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Microsoft just came out with a private cloud…well, another one. They tried private cloud a few years ago, but quickly moved on to their Azure public cloud service. So far, they have been successful in promoting their public cloud, largely due to their existing customer base. Of course, AWS remains their largest competitor, but Microsoft’s growth has actually accelerated in the IaaS market.
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The larger question: how do the private clouds play within the enterprise? That is a larger question than the viability of Azure Stack. Microsoft is the latest to push private and hybrid cloud, but if they are successful, others are likely to enter, or reenter the market, perhaps even public cloud-only AWS and Google.
Azure Stack has been a long time coming. After a year of technical preview, Microsoft has now delivered the first long-awaited release to its hardware partners. These partners include Dell EMC, HPE, and Lenovo. The partners will begin shipping their integrated systems with Azure Stack in September.
My unscientific opinion is that I don’t see as many private cloud projects out there as a few years ago, but let’s look at the best available data. According to the widely-regarded RightScale state of the cloud report, private cloud has seen a decline in interest. Indeed, as depicted in Figure 1, both private and hybrid cloud (paired public and private clouds), fell a bit in the survey when enterprises were polled about “adopting” specific types of cloud. Public cloud adoption held steady.
RightScale is seeing some reduction in demand for hybrid and private cloud, while public cloud remains steady to growing.
In the same survey, when looking at expanding the use of cloud computing, including migration to the cloud, those citing the expansion of private cloud were dead last. This is relative to a strong interest in 2012 and 2013 as enterprises looked to move to the cloud, but being skeptical around public cloud security and losing control, opted for private cloud platforms.
From the same survey, it was revealed that “Expanding private clouds we use” fell down to last place in 2023.
Looking at these numbers, we see an expanding pattern of decline in both interest and deployment of private and hybrid clouds. Others see this as only a blip. Indeed, there are really no conclusive patterns, if you consider the last 10 years of cloud growth data, including the adoption of private and public clouds.
That said, there are some issues that are arising around the adoption of private clouds. Gartner’s Tom Bittman pointed out in 2023, that there were issues with 95 percent of private cloud deployments, according to a survey Gartner did at one of their conferences. “Focusing on the wrong benefits” was the biggest issue, with enterprises not creating key metrics to measure success or determine failure.
Most of the issues that surround private clouds are really unexpected, when you consider the hype of 10 years ago. Indeed, private clouds were likely a quick invention of traditional enterprise hardware and software providers who wanted to protect their turf, because they viewed public clouds as their market-killers.
These larger enterprise players had access to the hearts and minds of existing enterprise customers who were not glad to see public clouds finally emerge. Public clouds threatened their span of control and forced change in IT shops, where change was typically not wanted. This became the perfect storm of shared interests, and thus private clouds led the cloud computing market, at least, initially.
Reality soon set in. Enterprises that deployed private clouds, such as those based upon OpenStack, CloudStack, VMware, and others, struggled to get the private clouds up-and-running. Or to get any value out of them when they did get them running.
A summary of the complaints was as follows:
First, installation and configuration were complex. Those who implemented OpenStack-based private clouds had trouble getting the open source private cloud installed, tested, and stable. Failed OpenStack implantation projects outnumbered successes 2 to 1, no matter what distribution they selected.
While the more mature private clouds, such as those provide by VMware, seemed to provide better rates of success, they came at a cost that diminished the value that private cloud could bring.
Second, you still buy and own hardware. The promise of cloud computing was the ability to move away from CapEx to OpEx. Private clouds keep you back in CapEx. You can count on purchasing more hardware and software, and with it comes the expense of a data center and people to maintain the hardware and software.
Third, and perhaps the most compelling, the difference in features and functions. Public clouds, by their nature, can continuously expand features. For example, AWS with its “two pizza teams” can add hundreds of services per quarter, or improve the ones that they have.
Let’s say you want lots of different services, the most likely being security services, networking services, database services, governance services, and so on. You can find services in high quantity and quality at the big three public cloud providers. In the private cloud, most of that will be DIY, and some won’t be available at all.
Finally, it’s agility stupid. Private clouds can’t expand or change without some pain, whereas public clouds are better suited to change and expand. It’s a matter of leveraging the utilities model that public clouds leverage, versus the “owned stack” model that private clouds provide. One allows access to thousands of resources on-demand, the other requires that more traditional changes are made to hardware or software that you own and operate.
We’re finding that agility is a much great value provider than operational cost savings. This newly discovered metric continues to emerge as larger enterprises try to figure out the true value of cloud computing. In many cases, agility savings are 10x that of operational cost savings, with public clouds providing the most agility since you have a better ability to provision or change resources than private clouds.
