Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Sematext Blog, Pat Romanski, Flint Brenton

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Cloud Security, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: 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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
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.
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...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices 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 ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...