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REDMOND, Wash., and BOSTON — March 23, 2018 — Microsoft Corp. and ClearSky Data announced they have entered into a licensing agreement to enable access to Microsoft’s Server Message Block (SMB) file transport technology for ClearSky’s on-demand, hybrid cloud storage service for backup and disaster recovery (DR). The agreement will enable users to seamlessly transport multiple files or programs between ClearSky’s service and Windows tools simultaneously.
“We are excited to announce this agreement with ClearSky Data to offer its customers our SMB file transport services for cloud-based storage solutions,” said Micky Minhas, head of Microsoft Technology Licensing. “This agreement demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to licensing our SMB intellectual property to enable innovative cloud solutions that integrate with the Windows ecosystem.”
“Our partnership with Microsoft offers ClearSky Data the opportunity to provide a more robust network file sharing protocol for our enterprise customers moving to the cloud,” said ClearSky CTO and co-founder Laz Vekiarides. “This will help our customers get to the cloud seamlessly and more easily access their programs and efficiently manage their data, which is key to the success of their cloud operations.”
Microsoft’s commitment to licensing IP
The partnership is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant technology ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, it has entered into more than 1,200 licensing agreements. More information about Microsoft’s licensing programs is available at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing.
About Microsoft Technology Licensing
Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC was formed in 2014 to acquire, manage and license Microsoft’s patent portfolio.
ClearSky® delivers on-demand primary storage, offsite backup and DR as a single service, and empowers enterprise IT teams with the flash performance of on-premises storage and the elasticity of the cloud while reducing their storage costs by +50%.
ClearSky allows enterprises to access all data wherever it’s needed, on-prem or in the cloud, without ever needing to replicate the data. The ClearSky service is fully elastic; pay for only what you use and scale up or down on-demand.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
For more information, press only:
Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, email@example.com
Melissa Cohen, Metis Communications for ClearSky Media, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.
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The Linux Foundation this week announced the formation of the LF Networking Fund, or LFN, an initiative to combine the multiple open source networking projects currently under its supervision.
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Host to many of the top open source networking projects, The Linux Foundation said it was time to streamline how it oversees its various ventures, said Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking and orchestration at The Linux Foundation.
The six founding open source projects involved in the LFN are FD.io, OpenDaylight, Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), PDNA and Streaming Network Analytics System. An additional 83 member organizations are participating in LFN. Members of The Linux Foundation can choose whether they want to join LFN, and they can participate in as many or as few of the projects as they want.
The open source networking projects will remain technically independent, maintaining their existing charters and working toward their individual releases — all of which are still on schedule, according to Joshipura. But the projects will be under a single governing board and will share financial resources and staff, he said.
The governing board will comprise chosen representatives from platinum, gold and silver members of The Linux Foundation. LNF also includes a technical advisory council (TAC) and marketing advisory council (MAC), with individual member representatives. The board and councils will allow LFN members to share project development, testing, deployment and architecture integration best practices, in addition to the regulations across projects.
“The finance, budgets, prioritization and strategy are functions of the governing board, with input from the TAC and the MAC,” Joshipura said. So, if a project requests additional money for testing or is ready for a project release, for example, it goes to the advisory councils with the requests, he added.
Another issue LFN hopes to address is that of onboarding virtual network functions (VNFs). Instead of having inconsistent processes for VNF onboarding, LFN will work toward a single architecture and process to support that effort, Joshipura said.
“We don’t want ONAP to do it one way and OPNFV to do it another way,” he said. “Now, it’s one way to do it across projects.”
The LF Networking Fund still business as usual
While the idea of cross-project collaboration has merit, Joshipura said LFN faces some challenges. One such challenge is simplifying the process to allow developers to join the projects.
“It [includes] a lot more education,” he said. “People do want to participate in other projects, but they’re not familiar with them. So, we want to make sure we bring the training from one project to another project.”
Lee Doyle, principal analyst at Doyle Research, said another issue that could trip up the initiative is the fact that The Linux Foundation is still a business — and all of these open source networking projects will still compete with each other.
“The Linux Foundation isn’t altruistic,” Doyle said. “It’s a business. People are still going to fight for resources and sponsors.”
While Joshipura stressed that the formal legal system outlined within LFN will make discussions and decisions simpler, Doyle said it still means a bunch of meetings.
It’s a laudable goal, he said, but any progress within the LF Networking Fund will take time.
As previously announced, you can gift select Xbox One digital games and downloadable game content (durables only) as well as Xbox Live Gold (not available in all regions) and Xbox Game Pass subscriptions, right from Microsoft Store on the Xbox One family of devices, Windows 10, or online – just in time for the holidays.
