Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: David Green, Roger Strukhoff, XebiaLabs Blog, Liz McMillan, Craig Lowell

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Computing: Knowledge Leads to a Change in Thinking

An exclusive Q&A with Chetan Patwardhan, CEO of Stratogent

"The basic premise for any central computing system optimized for mass consumption is the 80/20 rule. It can be built only to serve 80% of the needs in an economized and optimized fashion," noted Chetan Patwardhan, CEO of Stratogent, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. "Having said that," Patwardhan continued, "the so-called cloud economics work only for a certain type of system and is outright prohibitively expensive for most enterprise setups where a typical three-year timeframe cost view is more dependent on human labor than on the infrastructure."

Cloud Computing Journal: Just having the enterprise data is good. Extracting meaningful information out of this data is priceless. Agree or disagree?

Chetan Patwardhan: Agree 100%. Let's look at the value creation process: data is nothing but innumerable floating points of reference. The gathering of data is the very first step. Creating useful information out of data is truly a daunting task because it's not based on the complexity of data, but the simplicity of information that leads to the creation of knowledge. For the CEO of a large company, a dozen key information sets presented in up/down or chart format can create knowledge of how the company is performing. Knowledge leads to a change in thinking, sometimes creating paradigm shifts in how companies approach challenges. Changes in thinking bring about decision making and changes in the behavior of the organization. This chain reaction finally leads to success.

One key here lies in the ability of the information system to let consumers of data effortlessly traverse from data sets to concise, simple information and vice versa. For example, if a simple graph shows the market share of a product worldwide, that's great information. Then, there should be the ability to click on that graph and keep drilling down to continents, regions, countries, states, cities, and finally stores. In other words, neither the data by itself nor the one way extraction of information can be answers in themselves without this ability to traverse back and forth, pivot, report, represent, and share with the ease of point and click.

Finally, let's revise the chain reaction: collection of good data leads to meaningful information. Information leads to knowledge, which in turn leads to changes in behavior and critical decision making. Not just the success, but the survival of enterprises more ever than before will be dictated by their ability to collect and covert data into precisely timed good decision making!

Cloud Computing Journal: Forrester's James Staten: "Not everything will move to the cloud as there are many business processes, data sets and workflows that require specific hardware or proprietary solutions that can't take advantage of cloud economics. For this reason we'll likely still have mainframes 20 years from now." Agree or disagree?

Patwardhan: Well, define mainframe and cloud. I thought they were synonymous :). Before the concept of cloud, the mainframe was the cloud. Back in the day, we connected to that cloud via the so-called dumb terminals. For those old enough to have used IBM PROFS messaging, it was the first instant email and instant messenger system in one. And it worked really well! Well, the limitation of the cloud and mainframe then is the same.

The basic premise for any central computing system optimized for mass consumption is the 80/20 rule. It can be built only to serve 80% of the needs in an economized and optimized fashion. Having said that, the so-called cloud economics work only for a certain type of system and is outright prohibitively expensive for most enterprise setups where a typical three-year timeframe cost view is more dependent on human labor than on the infrastructure.

Now, to the point, can cloud replace, say, 99% of all conventional computing. Certainly not any time in the near future. There are several reasons for this. First, let's admit that most applications were never designed and, as a matter of fact, can't be designed from scratch to run on the cloud. Why? Because fundamentally, there is no standardized, here-to-stay cloud infrastructure that enterprise applications can be written to. Second, as someone who has installed and managed systems for enterprises from startups to Fortune 500 companies, I can tell you that no two sets of information systems look alike, let alone 80% of them. Third, many enterprises need a level of security, customization, and back-end connections (XML, EDI, VPN) that can't be in the cloud without the cloud looking the same as the conventional system. Fourth, there is little transparency and answerability in the cloud when it comes to the ability to audit and maintain compliance levels. And last but not least, if the cloud finally maintains almost the same burden (minus keeping up the physical servers) on human engineers, where are the economies to be had?

From my perspective, consolidation of human resource talent pools, combined with the ability of leveraging the most economical cloud options (IAAS, PAAS and SAAS) as well as the conventional datacenter setups - essentially a super-hybrid approach - will be the way to go.

Cloud Computing Journal: The price of cloud computing will go up - so will the demand. Agree or disagree or....?

Patwardhan: I don't understand why the price of cloud computing will go up. I expect it to remain flat over the next few years. While the efficiencies in hardware will reduce the price and/or increase the processing capabilities, the overhead of maintaining availability and pressure to provide human interface will also increase. As a result, the prices will probably remain flat. As for the demand, it will increase, but one must first factor in the overall demand for computing, which is constantly on the rise. Since the cloud is one way to satiate that demand, cloud subscriptions will rise too. Of the three types of cloud, to me PaaS and SaaS should generate more demand than the pure IaaS, because they both address the problem of cost of human labor. As long as the PaaS and SaaS providers get it right in terms of addressing user needs, demand for those services should rise.

Cloud Computing Journal: Rackspace is reporting an 80% growth from cloud computing, Amazon continues to innovate and make great strides, and Microsoft, Dell and other big players are positioning themselves as big leaders. Are you expecting in the next 18 months to see the bottom fall out and scores of cloud providers failing or getting gobbled up by bigger players? Or what?

