|By Dana Gardner||
|August 23, 2012 10:00 AM EDT||
The next edition of the HP Discover Performance podcast series brings together two top cloud evangelists from the recent HP Discover 2012 Conference to discuss the specific concepts around converged cloud, information clouds, and hybrid services delivery.
We’re joined by Paul Muller, the Chief Software Evangelist at HP, and Christian Verstraete, Chief Technologist for Cloud Strategy at HP. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]
Here are some excerpts:
Gardner: You’ve separated the notion of hybrid computing and hybrid delivery. Can you help me understand better why they're different, and what HP means by hybrid delivery?
Verstraete: Hybrid computing typically is combining private and public clouds. We feel that many of our customers still have a traditional environment, and that traditional environment will not go away anytime soon. However, they're actually looking at combining that traditional environment, the data that’s in that traditional environment and some of the functionality that's out there, with the public cloud and the private cloud.
The whole concept of hybrid delivery is tying that together. It goes beyond hybrid computing or hybrid cloud. It adds the whole dimension of the traditional environment. And, to our mind, the traditional environment isn't going to go away anytime soon.
Gardner: Paul, how has the traditional understanding of cloud computing as segments of infrastructure services changed?
Muller: From that perspective, the converged cloud is really about three things for us. The first is having greater levels of choice. The key point that Christian just made is that you can't afford to live in the world of, "It’s just public; it's just private; or I can ignore my traditional investments and infrastructure." Choice is critical, choice in terms of platform and application.
The second thing, though, is that in order to get great choices, you need consistency as an underlying platform to ensure that you're able to scale your people, your processes, and more importantly, your investments across those different environments.
The last one is probably the biggest area of passion for me -- confidence. We spoke a little bit earlier about how so many clients, as they move to cloud, are concerned about the arm’s-length relationship they have with that provider. How can I get back the confidence in security and service levels, and make sure that that confidence is consistent across both my on-premises and-off premises environments?
Verstraete: People have started looking at cloud from pure infrastructure, reuse, and putting workflows in some particular places in infrastructure. The world is moving beyond that at the moment. On one end, you have software as a service (SaaS) starting to play and getting integrated in a complete cloud environment and a complete cloud function.
We also have to realize that, in 2011, the world created about 1.8 zettabytes of data, and that data has a heck of a lot of information that enterprises actually need. And as enterprises understand what they can get out of the data, they want that data right there at their fingertips. What makes it even more interesting is that 90 percent of that data is unstructured.
We've been working for the last 30 years with structured data. We know all about databases and everything, but we have no clue about unstructured data. How do I know the sentiments that people have compared to my brand, my business, my product? That's the sort of question that's becoming important, because if you want to do warranty management or anything else, you want to understand how your users feel. Hence, the importance of all of this data.
Muller: I’d add something else. We were here with the Customer Advisory Board. We had a pre-meeting prior to the actual conference, and one of them said something I thought was kind of interesting, remarkable actually.
He said, "If I think back 30 years, my chief concern was making sure the infrastructure was functioning as we expected it to. As I moved forward, my focus was on differentiating applications." He said, "Now that I'm moving more and more of the first two into the cloud, my focus really needs to be on harnessing the information and insight. That’s got to become the core competency and priority of my team."
Verstraete: There's one element to add, and that is the end-user. When you start talking about converged clouds -- we're not there yet, but we're getting there -- it's really about having one, single user experience. Your end-user doesn't need to know that this function runs in a public cloud, that function runs in a private cloud, or that function runs in the traditional environment.
No. He just wants to get there and use whatever it is. It's up to IT to define where they put it, but he or she just wants to have to go one way, with one approach -- and that's where you get this concept of a unique user experience. In converged cloud that’s absolutely critical.
Gardner: Another term that was a bit fresh for me here was this notion of composite hybrid applications. This was brought up by Biri Singh in his discussion. It sounds as if more and more combinations of SaaS, on-premises, virtualized, physical, and applications need to come together. In addition to that, we're going to be seeing systems of record moving to some variety of cloud or combination of cloud resources.
The question then is how can we get to the data within all of those applications to create those business processes that need to cut across them? Is that what you're talking about with Autonomy and IDOL? Is that the capability we are really moving toward, combining data and information from a variety of sources, but in a productive and useful way?
Verstraete: Absolutely. You got it spot on, Dana. It's really about using all of the information sources that you have. It's using your own private information sources, but combining them with the public information sources. Don’t forget about those. Out of that, it's gathering the information that's relevant to the particular thing that you're trying to achieve, be it compliance, understanding how people think about you, or anything else.