Given the limitations of private clouds, and the fact that Microsoft has reentered the market, what does the future hold? A few core things are different about Microsoft’s offering.
Azure Stack is really a hybrid cloud sell, and since Microsoft owns the private cloud and public cloud sides of the offering, they can provide tighter integration than the traditional private clouds out there. Other open source private cloud platforms did not have public cloud platform analogs, where Microsoft Azure Stack does…Azure public cloud.
Will Microsoft save private clouds for widespread use? Not likely. However, they will save private clouds for their narrow market focus. Or, in other words, they will sell a private cloud that will serve their pubic cloud. Perhaps that’s what existing private cloud solutions were missing.
David Linthicum is SVP at Cloud Technology Partners.
You're reading Can Microsoft Save The Private Cloud?
There are emoji everywhere these days—but creating them doesn’t come cheap, and now, says the Unicode Consortium, it’s time to pay up.
Of course, the consortium puts it a little more nicely than that: It’s inviting people to sponsor a symbol for a year to help fund its work encoding languages that don’t yet have digital representations.
The Unicode developed and promoted by the consortium is composed of thousands of code points, each expressing a relation between a number and a symbol.
Those relations allow app developers, font developers and keyboard designers to agree that a given number stored in memory should appear as a given symbol—a particular emoji, say—on the screen, and that the symbol be the same regardless of which device the message is displayed on. If there wasn’t such agreement, then there’s a risk that when an Android user sent 💓, say, an iPhone user might receive 💩.
There’s more to Unicode than emoji. Its original purpose was to allow the encoding of the different scripts used to write the world’s major languages—the Latin alphabet used for English and the accented variations to write Western European languages; the Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek and Hebrew alphabets; Japanese syllabaries and the ideograms and other symbols used to write Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
“We currently support about 130 scripts or writing systems in Unicode, but there are something like another 150 that have yet to be encoded,” said Mark Davis, co-founder and president of the Unicode Consortium.
“With languages we fully support about 70, and partially support another 50, but there are very large number of spoken languages on the earth so we have a long way to go,” he said Wednesday.
Up to now, the scripts for those languages have largely been encoded by volunteers sitting at their desks. “Everything we do is supported by contributions of resources from volunteers, many of them from our member companies,” he said.
Other desk work has involved adding new emoji to Unicode to represent people of different ethnicities. Next on the list is addressing gender diversity.
“We are looking for some mechanisms to customize emoji, to address some of the remaining gender disparities,” said Davis. “For example, we have an emoji for a runner. The emoji is gender-neutral but when people put a colorful image to it, then they use one or other gender. We’re looking at a mechanism that would allow people to specify, this is a runner, and use a female person for it, or use a male person.”
“There are many languages, especially in Asia and Africa that have very little support. There are some languages of South America that are spoken by large populations, millions or tens of millions, that are not well supported,” he said.
To address some of those languages that haven’t yet received its attention, the consortium will need to adopt a different funding model.
“These languages tend to be more isolated, so it’s harder to get information about them,” Davis said. People will need to travel to conduct research. “We need to pay people expenses to do that,” he said.
There’s more to it than just copying down the characters used to write a language and giving each a number. Two years might elapse from a research proposal to final report, as a volunteer learns how a language is structured, how it represents numbers, dates and times, and how it distinguishes singular from plural or one gender from another. That’s because the consortium doesn’t just describe the symbols used to write a language, but also provides resources for programmers to internationalize their applications—helping them use the correct decimal separators, for example, or putting day and month in the right order in dates.
“A lot of the time it’s people doing graduate research in linguistics that are interested in this. We help them prepare proposals for the research,” Davis said.
To fund such research, the Unicode Consortium is inviting people to sponsor one of the 120,000 or so Unicode symbols. For $100, Bronze-level sponsors will receive a certificate and have their name listed next to the symbol on the consortium’s website. For $1000, up to five Silver sponsors per symbol will receive an engraved thank-you gift and have their name listed on the website. Gold-level sponsors—just one per symbol—get all that and a hyperlink on the website.
There’ll be no platinum award level allowing businesses to add their corporate logo to Unicode, though. “That’s something we’ll definitely stay away from. We have a policy in place that we won’t do emoji for consumer brands,” said Davis.
