The Cloud Review: Big Investments, File Sharing Buzz

The past week had a few interesting updates, most notably that two vendors not known at all for veering away from their core markets made a couple of big investments in the cloud.

First is Oracle. The database giant acquired a minority stake in Engine Yard, a PaaS service for web applications, just a month after announcing an entire portfolio of cloud services targeted at the enterprise. The deal buys Oracle a stake in a company that it may eventually consider a competitor, as well as an opportunity to approach the developers who are starting to integrate more data-driven features into their apps.

Over in the Cisco camp, the networking company announced that it shelled out $125 million for Cloupia, a maker of software that integrates private and public cloud environment.  The deal can be interpreted as a response rivals’ recent investments in SDN, a methodology centered around reducing spenditure on the physical hardware – the switches and routers – which account for the lion’s share of Cisco’s income.

The cloud locker industry also produced a couple of notable updates this week.

EMC announced that its integrating Syncplicity with SlideShark. Users can now access the files they stored on the company’s enterprise-grade cloud collaboration service from within the popular PowerPoint application. The app is available for iPhones and iPads, and is targeted primarily at sales teams that need a solid pitch, both in the conference room and on-the-go.

Finally, SugarSync had some major news. The file sharing platform was completely overhauled with a new interface and extended functionality that puts it more on par with other services in areas where it has been lacking.  New features include a Drive capability that consolidates all the files and folders you have synced across your different devices.