Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Charles Araujo, Flint Brenton

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

A Hybrid Future: Blending Public and Private Clouds

An exclusive Q&A with Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech

"Organizations take time to evolve. That's why we're bound for a hybrid future, where public and private clouds blend to create a shared infrastructure that spans application, organization and data center boundaries," noted Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo conference chairs Larry Carvalho and Vanessa Alvarez.

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

Esmeralda Swartz: I think enterprises made the adoption choice based on the business need for cheap and good enough at the expense of transparency, security and privacy. Standards have played a role in eliminating fear and building trust thereby increasing adoption. For example, when you are picking a cloud provider and they produce certification, you know that they're being audited and adhering to common standards. We now need to move to the user experience and extend control to users and empowering them.

In addition, the big players are not portable, say from Azure to AWS or vice versa, as an example. Other stack vendors and projects attempt to emulate a market leader like Amazon but I wouldn't call that a standard. Within IaaS, we're still using traditional machine-by-machine management tooling internal to a deployment like Puppet or other tools. Some are beginning to use advanced cloud provider management API-based tools, but that's the least portable part. Customers don't want to suffer a new form of lock-in. Until managing your cloud infrastructure is common with your traditional infrastructure people will hold back.

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?

Swartz: Organizations take time to evolve. That's why we're bound for a hybrid future, where public and private clouds blend to create a shared infrastructure that spans application, organization and data center boundaries. Companies need the freedom to evolve and optimize applications and data for SLAs tuned for price, policy and performance. A future that blends the best of public and private clouds, provides the right balance of an elastic cloud infrastructure to meet the range of requirements from applications and users.

Private clouds are a natural starting point for an enterprise and by setting down this path, most enterprises will end up with hybrid, one that leverages their private cloud investment and provides for a public cloud future. Hybrids are also inadvertently solving the standards problem. While starting with the private data center to cloud data center co-existence model, this will evolve from a simple cloud to a common cloud management layer, whether the cloud in question is public or private. These platforms are going to wrap up the underlying proprietary APIs and become the new control panel for IT.

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?

Swartz: It's a tough and unforgiving road. For SaaS, investors are focused on growth and not margins whereas if you are an on-premise vendor transitioning to SaaS, investors don't like margin hits and expect delivery of both growth as well as margins without slips during the transition. It is possible to achieve economies of scale and to keep the overall cost down and share and integrate business functions during the transition. We are seeing more common sense applied to the SaaS dream. When packaged software vendors try to move to the purest technology point of view where certain architectures are dictated that's a tough challenge.

There is no question that on-premise providers are adopting the principles of SaaS, such as continuous delivery of new features and increasing value at a reduced cost beyond the initial license to the customer. Some on-premise vendors can't make this cultural shift and still cave in to delivering one-off and bespoke versions to make deals happen. Ironically we are seeing SaaS vendors do the same, which is a particularly slippery slope. We recognized that the inevitable evolution path is user-driven configuration. We have a configurable on-premise cloud platform and a SaaS-based platform. For some customers SaaS is a fit, for others it is not. We don't have to dictate the business model our customers must fit into. You'll often hear customers want SaaS because they want lower prices. Customers care about increasing ROI and driving down TCO with reduced time to revenue, irrespective of the delivery model.

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?

Swartz: If you are entering the market based on price alone, then don't bother; the big players are already battling it out on price, where even the winner loses. You're better off starting with at least PaaS or better yet delivering value-add on top of an existing infrastructure provider. The only possible exception to this is companies that must have massive infrastructure under their control. For example, Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) are going to cause communications providers to transform their proprietary hardware into massive farms of commodity computing and network infrastructure. Selling excess capacity to customers is reasonable as is packaging value add options that will appeal to enterprises. We'll see the traditional subscription model supplemented by a wide variety of per-occasion charges (premium and discount) and short-term and long-term relationships that will come and go on a continual basis.

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?

Swartz: Four years ago when presented with this question it seemed clear to us that PaaS was far superior to IaaS and SaaS. You control the application, it's your code and the only thing you really have to worry about is the application itself.Why would we want the overhead of IT managing and patching machines and licensing OS and other basic software? With PaaS our developers could develop as always and adopt a DevOps strategy from day one, making the whole process streamlined and efficient for delivering application services. Perhaps developers are just distrustful and rely on fine-grained machine tuning for too many things to let go of the hardware even if it is virtual. We expect people to move to PaaS more vigorously in the future but that opens its own portability and standards problems.

More Stories By Pat Romanski

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

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
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, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will discuss how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
We all know that end users experience the internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices - not doing so will be a path to eventual ...
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We all know that end users experience the Internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices – not doing so will be a path to eventual b...
"This all sounds great. But it's just not realistic." This is what a group of five senior IT executives told me during a workshop I held not long ago. We were working through an exercise on the organizational characteristics necessary to successfully execute a digital transformation, and the group was doing their ‘readout.' The executives loved everything we discussed and agreed that if such an environment existed, it would make transformation much easier. They just didn't believe it was reali...
"Opsani helps the enterprise adopt containers, help them move their infrastructure into this modern world of DevOps, accelerate the delivery of new features into production, and really get them going on the container path," explained Ross Schibler, CEO of Opsani, and Peter Nickolov, CTO of Opsani, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes a lot of work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reduction in cost ...
Don’t go chasing waterfall … development, that is. According to a recent post by Madison Moore on Medium featuring insights from several software delivery industry leaders, waterfall is – while still popular – not the best way to win in the marketplace. With methodologies like Agile, DevOps and Continuous Delivery becoming ever more prominent over the past 15 years or so, waterfall is old news. Or, is it? Moore cites a recent study by Gartner: “According to Gartner’s IT Key Metrics Data report, ...
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
Many organizations are now looking to DevOps maturity models to gauge their DevOps adoption and compare their maturity to their peers. However, as enterprise organizations rush to adopt DevOps, moving past experimentation to embrace it at scale, they are in danger of falling into the trap that they have fallen into time and time again. Unfortunately, we've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends: badly.
"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.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Archi...
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...
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service.
You often hear the two titles of "DevOps" and "Immutable Infrastructure" used independently. In his session at DevOps Summit, John Willis, Technical Evangelist for Docker, covered the union between the two topics and why this is important. He provided an overview of Immutable Infrastructure then showed how an Immutable Continuous Delivery pipeline can be applied as a best practice for "DevOps." He ended the session with some interesting case study examples.
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
We all know that end users experience the internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices - not doing so will be a path to eventual ...
Docker is sweeping across startups and enterprises alike, changing the way we build and ship applications. It's the most prominent and widely known software container platform, and it's particularly useful for eliminating common challenges when collaborating on code (like the "it works on my machine" phenomenon that most devs know all too well). With Docker, you can run and manage apps side-by-side - in isolated containers - resulting in better compute density. It's something that many developer...
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're developing a software that is based on the cloud environment and we are providing those services to corporations and the general public," explained Seungmin Kim, CEO/CTO of SM Systems Inc., 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.