According to the consortium’s website, IBM is one of the first gold-level sponsors. It’s listed as the sponsor of an emoji representing a cloud. Older readers may remember—and indeed may still be maintaining systems that have to deal with—the confusion that ensues when moving documents from systems using the ASCII character set, in which the numeric code for @ is 64, to those using EBCDIC, in which @ is stored as the number 124. IBM created EBCDIC at a time when much of the rest of the computer industry was agreeing on ASCII.
Another name on the list is Internet luminary Vint Cerf, as sponsor of an emoji representing the Vulcan hand gesture that accompanies the blessing “Live long and prosper” in the fictional Star Trek universe. One of Cerf’s pet projects is the creation of an interplanetary Internet to aid space exploration.
Davis himself sponsored the plain old ASCII comma.
Social networking and privacy do not go hand-in-hand. After all, the key to a good social networking experience is sharing, and the key to good sharing is…lack of discrimination.
But what if you’re not a social butterfly, a broadcaster, or someone with a deep desire to be Internet famous? What if you want to use social media to share photos, videos, and status updates with your family and close friends—but not with the entire world? The good news is that you can still use social networks, even major ones such as Facebook and Twitter. You just have to be careful. And if you’d rather not wrestle with Facebook’s privacy settings, you can check out some ultra-exclusive social networks that really value your privacy.Facebook
If you read the news at all, you probably think that Facebook is antiprivacy. Critics say the social network has complicated privacy settings and that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a lax view of privacy in general. But if you’re a private person who wants to share with friends and family, Facebook is the best major social network for you. Facebook operates on the friend-request model, which means that prospective friends must receive your approval one by one (unlike Twitter followers) before entering your neighborhood of Facebook.
Facebook offers shortcuts to lock down your account
Facebook’s privacy and security settings are complex, to say the least, and you can spend hours tweaking and perfecting them. But if you’re strapped for time, you should pay particular attention to a few key settings.
Use Facebook’s ‘View As’ feature to see how other people see your profileTwitter
Private people who want to share selectively with a tight-knit group of friends and family should probably just stay away from Twitter. Twitter is a great social network for public figures (and people who want to be public figures), because it essentially functions as a broadcasting platform. But if you’re looking to make or keep relationships, it’s not the most suitable network for your needs.
Twitter’s privacy settings are simple to set up.
There’s no way to limit your past tweets (public tweets always remain public)—and if you unprotect your account at some point, all of the previously protected tweets will become public, and will stay public forever.Ultraprivate social networks
If you feel that Facebook and Twitter are too public, you may want to take a look at private social networks. The following social networks are designed for close-knit groups who really want to connect with each other—not social butterflies who want to broadcast their lives across the Internet.
Couple is a social network for pairs.
Couple: Formerly known as Pair, Couple is the ultimate private social network—a smartphone-based network designed expressly for couples. In fact, you can only have one friend on Couple: your significant other. Couple features a timeline that’s a bit like a souped-up text message exchange—you and your partner can add photos, reminders, important dates, drawings, and videos, along with regular text messages.
Family Wall: If you’re looking for a slightly larger social network, FamilyWall helps you keep track of your entire family. At this private, Facebook-like social network for families, you can add dates and events, photos, videos, contacts, messages, and even Foursquare-style check-ins. You can also add “Family landmarks” such as schools, doctors, and fitness centers.
23snaps: Instead of posting photos of your children on Facebook or Instagram, try posting them to 23snaps, a smartphone-based social network that lets you create a unique, private online photostream. 23snaps lets you add photos, videos, and status updates to a special photostream of your child (you can add a stream for each child) and then share those photos with your friends and family. Another option is to co-manage a 23snaps account with your partner, so you can both add photos of your kids.
23snaps is a private, photo-sharing network for families.
Path: Perhaps the best-known private social network is Path. This smartphone-based social network limits your friends list to 150—the maximum number of friends a human being can realistically keep track of, according to studies. By virtue of being small, Path is one of the more private social networks you can join. But you’ll have to choose your friends wisely. Path may not also be as private as it once was. Users this week complained that a 2-month-old feature of the Path app that lets you invite contacts to join the network is actually spamming their address books with mass texts. Path says the texts are the result of user error.
Nextdoor: If you want to restrict your social network communication to people you know in real life, the neighborhood social network Nextdoor might be right for you. Nextdoor requires all members to verify their address (the service sends you a physical postcard with a code on it) before allowing them to join their neighborhood’s group. As a result of this structure, the only people you can talk to on Nextdoor are those who live within shouting distance of your house. Nextdoor turns your physical neighborhood into a digital network.Privacy…the choice is yours
Privacy-minded people don’t have to give up social networking. Plenty of options exist for friends, families, and even couples who want to communicate privately. But the key is to make sure that you really want privacy. Some portion of the appeal of social networking to most people is exhibitionist; so before you go to ground, make absolutely sure that you don’t harbor any latent fantasies of seeing your videos go viral?