Here’s what you need to know about giving or receiving a game gift:
In Microsoft Store on Xbox One, those giving gifts can enter the email address of the gift recipient, or choose a Gamertag from their Xbox Live friends. In Microsoft Store on Windows 10 and online, customers will need to know the email of the recipient in order to send a gift.
Gift recipients will receive a code for their digital gift via an email message that contains instructions on how to redeem the code. The email is sent immediately upon gift purchase. In addition to receiving a gift message via email, on Xbox, gift recipients will receive a system message from Xbox Live containing the code for the digital item along with a “one-click” redemption button to streamline code redemption.
Read more about gift giving over at Xbox Wire.
To celebrate this new feature, we are giving away some gifts of our own over the next couple of weeks!
I will be giving away three Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition consoles over the next few weeks. A winner will randomly be selected on December 08th, 15th and 22nd. You only need to enter once to be eligible to win in all three random drawings. I will update this post each week with the winner, so be sure to check back to see if you’ve won.
- How do you enter for a chance to win?
Simple. All you have to do is answer the question and submit your entry using the below form:
Project Scorpio Xbox One X Giveaway
Note: Do NOT leave an entry in the comments or on Twitter. Only entries using the entry form above will be accepted.
- What can you win?
Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition console (1TB) – includes console, vertical stand, Project Scorpio Edition wireless controller and Xbox Game Pass subscription (1 month).
- What are the rules?
Submit your entry using the form above.
Do not @ reply me on Twitter or leave a comment below. That will not count!
Deadline to enter is 7:00 pm ET / 4:00 pm PT on Thursday, 21 December. One entry per person. Contest is open to everyone but prize availability might not be available in all regions. The winners will be notified on December 08th, 15th and 22nd.
I will update this post with a list of the winners and/or their Gamer Tags after they have redeemed the prize.
Have fun and good luck!
Note: Any winner who does not respond to my email notification within 72 hours will forfeit the prize. Only entries received at www.majornelson.com using the submission form will be considered. For more information on contest rules, please visit this website.
Today we announced the Public Preview availability of Azure Location Based Services (LBS). LBS is a portfolio of geospatial service APIs natively integrated into Azure that enable developers, enterprises and ISVs to create location aware apps and IoT, mobility, logistics and asset tracking solutions. The portfolio currently comprises of services for Map Rendering, Routing, Search, Time Zones and Traffic. In partnership with TomTom and in support of our enterprise customers, Microsoft has added native location capabilities to the Azure public cloud.
Azure LBS uses key-based authentication. To get a key, go to the Azure portal and create and Azure LBS account. By creating an Azure LBS account, you automatically generate two Azure LBS keys. Both keys will authenticate requests to the various Azure LBS services. Once you have your account and your keys, you’re ready to start accessing Azure Location Based Services. And, the API model is simple to use. Simply parameterize your URL request to get rich responses from the service:
Sample Address Search Request: atlas.microsoft.com/search/address/json?api-version=1&query=1 Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA
Azure Map Control
The Azure Map Control makes it simple for developers to jumpstart their development. By adding a few lines of code to any HTML document, you get a fully functional map.
Hello Azure LBS
In the above code sample, be sure to replace [AZURE_LBS_KEY] with your actual Azure LBS Key created with your Azure LBS Account in the Azure portal.
The Azure LBS Render Service is use for fetching maps. The Render Service is the basis for maps in Azure LBS and powers the visualizations in the Azure Map Control. Users can request vector-based map tiles to render data and apply styling on the client. The Render Service also provides raster maps if you want to embed a map image into a web page or application. Azure LBS maps have high fidelity geographic information for over 200 regions around the world and is available in 35 languages and two versions of neutral ground truth.
The Azure LBS cartography was designed from the ground up and created with the enterprise customer in mind. There are lower amounts of information at lower levels of delineation (zooming out) and higher fidelity information as you zoom in. The design is meant to inspire enterprise customers to render their data atop of Azure LBS Maps without additional detail bleeding through disrupting the value of customer data.
The Azure LBS Routing Service is used for getting directions, but not just point A to point B directions. The Azure LBS Routing Service has a slew of map data available to the routing engine allowing it to modify the calculated directions based on a variety of scenarios. First, the Routing Service provides customers the standard routing capabilities they would expect with a step-by-step itinerary. The calculation of the route can use the faster, shortest or avoiding highly congested roads or traffic incidents. For traffic-based routing, this comes in two flavors: “historic” which is great for future route planning scenarios when users would like to have a general idea of what traffic tends to look like on a given route; and, “live” which is ideal for active routing scenarios when a user is leaving now and wants to know where traffic exists and the best ways to avoid it.