The result is one piece of information, but it may come from multiple sources, and you need an environment that pulls all of that data and gets at that data in a useful form, so you can start doing the analysis and then portraying the information, as you said, in a way that is useful for you. That's what IDOL and Autonomy does for us in this environment.
Muller: This has to be not yesterday, not today, but in real-time. One of the critical elements to that is being able to access that information in real-time. All of us are active in social media, and that literally reflects your customer’s attitudes from minute to minute.
Let me give you a use-case of how the two come together. Imagine that you have a customer on a phone call with a customer service operator. You could use Autonomy technology to detect, for example, the sound of their voice, which indicates that they're stressed or that they're not happy.
You can flag that and then very quickly go out to your real-time structured systems and ask, "How much of an investment has this client made in us? Are they are high net worth customer to us or are they a first-time transactor? Are they active in the social media environment? What are they saying about us right now?"
If the pattern is one that may be disadvantageous to the company, you can flag that very quickly and say, "We want to escalate this really quickly to a manager to take control of the situation, because maybe that particular customer service rep needs some coaching or needs some help." Again, not in a week’s time, not in a month’s time, but right there, right now. That’s a really important point.
Gardner: This is a good vision, but if I am a developer, a business analyst, or a leader in a company and I want a dashboard that gets me this information, how do we take this fire hose of information and make it manageable and actionable?
Verstraete: There are two different elements in this. The first thing is that we’re using IDOL 10, which is basically the combination, on one hand, of Autonomy and, on the other hand, of Vertica. Autonomy is for unstructured data, and Vertica for structured data, so you get the two coming together.
We’re using that as the backbone for gathering and analyzing the whole of that information. We've made available to developers a number of APIs, so that they can tap into this in real-time, as Paul said, and then start using that information and doing whatever they want with it.
Obviously, Autonomy and Vertica will give you the appropriate information, the sentiment, and the human information, as we talked about. Now, it's up to you to decide what you want to do with that, what you want to do with the signals that you receive. And that's what the developer can do in real-time, at the moment.
Gardner: Paul, any thoughts in making this fire hose of data actionable?
Muller: Just one simple thought, which is meaning. The great challenge is not lack of data or information, but it's the sheer volume as you pointed out, when a developer thinks about taking all of the information that's available. A simple Google query or a Bing query will yield hundreds, even millions of results. Type in the words "Great Lakes," and what are you going to get back? You'll get all sorts of information about lakes.
But if you’re looking, for example, for information about depth of lakes, where the lakes are, where are lakes with holiday destinations, it's the meaning of the query that's going to help you reduce that information and help you sort the wheat from the chaff. It's meaning that's going to help developers be more effective, and that's one of the reasons why we focus so heavily on that with IDOL 10.
Gardner: And just to quickly follow up on that, who decides the meaning? Is this the end user who can take action against this data, or does it have to go through IT and a developer and a business analyst? How close can we get to those people at an individual level so that they can ascertain the meaning and then act on it?
Muller: It's a brilliant question, because meaning in the old sense of the term -- assigning meaning is a better way of putting it -- was ascribed to the developer. Think about tagging a blog, for example. What is this blog about? Well, this blog might be about something as you’re writing it, but as time goes on, it might be seen as some sort of historic record of the sentiment of the times.
So it moves from being a statement of fact to a statement of sentiment. The meaning of the information will change, depending on its time, its purpose, and its use. You can't foresee it, you can't predict it, and you certainly can't entrust a human with the task of specifically documenting the meaning for each of those elements.
What we focus on is allowing the information itself to ascribe its own meaning and the user to find the information that has the appropriate meaning at the time that they need it. That's the big difference.
Gardner: So the power of the cloud and the power of an engine like IDOL and Vertica brought to bear is to be bale to serve up the right information to the right person at the right time -- rather than them having to find it and know what they want.
Verstraete: Exactly, that's exactly what it is. With that information they can then start doing whatever they want to do in their particular application and what they want to deliver to their end-user. You’re absolutely spot-on with that.
Gardner: Let's go to a different concept around the HP Converged Cloud. It seems as if we’re moving toward a cloud of clouds. You don’t seem to want to put other public cloud providers out of business.
You seem to say, "Let them do what they do. We want to get in front of them and add value, so that those coming in through our [HP] cloud, and accessing their services vis-à-vis other clouds, can get better data and analysis, security, and perhaps even some other value-added services." Or am I reading this wrong?
Verstraete: No, you’re actually reading this right. One of the issues that you have with public clouds today isn't a question of whether public cloud is secure or not secure or whether it's compliant or not compliant. Many customers don’t have the transparency to understand what is really happening, and with transparency comes trust.
A lot of our customers tell us, "For certain particular workloads, we don’t really trust this or that cloud, because we don’t really know what they do. So give us a cloud or something that delivers the same type of functionality, but where I can understand what is done from a security perspective, a process perspective, a compliance perspective, an SLA perspective, and so on?
