|By Marten Terpstra||
|July 3, 2014 06:00 AM EDT||
As an SDN network provider focused on the datacenter, we spend a good amount of time understanding the state of data centers today, tomorrow and some time into the future.
There is no question that the use of Software as a Service (SaaS) applications in the cloud is growing rapidly. Plexxi itself is a shining example, few of the applications we use are in-house across all functional areas.
There are many reasons why we picked cloud-based applications for our needs. As a small company, in many cases there is a very simply economic choice to make. Paying for a cloud based service is simply cheaper than building your own infrastructure. Creating a datacenter infrastructure is not cheap, and maintaining it and the applications that run on top is a serious investment. When you are small, that overhead is hard to carry and per user based charges for a cloud based application is much easier to swallow.
But as small as we are, we have clear needs for in house datacenter resources, and we are not in a very compute or storage intensive business. We have built a mini datacenter in our test environment. This is where we do our scaling tests, our integration testing with external systems, and even run big data applications as part of the test and development cycle. We have a growing environment where we validate larger and larger systems through simulation.
We are extremely focused to make sure that all our applications are as tightly integrated as they can be. We constantly chase our application providers for hooks and integrations that allow us to create a seamless environment with clear workflows from one application to another. Some of these integrations can only be done on non cloud based versions of the applications we use. Our use of some of these applications is heavy enough that access performance is becoming an issue. Productivity loss is hard to measure but very real.
There is no doubt in my mind that we will continue to grow our own datacenter. There are some things we have to run in house to ensure a controlled environment with dedicated access, others will be more hybrid with local cache and proxy versions for cloud based applications.
This week I read this article where Intel’s CIO Kim Stevenson talks about Intel’s own datacenter infrastructure. Of course Intel is somewhat unique in the sense that they create one of the most critical pieces of datacenter resources, but really they are a big multinational like so many others that have compute and storage needs for their business.
In the article, Kim articulates some of the key reasons why the enterprise datacenter will not disappear. A direct quote: “That’s because the company runs mission-critical applications for developing intellectual property, manufacturing, customer service, and product development, and thus far, these work better internally”, followed by “the company is very sensitive about its proprietary data”. In just two quotes, these are key reasons to have certain things in-house. Access, performance, flexibility, customization, security, locality. The first few will improve with better cloud environments and access to them, but those last few will have a much higher resistance.
The size of Intel’s datacenters is quite impressive. 630,000 Xeon cores across 50,000 servers. And their utilization close to 90% throughout the day. That would be one heck of a compute workload to place into the cloud. Yes, Intel is large. But there are so many others like them, some with perhaps even heavier compute and storage requirements than Intel. Large pharmaceuticals performing chemical research and analysis, oil and gas companies feeding huge amounts of data into their compute centers in search of natural resources, banks, insurance companies and credit card companies storing millions and billions of transactions and try to find patterns in an attempt to understand us better and sell us more.
There is no question that many of our applications will move to the cloud. Pure economics will drive that. But at the same time there will continue to be resistance for a long time to come to move certain applications and data into the cloud. And as Intel’s numbers show, those are very significant amounts of resources.
The enterprise datacenter will continue to exists and grow for a long time to come. Where and how we run our applications will show a shift of applications into the cloud. The boundary between local and cloud will blur, with some applications fully in the cloud, others fully local, and many in a hybrid between the two for performance, security, scaling or elasticity reasons. And it is there that we as an industry creating datacenter infrastructures need to focus.
[Today's fun fact: The 4th of July is (not surprisingly) the day with the highest hot dog consumption in the US, a staggering 150 million on that one day alone. For tomorrow, happy 4th to all in the US and a happy friday to everyone else. As for Saturday: Hup Holland Hup.]
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service. In his session at 19th Cloud Exp...
Dec. 4, 2016 09:00 AM EST Reads: 542
"Venafi has a platform that allows you to manage, centralize and automate the complete life cycle of keys and certificates within the organization," explained Gina Osmond, Sr. Field Marketing Manager at Venafi, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 08:45 AM EST Reads: 785
Effectively SMBs and government programs must address compounded regulatory compliance requirements. The most recent are Controlled Unclassified Information and the EU's GDPR have Board Level implications. Managing sensitive data protection will likely result in acquisition criteria, demonstration requests and new requirements. Developers, as part of the pre-planning process and the associated supply chain, could benefit from updating their code libraries and design by incorporating changes. In...
Dec. 4, 2016 08:30 AM EST Reads: 969
"Coalfire is a cyber-risk, security and compliance assessment and advisory services firm. We do a lot of work with the cloud service provider community," explained Ryan McGowan, Vice President, Sales (West) at Coalfire Systems, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 08:30 AM EST Reads: 760
Regulatory requirements exist to promote the controlled sharing of information, while protecting the privacy and/or security of the information. Regulations for each type of information have their own set of rules, policies, and guidelines. Cloud Service Providers (CSP) are faced with increasing demand for services at decreasing prices. Demonstrating and maintaining compliance with regulations is a nontrivial task and doing so against numerous sets of regulatory requirements can be daunting task...
Dec. 4, 2016 08:15 AM EST Reads: 750
CloudJumper, a Workspace as a Service (WaaS) platform innovator for agile business IT, has been recognized with the Customer Value Leadership Award for its nWorkSpace platform by Frost & Sullivan. The company was also featured in a new report(1) by the industry research firm titled, “Desktop-as-a-Service Buyer’s Guide, 2016,” which provides a comprehensive comparison of DaaS providers, including CloudJumper, Amazon, VMware, and Microsoft.
Dec. 4, 2016 08:15 AM EST Reads: 705
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Dec. 4, 2016 08:00 AM EST Reads: 689
Fact: storage performance problems have only gotten more complicated, as applications not only have become largely virtualized, but also have moved to cloud-based infrastructures. Storage performance in virtualized environments isn’t just about IOPS anymore. Instead, you need to guarantee performance for individual VMs, helping applications maintain performance as the number of VMs continues to go up in real time. In his session at Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, Product and Marketing at Tintri, sha...
Dec. 4, 2016 08:00 AM EST Reads: 804
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 sett...
Dec. 4, 2016 06:15 AM EST Reads: 6,971
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, 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.
Dec. 4, 2016 05:30 AM EST Reads: 1,753
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 how...
Dec. 4, 2016 04:45 AM EST Reads: 4,968
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
Dec. 4, 2016 04:30 AM EST Reads: 1,554
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
Dec. 4, 2016 04:00 AM EST Reads: 6,226
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, discussed how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved efficienc...
Dec. 4, 2016 04:00 AM EST Reads: 4,959
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
Dec. 4, 2016 03:45 AM EST Reads: 1,570
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 02:15 AM EST Reads: 886
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busin...
Dec. 4, 2016 02:00 AM EST Reads: 3,786
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
Dec. 4, 2016 12:30 AM EST Reads: 1,788
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, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data professionals...
Dec. 3, 2016 11:00 PM EST Reads: 4,167
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 3, 2016 11:00 PM EST Reads: 972