|By Pete Schmitt||
|January 12, 2013 11:00 AM EST||
It's no secret that the cloud is growing at an exponential rate. By 2016, two-thirds of the world's server workloads will exist in the cloud. But according to Cisco's 2012 Cloud Index, less than half of server workloads currently run in the cloud. Closing the gap between current capabilities and future requirements is a mission-critical priority for businesses across a range of industries. Without adequate planning and preparation, the race to the cloud can easily become a long slog through a minefield of missed opportunities, user failures and IT nightmares. As more and more workloads make their way to the cloud each year, enterprises have a vested interest in expanding network capabilities and evolving critical data center infrastructure to accommodate an ever-increasing array of cloud-based applications and data storage requirements.
Key Trends in Cloud Technology
Several trends are driving the migration of applications and data to the cloud.
- Agility. Cloud deployment enables businesses to improve performance and functionality quickly, launching new applications without a corresponding need for additional infrastructure. Agility is especially important in new and young companies, many of which lack the time and resources to deploy a range of diverse applications internally.
- Consumerization of IT. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is enabling companies to expand the use of technology through the use of employee-owned devices. The cloud is playing an important role in helping organizations keep up with the pace of BYOD and deliver anytime, anywhere access to workers.
- Cost Drivers. Financial metrics are also a motivating factor in the race to the cloud. In general, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is cheaper, faster and easier than traditional deployment models - reducing the cost of infrastructure, physical space and IT labor.
Preparing for the Cloud
Successful preparation for future cloud workloads requires planning. By strategically adapting your network capacity, data center and other critical IT functions, you can substantially improve your organization's ability to operate in the cloud.
Today's networks must be capable of handling constant interactions characterized by rich media and heavy content, particularly as users migrate away from email toward interactions via social media and other channels. Consequently, networks and data centers must expand to support instant access to many different types of content beyond email. The first step of network expansion is a comprehensive assessment of your organization's app portfolio. In most cases, executive decision-makers are unaware of the scope of applications that are running in the organization. Once all of the applications that are currently running in your organization have been identified, they need to be ranked and categorized according to future requirements. While some applications may need to remain in-house, others can be migrated to a public cloud or secure public cloud environment. From there, the organization can begin to evaluate how to expand the network to manage future workloads.
As virtualization becomes more prevalent in data centers and companies adopt a cloud-based strategy, network architects need to rethink and redesign their current infrastructure to adapt to the new traffic patterns. What once used to be primarily "North-South" network traffic flow is now becoming "East-West." Environments are becoming highly dynamic; workloads are moving to different physical locations on the network as virtual servers are migrated and clients move about the building. The architectures and networking techniques of yesterday are not necessarily well suited to the architectures and applications of today and tomorrow. A thorough understanding of networking and the infrastructure that is its foundation as well its relationship to applications is necessary when architecting a data center network that is capable of not just supporting but adapting to future challenges that arise as a result of virtualization and cloud computing. The solution must address all aspects of application delivery - security, availability, performance, and visibility - while exhibiting the qualities and characteristics that define cloud architectures including affordability and elastic scalability. The data must be protected against attacks, intrusions, breaches, and leaks and categorized based on its importance and network resource needs with Quality-of-Service (QoS) capabilities.
Storage and Backup is another key to preparing for cloud migration. Security is a top-of-mind issue in the cloud. Although cloud deployments offer real benefits, your organization needs to know that sensitive data will remain secure. The process for preparing for cloud-based data storage and backup mirrors the process for evaluating network expansion requirements. Starting with an assessment of current data sources and storage routines, the organization needs to evaluate what types of data can eventually either integrate with or be completely migrated to the cloud. Equipped with this information, the organization can begin to identify the technology gaps that need to be addressed to meet future cloud storage and backup requirements.
