Microsoft Outperforms Amazon (and everyone else) in Independent Review of Cloud Storage

Nasuni has just published a review of major cloud storage providers and benchmarked them for performance, availability and scalability.  Last year, Amazon came out on top but this year, Microsoft has taken the top spot. 

This year, our tests revealed that Microsoft Azure Blob Storage has taken a significant
step ahead of last year’s leader, Amazon S3, to take the top spot. Across three primary
tests (performance, scalability and stability), Microsoft emerged as a top performer in
every category. Even though Azure has not been in the market as long as S3 and does
not have nearly the same volume of storage under management, it is clear that Microsoft’s investments in Azure are starting to pay dividends and that the technology they are providing to the market is second to none.

In the 2012 report, they tested Amazon S3 and Azure Blob Storage as well as Rackspace, HP and Google. 

This report also clearly shows that Cloud is becoming a two horse race with Amazon and Microsoft.  If you look at the other Cloud providers such as HP, Rackspace and Google they performed considerably poorer on just about every test.

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Microsoft’s Latest Earnings Show Continued Explosive Growth in Cloud

Microsoft’s Q1 earnings were just published and the results were in line with expectations.

Cloud revenue continues to be the biggest growth area for Microsoft as customers move to Office 365 and Azure. 

Revenue from Office 365 has grown by 100% and Azure revenue has grown by 150%!

Office 365 continues to be the growth engine as both consumers and commercial customers move to the platform as their preferred method for buying Office.  There are now another 1 million home subscribers for a total of 4.4 million.

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Fixed SharePoint 2013 SP1 Just Released

Microsoft has just released a newly updated version of SharePoint Service Pack 1.

As posted previously, Microsoft released SP1 and then recalled the update because it was going to have future compatibility problems. 

For those customers who previously installed SP1 and are wondering how to fix the problems in the previous version, the prescribed advice from Microsoft is as follows:

Customers with Service Pack 1 Deployed

For customers who have previously deployed Service Pack 1, download the updated Service Pack 1 and install over the existing Service Pack 1 running PSConfig or PSConfigUI immediately following.

As with most service packs, you might want to wait a little while before installing this update and make sure you test it thoroughly before deploying to production.

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Yammer Achieves ISO 27001 Security Certification

Yammer : The enterprise social network

Over the past 12-18 months, Microsoft has been investing in external security/privacy certifications to prove the overall compliance for their cloud services.  Notably, Office 365 is now ISO 27001, HIPPA, FISMA and the European Union’s privacy laws.

Microsoft has now just announced that Yammer is also now ISO 27001 certified.  Given Yammer’s important relationship with Office 365, it is a key requirement for Yammer to support the same certifications as Office 365 as business users transparently move documents, content and information from SharePoint to Yammer and back again.

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Office Mix: Microsoft’s New Interactive Storytelling and Teaching Tool

Microsoft has released a preview version of its new “Office Mix” tool, an interactive storytelling, presentation and teaching tool based on Microsoft PowerPoint.

Having worked with tools such as Adobe Captivate, this seems to be similar but updated to take advantage of cloud based delivery, touch based tablets and web cam driven video.  The idea is to capture what you are presenting in real time through your web cam and hand writing on the touch screen. The product is free with an Office 2013 subscription.

Learning Management Systems have been around for decades and content authoring tools have typically adopted a standard called SCORM for authoring structured lessons with quizzes, tracking and analytics.  There is a free open source SharePoint based LMS that supports this standard called the SharePoint Learning Kit.   This allows you to take your content and move it into any compliant LMS.  There is no mention of SCORM in Microsoft’s new tool so stay tuned as it evolves to see if this is more of an interactive presentation tool or a true lesson content authoring tool that supports SCORM as a standard.

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Comparing SQL 2014 Performance Under Local and Azure Configurations

One of my work colleagues, Sergei Mizrokhi, has just conducted some performance analysis comparing different deployment configurations of SQL Server 2014.  See his blog post for the details.

He ran tests against the following scenarios:

  • SQL Server 2014 running locally on premise
  • SQL Server 2014 running in Azure using virtual disk attached storage
  • SQL Server 2014 running in Azure using BLOB storage

Here are the results measured in the number of transactions per second (higher transactions is better performance):

As you can see, the local disk performs significantly better in his tests.  Using BLOB storage also seems to perform better than disks attached directly to the VM.

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Fix for Broken SQL Server Integration Services Projects in Visual Studio 2012

After the latest SQL Server and Visual Studio updates, I was experiencing the following error every time I opened a SSIS project in Visual Studio 2012:

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After some digging, I found that there is a new Cumulative Update package 5 for SQL 2012.   In this update, there is a hotfix for this problem.

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The file you need is the second one on the list – if you provide your email Microsoft will send you a link to the file. 

Installing this hotfix solves the problem…

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Try the New Bing Translation Service

Bing logo orange RGB

Bing has a new translation service and a WordPress plugin for integrating it into your blog.

I have now installed it on my blog (which was super easy) – for those readers around the world, I would be interested in know whether the translation quality is any good…leave a comment if you want to provide feedback or send me a tweet at @microsofttrend.

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