Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Mehdi Daoudi, Liz McMillan, Don MacVittie, John Katrick, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Cloud Security, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud as Delivery Vehicle – The Next Wave of the Internet

Meet FireHost at Cloud Expo New York

"While cost has traditionally been a foundational benefit of the cloud, we believe that other factors can play a more important part in defining the cloud of tomorrow," said Todd Gleason, Vice President of Technology at FireHost, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo conference chairs Larry Carvalho and Vanessa Alvarez. "We believe that the generalist cloud provider - those low-cost commodity clouds that created price competition and insecure clouds - are going to either be gobbled up or beaten up as the industry evolves from this generalist mentality to focus on specialist clouds that have a particular focus."

Cloud Computing Journal: How are cloud standards playing a role in expanding adoption among users? Are standards helping new business models for service providers?

Todd Gleason: Standardization is important, but we're concerned because security desperately needs to be part of this effort. It is not addressed enough, if at all. Much of the open standards work in cloud and other IT technologies traditionally is not security-conscious, making adoption riskier than many want to admit or truly understand. So, while standards are a good thing, we believe security should be baked in at their inception. We advocate for innovation, but it's important that the innovative spirit is not blind to the need to protect vendors and customers.

Cloud Computing Journal: How are hybrid clouds evolving to allow the coexistence of private and public clouds? What are the challenges to meeting a true hybrid cloud scenario?

Gleason: Too much attention and marketing real estate has been paid to debating the merits of public, private and hybrid clouds. Definitions of what's public, what's private and what's hybrid are wide-reaching and are often created to suit a vendor's point of view rather than an educational, objective delineation for the industry. From where we sit, use cases and security are key to disarming this debate. The conversation needs to shift from which model is best in general to which one is appropriate for an individual vendor, provider, or customer, and it must address and incorporate security because regardless of the model chosen, a cloud is insecure unless it's built secure. Use cases vary for industries and individual companies, but security is a common denominator and applicable for all of them. This is where the industry discussion needs to shift.

Cloud Computing Journal: Are on-premise software vendors successfully migrating their business model to a SaaS model? What are the challenges faced in this journey?

Gleason: Most are and the bigger question is how effective will they be at delivering from the cloud and will it be secure. Will they expand their business model and provide infrastructure, or will they stay in their niche as software only players? And for those who do not migrate, will they become more inefficient and outdated?

Cloud as a delivery vehicle is the next wave of the Internet, especially as automation, software techniques, and infrastructures adapt toward applications and servicing their performance more and more. The efficiencies of today are miles ahead of an insulated, on-premise software solution - a situation that gets much sweeter when security is architected into the infrastructure. However, we are not even close to being a truly application-centric world.

Truthfully, though, we need to focus on what the customer wants. Every model will be viable to various customers, so some software vendors may become irrelevant due to the cloud providing a better way to service the customer's needs. The cloud industry can be too hung up on terms such as hybrid, public, SaaS or PaaS. Instead, we have to focus on the customers' needs and their applications that run their business and give them competitive advantages operationally and provide a truly seamless experience.

Cloud Computing Journal: What are the challenges for end users to adopt a new model for application development using Platform as a Service? Are vendors doing enough to meet their needs?

Gleason: Platforms are important to reduce time-to-market for SaaS or internal use cases, and it's good to see the industry shifting from infrastructures being the center of the universe to how they can be architected to service applications in a more on-demand, dynamic, intelligent manner. But, again, where is security in the discussion? It's not anywhere to be found in the majority of industry conversations and vendor communications. It badly needs to be.

In addition to security, there are two other big to-dos that need to be addressed: orchestration and inter-cloud technology. To make applications work well across infrastructures, those infrastructures must work well together in an inter-cloud fashion. This brings us back to security. Businesses will have many clouds, as will their customers. The weakest link is the most insecure cloud, so change must happen to bring security into the larger, strategic conversations rather than focusing so much on architecting an infrastructure or specific software techniques.

Cloud Computing Journal: With several vendors lowering costs for infrastructure, is there a way for new cloud service providers entering this space to make money?

Gleason: While cost has traditionally been a foundational benefit of the cloud, we believe that other factors can play a more important part in defining the cloud of tomorrow. We believe that the generalist cloud provider - those low-cost commodity clouds that created price competition and insecure clouds - are going to either be gobbled up or beaten up as the industry evolves from this generalist mentality to focus on specialist clouds that have a particular focus. For FireHost, that's security. We evolved out of the need for security and have created an infrastructure that provides an advanced security architecture, top security personnel and compliance expertise for customers that are security- and compliance-driven.

•   •   •

Todd Gleason, Vice President of Technology at FireHost, is a central figure in continuously innovating and architecting the secure cloud infrastructure for FireHost and its customers. He brings 15 years of global IT and R&D experience, including deep knowledge of security, cloud, networking, compute, virtualization, storage, and application delivery technologies.

