Welcome to The Cloud 5, our weekly feature where we scour the web searching for the five most intriguing and poignant cloud links we can find.

And without further delay, here we go with this week’s links:

Microsoft plans first Middle East data centers as it steps up cloud challenge to Amazon | CNBC

The U.S. and the E.U. aren’t the only markets for technology services, and companies are increasingly turning to the Middle East as a lucrative region to tap. Microsoft announced plans to open a pair of new data centers in the area next year, as it steps its efforts to have a worldwide Azure presence.

Cloudflare to open an edge computing service for developers using its network | Geekwire

This week Cloudflare opened up access to the edge of its network to developers. This allows them to programmatically manipulate where content gets delivered, which could help with in-country compliance rules or applications like video or games that work better when they are delivered closer to the end user.

Harvard-MIT’s Broad Institute powers genomic research in the cloud | Wall St Journal

Scientific researchers at The Broad Institute have discovered what business users already know. If you have a lot of data that is constantly increasing, you need a platform that can scale to meet your changing needs — and that is a perfect use case for the cloud.

What if a major cloud platform goes down? | Enterprise Cloud News

There is a growing fear that if one of the major cloud platforms were to go down completely for a prolonged period of time, it would have a catastrophic economic impact. While cloud  infrastructure providers like AWS, Google, and Microsoft have become essential as electricity, due to the way they are architected and spread out across the world, it seems highly unlikely that such a scenario where the entire system went down would ever occur.

Salesforce launches simplified software aimed at small businesses | Reuters

Salesforce has come full circle. At one point, it made the bulk of its money from small to medium sized businesses, but today it is a full-fledged enterprise software company with the revenue to prove it. This week, it announced a cheaper, simpler version of the Sales and Service Clouds aimed at SMBs — because sometimes a little bit of revenue can add up.

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Photo Credit: Tomma Henckel. Used under CC 2.0 license.

Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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