As you may know, Stratus Update is co-authored by two members of Manifold’s engineering team. This week, we’re trying something new (again), adding the best new content from Manifold’s blog (“What we’re writing”) alongside our usual industry news & analysis (“What we’re reading”).

We’ll also be shifting to a monthly cadence in order to give you more content in each issue. We’re excited to share some new insights and developments with you.

As always, we welcome your feedback. Thank you for reading!

This week in cloud news: acquisitions, acquisitions, and more acquisitions! The editors here at Stratus Update were excited to dig in on the reasoning behind Dropbox’s purchase of HelloSign, Intel Capital’s two new investments in Fortanix and Pliops, and finally, the joining-on of the Helpful team with Shopify. We’re more than a little sad that we missed out on Helpful’s suite of services for distributed teams, which would have been great for our remote culture here at Manifold.

You asked, and we delivered (wait, you didn’t ask?): this week we picked our two favorite stories and offer a bit more insight into why we believe they matter. We suspect you’ve already heard the big news about the Travis CI acquisition. In this issue, we’ll talk a bit about the “why” behind the news and what we can expect from Travis in the future. The UpCloud story is a bit more under-the-radar. We’re keeping an eye on them here at Stratus Update, and want to share why they’ve grabbed our attention. We’re always trying to deliver the cloud news you want most, and we’d love to hear your feedback!

With the eggnog long-gone from the fridge, and that new gym membership used at least once (hopefully), it’s time for some gains. Continuing from last week, we’re focusing on smaller stories you may have missed. This week, we collected small and large plays these cloud companies are using to accelerate growth in 2019, from staff changes to feature releases to philosophy shifts. Not every link is big news now, but we’re hoping they’ll grow on you 🌱.

In this week's issue of Stratus Update, we're focusing on small-to-medium sized cloud startups you may not have on your radar (even if those small-to-medium cloud services end up being acquired by Amazon 🙃).

We encourage you to share your feedback with us on some stories you want to read. Please send any questions, concerns, comments, recipes, or really great cloud pictures to stratusupdate@manifold.co.

Happy New Year! Here at Stratus Update, we've been reflecting on all the cloud news we've shared since we first graced your inboxes in October. With that in mind, we'd like to look back at some of 2018's most popular stories. Last year brought us strategic acquisitions in the security, construction, and communication industries. We also saw new startups emerge that are working to improve database scaling and real-time analytics. We’re pretty sure that our ever-expanding cloud will bring us even more excitement in 2019. Our resolution? Well, we’d like find new ways to share the best of that news with you. And yes, we should probably hit the gym, too.

Things are winding down here at Stratus Update as we prepare to celebrate the holidays. This week, we’re overindulging in eggnog, video games, and the latest and greatest in cloud startups, of course. There’s potential to save a lot of work hours with these products, so you’ll finally have time for that Tricky Towers tournament with your friends. We’ll be on hiatus next week, but we’ll see all you lovely readers in 2019!

The editors at Stratus Update have a question for our dear readers to ponder this week. What do the gaming, design, AI, and banking industries have in common? Of course, the answer is the cloud. It’s the thread that ties it all together, much like Kevin Bacon and every actor that ever lived. With its reach expanding to so many areas, one might say that the cloud is, quite literally, all around us.

It’s that special time of year again, filled with magic and laughter: the holiday season. This year we’ve got the usual suspects on our calendar: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa… and then there’s the most magical holiday of all, the end of Q4. Santa’s got a mixed bag for us this season, from the unsurprising race-to-the-top between companies like Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and more, to the slightly more shocking competition between Marriott and Yahoo for the coveted title of “largest data breach.” We hope these stories bring you as much holiday cheer as your fifth consecutive play of “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

Hopefully you have your Cloud Buzzword Bingo card handy for re:Invent! As AWS’s big conference rolls along, lots of shiny new Amazon tech is being announced, and possibly just as many startups are being ruined (at least according to Twitter). Though this week’s edition will likely reach your inbox before all the festivities end, here are our favorite stories from this week so far.

Thanksgiving is here, and the editors at Stratus Update are thankful for not being on-call (hopefully), highly-available amounts of food, and that once-a-year opportunity for Uncle Joe to pitch his new doomsday ideas about how “that computer stuff is all going to be useless when stuff goes down.” Until then, cloud services have transformed industries in exciting ways, from our beloved democracy to construction to proofreading… and even the Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s all gravy.

This week we feature a tale of two cloud companies, GitLab and Amazon. One is building a remote-first organization that hires the world’s best talent wherever they are. The other is building gigantic offices that benefit residents of two already-prosperous cities, leaving everyone else to fend for themselves. The editors at Stratus Update may be slightly biased toward working for a remote-reliant organization, but it’s pretty great being able to walk around a home office barefoot, living wherever you want, and always getting to pick your favorite office snacks. Just sayin’.

It’s barely November and Microsoft’s already experiencing holiday joy: Azure surpassed AWS in cloud revenue, and Walmart is now one of Microsoft’s largest clients. Earlier this year, Microsoft acquired GitHub, the largest single source of cloud-hosted code, and even regained “cool” status with developers. Here are this week’s stocking stuffers, way ahead of the holiday rush.

In light of the $33.4 billion — that’s with a “B” — purchase of Red Hat, the editors here at Stratus Update are starting to rethink our strategy: let’s just say our Halloween costume is “Scooby-Doo-style villain,” and we’re here to scare you all away from the gobs of cash this industry has to offer. So, if you could all just go away and not pay attention to cloud native news, that’d be great.

...and we would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling subscribers!

Welcome to the first edition of Stratus Update (get it?), our weekly take on the rapidly-evaporating-and-condensing cloud native news that’s shaping the next generation of technology as we know it. For software makers and aficionados alike, each weekly edition will bring you 5 bite-sized links you may have missed. This newsletter is curated by Nicole, who believes all this “cloud” business is just a government conspiracy to control the weather, and Drew, who only recently disabled his Cloud-to-Butt Chrome extension.