Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Johnnie Konstantas, Cloud Best Practices Network, Elizabeth White, Sarah Patrick, Ramesh Ganapathy

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

A Hybrid Future: Blending Public and Private Clouds

An exclusive Q&A with Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech

"Organizations take time to evolve. That's why we're bound for a hybrid future, where public and private clouds blend to create a shared infrastructure that spans application, organization and data center boundaries," noted Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo conference chairs Larry Carvalho and Vanessa Alvarez.

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

Esmeralda Swartz: I think enterprises made the adoption choice based on the business need for cheap and good enough at the expense of transparency, security and privacy. Standards have played a role in eliminating fear and building trust thereby increasing adoption. For example, when you are picking a cloud provider and they produce certification, you know that they're being audited and adhering to common standards. We now need to move to the user experience and extend control to users and empowering them.

In addition, the big players are not portable, say from Azure to AWS or vice versa, as an example. Other stack vendors and projects attempt to emulate a market leader like Amazon but I wouldn't call that a standard. Within IaaS, we're still using traditional machine-by-machine management tooling internal to a deployment like Puppet or other tools. Some are beginning to use advanced cloud provider management API-based tools, but that's the least portable part. Customers don't want to suffer a new form of lock-in. Until managing your cloud infrastructure is common with your traditional infrastructure people will hold back.

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?

Swartz: Organizations take time to evolve. That's why we're bound for a hybrid future, where public and private clouds blend to create a shared infrastructure that spans application, organization and data center boundaries. Companies need the freedom to evolve and optimize applications and data for SLAs tuned for price, policy and performance. A future that blends the best of public and private clouds, provides the right balance of an elastic cloud infrastructure to meet the range of requirements from applications and users.

Private clouds are a natural starting point for an enterprise and by setting down this path, most enterprises will end up with hybrid, one that leverages their private cloud investment and provides for a public cloud future. Hybrids are also inadvertently solving the standards problem. While starting with the private data center to cloud data center co-existence model, this will evolve from a simple cloud to a common cloud management layer, whether the cloud in question is public or private. These platforms are going to wrap up the underlying proprietary APIs and become the new control panel for IT.

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?

Swartz: It's a tough and unforgiving road. For SaaS, investors are focused on growth and not margins whereas if you are an on-premise vendor transitioning to SaaS, investors don't like margin hits and expect delivery of both growth as well as margins without slips during the transition. It is possible to achieve economies of scale and to keep the overall cost down and share and integrate business functions during the transition. We are seeing more common sense applied to the SaaS dream. When packaged software vendors try to move to the purest technology point of view where certain architectures are dictated that's a tough challenge.

There is no question that on-premise providers are adopting the principles of SaaS, such as continuous delivery of new features and increasing value at a reduced cost beyond the initial license to the customer. Some on-premise vendors can't make this cultural shift and still cave in to delivering one-off and bespoke versions to make deals happen. Ironically we are seeing SaaS vendors do the same, which is a particularly slippery slope. We recognized that the inevitable evolution path is user-driven configuration. We have a configurable on-premise cloud platform and a SaaS-based platform. For some customers SaaS is a fit, for others it is not. We don't have to dictate the business model our customers must fit into. You'll often hear customers want SaaS because they want lower prices. Customers care about increasing ROI and driving down TCO with reduced time to revenue, irrespective of the delivery model.

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?

Swartz: If you are entering the market based on price alone, then don't bother; the big players are already battling it out on price, where even the winner loses. You're better off starting with at least PaaS or better yet delivering value-add on top of an existing infrastructure provider. The only possible exception to this is companies that must have massive infrastructure under their control. For example, Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) are going to cause communications providers to transform their proprietary hardware into massive farms of commodity computing and network infrastructure. Selling excess capacity to customers is reasonable as is packaging value add options that will appeal to enterprises. We'll see the traditional subscription model supplemented by a wide variety of per-occasion charges (premium and discount) and short-term and long-term relationships that will come and go on a continual basis.

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?

Swartz: Four years ago when presented with this question it seemed clear to us that PaaS was far superior to IaaS and SaaS. You control the application, it's your code and the only thing you really have to worry about is the application itself.Why would we want the overhead of IT managing and patching machines and licensing OS and other basic software? With PaaS our developers could develop as always and adopt a DevOps strategy from day one, making the whole process streamlined and efficient for delivering application services. Perhaps developers are just distrustful and rely on fine-grained machine tuning for too many things to let go of the hardware even if it is virtual. We expect people to move to PaaS more vigorously in the future but that opens its own portability and standards problems.

More Stories By Pat Romanski

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

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software 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. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, 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. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Advances in technology and ubiquitous connectivity have made the utilization of a dispersed workforce more common. Whether that remote team is located across the street or country, management styles/ approaches will have to be adjusted to accommodate this new dynamic. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., focused on the challenges of managing remote teams, providing real-world examples that demonstrate what works and what do...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay 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. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of 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, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection.
Father business cycles and digital consumers are forcing enterprises to respond faster to customer needs and competitive demands. Successful integration of DevOps and Agile development will be key for business success in today’s digital economy. In his session at DevOps Summit, Pradeep Prabhu, Co-Founder & CEO of Cloudmunch, covered the critical practices that enterprises should consider to seamlessly integrate Agile and DevOps processes, barriers to implementing this in the enterprise, and pr...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
As someone who has been dedicated to automation and Application Release Automation (ARA) technology for almost six years now, one of the most common questions I get asked regards Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Specifically, people want to know whether release automation is still needed when a PaaS is in place, and why. Isn't that what a PaaS provides? A solution to the deployment and runtime challenges of an application? Why would anyone using a PaaS then need an automation engine with workflow ...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, 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. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.