Private Search For Microsoft Bing API
Microsoft is now empowering publishers to give consumers more options for privacy-first experiences. This feature is specifically designed for their search partner network, and is currently being used by Duck Duck Go.
Private Search is hosted on Azure with a setup that incorporates a private search proxy between the private search site or app and Microsoft Bing’s private search API. This would allow Bing to deliver results without ever receiving the search term.
This would prevent personal data from being shared with other Microsoft services, including Bing, by anonymizing the user agent and IP, and by withholding the search query.
The search partner will be responsible for anonymizing the user agent and IP and they must comply with Microsoft’s policy in order to be eligible to use Private Search.New Price Comparison Beta
Microsoft’s Edge browser has a feature that delivers discount codes in a flyout panel format. They’ve now announced a beta that would allow folks using Microsoft’s shopping features will be eligible to show up in that panel as a price comparison.
This unit would enable businesses to deliver product listings to relevant consumers while they’re browsing the sites of other retailers.
These listings will pull from existing Merchant Center feeds so no further work is required for businesses that already have shopping campaigns created.
The metrics will be reported under the “O&O other” traffic segment within Microsoft Ads.
This is currently in beta within the US and the listings will only show on desktop, within the Edge browser. To request access to any of the Microsoft Ads’ betas, reach out to your Microsoft Ads account team or support.New Video Extension Beta
Video extensions is an inflection point in the evolution of the SERP. Searchers are hungry for more information and we know that video is one of the most consumed forms of media for research (and more, of course!). This extension surfaces video at the point of search to improve and enrich the user experience. – John Lee, Microsoft Evangelist
The extensions currently only deliver on desktop but mobile is coming soon.
Videos must be uploaded and can either be uploaded from a local directory on the computer or a publicly accessible filer server location, such as OneDrive, FTP, Dropbox, etc.)
This is currently an open pilot within the US, CA, DE and AU with FR and IN coming soon.New Ad Units for Property Promotion and Tours & Activities
Similar to the new automotive ad units that Microsoft recently announced, these new units are feed-based units that will promote vacation rentals (Property Promotion Ads) as well as tours and attractions (Tours & Activity Ads).Property Promotion Ads
Advertisers will have the option to add bid multipliers for Property Promotion Ads within Site Type.Tour & Activities Ads
Tour & Activities Ads are in an open beta within the US and the UK. To request access to any of the Microsoft Ads betas, reach out to your Microsoft Ads account team or support.New Audience Network Features: Facebook Import, Video Ads, & Geographic Expansion
Check out this post to learn more about these new Audience Network announcements and features, which also includes clips from Marketing O’Clock as Microsoft’s Evangelist, John Lee, discusses each of these new features.Expanding Auto-Bidding Options
Microsoft plans to expand its auto-bidding options. Target Impression Share is currently in pilot and Portfolio Bid Strategies are coming soon.Coming Soon: Unified Smart – an SMB Hub for Multi-Channel Campaigns & Social Media Management
Unified Smart’s audience targeting is AI-based, using data points from setup inputs, business type, the URL, and other information shared.
Unified Smart will track calls and/or conversions, visits, time on site, visits to specific pages, and more so that businesses can monitor the performance of their efforts.Expanding into New Geographies
In addition to all of the new releases that Microsoft has announced, they’re also continuing to expand into additional geographies. Microsoft plans to expand into 29 new countries in 2023. They haven’t yet announced which countries will be part of the expansion.Requesting Access to the New Betas
To request access to any of the Microsoft Ads betas, reach out to your Microsoft Ads account team or support.
Character AI, a web-based chat platform, allows users to build their Chatbots and converse with various fictional Characters.
However, it is not sure if your chats in Character AI are public or private.
Character AI chats are private and secure unless you share your chat with anyone. Moreover, you need to chat cautiously and provide relevant prompts while using Character AI.
Regardless, many users have queries about the privacy of their Chat with AI Characters.
Continue reading the article to further discover if chats are private.What Is Character AI?
Character AI utilizes a neural language model to read an enormous text, takes your prompts as input and responds accordingly.
Creation of a Character in Character AI is easy, and they can either be fictional or based on real people, dead or alive.
Users are provided with multiple Characters; one Character is provided to converse at a time.
Moreover, they can create a group to converse with various Characters simultaneously.
Furthermore, you can subscribe to Character AI Plus to avoid extra lagging on Character AI.How To Chat With Characters Of Character AI?
