|By Anoj Willy||
|January 31, 2014 11:15 AM EST||
For most organizations, developing a cloud strategy is no longer a matter of "if," but a matter of how. The right cloud strategy can significantly reduce costs, offer instant scalability, and improve business agility. But to get the most from the cloud and position their businesses for the future, IT leaders must understand the trends that are shaping the rapidly changing landscape. Here are five considerations that should be top of mind for any IT decision-maker in the coming year.
1. Providing the best possible user experience.
When it comes to cloud, there's only one thing that matters and that's the user experience. It's easy to forget about the end user while getting caught up in the "arms race" of building and brokering cloud services. When consulting about cloud strategy for a healthcare R&D firm, my colleagues and I were asked the question: "Amazon offers these services, so why don't we?"
At the end of the day, it's the user experience that matters, not the number of cloud services offered or the amount of features available. Spend your time focusing on the experience that best fits your users' needs and company culture rather than increasing the number of services offered.
2. Managing the convergence of mobile and cloud.
This year marks the beginning of a new phase of digitally realized experiences through the combined might of mobile and cloud. Among the most powerful trends in corporate IT, mobile and cloud are quickly becoming two sides of the same coin - one represents a more flexible experience, the other a more flexible platform.
Tablets and smartphones are only the beginning of a new era in which personal medical devices, smart cars, and even drones are all becoming part of the "Internet of things." These devices are by nature collaborative and communicative, and rely on "always connected" cloud services to be effective. How end users access and interact with the cloud on mobile devices is becoming more and more critical to their experience. Companies that wait to incorporate mobile into their cloud strategy will find themselves further behind as the mobile revolution we're witnessing accelerates.
3. Choosing the right mix of cloud for your business.
There are a tremendous amount of cloud service providers out there, and enterprises have many options when it comes to meeting varying workloads and service level requirements. Based on the criteria that matter most to your business, ask the question "where does my application best live?"
Often, a hybrid cloud approach works best: combining public cloud infrastructure and external cloud services with private cloud deployments and on-premises IT systems. Structuring hybrid IT services while maintaining control and assuring data governance as workloads transcend traditional data center boundaries will be a major area of focus for both vendors and enterprises in the coming year. Make sure it is one of yours.
4. Developing a security framework for the new world.
In the old days, the castle-and-moat model for enterprise security was well understood. You put the crown jewels in the castle and created a list of who you'd let the drawbridge down for. This was fine in the pre-cloud era when things inside the castle got updated periodically. In the new paradigm of cloud, however, security quickly becomes a complex web of interrelated policies, with firewalls hosting hundreds if not thousands of access-list entries that no one wants to touch. Workloads are constantly getting spun up (and down), moved to new places to maximize efficiency, and even split up between separate data centers. Control points for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) differ from Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS), further complicating security frameworks.
Venture capital agencies have invested heavily in cloud security companies. Cloud security is seen as an emerging and lucrative frontier as IT ecosystems become ever more crucial and intertwined. How does an enterprise tackle this challenge today? Develop policies and a security framework that relates to the business and is easily understood and audited by people outside of IT security. As the security frontier evolves, your framework acts as a compass to evaluate what technology best fits your needs.
5. Keeping application performance high.
How long are you willing to wait for a video to load, or your mobile application to respond before you move on to another task? Chances are a few seconds - maybe a little more. Your users, most likely, aren't any different. If cloud services don't perform well, either they won't be adopted, or they will hamper productivity, causing users to seek alternatives.
Enter application performance management tools, which according to analyst group 451 Research "are following application workloads to the cloud to provide users visibility for modern distributed workloads." These services will be crucial in achieving transparency across an increasingly complex landscape of multi-cloud and multi-platform services. Remember, it's all about the user experience, and over the next year we will see more enterprises investing in tools to help make sense of their cloud application architecture and underlying infrastructure in real-time. Knowing your application and exactly how it maps to the infrastructure is more critical than ever.
Chef and Canonical announced a partnership to integrate and distribute Chef with Ubuntu. Canonical is integrating the Chef automation platform with Canonical's Machine-As-A-Service (MAAS), enabling users to automate the provisioning, configuration and deployment of bare metal compute resources in the data center. Canonical is packaging Chef 12 server in upcoming distributions of its Ubuntu open source operating system and will provide commercial support for Chef within its user base.
Apr. 1, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 417
InfoScout in San Francisco gleans new levels of accurate insights into retail buyer behavior by collecting data directly from consumers’ sales receipts. In order to better analyze actual retail behaviors and patterns, InfoScout provides incentives for buyers to share their receipts, but InfoScout is then faced with the daunting task of managing and cleansing that essential data to provide actionable and understandable insights.
Apr. 1, 2015 12:48 PM EDT Reads: 144
After what feel like an interminable cycle of media frenzy followed by hype and hysteria cycles, the practical elements of real world cloud implementations are starting to become better documented. But what is really different in the cloud? How do software applications behave, live, interact and interconnect inside the cloud? Where do cloud architectures differ so markedly from their predecessors that we need to learn a new set of mechanics – and, when do we start to refer to software progra...
