How to create a SQL Server failover cluster in the Google Cloud (redux)

The thing about clouds is that they can change shape even as you watch them. So it is with the Google Cloud, and the guidance we provided InfoWorld readers two years ago about creating a SQL Server failover cluster instance (FCI) in the Google Cloud no longer reflects best practices.

The guidance provided then still works, but changes in the Google Cloud mean that organizations wanting a cloud-based infrastructure supporting SQL Server at 99.99 percent availability levels now have better, more efficient ways to create SQL Server FCIs. The fundamentals of those new guidelines can be found in Google’s

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Review: Amazon SageMaker plays catch-up

When I reviewed Amazon SageMaker in 2018, I noted that it was a highly scalable machine learning and deep learning service that supports 11 algorithms of its own, plus any others you supply. Hyperparameter optimization was still in preview, and you needed to do your own ETL and feature engineering. 

Since then, the scope of SageMaker has expanded, augmenting the core notebooks with IDEs (SageMaker Studio) and automated machine learning (SageMaker Autopilot) and adding a bunch of important services to the overall ecosystem, as shown in the diagram below. This ecosystem supports machine learning from preparation through model building,

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Get ready for the post-pandemic run on cloud

“Cloud-computing providers are emerging as among the few corporate winners in the coronavirus pandemic as office and store closures across the U.S. have pushed more activity online,” as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Those who pick stocks are betting on cloud growth due to the crisis, thus we’re seeing this first reported in business journals. Most likely, after the crisis has gone and business hopefully returns to normal, there will be a mad rush to move to public cloud-based resources.  Here’s why.

Business seems to change around pain. In the past weeks companies that had already migrated to

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Can public clouds keep up with the pandemic surge?

As more and more businesses switch to virtual work from home “offices,” cloud computing and cloud-based systems suddenly have new credibility. Cloud computing makes it much easier to manage daily operations when a company’s workforce becomes largely distributed, and enterprises are fast realizing the value that cloud computing can bring in this dimension.

That said, public cloud providers only have so much capacity because even clouds have finite limits based on existing physical inventory. Providers do a good job of resource sharing using advanced tenant management capabilities, and it’s assumed they will expand their capacity during this crisis, but there

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New York calls for tech volunteers to fight COVID-19

New York State has put out a call for volunteers with technology expertise to create “technology SWAT teams” to boost the state’s response to COVID-19. 

The official site for the COVID-19 Technology SWAT Team, as it’s called, is light on details but broad in scope. The state seeks volunteers with a wide range of tech skills: “professionals with experience in product management, software development / engineering, hardware deployment and end-user support, data science, operations management, design, or other similar areas.”

[ Also on InfoWorld: Kaggle calls data scientists to action on COVID-19 ]

While individuals can and are encouraged

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COVID-19 stress tests cloud services

With the COVID-19 virus putting millions of more people into the “working from home” category, cloud service providers are being put to the test. In response, global cloud leaders are stress-testing their infrastructure and activating pandemic-specific resiliency testing procedures, research from Forrester indicates.

Both Forrester and research firm GlobalData have published assessments of the impact of the crisis on cloud services. Forrester noted the following efforts in its March 12 report:

  • Amazon Web Services has included pandemic response in its resiliency planning and regularly scales to handle spikes in demand, such as on Black Friday. Pandemic response policies and procedures
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