Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Roger Strukhoff, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Brad Anderson

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, Security, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

Cloud as Delivery Vehicle – The Next Wave of the Internet

Meet FireHost at Cloud Expo New York

"While cost has traditionally been a foundational benefit of the cloud, we believe that other factors can play a more important part in defining the cloud of tomorrow," said Todd Gleason, Vice President of Technology at FireHost, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo conference chairs Larry Carvalho and Vanessa Alvarez. "We believe that the generalist cloud provider - those low-cost commodity clouds that created price competition and insecure clouds - are going to either be gobbled up or beaten up as the industry evolves from this generalist mentality to focus on specialist clouds that have a particular focus."

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

Todd Gleason: Standardization is important, but we're concerned because security desperately needs to be part of this effort. It is not addressed enough, if at all. Much of the open standards work in cloud and other IT technologies traditionally is not security-conscious, making adoption riskier than many want to admit or truly understand. So, while standards are a good thing, we believe security should be baked in at their inception. We advocate for innovation, but it's important that the innovative spirit is not blind to the need to protect vendors and customers.

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?

Gleason: Too much attention and marketing real estate has been paid to debating the merits of public, private and hybrid clouds. Definitions of what's public, what's private and what's hybrid are wide-reaching and are often created to suit a vendor's point of view rather than an educational, objective delineation for the industry. From where we sit, use cases and security are key to disarming this debate. The conversation needs to shift from which model is best in general to which one is appropriate for an individual vendor, provider, or customer, and it must address and incorporate security because regardless of the model chosen, a cloud is insecure unless it's built secure. Use cases vary for industries and individual companies, but security is a common denominator and applicable for all of them. This is where the industry discussion needs to shift.

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?

Gleason: Most are and the bigger question is how effective will they be at delivering from the cloud and will it be secure. Will they expand their business model and provide infrastructure, or will they stay in their niche as software only players? And for those who do not migrate, will they become more inefficient and outdated?

Cloud as a delivery vehicle is the next wave of the Internet, especially as automation, software techniques, and infrastructures adapt toward applications and servicing their performance more and more. The efficiencies of today are miles ahead of an insulated, on-premise software solution - a situation that gets much sweeter when security is architected into the infrastructure. However, we are not even close to being a truly application-centric world.

Truthfully, though, we need to focus on what the customer wants. Every model will be viable to various customers, so some software vendors may become irrelevant due to the cloud providing a better way to service the customer's needs. The cloud industry can be too hung up on terms such as hybrid, public, SaaS or PaaS. Instead, we have to focus on the customers' needs and their applications that run their business and give them competitive advantages operationally and provide a truly seamless experience.

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?

Gleason: Platforms are important to reduce time-to-market for SaaS or internal use cases, and it's good to see the industry shifting from infrastructures being the center of the universe to how they can be architected to service applications in a more on-demand, dynamic, intelligent manner. But, again, where is security in the discussion? It's not anywhere to be found in the majority of industry conversations and vendor communications. It badly needs to be.

In addition to security, there are two other big to-dos that need to be addressed: orchestration and inter-cloud technology. To make applications work well across infrastructures, those infrastructures must work well together in an inter-cloud fashion. This brings us back to security. Businesses will have many clouds, as will their customers. The weakest link is the most insecure cloud, so change must happen to bring security into the larger, strategic conversations rather than focusing so much on architecting an infrastructure or specific software techniques.

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?

Gleason: While cost has traditionally been a foundational benefit of the cloud, we believe that other factors can play a more important part in defining the cloud of tomorrow. We believe that the generalist cloud provider - those low-cost commodity clouds that created price competition and insecure clouds - are going to either be gobbled up or beaten up as the industry evolves from this generalist mentality to focus on specialist clouds that have a particular focus. For FireHost, that's security. We evolved out of the need for security and have created an infrastructure that provides an advanced security architecture, top security personnel and compliance expertise for customers that are security- and compliance-driven.

•   •   •

Todd Gleason, Vice President of Technology at FireHost, is a central figure in continuously innovating and architecting the secure cloud infrastructure for FireHost and its customers. He brings 15 years of global IT and R&D experience, including deep knowledge of security, cloud, networking, compute, virtualization, storage, and application delivery technologies.

Gleason is driven by the notion that customers ultimately care about servicing their applications to perform efficiently in a secure environment. With this in mind, Gleason has displayed a knack for understanding the latest technology trends in the industry, synthesizing what is applicable for FireHost's customers, and incorporating relevant technology into the company's cloud infrastructure to ensure businesses' applications and data are protected in a cutting-edge, secure cloud. Gleason has helped redefine industry expectations about performance, security, and compliance in the cloud. His creative approach to architecting FireHost's secure cloud proves that security can be incorporated without compromising infrastructure performance, which improves customers' risk management while maintaining thrifty usage of infrastructure resources.

