Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Harry Trott

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

The Cloud Its Benefits and Its Threats

An Eli Lilly Cloud Success Story

I am very intrigued by the following quote from Dave Powers at Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical giant and makers of Prozac®, Cymbalta®, Cialis® and dozens of other medicines. Their IT challenge was daunting - purchase 64 compute nodes and storage, assemble, and perform their critical testing. The choices were a large capital expense layout with high-cost management or look to a new method to conquer the task. Lilly turned to Cloud Computing and specifically Amazon's EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud). Their  comment below is the epitome of Cloud Computing. Lilly's project is fairly typical of geo-science and manufacturing companies that use a sort of ‘modeling' or simulation approach to discovery, forecasting, and product improvement/ testing.

"Lilly has demonstrated the viability of cloud computing in pharmaceutical R&D, according to Dave Powers, the firm's associate information consultant for discovery IT. "We were recently able to launch a 64-machine cluster computer working on bioinformatics sequence information, complete the work, and shut it down in 20 minutes," he says, describing a project the firm executed using Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service. "It cost $6.40. To do that internally-to go from nothing to getting a 64-machine cluster installed and qualified-is a 12-week process."

(Original article - http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/87/8721cover.html)

To me, this is the true beauty of Cloud Computing.

 5 years ago, I remember a similar discussion about temporary processing projects and implications with an oil and gas executive. He mentioned that the key to their exploration efforts was gathering a bunch of data with ground penetrating machinery. Their machines would "thump" the ground from multiple triangulated locations and gather the reflections from the geologic formations underground. The better the reflections, the more thorough the data but it also meant a few dozen to a few hundred TBs of raw data.  The challenge was to process the data as fast as possible such that their team of geologists could find the anomalies and make a decision on the size, location, and viability of extraction of the natural resources they wanted.

The answer 5 years ago for that oil and gas project manager was "renting" a High Performance Computing solution from a notable vendor versus the capital investment to do it themselves.  The oil and gas company would have the vendor build the physical 32 or 64 node cluster with storage, deliver the mass of machinery to the oil and gas company site, get the cluster ‘ready',  and then run their data jobs. The company would manipulate the data as required for 2 to 4 weeks depending on how many ‘runs' they could get processed. In their case, fast was never fast enough.  As a "rental", it was expensive but it was better to "rent" than "own" - the lesser of two evils. After use, the hardware vendor (with their own capital invested) would typically look for another company to coordinate another rental.  While some oil and gas companies could justify the investment in large clusters, the processing power and expense was equivalent to chasing something you could never catch. To be more effective over the long term, the oil and gas companies continue to use more sophisticated ground penetrating equipment which gathers more and more data to process. Owning the processing equipment is near insanity from a financial and processing point of view.

Fast-forward 5 years to Eli Lilly. They have discovered Cloud Computing and its benefits. A seamless method to process and extract the information they need. Surely, other industries will gravitate to the Cloud for their modeling and simulation.

That's the good stuff. What does the Cloud mean to the hardware vendors? If you were a financial analyst tracking a hardware company, what questions do you ask of them?

Q. "Cloud Computing has some great customer benefits but from a hardware point of view, it might mean selling less hardware;  assuming you aren't the cloud vendors hardware of choice, what do you do?"

Possible A. "We are developing newer products that unify compute and storage for more efficient, denser solutions that can serve multiple markets - the end customer that still needs in house control of their transactional business and Cloud vendors that need a massive amount of storage.

While that potential answer is OK, the trend to the Cloud will accelerate. What does it mean to hardware companies that base much of the business on testing, modeling and simulation. A notable vendor once claimed (privately to me) that 50% of their entry level storage products were sold into Enterprise accounts primarily for modeling, simulation, and scaling. That fact seems counter-intuitive to their sales and marketing efforts which geared their high-end products to the Enterprise and their low-end products towards their channel and first-time buyers of that technology.

Assuming customers now have a choice to model their business using a 64 machine cluster for $6.40 in 20 minutes time without the capital expense, the threat is real for hardware manufacturers. The capital investment that larger companies make to model their enterprise will take a chunk out of established revenues of the hardware manufacturers over time by the Cloud. Today that chunk might be small, maybe not. Hardware manufacturers have all faced changes in the market and the good companies know these trends and innovate. The Cloud is the newest challenge and might pose a tougher threat. The Cloud is the first time that end customers have an option of not buying hardware the traditional way and tackling dynamic workloads almost instantly.

The Eli Lilly example solution is a great Cloud example... Imagine an IT meeting with the CIO in a large conference room in Indianapolis, Indiana. The IT department beaming from ear-to-ear with the news that they modeled their new drug in record time with a huge reduction in costs. The CIO impressed with the achievement says, "That is tremendous. What else can the Cloud do for us?"

And thus the Cloud trend accelerates..

More Stories By Rich Bruklis

A 20 year veteran of the storage industry, Rich has been a business leader in product marketing. He has seen the industry change from backup on 5.25" floppies to 10,000 cartridge tape libraries with every tape "standard" in between. Rich has supported 5.25" 30MB hard drives and launched disk arrays with hundreds of drives. Most recently, Rich has focused on business continuity and disaster recovery.

While the hardware industry continues to experience BBFC (Bigger, Better, Faster, Cheaper), there is a cloud on the horizon that is about to disrupt that trend. Cloud Computing will fundamentally change the IT world much like the network changed client-server computing.

@CloudExpo Stories
"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.
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...
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...
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...
"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.
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, 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. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, contrasted how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He showed how the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He also demoed building immutable pipelines in the cloud ...
The cloud competition for database hosts is fierce. How do you evaluate a cloud provider for your database platform? In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Chris Presley, a Solutions Architect at Pythian, gave users a checklist of considerations when choosing a provider. Chris Presley is a Solutions Architect at Pythian. He loves order – making him a premier Microsoft SQL Server expert. Not only has he programmed and administered SQL Server, but he has also shared his expertise and passion with b...
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.
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...
@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.
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
Predictive analytics tools monitor, report, and troubleshoot in order to make proactive decisions about the health, performance, and utilization of storage. Most enterprises combine cloud and on-premise storage, resulting in blended environments of physical, virtual, cloud, and other platforms, which justifies more sophisticated storage analytics. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Peter McCallum, Vice President of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor, discussed using predictive analytics to mon...
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...
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...
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...
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...
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...