Purpose-built appliances provide fast backup and restore, and deliver local-like performance while using the cloud for secure off-site storage, avoiding the need to provision and manage a secondary site for Disaster Recovery (DR) or long-term storage. This can dramatically reduce capital spending, streamline IT infrastructure, and enable payback periods that are measured in months, not years. Appliances can be combined with existing data protection applications and private or public clouds, creating a low cost, highly scalable storage tier for old or infrequently accessed data. Appliances also allow organizations of all sizes to modernize their data protection architecture, eliminate tape, improve scalability, and improve Disaster Recovery readiness. Cloud storage allow organizations to leverage a pay-for-use pricing model and anywhere availability.
Increased virtualization will alleviate some of the cloud migration challenges upfront. Cloud technology enables organizations to move servers to the cloud and back in an integrated and strategic manner. In fact, the use of virtualization can also play an important role in preparing the organization's culture and stakeholders for future cloud deployments. By increasing the use of virtualization now, you can encourage greater acceptance of the cloud across your enterprise. In essence, virtualization can serve as a bridge to the cloud.
It is the key technology that enables the cloud, and without it there is no cloud. The ability to separate the OS and application from the hardware allows it to be the foundation required for on-demand cloud services. The encapsulation offered in virtualization and the mobility that enables a live virtual machine to be moved with no downtime for the application is what the cloud is built on. If you look at virtualization / cloud computing as a whole, it really is not about a product, but a journey. Companies initially enter the world of virtualization because they just can't keep up with the increased scale, complexity, and management requirements while maintaining their current traditional infrastructure. This leads them to the first step in the virtualization journey, which is to consolidate their resources/infrastructure to get better utilization of their servers and to reduce their energy cost. Higher levels of abstraction allow companies to take advantage of the intelligence built into the virtualization software. Intelligent software that allows High Availability (HA) and Replication, load balancing, pooled resources, self-automation/orchestration, service definitions or service profiles, templates, policies, self-service portal, service catalog(s), security and identity management, system monitoring/system management, capacity planning, billing and chargeback, and licensing.
It's important to understand that the ability to handle future cloud-based workloads will present different challenges and concerns for the stakeholders in your organization; users are motivated by ease-of-use and increased access to applications and data, CIOs are focused on control, ownership and data and application security and CFOs are primarily concerned about the cost savings, rate of return and opex versus capex, etc. By thoughtfully and strategically preparing for future cloud opportunities, your organization can address these concerns and fully leverage the benefits of cloud technology across the enterprise.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CloudTimes has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CloudTimes is the premier source for thought leadership and the latest news on Cloud Computing. We are an international group of Cloud Computi...
Dec. 10, 2013 01:37 PM EST Reads: 769
"We have a threefold product and an in-memory database is our core platform, which helps our customers do completely net new workloads and we has some interesting high-performance use cases," explained Jon Webster, VP Business Development at GridGain Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 13th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–7, 2013, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Expo® 2014 New York, June 10-12, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature...
Dec. 10, 2013 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,303
"ActiveState is focused on the cloud market with a product called Stackato, an enterprise private PaaS solution that allows enterprises to manage and deploy their own Platform as a Service offering," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 13th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–7, 2013, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Expo® 2014 New York, June 10-12, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will f...
Dec. 10, 2013 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,379
"At InMage we are enabling the hybrid cloud. Cloud presents a lot of opportunities but there is no vehicle to take services into the hybrid cloud," noted Murali Nambiar, Sr. Product Manager for Backup and DR Products at InMage, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 13th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–7, 2013, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Expo® 2014 New York, June 10-12, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock ...
Dec. 10, 2013 10:48 AM EST Reads: 671
"Lanlogic has been around since 1995 and we focus on helping customers that are traditionally less technical and need someone who’s an IT consultant, a trusted business adviser, to help them evaluate their needs," explained Joe Foos, Director of Sales & Marketing at Lanlogic, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 13th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–7, 2013, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Expo® 2014 New York, June 10-12, at the Javits Center in New York City,...
Dec. 10, 2013 10:15 AM EST Reads: 943
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Indu...