Azure LBS Routing will allow for commercial vehicle routing providing alternate routes made just for trucks. The commercial vehicle routing supports parameters such as vehicle height, weight, the number of axels and hazardous material contents all to choose the best, safest and recommend roads for transporting their haul. The Routing Service provides a variety of travel modes, including walking, biking, motorcycling, taxiing or van routing.
Customers can also specify up to 50 waypoints along their route if they have pre-determined stops to make. If customers are looking for the best order in which to stop along their route, they can have Azure LBS determine the best order in which to route to multiple stops by passing up to 20 waypoints into the Routing Service where an itinerary will be generated for them.
Using the Azure LBS Route Service, customers can also specify arrival times when they need to be at a specific location by a certain time. Using the massive amount of traffic data, almost a decade of probes captured per geometry and high frequency intervals Azure LBS can let customers know given day or the week and time when is the best time of departure. Additionally, Azure LBS can use current traffic conditions to notify customers of a road change that may impact their route and provide updated times and/or alternate routes.
Azure LBS can also take into considering the engine type being used. By default, Azure LBS assumes a combustion engine is being used; however, if an electrical engine is in use Azure LBS will accept input parameters for power settings and generate the most energy efficient route.
The Routing Services also allows for multiple, alternate routes to be generated in a single query. This will save on over the wire transfer. Customers can also specify that they would like to avoid specific route types such as toll roads, freeways, ferries or carpool roads.
Sample Commercial Vehicle Route Request: atlas.microsoft.com/route/directions/json?api-version=1&query=52.50931,13.42936:52.50274,13.43872&travelMode=truck
The Azure LBS Search Service provides the ability for customers to find real world objects and their respective location. The Search Service provides for three major functions:
- Geocoding: Finding addresses, places and landmarks
- POI Search: Finding businesses based on a location
- Reverse Geocoding: Finding addresses or cross streets based on a location
With the Search Service, customers can find addresses and places from around the world. Azure LBS supports address level geocoding in 38 regions, cascading to house numbers, street-level and city level geocoding for other regions of the world. Customers can pass addresses into the service based in a structured address form; or, they can use an unstructured form when they want to allow for their customers to search for addresses, places or business in a single query. Users can restrict their searches by region or bounding box and can query for a specific coordinate to influence the search results to improve quality. Reverse the query to provide a coordinate, say from a GPS receiver, customers can get the nearest address or cross street returned from the service.
The Azure LBS Search Service also allows customers to query for business listings. The Search Service contains hundreds of categories and hundreds of sub-categories for finding businesses or points of interest around a specific point or within a bounding area. Customers can query for businesses based on brand name or general category and filter those results based on location, bounding box or region.
Sample POI Search Request (Key Required): atlas.microsoft.com/search/poi/category/json?api-version=1&query=electric%20vehicle%20station&countrySet=FRA
Time Zone Service
The Azure LBS Time Zone Service is a first of it’s kind providing the ability to query time zones and time for locations around the world. Customers can now submit a location to Azure LBS and receive the respective time zone, the respective time in that time zone and the offset to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The Time Zone Service provides access to historical and future time zone information including changes for daylight savings. Additionally, customers can query for a list of all the time zones and the current version of the data – allowing customers to optimize their queries and downloads. For IoT customers, the Azure LBS Time Zone Service allows for POSIX output, so users can download information to their respective devices that only infrequently access the internet. Additionally, for Microsoft Windows users, Azure LBS can transform Windows time zone IDs to IANA time zone IDs.
Sample Time Zone Request (Key Required): atlas.microsoft.com/timezone/byCoordinates/json?api-version=1&query=32.533333333333331,-117.01666666666667
The Azure LBS Traffic Service provides our customers with the ability to overlay and query traffic flow and incident information. In partnership with TomTom, Azure LBS will have access to a best in class traffic product with coverage in 55 regions around the world. The Traffic Service provides the ability to natively overlay traffic information atop of the Azure Map Control for a quick and easy means of viewing traffic issues. Additionally, customers have access to traffic incident information – real time issues happening on the road and collected through probe information on the roads. The traffic incident information provides additional detail such as the type of incident and the exact location. The Traffic Service will also provide our customers with details of incidents and flow such as the distance and time from one’s current position to the “back of the line;” and, once a user is in the traffic congestion the distance and time until they’re out of it.
Sample Traffic Flow Segment Request: atlas.azure-api.net/traffic/flow/segment/json?api-version=1&unit=MPH&style=absolute&zoom=10&query=52.41072,4.84239
Azure Location Based Services are available now in public preview via the Azure portal. Get your account created today.
On Monday, cloud CMS vendor Acquia Inc. announced Michael Sullivan, former Hewlett Packard Enterprise senior vice president and general manager for SaaS, has been named the company’s new CEO. Sullivan will move into the position next month.
