Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Mehdi Daoudi, Pat Romanski, Flint Brenton, Gordon Haff

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Article

Enterprise Cloud Adoption Framework

An interview with Brett Adam, CTO of rPath

"We're actually very bullish about PaaS as the architecture for a lot of next generation apps," noted Brett Adam, Chief Technology Officer at rPath, in this exclusive Q&A. "But," he continued, "we see true PaaS as it's been popularized in the market - you may think of it as "Silicon Valley PaaS" - is too constraining for the types of applications that enterprises depend upon today."

Q: Tell me about the Enterprise Cloud Adoption Framework (ECAF). What inspired it?

Brett Adam: We're seeing enterprise IT and traditional service providers under extraordinary pressure to transform to cloud-based delivery and business models, but there are few reliable resources to guide what is a fairly massive architectural transformation. Despite substantial opinions about how to adopt cloud, the issue of standardization wasn't getting the attention it deserved. We believe standardization is absolutely crucial. Uniquely, this framework looks at the cloud transformation through the lens of standardization as the driver and enabler for achieving on-demand, elastic IT.

Q: What do you mean by standardization?

Brett Adam: Standardization is about consolidating and normalizing compute, network and storage infrastructure and operating systems and other middleware platforms from unmanageable diversity-so called, "rats and mice"-to a simplified, standardized set of offerings. The goal is to drive economies of scale for cost reduction and to simplify environments so automation and policies can replace human labor as the basis for how systems are provisioned, maintained and scaled. You can't achieve an agile IT model without standardization behind it. Infrastructure and platform diversity is the mortal enemy of cloud delivery models.

Q: You talk a lot about manufacturing as an analogy for cloud. Say more about that.

Brett Adam: Modern manufacturing practices are extraordinarily agile and efficient because of deep automation of highly standardized parts, processes and policy. You simply couldn't have the sort of scale production at the cost and quality we see today without deep automation-and you couldn't have that degree of automation without deep standardization. It's an important symbiotic relationship that needs to be understood as IT providers make the shift to cloud architectures.

Q: Talk about the framework itself. How does it help cloud builders guide their initiatives?

Brett Adam: The framework explores two key dimensions: Infrastructure, which includes compute, network and storage capacity; and platforms, which are the operating systems and other middleware that enable applications. It tracks the evolution of these two dimensions through a continuum of diverse, standard, and elastic-helping strategists and architects to think about the tradeoffs at each point in this journey. It recommends marching forward with parallel investments in both infrastructure and platform maturity. Cloud projects are too often constrained to infrastructure thinking, but it's platforms that enable applications-and, ultimately, it's applications that customers and users care about. So, the framework tries to maintain a balance between each of these dimensions so cloud builders can maintain a trajectory that satisfies what customers care about. Additionally, it highlights the architectural patterns-and traps-at the intersection of these two dimensions, which really helps to create a context for understanding the implications of certain cloud investments.

Q: One of these so-called traps seems to be PaaS. Why is this a risk?

Brett Adam: We're actually very bullish about PaaS as the architecture for a lot of next generation apps. But we see true PaaS as it's been popularized in the market - you may think of it as "Silicon Valley PaaS" - is too constraining for the types of applications that enterprises depend upon today. PaaS provides a single, simple interface for deploying apps, but it dictates highly constrained requirements. PaaS dictates extreme standardization and the reality is that the vast majority of large companies have complex and diverse application requirements. That's why, while standardization is the fundamental driver for cloud, we don't see the cloud transformation as an all-in proposition. Standardization should be a mandate that's implemented over a period of time. I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of enterprise applications are running on true PaaS platforms in a decade. But that's a long time and we can't wait that long to deliver the speed and efficiency customers and business lines demand.

Q: What do you mean by "Enterprise PaaS"?

Brett Adam: Enterprise PaaS is a way of delivering much of the agility and economics of PaaS without full platform standardization and consolidation. It's a practice that focuses on introducing some degree of standardization and allowing OS and middleware stacks of a variety of flavors to be provisioned on demand. It's a more pragmatic alternative for the typical enterprise environment.

Q: So, what's the alternative to this sort of model? What's the "as-is" to the "to-be" you're proposing?

Brett Adam: Today, there's a lot of confusion about what should come first, second and last in a cloud project. Cloud builders are inundated by vendor messages and, frankly, uniformed opinions about where to start. I think it's going to lead to a lot of failed first-generation projects or completed cloud projects that are wholly incomplete because they've failed to think past infrastructure. I'm a strong believer that Amazon is setting the pace and expectation for IT organizations and they need to make aggressive, but thoughtful investments in delivering their own cloud services. Our goal is to help cloud builders cut through the noise and think analytically about their cloud projects.

