Welcome!

SOA & WOA Authors: Liz McMillan, Trevor Parsons, Jnan Dash, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA

Cloud Expo: Article

Approach Cloud like a New Car Purchase

Do your homework when it comes to the cloud. Sensible preparation will help you to take the right approach to cloud

Do your homework when it comes to the cloud. Sensible preparation will help you to take the right approach to cloud.

The last thing anyone wants is for their cloud to crash. And after recent hits to major services, it seems everyone has a revelation to share. Some folks have compared cloud to airplanes. The idea is that you're safer in a plane than a car, but when it goes down it will go down spectacularly, and the impact will be more widespread. Statistically speaking that's true, so I can certainly see the correlation.

As with airlines, in using a cloud you're putting a great deal of trust in the service provider. However, you can't select a cloud service provider the way you would choose an airline, where getting the cheapest flight is the driving factor for most people. Before purchasing their ticket, no one ever demands to see the safety record of the airline or the particular plane they're entrusting to get them to their final destination.

But, flip it around and look at the purchase process for an automobile. Before making your decision, you research the reliability and safety features of different models; you look up the safety rating; and you check out what others have said. Now that's where cloud is more like a car - or at least it should be.

Just as today's drivers are much better informed regarding the reliability and safety of the cars they buy, you should do your homework when it comes to the cloud. Sensible preparation will help you to take the right approach to cloud computing, to manage risks and fully realize the benefits that cloud offers.

Businesses worry about losing control and risking more downtime once data and applications move to the cloud. A recent Symantec survey found that the CFO, CEO and CIO are quite cautious about moving mission-critical applications even to hybrid or private cloud environments, citing security, disaster recovery and lack of control, reliability, performance and a fear that meeting SLAs will be difficult or impossible as the main concerns. The fact is most risks associated with moving data and services to the cloud can be managed utilizing the same principles you apply to your on-premises IT infrastructure.

Airlines are strictly monitored by an alphabet soup of governmental organizations - the FAA and NTSB in the US and EASA in Europe. Meanwhile, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), NIST, SNIA , ENISA and others have put forth cloud security and availability standards for cloud computing. However, since there is not yet a universally agreed upon standard metric of confidence for cloud computing service providers, it is incumbent on you, the consumer of the cloud service, to do your due diligence before cutting that check and driving off the lot with your new ‘vehicle.'

Whether you're considering private cloud, hybrid cloud or public cloud adoption, these recommendations from Symantec will help to keep things running smoothly and prevent outages as you leverage the cloud.

1. Know yourself. Be clear on why you are going to the cloud. Improved mileage, better reliability, more room, or simply a sporty look during a midlife crisis - the reasons to buy a new car are wide ranging. You may be looking to be more agile in deploying apps, have an executive mandate, prefer OPEX to CAPEX, or simply be out of room in your data center. Don't kid yourself and be crystal clear on your rationale and objectives for moving to the cloud.

2. Know your alternatives. Perhaps you can work at home, ride share or take the train. Perhaps a used car or leasing a car makes more sense than buying. Know the real costs of delivering services yourself instead of via a cloud service provider - including the costs of compute, storage, network, application and security. Not all services make business sense to move to the cloud all the time.

3. Precious cargo on board. Downtime has consequences. In business, your critical systems are vital to your success; protecting them and making certain they're always available is a big factor. Consider RTO (recovery time objective, or how long you can go without that app being available) and RPO (recovery point objective, or the amount of data you could afford to lose). The lower the RTO and RPO are, the more mission-critical that system is. Hosting less-important services in the cloud will reduce your costs while posing minimal risk of business interruption in the event of outage.

4. Look under the hood. You wouldn't purchase a car without looking under the hood and researching its reliability and features. Don't be afraid to ask cloud providers about the technology behind the service. Make sure you know where your data resides, and what your recovery and backup options are. You will rely on your SLA to resolve issues; make sure you negotiate a favorable agreement and make sure that it has real consequences for failure.

