Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Lori MacVittie, XebiaLabs Blog

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

The Right Cloud for the Growing Enterprise: Take Your Company Private

A private-PaaS-enabled private or hybrid cloud is the best way to deliver the freedom, control, and ROI that enterprise deserves

Remember the early days of the cloud? Outsourced application hosting seemed so...alluring. Public-cloud providers like Google, Heroku, EngineYard and DotCloud seduced us with promises of cost-efficiency, scalability and convenience. Early adopters spun off a few VMs, connected the users and prepared for growth. And when that corporate growth arrived, the public cloud would grow too.

At least that was the vision; yet the reality is more complicated. Public cloud deployment entails hidden costs. Enterprise growth introduces new challenges - challenges like data privacy, security and compliance. Public-cloud infrastructure doesn't scale for business growth. It scales for application growth, and though that's important, it's not enough to support the demands of the (growing) real-world enterprise.

The Public Cloud: It's a Good Thing
Public cloud infrastructure offers relief, relief for IT managers from the headaches of managing their own iron. Virtualization can lift the burden of application-management responsibility, lightening IT load. Public clouds deliver tangible benefits like shared-resource efficiencies, utility computing and scalability.

Those are great benefits for the IT manager seeking a turnkey outsourcing solution. It's an ideal situation: That IT manager hands over the keys to the DevOps kingdom, sits back, and watches the savings accumulate. And they do. To a point...

The hidden costs of the public cloud: language support, app migration, APIs and vendor lock-in
Public cloud offers a chance for IT managers to get out of the hardware management business. That's a compelling message, and a great value proposition. But there are hidden costs to deploying on a public cloud infrastructure, and the real-world enterprise must recognize them (and associated risks) before committing resources to "going public."

How multilingual is your enterprise?
Are you an IT manager? In what languages do your developers like to code? Probably the ones in which they're skilled, and the ones that are appropriate for the types of applications your business needs to create and run. Here's the catch: Most public cloud providers play favorites. That's fine if your apps are all in the right language, or if you're willing to code all-new greenfield apps from scratch in the new language. But what do you do if you have an existing suite of custom apps on which your end users depend, and oh, they were written in several different languages, and oh, your vendor only supports some of them? Expect to retrain your devs, hire for some new skills and recode. IT managers who have been through that process know it's not trivial, nor cheap.

Looking for straightforward SaaS support? Need Office 365 for your desktop clients? Public cloud infrastructure will do the trick. Does your enterprise maintain a suite of legacy applications? Moving to the public cloud introduces a basic practical challenge and another hidden cost: App migration isn't a simple process. Regardless of whether your developers code in your cloud vendor's preferred language(s), if your apps aren't written in them, you'll have to recode or customize, probably to a significant extent.

As long as you're budgeting for recoding, be sure to add a little more for connecting your data and messaging services. If your cloud-hosting provider doesn't support your database, prepare for data migration.

Finally, though public-cloud providers offer hosting and scalability at an attractive (at least as advertised) price, they're understandably out to make a buck. And to hold onto your business. To make the public cloud work, you'll have to adapt to your provider's way of doing things. You may be realizing some great cost-efficiencies, but your hosting provider has you locked in, and switching costs are now a formidable barrier to exit. Remember all that recoding you did for your vendor's benefit? Want to do it again for the sake of moving to another vendor? You've also lost leverage: if your hosting provider decides to raise monthly service charges, or make adjustments to SLA performance, you have little (affordable) recourse.

Enterprise Growth Brings New Opportunities, New Challenges
One of the great advantages to public cloud infrastructure is that it can scale. Vendors often promote that scalability as a way to support customer business growth. But that's not quite accurate: Public clouds don't grow with your enterprise. They scale to support application or traffic growth.

Real-world business growth introduces new demands on enterprise data - concerns like security, data sovereignty, compliance and privacy. Addressing those concerns is an imperative for the real-world enterprise, and not something that can be done in a public-cloud environment.

Your data is safe in the public cloud - most of the time. There are the occasional breaches, some of which receive histrionic publicity. Ultimately, security is peace of mind, and handing your data over to someone else (a public-cloud hosting infrastructure provider, in this example) requires trust and a leap of faith. As your large real-world enterprise experiences growth, data management becomes more important, and releasing your valuable data from under your span of control introduces risk.

How big do you want your enterprise to grow? If you're looking at international expansion, recognize a new risk of the public cloud hosting model: data sovereignty. Public cloud vendors host your data in their own data centers, in the locations your vendor prefers. That's okay if you're doing business in the same jurisdiction. But in many countries, your partners or government administrators can demand that their application servers retain and provide data from physical hardware located within a national boundary. Such inflexible data-sovereignty mandates can limit your ability to serve your subsidiary customers with pure public-cloud architecture.

The more your enterprise grows, the more visible its success becomes. With great success comes greater oversight. Public cloud architectures - with their one-approach-fits-all delivery - are understandably rigid, with standardized tenancy and service models. That makes for basic compliance with government regulations. But by the very nature of its serve-many operations, the public-cloud model can't be flexible enough to adjust to frequently evolving regulatory climates.

More business growth means more data to manage and a need for greater data privacy. But the more data to be managed, the more difficult it becomes to protect it, particularly in a public-cloud environment. We're not talking about cyber-attacks. We're talking about eavesdropping from government authorities. For instance, the USA Patriot Act empowers U.S. federal agencies like the FBI, CIA and Department of Defense to require enterprises to provide data records pertaining to suspected terrorist threats. This applies to data stored in U.S. jurisdictions, including data in the cloud. In the summer of 2011, Microsoft warned customers that the USA Patriot Act could require the company to hand over customer data to United States authorities. Your data's safe, it's just not as private as you'd like it to be.

