WHIR Networking Events Comes Home to Toronto

For those of you who keep up with the WHIR Networking Events schedule, you know that we are in cities around the U.S. throughout the year. But I have to admit, it is so nice when we host an event in Toronto so we can meet our attendees and sponsors in our own backyard.

Last Thursday night we had the opportunity to host a networking event at the Pravda Vodka Bar, and there was an incredible turnout of folks working in web hosting, data centers, software as a service, finance, and more. We have to thank our sponsors for their role in supporting our event, without whom none of it would be possible, so thank you Lenovo, ServerMania and MERGE. Our sponsors not only provide the complimentary drinks and food at each event, but also show up with some can’t-miss prizes that we give away to lucky attendees:

  • Lenovo gave away a Yoga Tab 3 Pro to Jeff Woo, Production Manager at weare1188 Creative Studio
  • ServerMania gave away Sony XB650BT Extra Bass Wireless Headphones to John Saleh, President & CEO of IT Tailors
  • MERGEgave away a pass to its conference in Orlando from October 14 – 18, 2017 to Kiera Howe, CTO of Wiley Solutions

Thank you so much to everyone who made it out to the event, and for those of you in the Denver area, mark your calendars because we’ll be in your city on September 28, so RSVP free today.


WHIR Networking Events Comes Home to Toronto

For those of you who keep up with the WHIR Networking Events schedule, you know that we are in cities around the U.S. throughout the year. But I have to admit, it is so nice when we host an event in Toronto so we can meet our attendees and sponsors in our own backyard.

Last Thursday night we had the opportunity to host a networking event at the Pravda Vodka Bar, and there was an incredible turnout of folks working in web hosting, data centers, software as a service, finance, and more. We have to thank our sponsors for their role in supporting our event, without whom none of it would be possible, so thank you Lenovo, ServerMania and MERGE. Our sponsors not only provide the complimentary drinks and food at each event, but also show up with some can’t-miss prizes that we give away to lucky attendees:

  • Lenovo gave away a Yoga Tab 3 Pro to Jeff Woo, Production Manager at weare1188 Creative Studio
  • ServerMania gave away Sony XB650BT Extra Bass Wireless Headphones to John Saleh, President & CEO of IT Tailors
  • MERGEgave away a pass to its conference in Orlando from October 14 – 18, 2017 to Kiera Howe, CTO of Wiley Solutions

Thank you so much to everyone who made it out to the event, and for those of you in the Denver area, mark your calendars because we’ll be in your city on September 28, so RSVP free today.


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Executives Are More Worried About Amazon Than Trump’s Setbacks

(Bloomberg) — What keeps corporate leaders up at night?

It isn’t the chaos in Washington or rising worker pay. It’s what Amazon.com Inc. is, or could be, doing to their business models. The expanding online behemoth has morphed from a retail category killer to a much broader enterprise that now competes with everything from high-end grocers to technology developers.

It’s safe to say corporate America has taken notice — and is increasingly concerned about the competition. So much so that Amazon’s overshadowed the Trump administration’s inability to claim a signature legislative achievement after more than six months in office.


Amazon Reminds Market That Dominating E-Commerce Has a Price

Looking at the last 90 days of earnings calls and other corporate events such as investor days, a trend emerges. Amazon comes up a lot. It was mentioned a staggering 635 times over that time frame, while President Trump came up just 162 times and wages were discussed 111, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s become even more pronounced over the past 30 days, with Amazon garnering 165 mentions compared with 32 for Trump and 22 for wages.

The trend holds over the past 12 months, which encompasses the period when Trump pulled off his surprise election victory. Yet, Amazon was mentioned 1,800 times on earnings calls over that span, compared with 1,000 for Trump and 406 for wages.

Amazon typically comes up in discussions about efforts to expand into new business lines in a shifting retail landscape. For instance, on the McDonald’s Corp. second-quarter earnings call this month, Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook pointed to Amazon’s purchase of the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc. as an example of how rapidly the food industry is being transformed.

“It just demonstrates how disruptive the business world is and how quickly it moves,” he said.

Executives are also quick to point out partnerships they have with Amazon.  Mark Parker, the CEO of Nike Inc., highlighted the shoe manufacturer’s pilot brand-registry program with the retailer on his June earnings call.

“As we do with all of our partners,” he said, “we’re looking for ways to improve the Nike consumer experience on Amazon by elevating the way the brand is presented and increasing the quality of product storytelling.”

Microsoft Backs Kubernetes with Cloud Native Membership

Brought to you by IT Pro

It’s happened again. Microsoft has joined yet another open source group. Whatever happened to Redmond’s long held belief that open source is a cancer? Times change, and evidently Microsoft has learned to change with them.

On Wednesday the company announced it’s joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation as a top tier platinum member. The foundation is a project of the Linux Foundation, where Microsoft is also a platinum member. According to CNCF’s website, the membership is costing Microsoft $370,000 per year.


“We have contributed across many cloud native projects, including Kubernetes, Helm, containerd, and gRPC, and plan to expand our involvement in the future,” said Corey Sanders, Microsoft’s partner director. “Joining the Cloud Native Computing Foundation is another natural step on our open source journey, and we look forward to learning and engaging with the community on a deeper level as a CNCF member.”

Although the foundation hosts at least 10 projects, including containerd and gRPC (which Sanders mentioned in his statement), the organization’s crown jewel is Kubernetes, which has become an essential element for managing containers. Having input into the direction of Kubernetes’ development is most of what Microsoft is buying with this membership.

Redmond considers Kubernetes an important part of both Azure and its Azure Container Service. So important that in May the company introduced Draft, an Azure tool to streamline application development and deployment into any Kubernetes cluster. And on Wednesday — the same day it joined CNCF — it announced Azure Container Instances for setting up containers without having to manage virtual machines or deal with container orchestration. If orchestration is wanted or needed, however, Microsoft has released an open source Kubernetes connector for ACI.

The reason Kubernetes is important to Azure is because of its wide use in the enterprise.

Like other cloud providers, Azure is seeking to lure enterprise customers to its public cloud, and many of those potential customers are deploying open source solutions — notably OpenStack — as the backbone of their private clouds. Because OpenStack clouds are almost invariably going to be employing Kubernetes as part of their container deployment infrastructure, this makes supporting it an important carrot to dangle to convince enterprise users to consider Azure for any hybrid cloud plans — because its what they’re already using.

Kubernetes support also gives Azure (as well as Google Cloud Platform, IBM Bluemix and others) an edge over Amazon Web Services — and if you’re in the cloud business and your name isn’t Amazon, you need an edge over giant-in-the-room AWS. Kubernetes can be run on Amazon’s cloud, but not as easily as running AWS’s supported house-brand, Elastic Container Service. One problem the enterprise might have with ECS, however, is that it only runs on AWS; it’s not portable.

CNCF, of course, is happy to have Microsoft on board.

“We are honored to have Microsoft, widely recognized as one of the most important enterprise technology and cloud providers in the world, join CNCF as a platinum member,” said Dan Kohn, who is the foundation’s executive director. “Their membership, along with other global cloud providers that also belong to CNCF, is a testament to the importance and growth of cloud native technologies. We believe Microsoft’s increasing commitment to open source infrastructure will be a significant asset to the CNCF.”

As part of Microsoft’s Platinum membership, Gabe Monroy, the lead project manager for containers at Azure, will join CNCF’s governing board.