Cloud technology has already helped define the ‘new normal’ and shape the digital landscape. It’s a way to improve how people communicate, operate and develop within the competitive business environment. By introducing grid computing into the cloud, you are effectively escalating, scaling and generally improving your own businesses operations. With grid computing you get speedy research performance, i.e. farming out large problems to be solved using parallel processing across many worker nodes or running multiple different jobs at once, speeds up research throughput. Also, the elastic capacity of the cloud allows for the freedom to adjust your cloud grid computing resources based on immediate needs, i.e. scaling up or down as necessary. Things also become cost-efficient very fast, as cloud solutions eliminate the upfront cost of IT – unlike traditional research computing that may require upfront decisions on the technology and the purchasing of all the required machines before they can be used. Rather than being tied down to one location, your data and applications are available and accessible wherever you are and easily shared across multiple teams and offices. Where do we go from here? Well, for the past few years it has become obvious that there are other methodologies that can enhance the process of running complex workloads. Staying serverless is the focus, but beyond that, we should look at a variety of valuable cloud-powered tools and Kubernetes (or more widely known as k8s). Kubernetes is an open-source system that automates your application deployment, scaling, and management.

Incorporating Cloud Tools: Azure Batch and Azure App Services

The most important facet of serverless compute platforms is giving developers a chance to concentrate on application and script development, versus spending time and energy managing its underlying infrastructure. The goal is to handle huge workloads via a platform that was crafted as an elegant serverless solution; the sort of solution we facilitate regularly here at Hentsu. So, when moving to the cloud environment, the customary method is rewriting the code, thus creating a modernized cloud native stack. For example, batch work can utilize Azure Batch; scripts are turned into Docker containers, which are scheduled onto temporary machines. The key term there is ‘temporary’ – the machines are used and paid for only as much as necessary, with provisioning handled completely automatically. The main drive here is easy management, lower cost, and parallelism. A parallel for application servers is hosting them with Azure App Service, which denotes reliability and even more useful management tools. However, if you are looking to utilize powerful systems such as Kubernetes instead, you must understand certain basics first. Kubernetes is currently one of the most popular methods of running production workloads at scale, but more than that it brings other big cloud-based advantages, as well as vital improvements for enterprises. Kubernetes is great for building containerized and resilient applications.

Kubernetes in the Cloud: 4 Essential Benefits for Enterprises

When it comes to data processing, the huge Kubernetes ecosystem has truly turned things around, offering a variety of ways to reduce its generally high complexity. The immense advantages of Kubernetes may get you to where you want to go, however managing it is a great challenge, especially if you are doing things on-premise, where you may well need someone to manage the infrastructure full-time. In contrast, AWS and Azure can do that bit for you; a reliable, managed cluster is only a few clicks away. Let’s have a peek at the biggest advantages of Kubernetes to any business or enterprise: Scalable When you’re developing applications and running workloads, Kubernetes delegates infrastructure utilization and boasts the ability to scale up in case CPU usage threshold is surpassed. As soon as the workload is reduced, Kubernetes scales back the application. Flexible and Cloud-friendly The massive benefit is being able to utilize several existing tools for cloud-native software. Staying true to the general scalability and flexible nature of the public cloud, Kubernetes is a great addition when resolving issues with clusters and deployments. Apps You Run Are Stable With Kubernetes applications are up and running quite quickly and they are much more stable. In addition, updates and changes can roll out without any downtime. Smooth Cloud Migration Since K8s runs consistently across all environments, on-premise and clouds like AWS, Azure and GCP, Kubernetes provides a more seamless and prescriptive path to port your application from on-premise to cloud environments.

Utilizing Databricks and Other Azure Collaboration Tools

Azure Databricks is another different and rather vital product for data experts, focused on allowing them to analyze data efficiently and smoothly. One of the biggest additional advantages is having actionable insights, which are understandable to non-data individuals within your company. For instance, if the data team delivers new data, business execs, marketers or sales can go over the data without requiring too much technical knowhow. Benefits for data engineers: a clear major advantage for data engineers is the ability to create, clone and edit clusters of intricate data, which they can transform and deliver effectively for review to data scientists and data analysts. Benefits for data scientists: they run advanced analysis on the same cluster of data in one interface - Databricks auto-scales within the cloud, thus decreasing the resources needed for optimized performance. Azure Databricks is easily integrated with numerous data analysis and storage tools from the Azure library, such as Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Data Lake Storage (ADLS), Azure Blob Storage,  Azure SQL Data Warehouse, or reporting via Power BI which is known for its user-friendly dashboards. Thanks to the elasticity of the cloud no matter how complex the data is, all the gathered information becomes much more accessible for non-data experts.