5. Take it for a test drive. If you're looking at a public cloud solution, one of the key advantages of SaaS is that it makes it easy to deploy a free trial, and most vendors offer this to those considering their services. Start small with the trial, and once you're satisfied you can expand the service to include confidential data and other mission-critical systems.

6. Have a maintenance plan. In case there is a failure, be ready. Simply because you drive a safe vehicle doesn't mean you should cancel your roadside assistance. Stuff happens, be prepared with a plan to mitigate a failure. One of the best ways to maximize uptime is by testing your disaster recovery system in advance, to find any configuration problems that leave you vulnerable, just as you should inspect your car regularly to identify impending problems. Non-disruptive DR testing will allow you to identify issues your system has, without interrupting the availability of services for your clients and employees. Implementing a disaster recovery assessment tool is one of the best ways to ensure minimal loss of data and service.

While recent events have affected public perception of cloud computing, and potentially the rate of adoption, they shouldn't send anyone running for the hills. Just as you need to do your homework when buying a car, proper research and planning is vital to make cloud computing as reliable as possible-whether you are implementing a private, public or hybrid cloud.

More Stories By Dave Elliott

Dave Elliott is responsible for Global Cloud Marketing at Symantec. In his role, he drives market strategy for security and availability solutions from Symantec designed to help companies that build or use cloud services. Dave was an early advocate of cloud computing while at Sun Microsystems in the 1990s, and has spent his career helping companies understand and embrace emerging technologies. Dave is an active member of the Cloud Security Alliance and participates on the CSA Solution Provider Advisory Council.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP and chief architect at BSQUARE Corporation; Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc.; and Andris Gailitis, C...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
In this Women in Technology Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO at MetraTech; Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems; Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies; Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell Inc.; Anne Hungate, Senior Director of Software Quality at DIRECTV, discussed what path they took to find their spot within the technology industry and how do they see opportunities for other women in their area of expertise.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Media announced that Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow, has launched a new ad campaign in Cloud Computing Journal. The ad campaign, a webcast titled 'Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy?', focuses on the latest data center networking technologies, including SDN or ACI, and how customers are using SDN and ACI in their organizations to achieve business agility. The Cisco webcast is available on-demand.
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The threat landscape of today is drastically different than just a few years ago. Attacks are much more organized and sophisticated. They are harder to detect and even harder to anticipate. In the foreseeable future it's going to get a whole lot harder. Everything you know today will change. Keeping up with this changing landscape is already a daunting task. Your organization needs to use the latest tools, methods and expertise to guard against those threats. But will that be enough? In the foreseeable future attacks w...
As enterprises move to all-IP networks and cloud-based applications, communications service providers (CSPs) – facing increased competition from over-the-top providers delivering content via the Internet and independently of CSPs – must be able to offer seamless cloud-based communication and collaboration solutions that can scale for small, midsize, and large enterprises, as well as public sector organizations, in order to keep and grow market share. The latest version of Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite gives CSPs the capability to do just that. In addition, its integration ...
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
“The age of the Internet of Things is upon us,” stated Thomas Svensson, senior vice-president and general manager EMEA, ThingWorx, “and working with forward-thinking companies, such as Elisa, enables us to deploy our leading technology so that customers can profit from complete, end-to-end solutions.” ThingWorx, a PTC® (Nasdaq: PTC) business and Internet of Things (IoT) platform provider, announced on Monday that Elisa, Finnish provider of mobile and fixed broadband subscriptions, will deploy ThingWorx® platform technology to enable a new Elisa IoT service in Finland and Estonia.
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, a...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
Disruptive macro trends in technology are impacting and dramatically changing the "art of the possible" relative to supply chain management practices through the innovative use of IoT, cloud, machine learning and Big Data to enable connected ecosystems of engagement. Enterprise informatics can now move beyond point solutions that merely monitor the past and implement integrated enterprise fabrics that enable end-to-end supply chain visibility to improve customer service delivery and optimize supplier management. Learn about enterprise architecture strategies for designing connected systems tha...