When one looks back at 2020, it would not be wrong to say that it was the year of the cloud. With enterprises forced to abandon conventional work practices in keeping with the pandemic situation, cloud got a huge boost. Here we list some of the major announcements in the cloud in 2020.
AWS re:Invent 2020
AWS’ annual event, one of the key cloud computing-related occurrences, was held virtually this year and spread across three weeks. The event (which is still in progress), saw major announcements made by the key leadership. On the first day itself, during the keynote address, AWS CEO Andy Jassy spoke about major releases and updates. Some of these announcements are:
- Launch of AWS Trainium, the second custom machine learning chip from AWS. Trainium is projected to provide the best price-performance for training machine learning models on the cloud.
- Announcement of SageMaker Data Wrangler, a new AWS service that reduces the time taken to aggregate and prepares data for machine learning from weeks to just a few minutes.
- Amazon DevOps Guru, a newly announced, fully managed operations service to improve application availability by identifying operational issues and also recommending automated resolutions.
- Update on Amazon QuickSight, a machine learning-powered business intelligence service for the cloud to understand the relationship between data and build indexes.
- Other significant announcements include — Amazon Lookout for Equipment, Lookout for Vision, and Amazon Paranoma.
Major Cloud Acquisitions
Despite the slump that was predicted due to the pandemic situation across the globe, things seemed positive on the tech merger and acquisitions front. Some of the major acquisitions in the cloud technology space were:
- Google Cloud acquires Appsheet: This was one of the first major acquisitions of 2020, where Google Cloud bought the Seattle-based startup specialising in no-code software development, for an undisclosed amount.
- Salesforce acquires Vlocity: In another acquisition, at the beginning of 2020, Salesforce picked up San-Francisco based Vlocity for $1.33 billion.
- Salesforce’s acquisition of Slack: This deal comes towards the end of the year, but was quickly labelled as the biggest of 2020. The cloud-based software company bought chat software developer Slack for over $27 billion.
- Twilio acquires Segment: In a $3.2 billion all-stock deal, cloud communications specialist Twilio bought customer data platform Segment to advance its customer engagement services.
- Zoom bought Keyspace: A video conferencing app, based on a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform was acquired, this year, by an end-to-end encryption specialist Keyspace for an undisclosed amount.
- Sinch picked up SAP Digital Interconnect: In a deal costing £198 million, Swedish cloud communications company bought SAP Digital Interconnect, which is SAP’s mobile unit.
Azure Build 2020
In another major cloud event of 2020 — Azure Build 2020 — Microsoft has made a few announcements on expanding its capabilities for Azure Cloud. Some of the major announcements included:
- Microsoft announced Azure Arc powered by Kubernetes which can be used by customers to connect and configure any Kubernetes cluster over different infrastructures.
- Developed in collaboration with OpenAI, Microsoft also announced one of the most powerful AI supercomputers built on the Azure cloud platform.
- In addition to the existing Synapse Analytics, which is a single managed service for analytics over data lake and warehouse, Microsoft announced Azure Synapse Link. This extends the service to operational data sources.
- Microsoft additionally announced updates to Power Platform and gave an insight into its healthcare-related initiatives.
Cloud-Related Investments In India
Some of the major cloud-related investments in India include:
- Google announced its plans of opening a Delhi cloud region. This is touted to expand Google’s existing network, which stands at one region in India (Mumbai), eight across the Asia Pacific, and 22 across the globe.
- The Canada-based quantum computing company, D-Wave Systems has also announced expanding its Leap cloud access and quantum application environment in India and Australia. As per the company’s spokesperson, with this introduction, users will get real-time access to commercial quantum computers.
- After launching its first cloud region in Mumbai in 2019, Oracle, this year, opened its second one in Hyderabad. This was in response to the growing customer demand for enterprise cloud services.
- AWS, in collaboration with NITI Aayog, has established ‘Frontier Technologies Cloud Innovation Center’ — a first in India — to help in addressing societal challenges through digital innovations.
- In May, Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) also announced deploying four cloud-enabled COVID-19 test labs along with four outpatient department centres across the country.
Major Google Cloud Announcements
Google Cloud launched Lending DocAI in October to speed up mortgage processing. It is the first vertically specialised solution designed for the mortgage industry to fast track the home loan process. It will help in advancing and automating the process of home mortgage loan evaluation with the assistance of machine learning techniques.
In another attempt, Google Cloud announced BigQuery Omni, which is a multi-cloud analytics solution to enable customers to utilise the facilities of BigQuery to the data stored in Google Cloud, AWS, and Azure.
Google Cloud has also announced additional features in its multi-cloud application platform, Anthos. With these features, enterprises will be able to modernise their existing applications, along with building new ones that could be run anywhere in a secure way.
Bharti Airtel Launches Airtel IQ
India’s largest integrated telecommunications company, Bharti Airtel announced its entry into the cloud communications market with Airtel IQ.
A cloud-based omnichannel communication platform, Airtel IQ will help brands such as Swiggy, Urban Company, Justdial, Rapido, Havells to enhance engagement with their customers through timely and secure communication over the cloud.
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I am a journalist with a postgraduate degree in computer network engineering. When not reading or writing, one can find me doodling away to my heart’s content.