They ask: "Where can I have a proper contract, not these little Ts and Cs that I tick in the box? Where can I have the real proper contract and understand what I'm getting into, so that I can analyze my potential risk and decide what security I want to have, and what risk I'm prepared to take?"
Gardner: So the way in which I would interface with the HP managed services cloud of clouds would be through SLAs and key performance indicators (KPIs), and the language of business risk, rather than an engineer’s check list.
Muller: Absolutely, exactly right. That's the important point. Christian talks about this all the time. It’s not about cloud; it’s about the services, and it’s about describing those services in terms of what a businessperson can understand. What am I going to get, what cost, at what quality, at what time, at what level of risk and security? And can I find the right solution at the right time?
Wisdom of the crowds
Gardner: You've been talking with CIOs and leaders within business. Christian, first with you, does anything jump out as interesting from the marketplace that perhaps you didn’t anticipate? Where are they interested most in this notion of the HP Converged Cloud?
Verstraete:A lot of customers, at least the ones that I talk to, are interested in how they can start taking advantage of this whole brand-new way with existing applications. A number of them are not ready to say, "I'm going to ditch what I have, and I am going to do something else." They just say, "I'm confident with and comfortable with this, but can I take advantage of this new functionality, this new environment? How do I transform my applications to be in this type of a world?" That's one of the elements that I keep hearing quite a lot.
Gardner: So a crawl-walk-run, a transition, a journey. This isn’t a switch you flip; this is really a progression.
Verstraete: That is why the presence of the traditional environment, as we said at the beginning, is so important. You don’t take the 3,000 applications you have, plug them around, they all work, and you forget about a traditional environment. That's not how it works. It's really that period to start moving, and to slowly but surely start taking the full advantage of what this converged cloud really delivers to you.
Gardner: Paul, what is that community here telling you about their interests in the cloud?
Muller: A number of things, but I think the primary one is just getting ahead of this consumerization trend and being able to treat the internal IT organization and almost transforming it into something that looks and feels like an external service provider.
So the simplicity, ease of consumption, transparency of cost, the choice, but also the confidence that comes from dealing with that sort of consumerized service, is there, whether it's bringing your own device or bringing your own service or combining it on- and off-premises together.
Verstraete: Chris Anderson in his HP Discover keynote said something that resonated quite a lot with me. If you, as a CIO, want to remain competitive, you'd better get quick, and you'd better start transforming and move. I very much believe that, and I think that's something that we need, that our CIOs actually need to understand.
You may also be interested in:
- HP Expert Chat Explores How Insight Remote Support and Insight Online Bring Automation, Self-Solving Capabilities to IT Problems
- Investing Well in IT With Emphasis on KPIs Separates Business Leaders from Business Laggards, Survey Results Show
- Expert Chat with HP on How Better Understanding Security Makes it an Enabler, Rather than Inhibitor, of Cloud Adoption
- Expert Chat with HP on How IT Can Enable Cloud While Maintaining Control and Governance
- Expert Chat on How HP Ecosystem Provides Holistic Support for VMware Virtualized IT Environments
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.
Jul. 30, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,706
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.
Jul. 30, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,854
No matter how well-built your applications are, countless issues can cause performance problems, putting the platforms they are running on under scrutiny. If you've moved to Node.js to power your applications, you may be at risk of these issues calling your choice into question. How do you identify vulnerabilities and mitigate risk to take the focus off troubleshooting the technology and back where it belongs, on innovation? There is no doubt that Node.js is one of today's leading platforms of ...
Jul. 30, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 780
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, ...
Jul. 30, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,359
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.
Jul. 30, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,400
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...
Jul. 30, 2016 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,515
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...
Jul. 30, 2016 05:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,398
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...
Jul. 30, 2016 05:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,765
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...
Jul. 30, 2016 05:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,722
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.
Jul. 30, 2016 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 4,198
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...
Jul. 30, 2016 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,420
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!
Jul. 30, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,791
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...
Jul. 30, 2016 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,363
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...
Jul. 29, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,306
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.
Jul. 29, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,763
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
Jul. 29, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 9,841
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...
Jul. 29, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,299
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...
Jul. 28, 2016 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,263
Sharding has become a popular means of achieving scalability in application architectures in which read/write data separation is not only possible, but desirable to achieve new heights of concurrency. The premise is that by splitting up read and write duties, it is possible to get better overall performance at the cost of a slight delay in consistency. That is, it takes a bit of time to replicate changes initiated by a "write" to the read-only master database. It's eventually consistent, and it'...
Jul. 28, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,379
Jul. 28, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,986