The major cloud providers’ response to Covid19Posted on October 22nd, 2020
One of the most publicized effects of the Covid-19 pandemic is that it has dramatically increased cloud adoption across the globe. As more enterprises switch over to the cloud, providers like Amazon’s AWS, Google’s GCC, and Microsoft’s Azure are building out capacity in their data centers to meet the increase in demand. But that’s not all they’re investing in.
Providers are also putting out innovative new cloud products to try to entice cloud newcomers to their particular platform. New offerings in security, budgeting, devops & development tools, and a lot more have come out in 2020, and there’s still more to come. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the major cloud providers’ response to Covid19 and what they have developed in response to the pandemic.
Microsoft definitely saw an opportunity to expand its work from home tooling over the past year. Tools like Office 365, which combine desktop software with a cloud backend, have gotten a lot of attention. Similarly, Azure Virtual Desktop, which provides managed cloud-based desktops for end users, got a lot of attention. Both got loads of new features, but also significant experience upgrades to make them run faster and more stably.
Recognizing that the new work-from-home lifestyle was going to spur cloud adoption, Azure has also beefed up its hybrid and cloud-transition tools. Azure Arc, a management tool for coordinating cloud workloads, has gotten a lot of attention in the past few months. It now has vastly increased support for running hybrid workloads, making the transition to the cloud easier.
Amazon typically releases new major products at its Re:Invent conference towards the end of the year, and 2020 is no different. Expect the biggest news in late November when the conference starts. But that doesn’t mean they’ve been resting on their laurels.
The biggest cloud provider rolled out some huge changes to its budgeting offering over the last few months. AWS Budgets got both cheaper and more featureful, with new possible actions to take when you set a monthly budget and exceed it. This is pretty significant: a major complaint with AWS before was that there weren’t good tools for sticking to a budget.
Another big rollout? New features for AWS Glue, their big data analysis package. Recognizing that more and more analysis is moving to the cloud, Amazon invested in their data engineering tools in a big way this year. While Glue is a big part of analysis workloads, expect even more rollouts at Re:Invent in the cloud-based analysis space.
Finally, Google rolled out a lot of connectivity tools company-wide, which included lots of innovation for their Google Cloud offering. Like Microsoft, Google invested heavily in their worker-facing products to meet the huge surge in work-from-home demand. You may have seen their improvements to Google Meet, their answer to Zoom, on your phone or in your mail app. This was part of a larger push for Google Workspaces, their answer to Office 365 and other productivity suites.
Coupled with those were big investments in the security space, where Google is definitely a leader. Google rolled out major new cloud security features at the RSA Security Conference, including automated threat detection, a programmable API for risk analysis, and other tooling to make automating security easier.
Lastly, and continuing on the theme of infrastructure investment, Google rolled out plans for new transatlantic undersea cables for connectivity between the US and the UK, and mainland Europe. This promises to dramatically reduce latency between the two continents, and highlights another way Google stands out in its cloud strategy. By building its own cable segments between the US, Asia, Africa, and Europe, Google can prioritize its own traffic and offer unmatched speed.
In response to Covid19, cloud providers have definitely stepped up their investments in response to the huge increase in demand. Every provider added new data centers to increase availability, built out networking to decrease latency, and lowered prices to attract new consumers. Whether you’re an experienced cloud consumer or just starting the transition as a result of the changing work landscape, these investments will make your life easier.
If your IT architecture has significantly changed in recent months and you had to rush to meet internal demand, it may be worth looking at your cloud strategy. Even small tweaks can save you in the long term, especially with all the new tooling and features that have come out of the major providers in the last few months. Send us a message. We’re glad to look over your strategy and find you some efficiencies.