Six of the best: CloudTech’s top cloud stories from the web

It’s that time again: here are CloudTech’s six favourite stories from around the web.

No prizes for guessing which story dominates the selections, but this month’s gamut is a mix of seat swapping, storage and smack talk.

1) Microsoft chief goes back to the future [Financial Times]: There wasn’t any other place to start. The biggest job in the IT industry was announced last week, and it’s not a coincidence that the new man in the hotseat, Satya Nadella, moves up from executive VP of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise division.

While most articles make that connection, this FT analysis examines the “boardroom dance” Redmond now faces. Reporter Richard Waters is less than convinced that Nadella will have a clear run amid the prying eyes of Microsoft’s two previous CEOs, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, although noted Gates’ new advisory role is “subtly diminished”.

Boot up: Cloud talk: The FT’s leader noted that Microsoft “banks on the cloud” with Nadella’s appointment, as well as examining the role of chairman John Thompson, who is “all about the cloud”. Gates said in a video welcoming Nadella that there was “an opportunity in the cloud”, while Nadella himself noted that his job “is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world.”

2) Is IBM’s $4.4 billion cloud bigger than Amazon’s? Not quite [Re/code]: Everyone wants to have their say on who’s bigger in the IaaS space. This article is better than most, with author Arik Hesseldahl noting that comparisons between IBM and AWS are wide of the mark because of their differing business models. David Linthicum had the same view in an InfoWorld piece earlier this month, adding that cloud-washing was partly to blame for this blinkered thinking.

Hesseldahl ends his piece waspishly, however: “Big Blue has a pretty good record of hitting its publicly stated goals. But catching up with Amazon on an apples-to-apples, cloud-to-cloud comparison?

“That’s unlikely to happen in 2015, though you can bet that IBM will find a way to claim the crown just the same.”

Boot up: Despite having two different business models it doesn’t stop the two rivals from trash talking each other, as recent company events show.

3) Best cyber squatting site ever. I hope. Duracell does cloud [Forbes]: Duracell has recently announced its own cloud storage service, offering $199 per month for 2TB of on-premise storage along with unlimited cloud storage. It’s safe to say Forbes’ Ben Kepes was less than thrilled.

Kepes called the Duracell Cloud site “one of the most amateur productions ever”, adding that “if it is legit...then the world just went a little more insane.” Taking a look at the text on the Business Cloud page (and the worryingly high amount of grammatical errors), he may have a point.

Boot up: More observant readers might have noticed the presence of Condre, a VAR firm, in the Duracell blurb. This may explain why Duracell is suddenly in the business cloud storage game. While it hasn’t been the best of months for Dropbox, rival Box has attempted to take advantage with 50GB of free storage for new users.

4) Microsoft’s Azure cloud offering “not as strong as Amazon Web Services”, says Just Eat CTO [Computing]: The CTO of Just Eat, Carlos Morgado, claimed that even though a lot of the company’s tech is in Microsoft, he didn’t want the company to be ‘married to’ Microsoft.

“We just didn’t feel as confident about Azure as we did about AWS,” he said. Does this demonstrate the size of the task Satya Nadella faces at Redmond HQ?

Boot up: Microsoft’s cloud push is being seen all across the company, in particular its business intelligence (BI) suite. This analysis details how with Power BI Microsoft is betting on the cloud, with the option to make BI native to Excel a potentially lucrative call.

5) IaaS, PaaS to drive cloud adoption in ANZ [ZDNet]: A survey from ZDNet revealed that, in the Australia and New Zealand region, nearly three in four (72%) ANZ businesses use one form of cloud, with IaaS (23% increase usage) and PaaS (21%) the most popular growth areas in 2014.

“Expect IaaS/PaaS usage to keep growing strongly through 2014 and 2015 as businesses keep looking for more efficient and responsive business delivery capabilities”, the report concluded.

Boot up: This puts a bit of damp water on the claim that hybrid is the way forward for most companies, with increased hybrid adoption (18%) lagging behind pure play IaaS and PaaS. Those in the know consistently say a mix of cloud and on-premise is the best solution for the majority of businesses; from SAP’s Sven Denecken to Zynstra CEO Nick East.

6) And finally: here’s an alternative view of Microsoft’s CEO appointment, again from David Linthicum. Microsoft may be strong in cloud, he argues, but they’re not innovative – and doubt is cast over this “innovation and fresh thinking” coming from the new boss.

What’s been your favourite cloud story this month?

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