Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Gerardo A Dada, Pat Romanski, Kalyan Ramanathan, Elizabeth White

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
Today’s IT environments are increasingly heterogeneous, with Linux, Java, Oracle and MySQL considered nearly as common as traditional Windows environments. In many cases, these platforms have been integrated into an organization’s Windows-based IT department by way of an acquisition of a company that leverages one of those platforms. In other cases, the applications may have been part of the IT department for years, but managed by a separate department or singular administrator. Still, whether...
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Phil Hombledal, Solution Architect at CollabNet, discussed how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
Logs are continuous digital records of events generated by all components of your software stack – and they’re everywhere – your networks, servers, applications, containers and cloud infrastructure just to name a few. The data logs provide are like an X-ray for your IT infrastructure. Without logs, this lack of visibility creates operational challenges for managing modern applications that drive today’s digital businesses.
Rapid innovation, changing business landscapes, and new IT demands force businesses to make changes quickly. In the eyes of many, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery. In this presentation, attendees learned about the: The transformation of IT to a DevOps, microservices, and container-based architecture What are containers and how DevOps practices can operate in a container-based environment A demonstration of how ...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to 'DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017' as Conference Chair The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited to help the great t...
If you haven’t heard yet, CollabNet just put out some very big news for managing and gaining value from DevOps. We introduced CollabNet DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM) — a platform designed exclusively for providing a single pane of glass, dashboard, and traceability views across your DevOps toolchain and processes from planning to operations and that can be traced back to planning and development.
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry’s single source for the cloud. Fusion’s advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. 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 developm...
Get deep visibility into the performance of your databases and expert advice for performance optimization and tuning. You can't get application performance without database performance. Give everyone on the team a comprehensive view of how every aspect of the system affects performance across SQL database operations, host server and OS, virtualization resources and storage I/O. Quickly find bottlenecks and troubleshoot complex problems.
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, 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 opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, discussed how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galera MyS...
About a year ago we tuned into “the need for speed” and how a concept like "serverless computing” was increasingly catering to this. We are now a year further and the term “serverless” is taking on unexpected proportions. With some even seeing it as the successor to cloud in general or at least as a successor to the clouds’ poorer cousin in terms of revenue, hype and adoption: PaaS. The question we need to ask is whether this constitutes an example of Hype Hopping: to effortlessly pivot to the ...
As we enter the final week before the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in Santa Clara, CA, it's time for me to reflect on six big topics that will be important during the show. Hybrid Cloud: This general-purpose term seems to provide a comfort zone for many enterprise IT managers. It sounds reassuring to be able to work with one of the major public-cloud providers like AWS or Microsoft Azure while still maintaining an on-site presence.
I’m a huge fan of open source DevOps tools. I’m also a huge fan of scaling open source tools for the enterprise. But having talked with my fair share of companies over the years, one important thing I’ve learned is that you can’t scale your release process using open source tools alone. They simply require too much scripting and maintenance when used that way. Scripting may be fine for smaller organizations, but it’s not ok in an enterprise environment that includes many independent teams and to...
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.