Apr. 1, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 452
When it comes to microservices there are myths and uncertainty about the journey ahead. Deploying a “Hello World” app on Docker is a long way from making microservices work in real enterprises with large applications, complex environments and existing organizational structures. February 19, 2015 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET → 45 Minutes Join our four experts: Special host Gene Kim, Gary Gruver, Randy Shoup and XebiaLabs’ Andrew Phillips as they explore the realities of microservices in today’s IT worl...
Apr. 1, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,937
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on T...
Apr. 1, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,593
Even though it’s now Microservices Journal, long-time fans of SOA World Magazine can take comfort in the fact that the URL – soa.sys-con.com – remains unchanged. And that’s no mistake, as microservices are really nothing more than a new and improved take on the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) best practices we struggled to hammer out over the last decade. Skeptics, however, might say that this change is nothing more than an exercise in buzzword-hopping. SOA is passé, and now that people are ...
Apr. 1, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,461
Hosted PaaS providers have given independent developers and startups huge advantages in efficiency and reduced time-to-market over their more process-bound counterparts in enterprises. Software frameworks are now available that allow enterprise IT departments to provide these same advantages for developers in their own organization. In his workshop session at DevOps Summit, Troy Topnik, ActiveState’s Technical Product Manager, will show how on-prem or cloud-hosted Private PaaS can enable organ...
Apr. 1, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,430
For those of us that have been practicing SOA for over a decade, it's surprising that there's so much interest in microservices. In fairness microservices don't look like the vendor play that was early SOA in the early noughties. But experienced SOA practitioners everywhere will be wondering if microservices is actually a good thing. You see microservices is basically an SOA pattern that inherits all the well-known SOA principles and adds characteristics that address the use of SOA for distribut...
Apr. 1, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,119
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Ras...
Apr. 1, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,272
Microservice architectures are the new hotness, even though they aren't really all that different (in principle) from the paradigm described by SOA (which is dead, or not dead, depending on whom you ask). One of the things this decompositional approach to application architecture does is encourage developers and operations (some might even say DevOps) to re-evaluate scaling strategies. In particular, the notion is forwarded that an application should be built to scale and then infrastructure sho...
Apr. 1, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,598
Microservices are the result of decomposing applications. That may sound a lot like SOA, but SOA was based on an object-oriented (noun) premise; that is, services were built around an object - like a customer - with all the necessary operations (functions) that go along with it. SOA was also founded on a variety of standards (most of them coming out of OASIS) like SOAP, WSDL, XML and UDDI. Microservices have no standards (at least none deriving from a standards body or organization) and can be b...
Apr. 1, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,302
Our guest on the podcast this week is Jason Bloomberg, President at Intellyx. When we build services we want them to be lightweight, stateless and scalable while doing one thing really well. In today's cloud world, we're revisiting what to takes to make a good service in the first place. Listen in to learn why following "the book" doesn't necessarily mean that you're solving key business problems.
Apr. 1, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,379
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
Apr. 1, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,230
Cloud computing is changing the way we look at IT costs, according to industry experts on a recent Cloud Luminary Fireside Chat panel discussion. Enterprise IT, traditionally viewed as a cost center, now plays a central role in the delivery of software-driven goods and services. Therefore, companies need to understand their cloud utilization and resulting costs in order to ensure profitability on their business offerings. Led by Bernard Golden, this fireside chat offers valuable insights on ho...
Apr. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 999
Microservices, for the uninitiated, are essentially the decomposition of applications into multiple services. This decomposition is often based on functional lines, with related functions being grouped together into a service. While this may sound a like SOA, it really isn't, especially given that SOA was an object-centered methodology that focused on creating services around "nouns" like customer and product. Microservices, while certainly capable of being noun-based, are just as likely to be v...
Apr. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,992
SYS-CON Events announced today the DevOps Foundation Certification Course, being held June ?, 2015, in conjunction with DevOps Summit and 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. This sixteen (16) hour course provides an introduction to DevOps – the cultural and professional movement that stresses communication, collaboration, integration and automation in order to improve the flow of work between software developers and IT operations professionals. Improved workflows will res...
Apr. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,784
You hear the terms “subscription economy” and “subscription commerce” all the time. And with good reason. Subscription-based monetization is transforming business as we know it. But what about usage? Where’s the “consumption economy”? Turns out, it’s all around us. When most people think of usage-based billing, the example that probably comes to mind first is metered public utilities — water, gas and electric. Phone services, especially mobile, might come next. Then maybe taxis. And that’s ab...
Apr. 1, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 951
Learn the top API testing issues that organizations encounter and how automation plus a DevOps team approach can address these top API testing challenges. Ensuring API integrity is difficult in today's complex application cloud, on-premises and hybrid environment scenarios. In this interview with TechTarget, Parasoft solution architect manager Spencer Debrosse shares his experiences about the top API testing issues that organizations encounter and how automation and a DevOps team approach can a...
Apr. 1, 2015 09:27 AM EDT Reads: 342
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch ...
Apr. 1, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,320
An explosive combination of technology trends will be where ‘microservices’ and the IoT Internet of Things intersect, a concept we can describe by comparing it with a previous theme, the ‘X Internet.' The idea of using small self-contained application components has been popular since XML Web services began and a distributed computing future of smart fridges and kettles was imagined long back in the early Internet years.
Apr. 1, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,252