Dec. 10, 2013 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,362
"It's been a great show for NetIQ - we've had the opportunity to speak about how NetIQ is enabling the cloud - how we are allowing customers to get access to cloud services that enable service providers to deliver cloud services in a secure, compliant manner," explained Gary Ardito, Chief Architect for Cloud Service Provider Solutions at NetIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 13th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-7, 2013, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud E...
Dec. 10, 2013 08:45 AM EST Reads: 1,005
"Since the acquisition Terremark has been getting closer and closer and tighter with Verizon and we have some joint projects underway. We're about to set the world on fire," noted Jim Anthony, VP of Sales Engineering at Verizon Terremark, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 13th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-7, 2013, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Expo® 2014 New York, June 10-12, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions f...
Dec. 9, 2013 08:45 AM EST Reads: 1,483
"We announced what we believe is a game-changing technology in storage. We introduced a new product called the Ultrastar He6 and we announced a technology called HelioSeal, which is the process of hermetically sealing helium inside the hard drive," explained Brendan Collins, VP of Product Marketing at HGST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 13th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-7, 2013, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Expo® 2014 New York, June 10-12, at the...
Dec. 9, 2013 08:30 AM EST Reads: 1,494
"APIs are a layer of integration where you integrate apps to the back end. Those APIs have to be secure, they have to be managed, they have to be monitored, you have to know everything that happens to those APIs and we provide that level of product so people don’t have to worry about it," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 13th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–7, 2013, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, ...
Dec. 9, 2013 07:00 AM EST Reads: 1,625
- Cloud Solutions and Technology
- Opening Keynote at Cloud Expo | The Changing Atmosphere of Cloud Computing
- Cloud Computing 2.0 Flexibility Discussed at Cloud Expo
- Establish and Manage a Recurring Revenue Model
- Cloud Expo: Cloud Shifts the Burden of Security to Development
- Weekend Special: Cloud Expo Keynotes and Expo Pass
- Cloud Expo Silicon Valley: Don’t DIY Your VDI
- Safeguard Your Organization with Cisco Email Security Solutions Webinar
- Cloud Expo Silicon Valley: Day 3 Lunchtime Keynote – The Internet of Things
- SDN: Uncovering Amazon's Secret Sauce
- Ten Myths of Cloud Computing
- Cloud Expo Silicon Valley: Overview of Windows Azure IaaS
- WebRTC Summit at Cloud Expo Agenda Announced
- Financial Results, New Appointments, and General Meetings - Research Report on Red Hat, Yelp, Sierra Wireless, Infinera, and Bitauto
- Cloud Solutions and Technology
- At-a-Glance: Comparing VMware vSphere 5.5 & Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V
- User Accounts Are Only the Tip of the Iceberg
- WebRTC Summit | WebRTC Business Models: Building a Web-Based Telecom Co
- Open Server Summit Reports Doubling of Registration
- Announcing "OpenStack Fundamentals Track" at Cloud Expo
- Opening Keynote at Cloud Expo | The Changing Atmosphere of Cloud Computing
- Framework for Service Oriented Ecosystem
- Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014
- The Security of Popular Cloud Storage Sites
- Cloud Expo New York: Best CIO Practices Shared from SHI’s Customers
- Cloud Expo New York: How to Use Google Apps Script
- Cloud Expo New York: Cloud Is Changing the Economics of Business
- Rackspace Hosting Named “Platinum Plus Sponsor” of Cloud Expo New York
- Virtual, Cloud & IT Availability - Shared Responsibility & Common Sense
- WebRTC Summit at Cloud Expo Agenda Announced
- Enterasys Spotlights SDN's Impact on Traditional Networking in Upcoming Webinar
- Microsoft-Nokia: An Open Letter from Ballmer and Elop
- Cloud Expo New York: API Security, Does My Business Need an OAuth Server?
- ScaleOut Software to Exhibit at Cloud Expo New York
- ARM Server “Microservers” Seek to Transform Cloud, Big Data
- Cloud Expo New York: Rethink IT and Reinvent Business with IBM SmartCloud