Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Jerry Melnick, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Esmeralda Swartz, Michelle Drolet

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, Virtualization

Cloud Expo: Interview

Meeting Competitive Challenges with the Cloud

An exclusive Q&A with CSS Corp’s Ahmar Abbas

Cloud Expo Europe €550 Savings here!
Cloud Expo West
$800 Savings here!

"The most important factor driving CIOs towards the Cloud is that they have found a technology that helps them get close to achieving true ‘IT and Business Alignment,'" stated Ahmar Abbas, SVP at CSS Corp in this post-show Q&A with Cloud Expo Chair Jeremy Geelan. Abbas concludes: "Cloud removes the pain and cost of step investments in technology to support business growth by making the infrastructure available as needed.

Explore Cloud Expo Sponsorship & Exhibit Opportunities !

Cloud Computing Journal: A very general question first, about Cloud Computing itself: Surely we've heard all of this before in various forms and guises - grid computing / utility computing, etc.? What is different this time - why is everyone so convinced it will now work?

Ahmar Abbas: While grid computing / utility computing had solid technology underpinnings - there was one fatal flaw - which was that it was difficult to get software applications to leverage the technology. In other words, a great highway was built, but it had very few on-ramps to get cars on it. With cloud computing though, the emphasis has been on making it application friendly. Now we are not limited to the esoteric high performance computing (HPC) applications that were the mainstay of grid infrastructure - but are using the cloud for mainstream business productivity and process applications.

Cloud Computing Journal: What are the three main factors driving CIOs toward the Cloud?

Abbas: The most important factor driving CIOs towards the Cloud is that they have found a technology that helps them get close to achieving true "IT and Business Alignment." Cloud removes the pain and cost of step investments in technology to support business growth by making the infrastructure available as needed. This shifts the focus of the CIO's team from IT asset acquisition to building solutions for their constituents.

The second key factor is that enterprises are requiring CIOs to shift from capex heavy budgets to more opex-oriented budgets. By getting a large portion of their IT infrastructure from the Cloud delivered as a monthly service, they meet this requirement.

Finally, time-to-market pressure is forcing CIOs to look at solutions that can be rapidly brought to bear to help their organization meet competitive challenges. The Cloud, with its on-demand feature, is a good arrow to have in the quiver.

Cloud Computing Journal: And what are the three main barriers preventing some CIOs from moving some of the on-premise computing to the Cloud?

Abbas: The foremost barrier that is preventing CIOs from moving on-premise computing to the Cloud is the uncertainty surrounding application behavior in the Cloud. CIOs and their infrastructure teams have typically built environments that are tuned to support their applications. There is trepidation that the general purpose Cloud infrastructure may not deliver the performance they are used to and need.

The second main barrier that needs to be overcome involves security and data protection. CIOs need to gain a certain level of comfort that the IT assets and data that is in the cloud is at least as secure as it is within on-premise or colo environments. Additionally they want to be sure that when their data moves to the Cloud, they will be still meeting audit and compliance requirements that govern their business (HIPAA, FERPA, etc).

The third main barrier for CIOs is cost. While technologies change, laws of economics do not. CIOs need to be sure that given the substantial sunk costs and investments in the existing IT estate, Cloud will reduce not only capital but also operational expenses in the coming years.

Cloud Computing Journal: How does your own company's offering/s assist CIOs and organizations/companies?

Abbas: CSS métier is technology operations optimization. We work with CIOs to help them optimize their operational expenses. Our Cloud offerings further this mission by helping CIOs not only select the right Cloud solution, but also help them migrate applications to the cloud and then manage and support them on an on-going basis.

Our center of excellence focused on Cloud computing has also developed a portfolio of tools/platforms that accelerate the process of cloud enablement for an enterprise. One of the key platforms is our CloudTestGo platform that test applications to make sure they will perform optimally in a cloud environment.

Cloud Computing Journal: Are there other players in the Cloud ecosystem offering the same - or is your company unique? Why?

Abbas: We are one of the few companies that offer the triple-play of cloud services - which includes design and enablement services, cloud operations and management services, and cloud application support services. Our services are delivered 24/7 from operations centers that are located around the globe.

Our services are not only leveraged by companies that are just testing to the cloud waters but also ones that have fully established cloud operations and want us to manage, operate and optimize their environments.