Adopt Your Own Cloud Sanctuary

Cloud grid computing is the future for research, and it helps companies shift from traditional workstations to the grid, thus leading to lower operational costs, auto-scaling, and speedy research performance. We have already taken a closer look at why grid computing is important for today’s large financial companies (hedge funds, and financial services). To learn even more, feel free to check out our recent post: Infinitely Scalable Clusters: Grid Computing 101. The bottom line is, if you have open-source tools such as Kubernetes by your side, they will no doubt help reorganize your business towards better production. However, the ultimate goal is quality, saving time through automation, and managing things more efficiently. Utilizing reliable tools that are cloud-based, means you have all the heavy lifting done for you. That’s where Hentsu and public cloud services’ features and functionalities come into play, complete with a solid infrastructure foundation.

Date/Time

Date(s) - 01/01/1970
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Location

600 5th ave. NY, NY
Another week showcases more exciting stories related to multiple advantages of cloud technology. Dive into the latest Hentsu weekly tech news round-up to keep your finger on the dynamic pulse of the cloud. Enjoy!

Cloud Gaming for a Seamless Streaming Future

We have already talked about how cloud gaming is in the crosshairs for industry giants such as Google, Microsoft. The benefits of cloud technology are essential for next-gen gaming, as much as it is for movie streaming services such as Netflix. With video games though, streaming via cloud tech brings a variety of features to the table. Google has proved its efforts on the cloud gaming front with the Google Stadia, which was developed around the concept of virtual machines. Any complex compute processes are handled by the power of cloud to start game engines – and what is amazing is that this denotes components such as the graphics, AI, physics, and audio, as well as distributing machine resources to gamers who are playing in their homes. New subscription-based streaming platforms are also here such as Microsoft’s xCloud. These services give gamers the opportunity to dig into large libraries of games, without every worrying about expensive consoles or PC hardware. News via AM.

Google Signs up Verizon for its AI-powered Contact Center Services

Google recently confirmed that they now have Verizon onboard as a new major customer of their Google Cloud Contact Center AI service. This service is focused on incorporating natural language recognition to phone menus used by most of the companies today. This is yet another solid example of how machine learning (or AI) amalgamates perfectly with cloud technology. “A big part of our approach is that machine learning has enormous power but it’s hard for people,” Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian told me in an interview ahead of today’s announcement. “Instead of telling people, ‘well, here’s our natural language processing tools, here is speech recognition, here is text-to-speech and speech-to-text — and why don’t you just write a big neural network of your own to process all that?’ Very few companies can do that well. We thought that we can take the collection of these things and bring that as a solution to people to solve a business problem. And it’s much easier for them when we do that and […] that it’s a big part of our strategy to take our expertise in machine intelligence and artificial intelligence and build domain-specific solutions for a number of customers.” Discover more at TechCrunch.

Azure Synapse Analytics: A Progress Report

Back in November, Microsoft first unveiled Azure Synapse Analytics, its powerful analytics that combines enterprise data warehousing and big data analytics. Recently, several features of Azure Synapse were released and are in public preview. It is time to examine how it works in practice and the first results are in. More importantly, Synapse is already being hailed as a service that efficiently aggregates, integrates, and facilitates a wide range of other existing Azure data services. Already, the word in the cloud community is that "Synapse is the 'better together' agent for data and analytics on the Azure cloud." Read the full progress report over at ZDNet.com.

Date/Time

Date(s) - 01/01/1970
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Location

600 5th ave. NY, NY
With each passing year, modern technology and development is turning to diverse cloud-based solutions. Large companies are implementing cloud tech for many reasons, but primarily to enhance the efficiency of their business operations, to improve application functionality, and indeed to lay the foundation for the best possible DevOps practices. CI/CD pipelines (i.e. Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery) represent the best possible set of practices for developing, fine-tuning, and releasing app/project changes through code. Let’s dive into it a bit more.

