Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Mehdi Daoudi, Dan Blacharski, Elizabeth White, Kong Yang, Carmen Gonzalez

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
A Man in the Middle attack, or MITM, is a situation wherein a malicious entity can read/write data that is being transmitted between two or more systems (in most cases, between you and the website that you are surfing). MITMs are common in China, thanks to the “Great Cannon.” The “Great Cannon” is slightly different from the “The Great Firewall.” The firewall monitors web traffic moving in and out of China and blocks prohibited content. The Great Cannon, on the other hand, acts as a man in the...
When you decide to launch a startup company, business advisors, counselors, bankers and armchair know-it-alls will tell you that the first thing you need to do is get funding. While there is some validity to that boilerplate piece of wisdom, the availability of and need for startup funding has gone through a dramatic transformation over the past decade, and the next few years will see even more of a shift. A perfect storm of events is causing this seismic shift. On the macroeconomic side this ...
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, will discuss how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He will discuss how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
To more closely examine the variety of ways in which IT departments around the world are integrating cloud services, and the effect hybrid IT has had on their organizations and IT job roles, SolarWinds recently released the SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid Organization. This annual study consists of survey-based research that explores significant trends, developments, and movements related to and directly affecting IT and IT professionals.
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
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...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing at CA Technologies, has been named co-conference chair of DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
In large enterprises, environment provisioning and server provisioning account for a significant portion of the operations team's time. This often leaves users frustrated while they wait for these services. For instance, server provisioning can take several days and sometimes even weeks. At the same time, digital transformation means the need for server and environment provisioning is constantly growing. Organizations are adopting agile methodologies and software teams are increasing the speed ...
Is your application too difficult to manage? Do changes take dozens of developers hundreds of hours to execute, and frequently result in downtime across all your site’s functions? It sounds like you have a monolith! A monolith is one of the three main software architectures that define most applications. Whether you’ve intentionally set out to create a monolith or not, it’s worth at least weighing the pros and cons of the different architectural approaches and deciding which one makes the most s...
Developers want to create better apps faster. Static clouds are giving way to scalable systems, with dynamic resource allocation and application monitoring. You won't hear that chant from users on any picket line, but helping developers to create better apps faster is the mission of Lee Atchison, principal cloud architect and advocate at New Relic Inc., based in San Francisco. His singular job is to understand and drive the industry in the areas of cloud architecture, microservices, scalability ...
This recent research on cloud computing from the Register delves a little deeper than many of the "We're all adopting cloud!" surveys we've seen. They found that meaningful cloud adoption and the idea of the cloud-first enterprise are still not reality for many businesses. The Register's stats also show a more gradual cloud deployment trend over the past five years, not any sort of explosion. One important takeaway is that coherence across internal and external clouds is essential for IT right n...
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing be...
Back in February of 2017, Andrew Clay Schafer of Pivotal tweeted the following: “seriously tho, the whole software industry is stuck on deployment when we desperately need architecture and telemetry.” Intrigue in a 140 characters. For me, I hear Andrew saying, “we’re jumping to step 5 before we’ve successfully completed steps 1-4.”
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...
Software as a service (SaaS), one of the earliest and most successful cloud services, has reached mainstream status. According to Cisco, by 2019 more than four-fifths (83 percent) of all data center traffic will be based in the cloud, up from 65 percent today. The majority of this traffic will be applications. Businesses of all sizes are adopting a variety of SaaS-based services – everything from collaboration tools to mission-critical commerce-oriented applications. The rise in SaaS usage has m...
The proper isolation of resources is essential for multi-tenant environments. The traditional approach to isolate resources is, however, rather heavyweight. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Igor Drobiazko, co-founder of elastic.io, drew upon his own experience with operating a Docker container-based infrastructure on a large scale and present a lightweight solution for resource isolation using microservices. He also discussed the implementation of microservices in data and application integrat...
We'd all like to fulfill that "find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life" cliché. But in reality, every job (even if it's our dream job) comes with its downsides. For you, the constant fight against shadow IT might get on your last nerves. For your developer coworkers, infrastructure management is the roadblock that stands in the way of focusing on coding. As you watch more and more applications and processes move to the cloud, technology is coming to developers' rescue-most r...
2016 has been an amazing year for Docker and the container industry. We had 3 major releases of Docker engine this year , and tremendous increase in usage. The community has been following along and contributing amazing Docker resources to help you learn and get hands-on experience. Here’s some of the top read and viewed content for the year. Of course releases are always really popular, particularly when they fit requests we had from the community.