|By Pat Romanski||
|June 24, 2014 09:00 AM EDT||
"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.
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, discussed recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model for s...
Dec. 10, 2016 01:30 AM EST Reads: 739
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dec. 10, 2016 01:00 AM EST Reads: 1,257
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 9, 2016 11:30 PM EST Reads: 1,149
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Dec. 9, 2016 10:45 PM EST Reads: 536
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, discussed how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your aud...
Dec. 9, 2016 10:00 PM EST Reads: 310
"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. 9, 2016 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,284
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Dec. 9, 2016 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,025
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
Dec. 9, 2016 06:45 PM EST Reads: 5,149
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...
Dec. 9, 2016 06:15 PM EST Reads: 1,767
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 ...
Dec. 9, 2016 05:30 PM EST Reads: 2,375
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...
Dec. 9, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,892
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 ...
Dec. 9, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,473
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...
Dec. 9, 2016 04:45 PM EST Reads: 1,321
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...
Dec. 9, 2016 04:45 PM EST Reads: 1,871
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, 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. 9, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 1,248
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...
Dec. 9, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 995
"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.
Dec. 9, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 882
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal...
Dec. 9, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 661
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. 9, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 1,053
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. 9, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 1,790