CoronaVirus and Cloud hosting? How does the virus affect the cloud hosting industry?

Wednesday, March 4, 2020
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Coronavirus has continued its spread around the world. Beginning in the Chinese city of Wuhan, it now has confirmed cases in 70 other countries, at the time of writing. Governments in all countries are putting measures in place to stem the impact of the virus and reduce the negative consequences it could have on populations.

Already we have seen a slow down in the Chinese economy because of the virus and global shares have fallen as well. The final week of February was the worst week the stock markets have had since the financial crash in 2008.

Given the global scale and huge impact the virus is having on economies, industries are looking at what the impact could be on themselves and what this could mean for the future. This article will concentrate on the impact the virus is having on the cloud hosting industry.

What is CoronaVirus?

The coronavirus being referred to in the mass media is scientifically called COVID-19. The term coronavirus actually refers to a wide group of viruses that have a range of health effects. Some will cause a common cold, while others can lead to respiratory problems and can be fatal.

How is it spreading?

While not the most easily spread disease out there, this strain of coronavirus does transmit effectively. The virus is mostly through person to person contact. A person who is infected will spread particles with the virus in them through coughing and sneezing. The particles can either land on a person directly or less commonly onto a surface that a person then touches and picks up the virus from, they then place their hand on their mouth, nose, or eyes.

How to slow down spreading?

To reduce the speed the virus is spreading it is recommended to regularly wash hands, cover mouth and nose if sneezing or coughing with either a tissue or sleeve if nothing else. If someone is showing symptoms, avoid close contact. If you are showing symptoms, consult a doctor and consider self isolation.

How is the cloud hosting industry impacted by CoronaVirus?

The technology industry in general is being hit by the coronavirus. Businesses are either taking precautionary or reactionary measures and closing factories, shops, and offices in China. If the virus continues to spread, this could extend to businesses located outside of China as well.

More specifically, with regard to the Cloud Hosting Industry, we can see a similar trend. There is speculation that the virus could create a recession, with analysts wondering how the Cloud Hosting Industry would survive a large economic downturn. For the largest companies, Amazon and Microsoft, there doesn’t look to be any panic currently.

However Microsoft have issued warnings that there could be issues to their supply chain. This is not the only warning of supply chain issues, with Digitimes Research suggesting that global shipments of servers could drop by almost 10 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 because of the virus. Companies such as Facebook and Microsoft have had a large demand for servers in the starting quarter of 2020 but have had their orders postponed.

With the fear of the virus spreading easily at big gatherings, Google and Microsoft have both canceled two conferences. Google’s Cloud Next in San Francisco will not take place and neither will Microsoft’s MVP Summit in Seattle. Other events that have been canceled because of public health concerns include Cloudfest 2020, Germany.

Alibaba Cloud has announced it will be giving $1,000 of credits to companies that have been hit by the virus to buy cloud services. Alongside this, they have made their cloud-based AI-powered platform free for institutions that are researching the virus. This is with the aim of speeding up gene-sequencing, protein-screening and more research to help combat the virus.

The rapid spread of coronavirus has caused alarm across the planet. People need to be vigilant of the impact and disruption it could have on their lives. Within industry, we have already witnessed the impact it has had on the Chinese economy. While this is the highest concentration of infected people, if the virus continues to multiply, businesses and cloud computing providers will have to take precautionary measures with their staff as well.