IBM opens San Francisco office for Watson developer cloud

IBMIBM has opened a new office in San Francisco to channel further growth in its supercomputing business as it claims 77,000 developers across the world are using its Watson Developer Cloud to pilot, test and deploy new business ideas.

The San Francisco office will open in 2016 to give local start ups access to Watson technology for their software projects. The facility will include resources dedicated to IBM’s new Spark processing technology as the vendor seeks to get Spark users interested in Watson, it said. IBM claims 100 companies have released software services based on Watson.

With a reported $ 100 million of venture capital fund earmarked for startups looking to build products on Watson, IBM now plans to offer its nascent partners technical support and consultancy on business plans, in addition to market making initiatives that include introductions to potential customers.

In September IBM opened a new Watson Health business centre in the Boston area to target the health sector and pharmaceutical industry. The new cloud initiative comes in the wake of reports of declining revenues in 13 consecutive quarters, while the app economy is ‘in full swing’, as IBM described it, with industry revenue projected to grow to $ 143 billion in 2016, according to analyst IDC. By 2018 half of all consumers will interact with services based on cognitive computing on a regular basis, according to the analyst.

IBM also announced a new expanded portfolio of application programming interfaces into Watson, bring the net total to 50. IBM’s cloud development partners have created systems for query support for card payments, customer support Q&As for financial services, live event media aggregation ‘as a service’ social marketing and apps for the entertainment and marketing industries. Early investment partners include WayBlazer, Sellpoints, Welltok, Pathway Genomics, Modernizing Medicine and Fluid.

In the UK, IBM has created three new Watson partners 50wise, Volume and SocialBro, which have created cloud apps for financial services, sales training and online marketing.


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Cisco strengthens China operations with Inspur joint venture

Cisco corporateCisco Systems is to form a joint venture with Chinese server maker Inspur, selling networking and cloud computing products in China. Cisco and Inspur will jointly invest $ 100 million in the project.

The partnership comes in the face of mutual suspicion between the US and Chinese government amid claims and counter claims of state sponsored cyber security threats.

In June Cisco was forced to remove several of its senior executives in China, amid reports of falling sales slide and Chinese government fears about the foreign ownership of networking equipment.

Cisco’s China sales fell 20 per cent on the previous year in the quarter ending on April 25 at a time when its global revenue gained 5.1 per cent. As its share of the Chinese router market fell from 21.2 per cent to 9.4 per cent the lost sales went to local rival Huawei Technologies, according to Bernstein Research.

Direct selling became more challenging, The Wall Street Journal has reported, after US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden said the NSA put surveillance tools in US technology products sold overseas.

US-Chinese technology company partnerships are growing in number and Microsoft announced on Thursday an alliance with Baidu and the Chinese state-owned private investment firm Tsinghua Unigroup on cloud technology. Last week Dell unveiled plans to invest $ 125 billion over five years in China. Earlier this year, IBM pledged to help develop China’s advanced chip industry with a ‘Made with China’ strategy, while chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm are developing chips with smaller Chinese companies.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s arrived in Seattle this morning on a state visit to the US.

Chinese officials have said the partnerships will follow the pattern of car manufacturing agreements in the past, with foreign technology firms granted market access in return for shared technology and co-operation with Chinese industry.


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Google Offers Cheaper Version of Cloud Services to Run Low Priority Jobs

Google Cloud 300x267 Google Offers Cheaper Version of Cloud Services to Run Low Priority JobsSome departments in your company do not need cloud computing resources to carry high-performance tasks, right? Because Google has just formatted a service plan for such demands. Google launched Preemptible Virtual Machine, a new cloud service that allows to use computing resources at low costs. The offer is suitable for workloads with low priority and can, therefore, be interrupted.

The search giant introduced a new cloud platform that cost 70% less than the same default setting in Compute Engine. The Preemptible Virtual Machine can do well cheap, about $ 0.01 per instance/hour. The most affordable VM charges per hour can range anywhere between $ 0.03 per hour, up to $ 0.11 per hour or more. The problem is that the VMs may stop working when you need it or face peak periods.

The company argues, however, that the offer (in beta) serves very well the various computational tasks. The company cites, for example, some critical workflows that can be distributed among multiple virtual machines. However, it would be a bad idea to adopt the approach to process analysis, modeling, and simulations that require high computing power and instant answers.

To provide the service, Google will use the free capacity in its data center. At times when there is a peak in demand and Google needs more resources, virtual machines involved in Preemptible Compute Engine VMs are recalled and interrupts the current processing. Users receive a notice period of 30 seconds, which should be enough to save your work. Google said No Preemptible VM can run for more than 24 hours straight.

According to the Google post, “all machine types are charged a minimum of 10 minutes. For example, if you run your instance for 2 minutes, you will be billed for 10 minutes of usage. After 10 minutes, instances are charged in 1 minute increments, rounded up to the nearest minute. For example, an instance that lives for 11.25 minutes will be charged for 12 minutes of usage.”

According to Google, there are many that utilize cloud scalability and pricing model to calculate relatively intensive, but short-term assignments. It includes the coding of video, reproduction of visual effects and calculations based on large amounts of information, such as in data analysis, simulation, and genomics.

The solution is quite similar to that of Spot Instances offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). The model of AWS differs in price. Google has a fixed cost while the competitor price varies according to demand.

The market leader AWS routinely cuts their cloud pricing. The company is facing tough competition with Google and Microsoft to maintain its lead in cloud computing and tries to woo more developers to come to its solutions with lower prices, more hardware offerings and more advanced technologies. Microsoft, on the other hand, progressed enough to be a serious threat to Amazon’s dominance in the market.

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