Cloud operating systems

2018. Largest software deal ever: IBM acquires Red Hat

IBM is to acquire Red Hat, a company that develops Linux operating system distributives. Linux is widely used in cloud computing platforms and this is the reason why IBM is making this deal. And  it turned out that this is a new record on the software market. Until now, the record belonged to Microsoft, which in 2016 bought LinkedIn social network for $26.2 billion. And if taking into account all IT deals, the new IBM purchase ranks 3rd. At the first place - the acquisition of EMC (the manufacturer of data storage systems) by Dell in 2015 ($67 billion).

2013. Microsoft pushing Cloud OS

As you know, Microsoft's Windows Azure is the leader in cloud platform market. It's just one of several options along with Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, OpenStack, VMWare vCloud. This situation is very frustrating for Microsoft, which used to be the exclusive platform (OS) vendor. Therefore, Microsoft is coming up with a new thing - Cloud OS. This is not a specific product, but rather a marketing term incorporating several systems: first of all Windows Azure, Windows Server and System Center. The idea is that the Cloud (the legendary thing that stores and processes data) is usually located not in the farm of specific provider (Amazon, Google or Microsoft). It also lives in a rented or own Internet servers and in the office (on local servers). Depending on task, budget and security requirements, each company may choose on where to host data and applications. So Microsoft offers the Cloud OS, and says that it's an operating system that manages all the cloud, no matter what computer resources it uses (cloud platform, rented servers, virtual servers, office servers). And companies can freely move data and applications between these places. Or, for example, use computing power from the Internet to solve the task if the local server has not enough enough power. I.e. you can think about Cloud OS as of supercomputer with unlimited power with flexible security settings. And all enterprise data and apps are working on this computer (think, in one place). And IT administrators can easily manage this supercomputer using a single control panel - System Center. But remember, all the components of this Cloud OS should only be made by Microsoft. If you want to use Amazon Web Services instead of Windows Azure, the thing won't work. I.e. if your company will start using Cloud OS, there will be no way back.

2010. Windows Azure - available. Google Apps Store - soon.

Today Microsoft has officially opened its cloud platform Windows Azure. It's a cloud for deploying SaaS services and hosting enterprise applications, that provides Microsoft-focused infrastructure and development tools. However, Azure also supports PHP, MySQL, Ruby on Rails, Python, Java, Eclipse and Zend. The main Azure advantage over Amazon Web Services and Rackspace Cloud is the high level of automation, allowing developers to focuse on their applications, rather than on the infrastructure. In addition, this platform enables to integrate hosted apps with the local IT infrastructure with the help of SOAP, REST and XML (thus supporting Microsoft's S+S strategy). The cost of using Windows Azure - is lower than the cost of Windows-infrastructure, built on Amazon. Also today Wall Street Journal reported that Google will open an application marketplace for Google Apps in March. As you know, something like this already exists (Google Solutions Marketplace), but its not very suitable and supposes separate payments for third-party providers. The new Google App Store will allow to easily add apps to your account and pay to Google for them (and Google will pay to the developers. It is rumored, that developers will get about 70%). In addition recently Google Apps Standard Edition users were allowed to automate some tasks in their online office suite using the Google Apps Script.