Follow these steps to chat with Characters in Character AI;
Select the Character you want to chat with.
As shown in the picture, a new window will open where the Character will introduce itself.
Start conversing with the Character on any topic you want to. Here’s a picture of a funny conversation between the user and the Character.
On the left are some options such as create, feed, community, etc you can try those to make Character AI more fun.
Note: The response provided by these Characters may not be 100% correct as they’re human-made Characters. Additionally, the response may vary according to the selected Characters; some may generate thoughtful responses, some rude, etc.Is Character AI Chat Private?
The creators cannot see your Chat on Character AI and the chats are private and secure until you share them with anyone.
Furthermore, making your chats private in Character AI with some settings is possible.
Some Reddit users also claim that chat with Character AI is private until you share your conversations with others.
It also says chats in Character AI are not encrypted; staff of CAI can access those chats if they wish to.
Similarly, a bug was introduced to Character AI, which led to the leakage of one’s conversations into other people’s conversations, raising concern for privacy and security among users.
However, if you chat cautiously with the Characters it won’t impact you even if it gets leaked.
Besides, you should stop sharing something sensitive via your Chat in Character AI, which is irrelevant.How To Open A Private Chat In Character AI?
Character AI has the feature of making your Character AI bot private.
Follow these steps to make your chat private on Character AI;
Start a chat with your Character or the one you previously created.
Search for the Visibility option by scrolling down.
Then choose the option, Private: Only you can Chat and save it.
Continue reading to learn how to fix Character AI repeating issues and why Characters respond Out-of-Character.The Bottom Line
Character AI is made for fun and entertainment but having conversations on sensitive topics is unethical.
It can not ensure your privacy because a simple crash on its working model may lead to some destruction.
Therefore, you should use the Chatbot wisely.
Keep reading if you’re struggling with the freezing problem in Character AI.
The need to interpret the vast data is growing unprecedently in the world. With digitization taking over industries, more and more organizations are generating digital data like never before. The growing data is not only a huge asset but also presenting immense opportunities for the industries. To derive interpretations and insights from the data means going a rigorous process of collecting, transforming, loading, and finallyBidding Goodbye to Traditional Processes
When it comes to managing data, most businesses were using the same traditional on-site infrastructure a few years back. While this worked a few years ago due to a variety of reasons, the winds of change have taken over. Enterprises looking for smarter solutions, because their data was increasing and so were the data management costs. This led to huge turbulence in the traditional data management system, which was mainly on-site. Since the on-site data warehouse was not only difficult to manage but also had more than a few issues, enterprises found their solution in the cloud. Ad as we know today, a cloud data warehouse is excessively popular among enterprises and helping them make sense of all the data. They help businesses streamline their operations and gain visibility to all departments running within. Moreover, cloud data warehouses help enterprises serve their customers and create further opportunities in the market. As businesses come up with new plans and products, data warehouses begin to play even a more important role in the process. They are becoming the new norm. Gone are the days when an enterprise had to purchase hardware, create server rooms along with hire, train, and maintain a dedicated team of staff to run it. Today, the tables have turned and everything is being managed on the cloud. But, to precisely understand why cloud data warehouses outperform traditional systems we need to dive down into their differences.Cloud Data Warehouses Becoming the New Norm
Today’s businesses are moving faster than ever. In other words, they are racing out too far more customers and accomplishing a lot more things. Data has become a part of their core processes. For example, banks are processing the credit and debit cards of customers at every second. Similarly, insurance companies are maintaining their customer profiles and updating them frequently with policy-related information and changes. On the other hand, we have brick and mortar stores, process in-store purchases while the online stores process the purchases made digitally. The idea behind this is that all these stores process information that is transactional in nature. They have to be written and updated frequently. Right now businesses have an online transaction processing database to take care of these. This is just one side of the coin. The other side means managing revenue, business operations, customer engagements, and many other things, that are potentially based on the transactional data. Moreover, this data is only growing and businesses need a solution for their optimization. The problem is, however, that online transaction processing systems are designed for managing and processing one small transaction at a time. When it comes to tons of data they fail to deliver the required results. This is where the solution of data warehouses emerges. They already can perform processing on large amounts of data. As a link to the traditional transactional database, they will hold a copy of it and store it safely in the cloud. Moreover, the best part of using a cloud data warehouse is that they only charge you for the services you use. For example, based on your company data, you will require a certain amount of space in the cloud. Similarly, for the number of computations, you have to perform you will need a separate computational space. In theAuthor Bio
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