Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Greg Schulz, Jerome McFarland

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
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vice president of product management, IoT solutions at GlobalSign, will teach IoT developers how t...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists will dis...
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, will show how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningfu...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., will focus on real world deployments of DDoS mitigation strategies in every layer of the network. He will give an overview of methods to prevent these attacks and best practices on how to provide protection in complex cloud platforms. He will also outline what we have found in our experience managing and running thousands of Linux and Unix managed service platforms and what specifically c...
Many private cloud projects were built to deliver self-service access to development and test resources. While those clouds delivered faster access to resources, they lacked visibility, control and security needed for production deployments. In their session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steve Anderson, Product Manager at BMC Software, and Rick Lefort, Principal Technical Marketing Consultant at BMC Software, will discuss how a cloud designed for production operations not only helps accelerate developer...
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it has become the most popular among the new wave of applications running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Relations at Redis Labs, will shares the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
See storage differently! Storage performance problems have only gotten worse and harder to solve as applications have become largely virtualized and moved to a cloud-based infrastructure. Storage performance in a virtualized environment is not just about IOPS, it is about how well that potential performance is guaranteed to individual VMs for these apps as the number of VMs keep going up real time. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in product and marketing at Tintri, will discu...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu, a leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to foc...
Internap Corporation has expanded its OpenStack-based bare-metal Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering, AgileSERVER 2.0, to its data centers in Amsterdam, Dallas and Santa Clara, Calif. Launched in 2015 out of Internap’s New York Metro data center in Secaucus, N.J., AgileSERVER 2.0 is now available in four locations globally, enabling enterprises and devops teams running mission-critical applications and big data workloads to build scale-out infrastructure environments that are higher performing ...