Gleason is driven by the notion that customers ultimately care about servicing their applications to perform efficiently in a secure environment. With this in mind, Gleason has displayed a knack for understanding the latest technology trends in the industry, synthesizing what is applicable for FireHost's customers, and incorporating relevant technology into the company's cloud infrastructure to ensure businesses' applications and data are protected in a cutting-edge, secure cloud. Gleason has helped redefine industry expectations about performance, security, and compliance in the cloud. His creative approach to architecting FireHost's secure cloud proves that security can be incorporated without compromising infrastructure performance, which improves customers' risk management while maintaining thrifty usage of infrastructure resources.

Prior to his role with FireHost, Gleason worked as director of information technology at Panini America, formerly Donruss Trading Cards, which is now a subsidiary of the global Panini conglomerate. There he implemented a high-performance infrastructure and unique business applications enabling rapid high-quality production workflows and integration into the Panini global business. Gleason holds a degree in computer information systems from Remington College.

More Stories By Pat Romanski

News Desk compiles and publishes breaking news stories, press releases and latest news articles as they happen.

Comments (1)

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 many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Our work, both with clients and with tools, has lead us to wonder how it is that organizations are handling compliance issues in the cloud. The big cloud vendors offer compliance for their infrastructure, but the shared responsibility model requires that you take certain steps to meet compliance requirements. Which lead us to start poking around a little more. We wanted to get a picture of what was available, and how it was being used. There is a lot of fluidity in this space, as in all things c...
Gaining visibility in today’s sprawling cloud infrastructure is complex and laborious, involving drilling down into tools offered by various cloud services providers. Enterprise IT organizations need smarter and effective tools at their disposal in order to address this pertinent problem. Gaining a 360 - degree view of the cloud costs requires collection and analysis of the cost data across all cloud infrastructures used inside an enterprise.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
Admiral Calcote - also known as Lee Calcote (@lcalcote) or the Ginger Geek to his friends - gave a presentation entitled Characterizing and Contrasting Container Orchestrators at the 2016 All Day DevOps conference. Okay, he isn't really an admiral - nor does anyone call him that - but he used the title admiral to describe what container orchestrators do, relating it to an admiral directing a fleet of container ships. You could also say that they are like the conductor of an orchestra, directing...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
"WineSOFT is a software company making proxy server software, which is widely used in the telecommunication industry or the content delivery networks or e-commerce," explained Jonathan Ahn, COO of WineSOFT, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The notion of improving operational efficiency is conspicuously absent from the healthcare debate - neither Obamacare nor the newly proposed GOP plan discusses the impact that a step-function improvement in efficiency could have on access to healthcare (through more capacity), quality of healthcare services (through reduced wait times for patients) or cost (through better utilization of scarce, expensive assets).
Some people are directors, managers, and administrators. Others are disrupters. Eddie Webb (@edwardawebb) is an IT Disrupter for Software Development Platforms at Liberty Mutual and was a presenter at the 2016 All Day DevOps conference. His talk, Organically DevOps: Building Quality and Security into the Software Supply Chain at Liberty Mutual, looked at Liberty Mutual's transformation to Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and DevOps. For a large, heavily regulated industry, this task ...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
In a recent post, titled “10 Surprising Facts About Cloud Computing and What It Really Is”, Zac Johnson highlighted some interesting facts about cloud computing in the SMB marketplace: Cloud Computing is up to 40 times more cost-effective for an SMB, compared to running its own IT system. 94% of SMBs have experienced security benefits in the cloud that they didn’t have with their on-premises service
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps promotes continuous improvement through a culture of collaboration. But in real terms, how do you: Integrate activities across diverse teams and services? Make objective decisions with system-wide visibility? Use feedback loops to enable learning and improvement? With technology insights and real-world examples, in his general session at @DevOpsSummit, at 21st Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, explored how leading organizations use data-driven DevOps to close th...
The past few years have seen a huge increase in the amount of critical IT services that companies outsource to SaaS/IaaS/PaaS providers, be it security, storage, monitoring, or operations. Of course, along with any outsourcing to a service provider comes a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to ensure that the vendor is held financially responsible for any lapses in their service which affect the customer’s end users, and ultimately, their bottom line. SLAs can be very tricky to manage for a number ...
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
The goal of Microservices is to improve software delivery speed and increase system safety as scale increases. Microservices being modular these are faster to change and enables an evolutionary architecture where systems can change, as the business needs change. Microservices can scale elastically and by being service oriented can enable APIs natively. Microservices also reduce implementation and release cycle time and enables continuous delivery. This paper provides a logical overview of the Mi...
"We started a Master of Science in business analytics - that's the hot topic. We serve the business community around San Francisco so we educate the working professionals and this is where they all want to be," explained Judy Lee, Associate Professor and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Gone are the days when application development was the daunting task of the highly skilled developers backed with strong IT skills, low code application development has democratized app development and empowered a new generation of citizen developers. There was a time when app development was in the domain of people with complex coding and technical skills. We called these people by various names like programmers, coders, techies, and they usually worked in a world oblivious of the everyday pri...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...