November 11, 2020
Image: Buffalo Americas / Protocol
Welcome to Protocol Cloud, your comprehensive roundup of everything you need to know about the week in cloud and enterprise software. This week: why your next smartphone will be even cloudier, how software developers are scrambling to deal with a new policy from Docker, and love in the time of cloud computing.
The last time wireless carriers started building out a new generation of networks, cloud computing was still in its early days. Back then, approaching the end of Barack Obama's first term as U.S. president, companies like AT&T, Verizon or BT were still tied to expensive physical networking equipment with special requirements and exacting uptime standards.
However, as you might have heard, software has been mighty hungry over the last few years. Software-defined networking began to upend traditional hardware networking companies like Cisco more than five years ago, and as wireless carriers finally start the rollout of 5G networks, they're realizing how cloud software can meet their performance and reliability standards while being easier to manage.
There's a scramble going on inside cloud providers like AWS and Microsoft to align themselves with the major U.S. carriers as 5G networks start to finally come online, as The Wall Street Journal noted Tuesday.
What are carriers and cloud providers doing together, exactly? Mainly meeting in the middle to capitalize on the opportunity, as it turns out, leading to the emergence of "edge computing."
Now both groups are excited about the next decade, whereas in the past they used to find the other side either undependable or backward depending on where they stood. And it's not hard to see why that changed.
And if 5G results in half the innovation that its backers have been promising for the last several years, there will be enormous opportunities for new ventures built atop these networks.
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Meet the new boss: What should the tech industry expect from President-elect Biden? Protocol's Issie Lapowsky takes a look at how the Biden administration will handle several hot-button issues in tech regulation and policy.
Toll booth: Docker can't afford to host petabytes of container images these days, so it's had to enforce limits on how often free users can access them. This caught more than a few software developers off guard last week, and speaks to the importance of understanding the software supply chain.
Monitor this: Cloud newcomers often struggle to understand how complex operating on the cloud can be: Even knowing how your application behaves is harder than it looks. I talked to Datadog CEO Olivier Pomel about software complexity and "co-opetition" with the cloud providers.
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Thanks for reading — see you next week.