Patwardhan: The news of Rackspace reporting 80% growth in cloud computing needs a special lens for viewing! Rackspace's model from day one has been to lease hosted servers, networking gear, and storage. With their cloud solution, they are, hmmm, leasing hosted servers, networking gear and storage! Essentially, the only change in their offering (pre-cloud and cloud) is flexibility and elasticity. It's important to take into account the trajectory of their overall demand, then contrast that against how much of that demand was served by their conventional model versus their cloud model. The cloud model for Rackspace customers is nothing but a little cheaper way to get started.

As for the small and large companies setting up infrastructure farms, adding their differentiated layers of service, it's a phenomenon not unique to the cloud. It happens every time a new bandwagon arrives. For now, it seems that a variety of local, regional and national players are thriving. Again, this is a common phenomenon in any cycle.

What does the landscape look like five years from now? There are three big factors unique to cloud providers. First, it takes real infrastructure (datacenter, equipment) to create a cloud service. Second, infrastructure ages and becomes obsolete quickly in this industry. Third, smaller companies once past the first or second installation will struggle because either they will stagnate and die from attrition (easy in cloud) or from cash flow challenges if they find a way to grow.

Wait a minute, is that familiar to you? It's after all not that unique is it? All infra companies, from telecom to trucking, suffer the same fate. Ergo, some will die and for some customers their cloud will disappear with little notice. Yet some others will find bigger fish that will gobble them up at low prices. It's unlikely for an IaaS cloud provider to be bought by a big player for a handsome price unless they have great momentum, brand, and profitability. I don't expect dramatic events in the next 18 months, but do expect the law of the jungle to prevail over the next five years.

Cloud Computing Journal: Please name one thing that - despite what we all may have heard or read - you are certain is not going to happen in the future, with Cloud and BigData? ;-)

Patwardhan: I find this question amusing because it tempts me to put things in here like a telco or a bank will never use the cloud to provide their core telecom or banking service. I would have preferred to answer a question that mentioned a few things that are possible candidates for the cloud, but in my opinion will not happen. Let me leave this thought behind - if there are things that you think will never happen in the cloud, think again. It is a matter of time before the evolution of secure virtualized and orchestrated platforms, ingenuity of service providers, and the lack of qualified human engineers will move things to the cloud in a manner we are not willing to think about today.

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
The following fictional case study is a composite of actual horror stories I’ve heard over the years. Unfortunately, this scenario often occurs when in-house integration teams take on the complexities of DevOps and ALM integration with an enterprise service bus (ESB) or custom integration. It is written from the perspective of an enterprise architect tasked with leading an organization’s effort to adopt Agile to become more competitive. The company has turned to Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) as ...
Cloud Expo 2016 New York at the Javits Center New York was characterized by increased attendance and a new focus on operations. These were both encouraging signs for all involved in Cloud Computing and all that it touches. As Conference Chair, I work with the Cloud Expo team to structure three keynotes, numerous general sessions, and more than 150 breakout sessions along 10 tracks. Our job is to balance the state of enterprise IT today with the trends that will be commonplace tomorrow. Mobile...
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.
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
A company’s collection of online systems is like a delicate ecosystem – all components must integrate with and complement each other, and one single malfunction in any of them can bring the entire system to a screeching halt. That’s why, when monitoring and analyzing the health of your online systems, you need a broad arsenal of different tools for your different needs. In addition to a wide-angle lens that provides a snapshot of the overall health of your system, you must also have precise, ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th 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 dev...
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'...
The burgeoning trends around DevOps are translating into new types of IT infrastructure that both developers and operators can take advantage of. The next BriefingsDirect Voice of the Customer thought leadership discussion focuses on the burgeoning trends around DevOps and how that’s translating into new types of IT infrastructure that both developers and operators can take advantage of.
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
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!
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
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...
Thomas Bitman of Gartner wrote a blog post last year about why OpenStack projects fail. In that article, he outlined three particular metrics which together cause 60% of OpenStack projects to fall short of expectations: Wrong people (31% of failures): a successful cloud needs commitment both from the operations team as well as from "anchor" tenants. Wrong processes (19% of failures): a successful cloud automates across silos in the software development lifecycle, not just within silos.
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...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom 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. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Monitoring of Docker environments is challenging. Why? Because each container typically runs a single process, has its own environment, utilizes virtual networks, or has various methods of managing storage. Traditional monitoring solutions take metrics from each server and applications they run. These servers and applications running on them are typically very static, with very long uptimes. Docker deployments are different: a set of containers may run many applications, all sharing the resource...
It's been a busy time for tech's ongoing infatuation with containers. Amazon just announced EC2 Container Registry to simply container management. The new Azure container service taps into Microsoft's partnership with Docker and Mesosphere. You know when there's a standard for containers on the table there's money on the table, too. Everyone is talking containers because they reduce a ton of development-related challenges and make it much easier to move across production and testing environm...
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...
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...

Modern organizations face great challenges as they embrace innovation and integrate new tools and services. They begin to mature and move away from the complacency of maintaining traditional technologies and systems that only solve individual, siloed problems and work “well enough.” In order to build...

The post Gearing up for Digital Transformation appeared first on Aug. 26, 2016 01:30 PM EDT  Reads: 1,489