Tri-Cluster support for three distinct processor levels: Minimum, Medium and Maximum which performs a delicate balancing act between giving you the best performance and longest battery life possible.

June 4, 2015: MediaTek Helio X20 Tri-Cluster 10-core ARMv8 64bit processor by Nicolas Charbonnier (Charbax)

MediaTek shows off and claims that their new Tri-Cluster 10-core ARM processor can use about 30-40% less power running certain apps in Android for example saving power consumption or performance efficiency when doing things like Facebook and Web Browsing. The MediaTek Helio X20 has 4 ARM Cortex-A53 at a low 1.4Ghz clock speed, 4 ARM Cortex-A53 at a higher 2Ghz clock speed and 2 ARM Cortex-A72 at a high 2.5Ghz clock speed. MediaTek claims that them being able to shift gears improves power consumption and performance. MediaTek CorePilot 3.0 improves MediaTek’s heterogeneous multi-processing to also integrate the GPU into the efficient processing.

More information is in MediaTek’s next 10 years’ strategy for devices, wearables and IoT