Prior to his role with FireHost, Gleason worked as director of information technology at Panini America, formerly Donruss Trading Cards, which is now a subsidiary of the global Panini conglomerate. There he implemented a high-performance infrastructure and unique business applications enabling rapid high-quality production workflows and integration into the Panini global business. Gleason holds a degree in computer information systems from Remington College.

More Stories By Pat Romanski

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

Comments (1)

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.


Cloud Expo Latest Stories
With the explosion of the cloud, more businesses are transitioning to a recurring revenue model to generate reliable sales, grow profits, and open new markets. This opportunity requires businesses to get to market quickly with the pricing and packaging options customers want. In addition, you will want to take advantage of the ensuing tidal wave of data to more effectively upsell, cross-sell and manage your customers. All of this is possible, but only with the right approach. At 15th Cloud Expo, Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder at Aria Systems and the inventor of cloud billing panelists, will lead a panel discussion on what it takes to launch and manage a successful recurring revenue business. The panelists will offer their insights about what each department will need to consider, from financial management to line of business and IT. The panelists will also offer examples from their success in recurring revenue with companies such as Audi, Constant Contact, Experian, Pitney-Bowes, Teleko...
Planning scalable environments isn't terribly difficult, but it does require a change of perspective. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will broaden your views to think on an Internet scale by dissecting a video publishing application built with The SoftLayer Platform, Message Queuing, Object Storage, and Drupal. By examining a scalable modular application build that can handle unpredictable traffic, attendees will able to grow your development arsenal and pick up a few strategies to apply to your own projects.
Come learn about what you need to consider when moving your data to the cloud. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Skyla Loomis, a Program Director of Cloudant Development at Cloudant, will discuss the security, performance, and operational implications of keeping your data on premise, moving it to the cloud, or taking a hybrid approach. She will use real customer examples to illustrate the tradeoffs, key decision points, and how to be successful with a cloud or hybrid cloud solution.
The cloud provides an easy onramp to building and deploying Big Data solutions. Transitioning from initial deployment to large-scale, highly performant operations may not be as easy. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will discuss the benefits, weaknesses, and performance characteristics of public and bare metal cloud deployments that can help you make the right decisions.
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects – scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e., the largest single medical system in the United States.
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Derek Tumulak, Vice President of Product Management at Vormetric, will discuss how to address data security in cloud and Big Data environments so that your organization isn’t next week’s data breach headline.
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Is your organization struggling to deal with skyrocketing volumes of digital assets? The amount of data is growing exponentially and organizations are having a hard time managing this growth. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Amar Kapadia, Senior Director of Open Cloud Strategy at Seagate, will walk through the essential considerations when developing a cloud storage strategy. In this discussion, you will understand the challenges IT is facing, why companies need to move to cloud, and how the right cloud model can help your business economically overcome the data struggle.
If cloud computing benefits are so clear, why have so few enterprises migrated their mission-critical apps? The answer is often inertia and FUD. No one ever got fired for not moving to the cloud – not yet. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Hoch, SVP, Cloud Advisory Service at Virtustream, will discuss the six key steps to justify and execute your MCA cloud migration.
The 16th International Cloud Expo announces that its Call for Papers is now open. 16th International Cloud Expo, to be held June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, 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 business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Most of today’s hardware manufacturers are building servers with at least one SATA Port, but not every systems engineer utilizes them. This is considered a loss in the game of maximizing potential storage space in a fixed unit. The SATADOM Series was created by Innodisk as a high-performance, small form factor boot drive with low power consumption to be plugged into the unused SATA port on your server board as an alternative to hard drive or USB boot-up. Built for 1U systems, this powerful device is smaller than a one dollar coin, and frees up otherwise dead space on your motherboard. To meet the requirements of tomorrow’s cloud hardware, Innodisk invested internal R&D resources to develop our SATA III series of products. The SATA III SATADOM boasts 500/180MBs R/W Speeds respectively, or double R/W Speed of SATA II products.
In today's application economy, enterprise organizations realize that it's their applications that are the heart and soul of their business. If their application users have a bad experience, their revenue and reputation are at stake. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anand Akela, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Application Performance Management at CA Technologies, will discuss how a user-centric Application Performance Management solution can help inspire your users with every application transaction.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudian is a Foster City, Calif.-based software company specializing in cloud storage. Cloudian HyperStore® is an S3-compatible cloud object storage platform that enables service providers and enterprises to build reliable, affordable and scalable hybrid cloud storage solutions. Cloudian actively partners with leading cloud computing environments including Amazon Web Services, Citrix Cloud Platform, Apache CloudStack, OpenStack and the vast ecosystem of S3 compatible tools and applications. Cloudian's customers include Vodafone, Nextel, NTT, Nifty, and LunaCloud. The company has additional offices in China and Japan.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise), a leading value-added provider of server and storage virtualization, and r-evolution will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise) is a leading value-added provider of software, systems and solutions for corporations, government organizations, and academic institutions across the United States and Canada. TechXtend is the Exclusive Reseller in the United States for r-evolution