Q: How can readers learn more about the Enterprise Cloud Adoption Framework?

Brett Adam: Visit www.cloudadoption.org. You can download the framework itself, a simplified poster and to view webinars that put the framework into an actionable context. If you want to get involved as a participant in the movement, send e-mail to [email protected].

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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
"We started a Master of Science in business analytics - that's the hot topic. We serve the business community around San Francisco so we educate the working professionals and this is where they all want to be," explained Judy Lee, Associate Professor and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
For over a decade, Application Programming Interface or APIs have been used to exchange data between multiple platforms. From social media to news and media sites, most websites depend on APIs to provide a dynamic and real-time digital experience. APIs have made its way into almost every device and service available today and it continues to spur innovations in every field of technology. There are multiple programming languages used to build and run applications in the online world. And just li...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
The general concepts of DevOps have played a central role advancing the modern software delivery industry. With the library of DevOps best practices, tips and guides expanding quickly, it can be difficult to track down the best and most accurate resources and information. In order to help the software development community, and to further our own learning, we reached out to leading industry analysts and asked them about an increasingly popular tenet of a DevOps transformation: collaboration.
We call it DevOps but much of the time there’s a lot more discussion about the needs and concerns of developers than there is about other groups. There’s a focus on improved and less isolated developer workflows. There are many discussions around collaboration, continuous integration and delivery, issue tracking, source code control, code review, IDEs, and xPaaS – and all the tools that enable those things. Changes in developer practices may come up – such as developers taking ownership of code ...
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
Cloud Governance means many things to many people. Heck, just the word cloud means different things depending on who you are talking to. While definitions can vary, controlling access to cloud resources is invariably a central piece of any governance program. Enterprise cloud computing has transformed IT. Cloud computing decreases time-to-market, improves agility by allowing businesses to adapt quickly to changing market demands, and, ultimately, drives down costs.
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
How is DevOps going within your organization? If you need some help measuring just how well it is going, we have prepared a list of some key DevOps metrics to track. These metrics can help you understand how your team is doing over time. The word DevOps means different things to different people. Some say it a culture and every vendor in the industry claims that their tools help with DevOps. Depending on how you define DevOps, some of these metrics may matter more or less to you and your team.
"CA has been doing a lot of things in the area of DevOps. Now we have a complete set of tool sets in order to enable customers to go all the way from planning to development to testing down to release into the operations," explained Aruna Ravichandran, Vice President of Global Marketing and Strategy at CA Technologies, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We are an integrator of carrier ethernet and bandwidth to get people to connect to the cloud, to the SaaS providers, and the IaaS providers all on ethernet," explained Paul Mako, CEO & CTO of Massive Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Grape Up leverages Cloud Native technologies and helps companies build software using microservices, and work the DevOps agile way. We've been doing digital innovation for the last 12 years," explained Daniel Heckman, of Grape Up in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Outscale was founded in 2010, is based in France, is a strategic partner to Dassault Systémes and has done quite a bit of work with divisions of Dassault," explained Jackie Funk, Digital Marketing exec at Outscale, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Let's do a visualization exercise. Imagine it's December 31, 2018, and you're ringing in the New Year with your friends and family. You think back on everything that you accomplished in the last year: your company's revenue is through the roof thanks to the success of your product, and you were promoted to Lead Developer. 2019 is poised to be an even bigger year for your company because you have the tools and insight to scale as quickly as demand requires. You're a happy human, and it's not just...
The enterprise data storage marketplace is poised to become a battlefield. No longer the quiet backwater of cloud computing services, the focus of this global transition is now going from compute to storage. An overview of recent storage market history is needed to understand why this transition is important. Before 2007 and the birth of the cloud computing market we are witnessing today, the on-premise model hosted in large local data centers dominated enterprise storage. Key marketplace play...
Cavirin Systems has just announced C2, a SaaS offering designed to bring continuous security assessment and remediation to hybrid environments, containers, and data centers. Cavirin C2 is deployed within Amazon Web Services (AWS) and features a flexible licensing model for easy scalability and clear pay-as-you-go pricing. Although native to AWS, it also supports assessment and remediation of virtual or container instances within Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), or on-premise. By dr...
With continuous delivery (CD) almost always in the spotlight, continuous integration (CI) is often left out in the cold. Indeed, it's been in use for so long and so widely, we often take the model for granted. So what is CI and how can you make the most of it? This blog is intended to answer those questions. Before we step into examining CI, we need to look back. Software developers often work in small teams and modularity, and need to integrate their changes with the rest of the project code b...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...