Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Roger Strukhoff, XebiaLabs Blog, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Sematext Blog

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Article

Goldie Locks and the Three Clouds: The Rise of the Enterprise Cloud

A cloud needs to be more than an infrastructure dispenser – providing small/medium/large chunks of infrastructure for each user

We all know the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, but have you heard the one about Goldie Locks and the three clouds? This tale is playing out throughout the IT marketplace.

Goldie Locks - an IT executive for a state government - has once again found herself in a dilemma. "If only I could choose one of the three options," she sighs. Goldie's dilemma is a result of competing requirements within her enterprise. Regarding infrastructure costs, Goldie has been told to "do more with less."

"If someone says that one more time, they're going to have porridge thrown at them," she huffs. Goldie knows that standardizing infrastructure requirements to serve the business and its processes securely, reliably and quickly is a proven way to reduce capital and operational costs. On the other hand, various business units and their departments have specific requirements for their mission-critical applications. They are resisting giving up control.

While many of her colleagues suggest she use the public cloud, Goldie believes that the security implications would be a deterrent to acceptance within her enterprise. Though she has done a thorough job investigating various cloud computing models, she needs to put together a request for proposal (RFP) to start searching for outside help with her dilemma.

She begins by taking into consideration the three standard deployment models of cloud infrastructure and their hybrid combinations - as defined by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) - and determining whether these are a fit for her enterprise:

  • Private cloud: Provisioned for exclusive use by a single organization comprising multiple consumers (e.g., business units).
  • Public cloud: Provisioned for open use by the general public.
  • Community cloud: Provisioned for exclusive use by a specific community of consumers from organizations that have shared concerns (e.g., mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations)
  • Hybrid cloud: A composition of two or more distinct cloud infrastructures (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities, but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability (e.g., cloud bursting for load balancing between clouds)

"Death by Committee" is her thought after analyzing these models. Each is too narrow for her enterprise. These cloud deployment models only provide the "how" without truly understanding the "what" and "why" of her situation. The IT side of the decision is obvious - drive down operational and capital costs to give the IT team time and money to solve strategic issues for the business. The best way to do this is to standardize processes, automate tasks and share infrastructure and administrative resources as much as possible. This is, in general, what a cloud provides.

But IT is serving a set of key stakeholders who have requirements beyond infrastructure. These stakeholders are the application/business owners who rely on IT to support delivery of their revenue-generating services and products. They are not well served with the three deployment models defined above, nor are they served by a hybrid of those models.

A Look into Goldie's Enterprise
In general, an enterprise consists of distinct parts (such as business units) that serve different customers, have different financial results and offer different products and services. They are fairly autonomous, but all operate from a common set of financial resources and processes, a common strategy and common metrics that determine success.

Consider Goldie's enterprise, which is a consolidation of a number of state agencies:

Her enterprise is partitioned into two high level branches (State Police and Transportation), where each branch consists of multiple, semi-autonomous departments. Each of those departments is interested in controlling their own infrastructure. Furthermore, their security and administrative processes differ from one department to another. Different departments must comply with their own levels of privacy, availability and service metrics.

For example, the Department of Public Info Office, within the State Police branch, may require highly predictable, millisecond response times for public users. In this instance, it may make sense to use public cloud infrastructure for the web servers, since there may be a requirement to scale up very quickly to reach high workload demands.

The Department of the Deputy Commissioner, also within the State Police branch, may also require specific infrastructure services, processes, automation and regulations, such as "hardened" OS images and encryption for all transmission of information.

The Department of Highway Administration, within the Transportation branch, must guarantee that their web site is available 99.999% of the time. They may have high availability requirements that demand duplicate resources at a disaster recovery site, as well as requirements for high-availability configurations.

NIST Deployment Models and the Enterprise - Square Peg, Round Hole
Goldie's enterprise cloud must be structured to support these multiple "parts." In turn, these parts can themselves have parts, and so on. This is similar to many of today's enterprises, which are the result of consolidating other businesses and agencies that need to function in a semi-autonomous fashion, but are still members of the larger organization.

A cloud needs to be more than an infrastructure dispenser - providing small/medium/large chunks of infrastructure for each user, without considering the unique requirements for different groups of users. Goldie knows that today's cloud products and services do not meet the needs of her enterprise stakeholders. She would like to deploy a single, centralized enterprise cloud that allows business units and their sub-units to:

  • Share underlying virtual resources as one large collection of cloud resources
  • Allow end users, such as developers, testers, demonstrators and system admins, to use a simple service catalog to manage the lifecycle of all cloud resources in the same manner
  • Set up autonomous administration, with unique policies and processes, as required
  • Allow business units to deploy their entire spectrum of applications, with unique service level objectives for development, test, production, mission-critical and regulated workloads

Now, let's see why the current cloud models cannot address these requirements.