A Private-Cloud Model Designed Around the Growing Enterprise, Not the Vendor
Public cloud isn't going away, and neither is private cloud. Private cloud technology marketers often lobby for the "pure," host-it-yourself private cloud environment. Public-cloud providers pitch the outsourced service model. The real-world solution lies somewhere in-between. Private PaaS is a flexible middleware layer that puts control of your data back in your own hands, enabling IT management to control applications, whether they're launched on-premise or to public cloud infrastructure.

Public cloud services promise cost savings. But with all the hidden costs, those savings can be temporary (or even illusory). A 2011 study by the Aberdeen Group found that an enterprise deploying private cloud saves twelve percent combined annual costs over a public cloud on a per-application basis. Companies that implemented private clouds also incurred 38 percent fewer costs related to security and compliance events compared to public cloud users. Public cloud users had 25 percent more incidents related to audit deficiencies, data loss, or data exposure and unauthorized access than private cloud users.

Private Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) software can bridge the two extremes of public and private cloud. Some enterprises - small businesses and municipalities, for example - will benefit from the "pure" turnkey-outsourced public cloud service model. But the growing enterprise needs more - more security, more privacy, and strict adherence to compliance mandates - than a public-cloud model can support. For some, that will entail self-contained, on-premise iron. But for many growing enterprises, private PaaS can enable a flexible hybrid cloud model that enables data to shift as business priorities evolve. The real-world enterprise demands an operational model that flexible.

Grow Your Business...in Private
There's plenty of hype around the cloud. An IT manager must look beyond the hype to do what's right for the growing enterprise, and recognize that business interests should dictate cloud strategy, not the constraining operational limitations of a public-cloud service provider. The growing enterprise must address concerns of security, privacy, and compliance. A private-PaaS-enabled private or hybrid cloud is the best way to deliver the freedom, control, and ROI that enterprise deserves.

More Stories By Bart Copeland

As President & CEO of ActiveState Software, Bart Copeland brings more than twenty years of management, finance, and technology business experience to his role. With a passion for technologies that help people lead more productive and enjoyable lives, Bart is currently focused on ActiveState’s private platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering, Stackato. With his vision for PaaS as an enabler to accelerate cloud adoption and value in enterprises, Bart is actively involved in the strategy, roadmap, business development and evangelism of Stackato. Bart is also an active angel investor and serves as a director on a number of other tech companies. He holds an MBA in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix and a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of British Columbia.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
Ovum, a leading technology analyst firm, has published an in-depth report, Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a DevOps Release Management Solution, 2016–17. The report focuses on the automation aspects of DevOps, Release Management and compares solutions from the leading vendors.
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...

Let's just nip the conflation of these terms in the bud, shall we?

"MIcro" is big these days. Both microservices and microsegmentation are having and will continue to have an impact on data center architecture, but not necessarily for the same reasons. There's a growing trend in which folks - particularly those with a network background - conflate the two and use them to mean the same thing.

They are not.

One is about the application. The other, the network. T...

If you are within a stones throw of the DevOps marketplace you have undoubtably noticed the growing trend in Microservices. Whether you have been staying up to date with the latest articles and blogs or you just read the definition for the first time, these 5 Microservices Resources You Need In Your Life will guide you through the ins and outs of Microservices in today’s world.
Before becoming a developer, I was in the high school band. I played several brass instruments - including French horn and cornet - as well as keyboards in the jazz stage band. A musician and a nerd, what can I say? I even dabbled in writing music for the band. Okay, mostly I wrote arrangements of pop music, so the band could keep the crowd entertained during Friday night football games. What struck me then was that, to write parts for all the instruments - brass, woodwind, percussion, even k...
This digest provides an overview of good resources that are well worth reading. We’ll be updating this page as new content becomes available, so I suggest you bookmark it. Also, expect more digests to come on different topics that make all of our IT-hearts go boom!
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Node.js and io.js are increasingly being used to run JavaScript on the server side for many types of applications, such as websites, real-time messaging and controllers for small devices with limited resources. For DevOps it is crucial to monitor the whole application stack and Node.js is rapidly becoming an important part of the stack in many organizations. Sematext has historically had a strong support for monitoring big data applications such as Elastic (aka Elasticsearch), Cassandra, Solr, S...
"We provide DevOps solutions. We also partner with some key players in the DevOps space and we use the technology that we partner with to engineer custom solutions for different organizations," stated Himanshu Chhetri, CTO of Addteq, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yoseph Reuveni, Director of Software Engineering at Jet.com, will discuss Jet.com's journey into containerizing Microsoft-based technologies like C# and F# into Docker. He will talk about lessons learned and challenges faced, the Mono framework tryout and how they deployed everything into Azure cloud. Yoseph Reuveni is a technology leader with unique experience developing and running high throughput (over 1M tps) distributed systems with extre...
There's a lot of things we do to improve the performance of web and mobile applications. We use caching. We use compression. We offload security (SSL and TLS) to a proxy with greater compute capacity. We apply image optimization and minification to content. We do all that because performance is king. Failure to perform can be, for many businesses, equivalent to an outage with increased abandonment rates and angry customers taking to the Internet to express their extreme displeasure.
This is a no-hype, pragmatic post about why I think you should consider architecting your next project the way SOA and/or microservices suggest. No matter if it’s a greenfield approach or if you’re in dire need of refactoring. Please note: considering still keeps open the option of not taking that approach. After reading this, you will have a better idea about whether building multiple small components instead of a single, large component makes sense for your project. This post assumes that you...