Amazon Adopts Kubernetes Open Source Technology as Competition Heats Up

Amazon Adopts Kubernetes Open Source Technology as Competition Heats Up

Amazon.com on Wednesday announced its adoption of Kubernetes, a popular open-source technology, in a sign of increased competition in the cloud computing business, which Amazon Web Services has long dominated.

Kubernetes has emerged as a standard among companies as they build more applications on public clouds, the big computer data centers that are displacing traditional customer-owned computer systems.

Earlier this year companies including Microsoft Corp, Oracle Corp, and IBM Corp announced their support for Kubernetes, which was originally developed by a team at Google.

AWS Chief Executive Andy Jassy made the Kubernetes announcement at Re:Invent, AWS’s annual conference in Las Vegas which this year attracted more than 40,000 attendees. Amazon also announced a marketing deal with the US National Football League and a flurry of other AWS features, including machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms.

One of Kubernetes’ key advantages is its ability to run an application on any public cloud, including Microsoft’s Azure and Alphabet’s Google Cloud Platform, making it easier to migrate from one cloud vendor to another.

Amazon had previously offered a service of its own that was similar to Kubernetes, but the Google technology has established itself as the standard for such so-called “container” technologies and AWS ultimately had little choice but to support it, analysts said.

“This is an example of AWS looking outside of their own world in response to customer need,” said Joe Beda, one of the creators of Kubernetes and the chief technology officer of Heptio, a Seattle startup that builds software around Kubernetes technology.

Microsoft, Google gain ground
AWS pioneered the cloud computing business in 2006 with a service touted as a quick and easy way for smaller business to get affordable, high-powered computing services. It soon began to catch on among larger companies and continue to grow very rapidly, hitting $4.6 billion in revenue on 42 percent year-over-year growth in the most recent quarter.

But the market has begun to change. Although AWS’s share of the worldwide cloud infrastructure market has increased from 43.8 percent in the first half of 2015 to 45.4 percent in the first half of this year, two of its key rivals have also gained share, according to IDC, the market research firm.

Google Cloud Platform’s slice has grown from 1.7 percent in 2015 to 3.1 percent earlier this year, and more notably, Microsoft Azure’s share has increased from 5.6 percent to 10.3 percent in that time span.

“Amazon is still the clear market leader, but the cloud infrastructure market is massive and there’s room for many players,” said Amit Agarwal, chief product officer of Datadog, a New York startup that lets companies monitor their operations on public clouds.

Under the new deal with the National Football League, AWS will be one of the league’s “official technology providers,” allowing AWS to market its connection to the league and advertise during football broadcasts that it is powering the games’ “Next Gen Stats.”

The price of the deal was not disclosed.

“We’re working with some of the NFL broadcasters to investigate what are the great use cases for how to embed (this partnership) for the fan experience,” Ariel Kelman, AWS vice president of worldwide marketing, told Reuters.

The idea is to market AWS to decision-makers without IT backgrounds, such as the chief executive and chief financial officers, Kelman said.

“Before they didn’t have to do that because they were the only guys in town,” Brett Moss, a senior vice president at Ensono, a Chicago IT services provider, said of the marketing effort. “Not anymore.”

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

As the Job Market Heats Up, Consider These Bonuses to Keep Employees Happy

Types of Bonuses to Consider

A bonus is additional compensation paid to an employee. As the job market heats up, the competition among employers to attract and retain good workers is growing. Bonuses may be a way for your company to gain a competitive edge in the job market. This is especially true for small businesses that may not offer the same menu of fringe benefits that large corporations do.

Common Types of Bonuses

Signing Bonuses

When you hear the term “signing bonus” you may think about a sports team. Increasingly, businesses are using the concept to attract the best and brightest. According to the Society for Humans Resource Management, only 31.6 percent of employers offered them in 2002. World at Work in 2011 found that it was up to 54 percent. Typically, signing bonuses aren’t paid in a lump sum but over the course of a year or more to ensure that the person hired works out.

Retention Bonuses

These are much less common than signing bonuses. They’re made to keep a key employee with the company during a critical project or at other desperate times. I’m presenting this because they exist. However, there’s been a lot of criticism about retention bonuses; decide for yourself.

Incentive/Performance Bonuses

As the name implies, these are paid as an incentive to employees to achieve a benchmark in performance. These are common for those in sales, but can be used for any type of employee who completes a project on time and within budget.

Year-end Bonuses

Year-end bonuses are the most common type of bonuses in the workplace. What’s going to be paid this year? It’s too early to tell, but expect that the range will vary by industry in general and by employer in particular. In past years, year-end bonuses may be small tokens of appreciation paid at holiday time (do you recall the Jelly-of-the Month in the movie “Christmas Vacation”?) or meaningful cash payments (e.g., equal to a month’s salary).

Some companies delay the year-end bonus until they’ve had an opportunity to close the books and see what they can afford. In a sense, these companies are paying a profit-sharing amount to employees who helped with their success.

Other Types of Bonuses

While the ones discussed earlier are the most common, companies can use bonuses for any good business purpose. Some examples:

  • Suggestion bonuses are for providing ways for the company to do things better, safer or cheaper.
  • Referral bonuses are for suggesting a new employee. The payment is made if the referral is hired.
  • Spot bonuses are out-of-the-blue payments for something special, such as a particularly good job by a worker. They function like a performance bonus, but they’re not announced in advance to serve as an incentive.
  • Task/mission bonuses are also like incentive or spot bonuses paid for a job well done, but typically they are awarded to a team rather than a single employee.

Financial and Tax Considerations

How much to pay depends on various factors. For example, when it comes to a signing bonus, the factors include what you can afford, the level and talent of the employee, and whether there is a scarcity of talent for the position you’re trying to fill. A rule of thumb for signing bonuses is 5 percent to 10 percent of base pay for professionals and middle managers.

From a tax perspective, it’s easy: bonuses of all types are taxable compensation. Withholding can be done in either of two ways:

  • Add the bonus to regular compensation and figure withholding in the usual way.
  • Withhold separately on the bonus at a flat rate of 25 percent. (For bonuses over $1 million, unlikely in a small business, the flat rate is 39.6 percent.)

Conclusion

It’s good business practice to review your policy on bonuses to make sure you’re staying competitive. Then determine the amount you can pay and who on your staff will receive them. Work with your CPA or other financial advisor to make sure you’re doing the right thing.

Bonus Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]