Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Sematext Blog, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White

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
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...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
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.
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...
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...
Join Impiger for their featured webinar: ‘Cloud Computing: A Roadmap to Modern Software Delivery’ on November 10, 2016, at 12:00 pm CST. Very few companies have not experienced some impact to their IT delivery due to the evolution of cloud computing. This webinar is not about deciding whether you should entertain moving some or all of your IT to the cloud, but rather, a detailed look under the hood to help IT professionals understand how cloud adoption has evolved and what trends will impact th...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, 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. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
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 session at @DevOpsSummit 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, showed how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that enables everyone fro...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
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 ...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
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 ...
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.
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...
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...
@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.
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, contrasted how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He showed how the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He also demoed building immutable pipelines in the 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 develop...
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.
Application transformation and DevOps practices are two sides of the same coin. Enterprises that want to capture value faster, need to deliver value faster – time value of money principle. To do that enterprises need to build cloud-native apps as microservices by empowering teams to build, ship, and run in production. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Neil Gehani, senior product manager at HPE, discussed what every business should plan for how to structure their teams to delive...