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High-performance web applications are often hamstrung by sluggish IO. Amazon is now attacking that problem with new Provisioned IOPS block storage volumes and the ability to direct-connect those volumes to select EC2 compute instances over a 1000 Mbit/sec pipe. Read more »

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photo: Photo courtesy Dropbox

Dropbox reports that the recent spam attacks that impacted some European customers occurred when hackers used passwords obtained from outside sites to access some Dropbox accounts. The company promised a new two-factor authentication option and offered other tips. Read more »

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Amazon is offering customers unprecedented deals to stick with its cloud services. Some big companies can get annual “true up” deals while many report incentives to use reserved, rather than on-demand, instances. And Amazon is making an effort to keep startups in the fold. Read more »

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Analytics startup Birst thinks it can make data warehouses more useful by letting business users inside of them. Its new Distributed Business Analytics product puts departmental sandboxes right inside the warehouse, letting users interact with all the data they need from a central location. Read more »

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Box will use the $125 million to expand its international presence beyond a new London office, says CFO Dylan Smith. The Series E cash influx led by General Atlantic Partners, brings total funding for the enterprise cloud storage player to a whopping $287 million. Read more »

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Netflix has open sourced Chaos Monkey, a service designed to terminate cloud computing instances in a controlled manner so companies can ensure their applications keep running when a virtual server dies unexpectedly. In the past year, Chaos Monkey has terminated more than 65,000 of Netflix’s instances. Read more »

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If there was any doubt that software-defined networking (SDN) expertise is a hot ticket, Oracle’s planned acquisition of Xsigo, coming on the heels of VMware’s blockbuster $1.26 billion buy of Nicira, should erase it once and for all. Read more »

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Now that VMware has bought Nicira, doubts about the future of the VCE effort have multiplied. Word is that with Nicira in the fold, VMware and EMC get much more competitive with Cisco, stressing the VCE partnership all three companies founded three years ago. Read more »

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If Twitter wants to remain opaque about its practices, that’s fine — but it shouldn’t expect any slack from upset users or investors. Blaming a two-hour outage on an “infrastructural double-whammy” after remaining mum on even where its data centers are located doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Read more »

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Amazon didn’t wow the street with its Q2 earnings news but the company will definitely keep investing in its cloud infrastructure. For its upcoming quarter, it plans to spend a strapping $800 million to $900 million capex money on technology, said CFO Tom Szkutak. Read more »

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The popular Google Talk app is down for most users on Thursday morning. This snafu, which cut many people off from their instant messaging/video chat app of choice, along with today’s WIndows Azure snafu in Europe, show the dark side of cloud computing. Read more »

Backblaze CEO Gleb Budman

Backblaze, the 5-year-old company that backs up everything on your PC for $5 per month, has snagged $5 million in funding from TMT Investments, an investment house out of the U.K. It will use the money to beef up sales and marketing efforts. Read more »

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For years, tech vendors built complicated partner programs to sell, support and maintain their stuff and break into new markets. Now Google, Amazon are following suit with new-look partner programs. The goal is to bring new customer business into their respective clouds. Read more »

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VMware’s planned acquisition of Nicra for $1.25 billion represents the evolution of networking beyond the hardware-dominated point of view that has sustained the industry for decades. Here’s what that means for startups in the networking realm as well as for the industry giants. Read more »

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People who don’t like the idea of Google photographing their homes — and sniffing their wifi– will really hate this: The National Security Agency is compiling huge dockets of information on citizens including email and cell phone conversations, according to former NSA officials. Read more »

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A Mountain View, Calif., storage startup called Tintri has raised $25 million for its virtualization-focused flash storage appliances. The appliances, called VMstore, mix hard-disk and solid-state drives and promise better storage performance than traditional systems for virtualized applications. We wrote about Tintri last summer as the […] Read more »

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While it’s overstating the case to say that Box has renounced its fatwa on Windows Phones, it is worth pointing out that the cloud storage company now supports the current release of Windows Phone and will support the upcoming Windows 8 Phone as well. Read more »

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