Click here to close now.

Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz

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

@CloudExpo: Article

Critical Enterprise Applications and Cloud Deployments

The 7% solution (so far)

New technologies always generate hype. To cut through the hype and find the value, you have to see how things fit in the real world, both in implementation and in actual realized benefits.

That's one of the reasons BlueStripe Software conducts an annual survey of IT Operations executives. It sheds light on their needs, their aspirations, and "what keeps them up at night." We've uncovered some interesting trends, and this year was no different when we asked about service delivery, performance monitoring tools, and the cloud.

It's conventional wisdom that the cloud is "good for IT" - that it can enable faster time to deployment, savings in capital and operating expense, consolidated infrastructure management, and flexible capacity scaling on demand. With that in mind, one number that stuck out in this year's survey was seven - the percentage of executives who said they have committed to investing in public or hybrid cloud solutions for their critical applications this year.

Seven percent? Didn't we just agree that everybody thinks that the cloud is good? How did this number end up so low?

It's useful to look at the makeup of the survey respondents at this point, because it has a lot to do with the 7%. The 2013 survey interviewed 166 IT Operations executives from large enterprise companies. While these companies are enthusiastic adopters of virtualization and private cloud (75% have deployed more than half their applications on those technologies), they tend to shy away from public cloud for their most critical applications.

A key reason enterprise IT shops have largely avoided public cloud services for critical applications is that those applications tend to include highly sensitive back-end systems and data, performing everything from building insurance policies to executing large volumes of financial transactions. They want to retain complete control and security over these systems - which they can't do if their applications are running in a public cloud service (or so they think).

Let's go back to the question of deployment. While only seven percent had committed, 65% of respondents said they were considering a public or hybrid cloud implementation. The value of cloud is still alluring to operations executives, but there's still work to be done to overcome the insecurity about - well - the insecurity.

The door is open, though. What do those executives need to see to step through that door? That information came out in the other areas of the 2013 survey. Specifically, IT executives were asked about satisfaction with their performance monitoring tools (especially around business services and applications). The numbers aren't pretty. Sixty-three percent were unsatisfied with their Application Performance Management (APM) tools, and 75% of executives were unsatisfied with their Business Service Monitoring (BSM) tools. Considering the cost - and IT Operations criticality - tied to these specific tools, those numbers are bad.

Those numbers pale, though, when compared to the percentage of respondents who said at least 25% of the time their tools couldn't find the cause of high priority application problems - 81%! Let that number soak in. These tools fail to accomplish the thing they're supposed to do one out of every four outages. Let's look at that number a different way. If the tool were an employee, that employee would simply slip out the door at 3 o'clock Thursday and show up for work again on Monday - every single week. I don't think it's a stretch to say that the answer to this question sheds light on the dissatisfaction results.

These bad feelings about management tool capabilities and effectiveness, combined with the fear of the loss of control in the first place, are at the heart of why large enterprise IT teams aren't moving to public cloud in droves. That could all be changing soon, though. The answer is hybrid cloud.

A properly architected application in a hybrid cloud environment puts user access systems into a public cloud service, while keeping the critical transaction systems on premise in the data center. This gives IT teams the best of both worlds: "unlimited" on-demand scalability for user requests on the front end, coupled with the security and control they need for their back-end systems. An application designed and deployed this way will alleviate the security and control concerns enterprise IT executives have with cloud systems.

There is one last piece, though, needed to complete the enterprise IT picture of a properly deployed hybrid cloud application - effective performance and availability management. Remember those dissatisfaction percentage numbers, 63 and 75? If IT executives can't trust their management tools in the data center, how can they rely on them to help in the cloud? The answer lies in transaction monitoring. The type of transaction monitoring needed for hybrid clouds hasn't been available long. The traditional APM and BSM tools aren't really built for it, but there are a set of solutions now that can track transactions across the data center and through the cloud.

With these tools in place, IT operations teams can track transactions across different application components in the cloud, in addition to the data center. Even better, some of them can even tie those two sides together to get a complete end-to-end view of any given transaction from the web request, through the cloud and into the back-end data center systems. This final step in the management evolution means that IT teams can deploy their critical applications in hybrid environments, scale on demand, secure their back-end systems, and manage performance and availability across both.

Who knows? Next year, we might have most of that 65% of "considering the cloud" executives answer that they're deployed in a hybrid environment and that they're actually happy with their performance management tools. Well, at least their transaction management tools.