What is Continuous Integration?

Continuous Integration (CI) denotes multiple developers actively working on adding a variety of new features to the same application. That represents the very essence of continuous integration . Implementing into everyday coding effectively simplifies and speeds up the development process. Here's how it works: when development teams utilize CI, they include any minor changes, and can validate builds super-fast. For modern-day application development, continuous integration drives teams towards automation and an easier way to implement work from different development ecosystems.  Application builds are built, packaged and tested with automation and efficiency.

CI Requirements, Benefits, and Automation Tools

To reiterate, continuous integration emphasizes testing automation - i.e. checking if application is working properly after new commits are added into the main branch. CI requirements:
  • Continuous integration server for running automated test
  • Write automated tests for all fixes and changes
  • Merge changes as often as possible
CI benefits:
  • Capture and iron out bugs with automated tests fast
  • Cost reduction – the CI server runs hundreds of tests in seconds
  • Team is focused on improving quality, rather than endless testing
Terraform and Ansible One of the key values of this methodology is dev teams combining work and collaborating through code. To enhance development, major public cloud providers encompass a range of CI/CD solutions, from GitLab, to Atlassian Bamboo, and many others. While you have tools that are fundamental to DevOps, such as Terraform, what really kicks the CI/CD process into high gear is Ansible, which is extremely effective when it comes to configuration. These two essential tools complement each other perfectly and make the CI/CD process run swiftly and smoothly. Simply put, Terraform lays the groundwork and it allows you to interact with cloud infrastructure. So, for example, if you are using Terraform to build a web server or to create infrastructure like firewalls (in Azure), Ansible then jumps in allowing you to configure that easily.

Automation Through Continuous Delivery

Continuous delivery (CD) is what follows naturally after continuous integration. It's a process that automates the delivery of applications to appropriate infrastructure environments. As we've already mentioned, development teams tend to work in diverse environments and what begins with continuous integration, connects into continuous delivery; therefore, whenever any changes need to be pushed through code, continuous delivery speeds that process up. In short, you are essentially bringing automation not just to testing, but to the release process as well, with a mere click of a button. On that note, your gain is massive. The result is having the ability to push code changes, and releases monthly, weekly or daily - depending on the nature of the application/project/business. For that reason, the sooner you deploy to production, the better. To summarize, continuous delivery is a series of practices, as well as a method of using automated testing to see if business applications are achieving the desired functionality. When all changes are checked through automation, it’s time to opt whether the application should be deployed to production – according to business needs. Every company must at this stage decide whether continuous deployment (i.e. deploying an app into production) is the right move for their business/app. Continuous deployment and continuous delivery are connected processes. When continuous deployment starts any changes made in the production pipeline are released to clients/users. If there's a failed test, changes or fixes won't be deployed to production. In a nutshell, releases are fixed and changed a lot quicker, and the whole process gets faster feedback from clients/users.

Benefits and Key Considerations

As your development team is working, spinning up resources and deploying through code, CI/CD plays its part as a fundamental methodology that yields the following benefits:
  • Improved quality: the focus always is to improve quality of business workflow. This particular methodology bridges the gap between developers eager to innovate and push changes often, and operational teams who are focused on applications running smoothly.
  • Improved productivity: CI/CD is the vital element that enables effective collaboration on technologies, practices, and project priorities and thanks to automation and continuous testing during the delivery process, productivity is increased every step of the way.
Continuous integration, continuous delivery and continuous deployment are also essential components of many key DevOps practices here at Hentsu. We have seen other methods that help with us innovate fast through code and focus on cloud-native applications. Also, automation tools such as Ansible and the benefits of Serverless Technologies is something that helped us gather great expertise in managing, deploying and complex data workloads. Cloud-native applications, and serverless architectures, are topics we will be digging into in our next blog post, so stay tuned.

Date/Time

Date(s) - 01/01/1970
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Location

600 5th ave. NY, NY
The latest wave of technology news unveils more stories about how cloud computing is taking part in the huge shift that is currently happening on both the digital and financial markets. In this Hentsu tech news round-up, we look at how banks are steering their attention towards cloud adoption.  