Private Clouds
Goldie has looked at all of the currently available private cloud products. "These are too small-minded," she thinks. Every private cloud offers "multi-tenancy," which allows each business unit to manage its allotted set of cloud resources. But none of them offers any additional structure beneath the first level. Many of Goldie's business units have their own autonomous sub-units that require unique policies, processes and resources. They will want their own cloud, which does not meet her first requirement.

Public Clouds
She then turns to the available public clouds. "They are big and cheap, but my stakeholders do not want to expose their mission-critical or regulated applications." She chuckles thinking about a specific security dink she knows who actually turned pale when she suggested a public cloud for his application. On the other hand, she is painfully aware of some development teams that are slipping under the radar and deploying virtual resources in a public cloud for test and development. It's cheap and cheerful, but it's not handled by the centralized IT department and it exposes the business to risks.

Community Clouds
A community cloud offers cloud resources to a like-minded set of users / administrators. These users have agency-specific requirements, such as service levels, privacy, etc. If individual community clouds are deployed, then Goldie cannot optimize the sharing of all of the cloud resources. "This just isn't right at all," she says.

Hybrid Clouds
The final NIST deployment model does not provide any capabilities over and above the first three models. Instead, it is defined as one or more distinct instantiations of either a private, public or community cloud. Goldie has looked at all of the hybrid cloud management services and products, compared them to her requirements and decided that it doesn't meet her needs.

The Rise of an Enterprise Cloud
Through her analysis of the traditional cloud models, Goldie concludes that none of them are quite right. What she's looking for is a cloud that can address requirements unique to her enterprise. Let's refer to this as an "Enterprise Cloud." An Enterprise Cloud provides the capabilities of private, public and community clouds within a single cloud management platform that can support heterogeneous processes and requirements.

Goldie eventually conceived of the Enterprise Cloud illustrated below. It consists of a blend of internal datacenter resources, as well as resources provided by one or more public clouds. These are the "raw ingredients" that are abstracted into "cloud resources." Each agency can choose the specific cloud resources it needs to meet its requirements, including high availability, speed of deployment, cost, compliance with regulations and low latency response times.

Cloud-wide administrators, as well as specific agency and sub-agency administrators, are responsible for managing cloud resources through one "single pane of glass" interface. Aside from the properties of the cloud resources, their life cycles are all managed in the same manner, independent of where the raw materials came from. The end users of the cloud (e.g., testers, developers, infrastructure administrators) can be isolated from the underlying source of the raw resources. For example, an application could use public cloud for its web-facing tier, a low-cost set of internal cloud resources for its application tier and a highly regulated, encrypted and hardened set of cloud resources for its data layer. Goldie thinks of this as a "Hybrid Enterprise Application."

Goldie concludes that she needs to strike out on her own and develop a unique RFP that reflects her mental image of an Enterprise Cloud. If she settles for the types of clouds that are enumerated in the NIST document, she will never convince the various stakeholders to share a single cloud.

By focusing on key requirements, such as a single management framework across the enterprise, using public clouds and the datacenter to store virtual resources and providing a hierarchical multi-level tenancy structure, Goldie decides that she has finally found an Enterprise Cloud that is "juuuuuust riiiight."

More Stories By Michael A. Salsburg

Dr. Michael Salsburg is a Distinguished Engineer and Chief Cloud Solutions Architect for Unisys Corporation. He holds two international patents in infrastructure performance modeling algorithms and software. In addition, he has published more than 60 papers and has lectured worldwide on real-time infrastructure, cloud computing and infrastructure optimization. In 2010, Dr. Salsburg received the A. A. Michelson Award from the Computer Measurement Group – its highest award for lifetime achievement.

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
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.
I’m a huge fan of open source DevOps tools. I’m also a huge fan of scaling open source tools for the enterprise. But having talked with my fair share of companies over the years, one important thing I’ve learned is that you can’t scale your release process using open source tools alone. They simply require too much scripting and maintenance when used that way. Scripting may be fine for smaller organizations, but it’s not ok in an enterprise environment that includes many independent teams and to...
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...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes how...
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...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2017 New York. The 20th Cloud Expo and 7th @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Internet to enable us all to im...
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...
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.
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...
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
@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.
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 ...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to 'DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017' as Conference Chair The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited to help the great t...
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...
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.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...