Back in November 2015 I spoke on "Demystifying the Cloud" at SDEC here in Winnipeg. That session just got posted to InfoQ (you can view it here), but in four months a lot can change in the IT industry. So here's an addendum to what was talked about.
Microsoft Data Centers
I mentioned it in the session, but wanted to point out again that Microsoft is bringing Azure data centers to Canada in 2016. You can read the story about this here.
AWS Data Centers
In January 2016 Amazon announced that they were going to open an AWS region in Montreal. From their blog post:
I am happy to announce that we will be opening an AWS region in Montreal, Québec, Canada in the coming year. This region will be carbon-neutral and powered almost entirely by clean, renewable hydro power. The planned Canada-Montreal region will give AWS partners and customers the ability to run their workloads and store their data in Canada.
As of this post I haven't read anything about concrete dates beyond "launching in 2016".
IBM Enters Commercial Cloud Services
At one point in my session an attendee pointed out that IBM has had cloud services in Canada already, so the Azure and Amazon announcements suggesting that the cloud "is finally coming to Canada" wasn't 100%. And he was right.
In 2013 IBM bought SoftLayer, a cloud platform company in Texas. In 2014 IBM opened its first Canadian SoftLayer data center, providing IaaS from a Canadian footprint. Services were limited to servers, storage, and networking though - not the PaaS or SaaS offerings of Azure/Microsoft and AWS.
But in mid 2014 IBM launched BlueMix, their cloud platform for developers! In typical IBM fashion, their marketing on this has been non-existent (they just can't seem to understand how consumer-based marketing works); which is unfortunate because the platform looks REALLY interesting - who wouldn't want to try integrating Watson into their app?! BlueMix gives developers an IBM version of Azure's PaaS, and a solid 3rd option (ok, 4th if you count Google). Unfortunately though BlueMix isn't currently available from a Canadian data center.
The Cloud Always Changes
In the same way that an actual cloud changes shape as it moves through the air, the technical cloud does the same. The rate of growth, evolution, and change in cloud computing happens at an ongoing, rapid pace that can be hard to keep up to - especially for those of us who blog or speak on the subject. But cloud is an important discussion to have, especially with more Canadian options enabling public and private organizations to take advantage of the cloud.