We believe the combination of these services and the global footprint is pretty unique in the market place.

Cloud Computing Journal: We hear talk of a Cloud Revolution and also of a Cloud "evolution" - either way, what kind of time span are we talking about, do you think. In other words, for how long is Cloud Computing going to exert its pull on the minds, hearts, and budgets of all involved in modern-day Enterprise IT?

Abbas: An indication that a new technology paradigm has taken hold is when there is a need for retronyms. Consider that today we have to append "on-premise" when talking about software deployment or infrastructure because it is not automatically assumed that all software will be locally deployed or that all infrastructure will be at a corporate datacenter. I'd say we have about another 18-24 months where cloud computing will have some novelty before it is considered a business-as-usual technology option for Enterprise IT.

A Rock Star Faculty, Top Keynotes, Sessions, and Top Delegates!
Cloud Expo 2010 West, November 1-4, Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, California will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.

The growth and success of Cloud Computing will be on display at the upcoming Cloud Expo conferences and exhibitions in Prague June 21-22 and Santa Clara November 1-4.

The recent Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City was the largest Cloud Computing conference ever produced, more sponsors, exhibitors and delegates than all other Cloud events of the year combined!

The four-day Santa Clara event will attract more than 6,000 delegates from 48 countries and over 200 sponsors and exhibitors on a 120,000 sq ft show floor, larger than Cloud Expo 2010 East, New York City event!

All main layers of the Cloud ecosystem will be represented in the6th and 7th International Cloud Expo - the infrastructure players, the platform providers, and those offering applications, and they'll all be here to speak, sponsor, exhibit and network.

"Cloud Expo was announced on February 24, 2007, the day the term ‘cloud computing' was coined," said Fuat Kircaali, founder and chairman of SYS-CON Events, Inc. "Cloud has become synonymous with ‘computing' and ‘software' in two short years, and this event has become the new PC Expo, Comdex, and InternetWorld of our decade. By 2012, more than 50,000 delegates per year will be attending Cloud Expo."

Sponsorship Opportunities
for Cloud Expo Prague and Santa Clara
Cloud Expo 2010 Europe and Cloud Expo 2010 West "show prospectus" have shipped. Sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities can be obtained from Carmen Gonzalez by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802 3021.

Early Bird Registration Options
for Cloud Expo Prague and Santa Clara
Cloud Expo delegates can pre-register for the Cloud Expo Europe with €550+ savings here and for Cloud Expo West with $800+ savings here.

About SYS-CON Media & Events
SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com) has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream at www.sys-con.com - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events. The company's internationally recognized brands include among others Cloud Computing Expo (www.CloudComputingExpo.com), Virtualization Conference & Expo (www.VirtualizationConference.com), Government IT Conference & Expo (www.GovITExpo.com), Cloud Computing Bootcamp (www.CloudComputingBootcamp.com), and UlitzerLive! New Media Conference & Expo (http://events.sys-con.com).

Cloud Expo, Cloud Expo East, Cloud Expo West, Cloud Expo Silicon Valley, Cloud Expo Europe, Cloud Expo Tokyo, Cloud Expo Prague, Cloud Expo Hong Kong, Cloud Expo Sao Paolo are trademarks and /or registered trademarks (USPTO serial number 85009040) of Cloud Expo, Inc.

More Stories By Elizabeth White

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.


