Welcome!

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

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

How VMware Could Beat Amazon in the Cloud

Hybrid cloud will change the game

Over the last four years Archimedius has tracked the evolution of VMware from server virtualization leader to private cloud leader and the rise of Amazon as a public cloud leader.  Earlier in December I predicted the rise of the hybrid cloud in 2012, and later discussed the implications in greater detail in Top Five Cloud Predictions.  In short, I think that hybrid cloud promises to transform the way that enterprises and service providers deliver IT services, and the way that vendors develop and bring to market their products and services.

Over the next five years we will watch IT move from a feudalistic, hardware-bound model to a service and software-driven model, thanks in large part to the transformation of public and private clouds into hybrid clouds.  That will shift enterprise investment into cloud computing and shift tech market valuations from the stable and hardware-enabled to the nimble, service and software-driven. Trillions in market capitalizations are at stake, based on the timing and breadth of this transformation.

VMware as a Tech Leader
One could certainly make the case that this recent transformation started with VMware and the advent of server virtualization, unless you want to go further back to the days when IBM introduced time sharing on mainframes.  In late 2010 I speculated that VMware could be the Next Microsoft (or Netscape).

Yet 2013 promises to be a watershed year for several tech companies, from VMware, Cisco, Juniper, and Amazon to a wide range of service providers who have been traditionally viewed as niche or segment specialists.  Let's start with VMware, who perhaps fueled the march toward software and service-defined IT.

VMware has been architecting itself deeper into the enterprise data center thanks to its powerful server virtualization technology and a series of smart partnerships, acquisitions and internal development strategies that have been paying off consistently since its 2007 IPO.  Early last year VMware acquired SDN(software-defined networking) startup Nicira for more than $1 Billion. The rationale apparently offered by VMware execs to a respected analyst I dined with in November 2012: "engineering expertise."

VMware, Networking and the Cloud
I wrote about the emerging importance of networks with cloud computing in November 2008; see, for example The Beginning of the End of Static Infrastructure.  That is why I think "engineering expertise" could be a carefully crafted understatement.

Let me offer an alternative answer: I think the team at VMware understands the role that networking and services will play in the evolution of virtualization in the data center and ultimately the hybrid cloud; it may be well on its way to extend from the private cloud into the hybrid cloud just as it extended from DevTest into production data centers in recent years. Part of this challenge is the economics and constraints of hardware-bound networking (in a software-defined cloud), the other are the core services required for apps to run across multiple environments (hybrid clouds).

With Nicira VMware gets an important part of the networking functionality needed to further enhance the ROI of virtualization in the data center, based on decoupling network functionality from dedicated (and often expensive) hardware.  As mentioned before, VMware could do to networks what it did to once expensive and custom ASIC-centric server hardware.

Validating the threat and opportunity posed by software-defined data centers and networks, Cisco announced "spin-in" Insieme Networks last year and Juniper recently announced its acquisition of Contrail Systems. Both are important first steps to an equivalent of VMware's broad software-defined data center initiative, but they are still missing key components that VMware already has on board. You can read more about the software-defined threat and opportunity at Cisco's Golden Age or Fleece.  HP made an OpenFlow Announcement early in 2012, but it is clearly grappling with "bigger picture" issues.

Higher up the OSI stack are critical capabilities related to hybrid cloud apps, services and storage technologies that promise to be hot in coming years.  See the buzz, for example, around the December 2012 launch of (my employer) CloudVelocity.  In the data center and shortly in the cloud, SDN could commoditize network hardware and make clouds more cost-efficient and easier to manage. Along with SDN come new solutions in 2013 that allow apps and services to be deployed across clouds (optimized across data centers) similarly to how VMware optimized apps and operating systems across server hardware. Payoffs also include devtest in the cloud (or cloud cloning) and cloud failover.

Amazon and the Public Cloud

As VMware advanced from its virtualization technology roots into the private cloud, Amazon, led by the brilliant Dr. Werner Vogels, has leveraged its operating strengths as an online retailer to become the undisputed leader in the public cloud.  Recently it has added more features and functionality around enterprise workloads, positioning itself for broader enterprise appeal.  Perhaps Amazon's only weakness at this point is its very public obsession with public cloud, to the detriment of its potential leadership in hybrid could development.

2013: The Year of the Hybrid Cloud

The pace and breadth of hybrid cloud adoption could have a significant impact on the fortunes of Amazon and VMware as well as a host of other technology companies, as discussed in Hybrid is a Whole New Cloud. Service providers who understand the cloud could outgrow and "outmargin" those who are trapped in colocation offerings locked into traditional, hardware-bound approaches to IT.

Hybrid cloud promises to drive the adoption of new architectures, new solutions and new capabilities in 2013 as venture-backed companies and even larger tech players introduce new cloud migration, cloning and failover solutions for multi-tiers apps.  These solutions could reduce the barriers to cloud adoption by allowing apps to run across multiple environments, limiting their exposure to regional outages and even natural disasters.  With that you get the notion of a boundless data center no longer confined by specialized hardware and bricks and mortar, optimized almost continuously. See a recent tech trade press prediction: 2013 The Year of the Hybrid Cloud.

The hybrid cloud offers VMware a strategic opportunity to flank Amazon's public cloud leadership by enabling enterprises to adopt lower risk and lower cost hybrid cloud operating models; ways of operating that would give them greater control over their applications across multiple cloud providers. In the case of a cloud service provider outage an enterprise could light up their apps and services in a new zone or with another provider; they are not dependent upon a single cloud provider's ability to deliver very high uptime.

Enterprises would be well advised to work with multiple cloud service providers and/or regions within a single provider as extensions of their data centers. A core promise of the hybrid cloud idea is to get away from a single point of cloud failure, which today is challenging.

While Amazon trumpets the public cloud (and reliance upon Amazon's great pricing and expertise), VMware offers a virtualization-standardized private cloud vision with dependence upon its platform.  The question becomes: who steps up first to deliver on the hybrid cloud promise?

In 2012 Amazon also made some strategic hybrid cloud moves.  But as of December 2012 they have remained steadfast in the future of the public cloud.  2013 promises to be a watershed year for both VMware and Amazon.

In addition to Amazon and VMware a host of other companies emerge as either service providers or critical solution providers. I mentioned several potential leaders in Hybrid Cloud is a Whole New Cloud.

More Stories By Greg Ness

Greg Ness is a Silicon Valley marketing veteran with background in networking, security, virtualization and cloud computing. He is VP Marketing at CloudVelocity. Formerly at Vantage Data Centers, Infoblox, Blue Lane Technologies, Juniper Networks, Redline Networks, McAfee, IntruVerofficer at Networks and ShoreTel. He is one of the world's top cloud bloggers.

@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...
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.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.
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 ...
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...
"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.
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...
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.
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...
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, showed how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningful f...
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...
@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.
Logs are continuous digital records of events generated by all components of your software stack – and they’re everywhere – your networks, servers, applications, containers and cloud infrastructure just to name a few. The data logs provide are like an X-ray for your IT infrastructure. Without logs, this lack of visibility creates operational challenges for managing modern applications that drive today’s digital businesses.
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...
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 ...