What you missed in Cloud: The competition reaches new frontiers

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The fight for cloud dominance went global last week when Microsoft Corp. announced that it’s launching four new data centers in Canada and South Korea to better serve local Azure users. Redmond is targeting two groups in particular: Organizations with latency-sensitive applications that can’t wait for requests to travel back and forth from an offshore facility, and highly regulated industries.

In the latter space, keeping workloads close to home is not only logistically advantageous but an outright legal requirement when it comes to sensitive information like patient records. Microsoft hopes that making Azure a more viable option for international organizations will help level the playing field against Amazon Inc., which is also investing heavily in infrastructure as part of its cloud expansion efforts. And Jeff Bezos’ firm is constantly developing new functionality in the background to maintain its position at the top of the infrastructure-as-a-service food chain.

The newest addition arrived last week in the form a managed application discovery tool designed to ease the transfer of on-premise workloads to the cloud. According to Amazon, it  reduces the amount of time and effort needed to plan out the undertaking by automatically determining the operational needs of the system being moved. That involves mapping out its resource requirements and identifying whether or not there are any external software components that may need to be brought along for the migration.

Providing a steady stream of new features is a competitive requirement not only for the likes of Amazon but also smaller cloud providers like Dyn, which is facing just as much as competition in its part of the market. To even the odds, the website performance specalist last week raised $50 million from Pamplona Capital Management in its second-ever funding round since launching 18 years ago. The cash will be used to continue an ongoing growth effort that has already seen its headcount more than doubled over the past two years.

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