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Walmart Takes On Amazon By Offering Retailers Free Cloud Services

WalmartLabs has released OneOps, an open source cloud management platform designed to help retailers develop and launch new applications faster and maintain them throughout the product lifecycle.

The open source project had been in development for more than two years, with Walmart using the solution to improve its web sites and launch new online grocery features.

Creating an open source project is an interesting move for the retailer as it continues to shutter stores and expand its e-Commerce focus. For one, it shows that Walmart is willing to provide their proprietary technology to other retailers with no costs involved. It also serves as a counterweight to Amazon, which offers cloud services of its own: Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Both Amazon cloud services charge fees to use the full suite.

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The OneOps platform’s features include:

  • Continuous lifecycle management, which automatically manages a deployed application when unforeseen changes occur in the cloud, scaling or repairing it as needed;

  • Cloud portability, which enables users to move applications, databases or even entire cloud environments freely from one cloud provider to another;

  • Rapid innovation with safeguards, in which software engineers can quickly spin up virtual machines within minutes and begin coding, without having to spend hours specifying the intricacies of a specific cloud environment; and

  • Greater control of cloud environment, in which the developers dictate what proprietary tools and technologies are used, and how much bandwidth is used.

OneOps can deploy apps on platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Rackspace, CenturyLink Cloud and any cloud with an OpenStack endpoint. OneOps also supports Couchbase, Node.js and ElasticSearch. WalmartLabs revealed it will announce other extensions this year.

“We hear from companies of all sizes that they’re also undergoing a digital transformation that’s focused on customers and operated in the cloud,” wrote Jeremy King, CTO of Walmart Global e-Commerce and Head of WalmartLabs, and Tim Kimmet, VP of Platform and Systems at WalmartLabs, in a blog post. “They tell us they want to spend less time and money on IT, and more time on delivering experiences to customers faster. Today, that undertaking gets easier.”

 

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