Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Destiny Bertucci, Jignesh Solanki, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Daniel Gordon

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, Cloud Security, @DXWorldExpo, 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
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
The cloud era has reached the stage where it is no longer a question of whether a company should migrate, but when. Enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of where their various applications are stored and who manages them, saving significant investment along the way. Plus, the cloud has become a defining competitive edge. Companies that fail to successfully adapt risk failure. The media, of course, continues to extol the virtues of the cloud, including how easy it is to get there. Migrating...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
The use of containers by developers -- and now increasingly IT operators -- has grown from infatuation to deep and abiding love. But as with any long-term affair, the honeymoon soon leads to needing to live well together ... and maybe even getting some relationship help along the way. And so it goes with container orchestration and automation solutions, which are rapidly emerging as the means to maintain the bliss between rapid container adoption and broad container use among multiple cloud host...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, discussed the b...
Blockchain. A day doesn’t seem to go by without seeing articles and discussions about the technology. According to PwC executive Seamus Cushley, approximately $1.4B has been invested in blockchain just last year. In Gartner’s recent hype cycle for emerging technologies, blockchain is approaching the peak. It is considered by Gartner as one of the ‘Key platform-enabling technologies to track.’ While there is a lot of ‘hype vs reality’ discussions going on, there is no arguing that blockchain is b...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
"Since we launched LinuxONE we learned a lot from our customers. More than anything what they responded to were some very unique security capabilities that we have," explained Mark Figley, Director of LinuxONE Offerings at IBM, 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.
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable?Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, answered these questions and demonstrated techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances and co...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The need for greater agility and scalability necessitated the digital transformation in the form of following equation: monolithic to microservices to serverless architecture (FaaS). To keep up with the cut-throat competition, the organisations need to update their technology stack to make software development their differentiating factor. Thus microservices architecture emerged as a potential method to provide development teams with greater flexibility and other advantages, such as the abili...