More Stories By Vic Nyman

Vic Nyman is the co-founder and COO of BlueStripe Software. He has over 20 years of experience in systems management and APM and has held leadership positions at Wily Technology, IBM Tivoli and Relicore/Symantec.

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.


@CloudExpo Stories
In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Simone Brunozzi, VP and Chief Technologist of Cloud Services at VMware, reviewed the changes that the cloud computing industry has gone through over the last five years and shared insights into what the next five will bring. He also chronicled the challenges enterprise companies are facing as they move to the public cloud. He delved into the "Hybrid Cloud" space and explained why every CIO should consider ‘hybrid cloud' as part of their future strategy to achi...
The time is ripe for high speed resilient software defined storage solutions with unlimited scalability. ISS has been working with the leading open source projects and developed a commercial high performance solution that is able to grow forever without performance limitations. In his session at Cloud Expo, Alex Gorbachev, President of Intelligent Systems Services Inc., shared foundation principles of Ceph architecture, as well as the design to deliver this storage to traditional SAN storage co...
The last decade was about virtual machines, but the next one is about containers. Containers enable a service to run on any host at any time. Traditional tools are starting to show cracks because they were not designed for this level of application portability. Now is the time to look at new ways to deploy and manage applications at scale. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Brian “Redbeard” Harrington, a principal architect at CoreOS, will examine how CoreOS helps teams run in production. Attende...
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at th...
In the midst of the widespread popularity and adoption of cloud computing, it seems like everything is being offered “as a Service” these days: Infrastructure? Check. Platform? You bet. Software? Absolutely. Toaster? It’s only a matter of time. With service providers positioning vastly differing offerings under a generic “cloud” umbrella, it’s all too easy to get confused about what’s actually being offered. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Kevin Hazard, Director of Digital Content for SoftL...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Harbinger Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Harbinger Systems is a global company providing software technology services. Since 1990, Harbinger has developed a strong customer base worldwide. Its customers include software product companies ranging from hi-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley to leading product companies in the US a...
Live Webinar with 451 Research Analyst Peter Christy. Join us on Wednesday July 22, 2015, at 10 am PT / 1 pm ET In a world where users are on the Internet and the applications are in the cloud, how do you maintain your historic SLA with your users? Peter Christy, Research Director, Networks at 451 Research, will discuss this new network paradigm, one in which there is no LAN and no WAN, and discuss what users and network administrators gain and give up when migrating to the agile world of clo...
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises ar...
Agile, which started in the development organization, has gradually expanded into other areas downstream - namely IT and Operations. Teams – then teams of teams – have streamlined processes, improved feedback loops and driven a much faster pace into IT departments which have had profound effects on the entire organization. In his session at DevOps Summit, Anders Wallgren, Chief Technology Officer of Electric Cloud, will discuss how DevOps and Continuous Delivery have emerged to help connect dev...
"We help to transform an organization and their operations and make them more efficient, more agile, and more nimble to move into the cloud or to move between cloud providers and create an agnostic tool set," noted Jeremy Steinert, DevOps Services Practice Lead at WSM International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Infrastructure & Services will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS) is a managed services provider of cloud computing solutions for the IBM Power Systems market. The company helps mid-market firms built on IBM hardware platforms to deploy new levels of reliable and cost-effective computing and hig...
"AgilData is the next generation of dbShards. It just adds a whole bunch more functionality to improve the developer experience," noted Dan Lynn, CEO of AgilData, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
"We have a tagline - "Power in the API Economy." What that means is everything that is built in applications and connected applications is done through APIs," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps 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 bu...
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the ...
"What Dyn is able to do with our Internet performance and our Internet intelligence is give companies visibility into what is actually going on in that cloud," noted Corey Hamilton, Product Marketing Manager at Dyn, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
The basic integration architecture, as defined by ESBs, hasn’t changed for more than a decade. Most cloud integration providers still rely on an ESB architecture and their proprietary connectors. As a result, enterprise integration projects suffer from constraints of availability and reliability of these connectors that are not re-usable across other integration vendors. However, the rapid adoption of APIs and almost ubiquitous availability of APIs amongst most SaaS and Cloud applications are ra...
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of...
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect t...
The most often asked question post-DevOps introduction is: “How do I get started?” There’s plenty of information on why DevOps is valid and important, but many managers still struggle with simple basics for how to initiate a DevOps program in their business. They struggle with issues related to current organizational inertia, the lack of experience on Continuous Integration/Delivery, understanding where DevOps will affect revenue and budget, etc. In their session at DevOps Summit, JP Morgenthal...