Big Banks Look to the Cloud to Accelerate Digital Shift 

There is a growing trend on the financial market to embrace the public cloud space for businesses and company operations. Now, high performance computing, grid computing and cloud computing are becoming more important than ever  Last week, several big-name companies were seen going into partnerships with key players on the public cloud scene. Amazon Web Services has “struck a big new deal with HSBC while Google announced partnerships with Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.  One of the most obvious reasons for these deals is that banks are under a great deal of pressure, due to financial expenses caused by the lockdown – a general economic declinemajor loan losses etc. Their goal now is to cut costs as much as possible  On that note, the public cloud is practically a godsend, and various cloud services are structured according to the pay-as-you-go-modelas opposed to coughing up huge budgets and millions of investments upfront.   News via FT 

How Computing has Evolved, and Why Multi-Cloud is the Future 

For the past few years, much of the tech and IT scene is utility-driven, mostly resorting to open-source tools and, of course, the benefits of fresh solutions and tools. The primary drive for most companies is having to deal with big data, but handling the process with care, and consideration. So, it only makes sense that the world is turning to innovative technologies.   Word is that this is the case with "cloud computing, which has promised cheaper storage and computing costs, data inputs from more sources, and the capability for better analytics. It is a big reason there has been a data explosion over the past decade. It’s why we have ride-sharing businesses, social media, internet-connected products, and public databases for health research.   News via Forbes 

Banks Enumerate the Benefits of Cloud Computing 

There is an increasing amount of businesses in the market that are looking to boost their productivity and improve handling of massive workloads through cloud computing. The latest data is showing how banks are hoping on the cloud bandwagon more than ever  Here's a snip: "The online forum explored how cloud computing can improve business agility, sustainability, and accelerate recovery in this new economic landscape. Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale."  This is yet another example of how large companies that handle finance, such banks headquartered in Singapore, India, and Thailand, are now relying increasingly on a variety of cloud computing products.  News via BusinessWorld. 

Date/Time

Date(s) - 01/01/1970
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Location

600 5th ave. NY, NY
In these turbulent times, and with an increased need to work remotely, people are striving towards better and faster communication. During the past several months, as the world faces a global crisis, we are seeing more cloud-powered solutions that help businesses streamline their workflow and increase their productivity. Microsoft Teams has already brought a variety of innovative elements. MS is taking huge steps to improve the efficiency of business communication, by adding a rich assortment of features for video meetings, calls, chats, as well as new IT administration controls, fresh features for developers, etc.  

Microsoft Teams - Collaboration Enhanced  

Feast your eyes on a whole new range of options that are both useful and fun 

  • More Simultaneous videos in Teams meetings - Microsoft increased the number of simultaneous videos during Teams meetings from 4 to 9. 
  • Raise Hands – Click on the ‘raise hand’ icon, politely have your say, without interrupting whoever is speaking.  
  • Background effects – Choose from a variety of cool backgrounds or create your own branded custom background.  
  • Tasty visual improvements – Background Blur for iOS, and Live captions in iOS and Android were added. 

Microsoft 365 Live Event Limit Boosted  

Satisfying today’s communication needs, the MS 365 package features increased limit for live events hosted in Teams, Stream and Yammer.  
  • 10,000 attendees 
  • 50 events hosted across one tenan 
Microsoft is allowing 100,000 attendees via the Live Events Assistance Program, through October 1, 2020.  

IT Admin Features – Meeting and Dashboard Controls   

Upgradedmeetings and dashboardallow for instant meetings and calls for user feedbackThe additions also help use Power BI capabilities, while other enhancements include Local Media Optimizationand more.  

Develop, Stay Safe and Educate

The new iteration of MS Teams features Power Automate triggersallowing users to build flows directly in TeamsAlso, you can keep protocols with compliance recording - for companies within regulated industries  MS is also helping folks educate others, and they are offering instructions on how to set up your classroom for better remote learning and education, improved safety and more 

Communication, Safety and Functionality  

Microsoft is clearly enhancing its powerful communication tool with more goodies, and increased functionality. Collaboration for remote working is now a vital part for business continuity. On that note, we invite you to watch our detailed MS Teams guide the Microsoft Modern Workplace, where you will get an extensive video guide on various improvements, and options.  

Date/Time

Date(s) - 01/01/1970
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Location

600 5th ave. NY, NY