SearchContentManagement interviewed Sullivan and Acquia co-founder Dries Buytaert, who was also the lead developer on the open source Drupal content management system, upon which the Acquia CMS is based. Buytaert remains Acquia’s CTO and also takes over as board chair.
Dries, according to your blog, there were more than 140 candidates to succeed longtime CEO Tom Erickson. How did Acquia choose Michael Sullivan?
Dries Buytaert: There are a lot of reasons. First of all, there’s a very good fit with Mike. That’s not just a good fit between him and me, but also to our culture and personality and how we think about different things, like the importance of cloud and open source. I also felt Mike was really well-prepared to lead our business. Mike has 25 years [of] experience with software as a service, enterprise content management and content governance. Mike has worked with small companies, as well as larger companies.
At HP Enterprise and Micro Focus [acquired by HPE], Mike was responsible for managing more than 30 SaaS products. Acquia is evolving its product strategy to go beyond Drupal and the cloud to become a multiproduct company with Acquia Digital Asset Manager and Acquia Journey. So, our own transformation as a company is going from a single-product company to a multiproduct company. Mike is uniquely qualified to help us with that, based on his experience.
Mike, why was it a fit for you, and what excites you about the market position of the Acquia CMS and the company’s future as a cloud CMS provider?
Michael Sullivan: I’ve been involved in both [enterprise] content management and web content management during the course of my career, so it’s not new to me. I’ve always found it interesting and have had a lot of success in this space, broadly. There’s a fundamental shift that’s occurring in the content management world, where people are moving from static web presence to a different model of engaging with their customers — an intelligent digital experience.
Companies will need to compete on that basis in the future, and they need to have personalized experiences and work with customers through lots of channels, not just the website. Acquia sits at the intersection of a lot of these technologies — Drupal, open source, SaaS, DevOps, machine learning, predictive analytics. If you look at what Acquia’s already done and what they’re working on, this is a company that has the right vision and a proven ability to execute … and a history of winning. That was important to me; it makes it believable to me this company will succeed.
What do you see as Acquia’s biggest challenges moving forward the next few years?
Sullivan: There’s a lot of work to do. We have to move fast; we have to execute well. Our challenge is execution — we know what we want to build, [and] we know where we want to go. The question is: How do we get there, and how do we get there efficiently?
What is the role of AI in the future of content management and the Acquia CMS?
Buytaert: There’s a big future for AI in our space; it’s something we’re investing in, with a team of six people working on machine learning solutions in our space. We believe we are in the early stages of what will be a pretty big transformation of the web, or digital.
Historically, the web has been pull-based: You have to go to the web and search for information. We believe, in the future, more of those experiences will become push-based: Information will start to find you. The Holy Grail is delivering customers the right information for the right service at the right time, in the right context, on the right channel — web, mobile, chatbots or voice assistants. That’s a pretty big vision.
Dries Buytaertco-founder, Acquia
To [accomplish] that, you need to build systems that are smart and can predict what users want at what point in time. If you can do that, you can really change the customer experience. Instead of having the customer find the information, it increasingly comes to you.
There’s a lot of early examples of that; a simple example is [music streaming services] Spotify and Pandora. The old pull-based model is turning the knob on your radio to find the music that you want; Spotify and Pandora push you information that you like, so you don’t have to go look for it. We think that will happen across every industry, and the Acquia platform will help companies build these digital experiences.
Dries, Acquia is expanding past the original concept of Drupal with headless CMS and all of these new SaaS offerings and CRM-style tools to help companies service customers. What will become of Drupal?
Buytaert: One of the great things about Drupal is that there aren’t a lot of technologies that remain relevant for 18 years [since Drupal debuted]. The reason Drupal has been successful is that we’ve literally reinvented ourselves more than 10 times. Drupal is evolving quite rapidly; I would argue we’re ahead — an API-first player, compared to our proprietary competitors.
Drupal is evolving from a website management system to a digital experience platform; it’s becoming a content repository, where you can manage content and can feed that content into a variety of different touchpoints or channels. It’s not just specialized in creating HTML output for webpages, but we have integrations with Alexa, chatbots, digital kiosks, [and] we have a long list of customers who come to us because they want to move beyond building websites.
We’ve been investing in headless Drupal for four years, since before it was called headless. I feel like we spotted those trends and have done a pretty good job going after them earlier than our competitors.
Mike, what will the Acquia CMS look like in five years?
Sullivan: We have big ambitions for this space. Some of these pieces we already have plans for. I think we’ll be in the position to do acquisitions over time. Obviously, I haven’t had my first day yet, so it’s hard to say for sure, but we think we are well-positioned to fill in all these pieces [to build the next-generation digital experience platform]. Five years is a long time; I’d like to think that we’ll be able to do it a lot sooner than that.