Cloud Expo Breaking News
Web conferencing in a public cloud has the same risks as any other cloud service. If you have ever had concerns over the types of data being shared in your employees’ web conferences, such as IP, financials or customer data, then it’s time to look at web conferencing in a private cloud. In her session at 14th Cloud Expo, Courtney Behrens, Senior Marketing Manager at Brother International, will discuss how issues that had previously been out of your control, like performance, advanced administration and compliance, can now be put back behind your firewall.
More and more enterprises today are doing business by opening up their data and applications through APIs. Though forward-thinking and strategic, exposing APIs also increases the surface area for potential attack by hackers. To benefit from APIs while staying secure, enterprises and security architects need to continue to develop a deep understanding about API security and how it differs from traditional web application security or mobile application security. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Sachin Agarwal, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at SOA Software, will walk you through the various aspects of how an API could be potentially exploited. He will discuss the necessary best practices to secure your data and enterprise applications while continue continuing to support your business’s digital initiatives.
Next-Gen Cloud. Whatever you call it, there’s a higher calling for cloud computing that requires providers to change their spots and move from a commodity mindset to a premium one. Businesses can no longer maintain the status quo that today’s service providers offer. Yes, the continuity, speed, mobility, data access and connectivity are staples of the cloud and always will be. But cloud providers that plan to not only exist tomorrow – but to lead – know that security must be the top priority for the cloud and are delivering it now. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Kurt Hagerman, Chief Information Security Officer at FireHost, will detail why and how you can have both infrastructure performance and enterprise-grade security – and what tomorrow's cloud provider will look like.
The social media expansion has shown just how people are eager to share their experiences with the rest of the world. Cloud technology is the perfect platform to satisfy this need given its great flexibility and readiness. At Cynny, we aim to revolutionize how people share and organize their digital life through a brand new cloud service, starting from infrastructure to the users’ interface. A revolution that began from inventing and designing our very own infrastructure: we have created the first server network powered solely by ARM CPU. The microservers have “organism-like” features, differentiating them from any of the current technologies. Benefits include low consumption of energy, making Cynny the ecologically friendly alternative for storage as well as cheaper infrastructure, lower running costs, etc.
The revolution that happened in the server universe over the past 15 years has resulted in an eco-system that is more open, more democratically innovative and produced better results in technically challenging dimensions like scale. The underpinnings of the revolution were common hardware, standards based APIs (ex. POSIX) and a strict adherence to layering and isolation between applications, daemons and kernel drivers/modules which allowed multiple types of development happen in parallel without hindering others. Put simply, today's server model is built on a consistent x86 platform with few surprises in its core components. A kernel abstracts away the platform, so that applications and daemons are decoupled from the hardware. In contrast, networking equipment is still stuck in the mainframe era. Today, networking equipment is a single appliance, including hardware, OS, applications and user interface come as a monolithic entity from a single vendor. Switching between different vendor'...
Cloud backup and recovery services are critical to safeguarding an organization’s data and ensuring business continuity when technical failures and outages occur. With so many choices, how do you find the right provider for your specific needs? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Daniel Jacobson, Technology Manager at BUMI, will outline the key factors including backup configurations, proactive monitoring, data restoration, disaster recovery drills, security, compliance and data center resources. Aside from the technical considerations, the secret sauce in identifying the best vendor is the level of focus, expertise and specialization of their engineering team and support group, and how they monitor your day-to-day backups, provide recommendations, and guide you through restores when necessary.
Cloud scalability and performance should be at the heart of every successful Internet venture. The infrastructure needs to be resilient, flexible, and fast – it’s best not to get caught thinking about architecture until the middle of an emergency, when it's too late. In his interactive, no-holds-barred session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will dive into how to design and build-out the right cloud infrastructure.
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. What about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver on new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for application developers and slow performance for end users. Further, as data sizes grow into the Big Data realm, this problem is exacerbated and becomes even more difficult to address. A seemingly simple schema change can take hours (or more) to perform, and as requirements evolve the disconnect between existing data structures and actual needs diverge.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SherWeb, a long-time leading provider of cloud services and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. A worldwide hosted services leader ranking in the prestigious North American Deloitte Technology Fast 500TM, and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, SherWeb provides competitive cloud solutions to businesses and partners around the world. Founded in 1998, SherWeb is a privately owned company headquartered in Quebec, Canada. Its service portfolio includes Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Dynamics CRM and more.
The world of cloud and application development is not just for the hardened developer these days. In their session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will pull back the curtain of the architecture of a fun demo application purpose-built for the cloud. They will focus on demonstrating how they leveraged compute, storage, messaging, and other cloud elements hosted at SoftLayer to lower the effort and difficulty of putting together a useful application. This will be an active demonstration and review of simple command-line tools and resources, so don’t be afraid if you are not a seasoned developer.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BUMI, a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Manhattan-based BUMI (Backup My Info!) is a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery. Founded in 2002, the company’s Here, There and Everywhere data backup and recovery solutions are utilized by more than 500 businesses. BUMI clients include professional service organizations such as banking, financial, insurance, accounting, hedge funds and law firms. The company is known for its relentless passion for customer service and support, and has won numerous awards, including Customer Service Provider of the Year and 10 Best Companies to Work For.
Chief Security Officers (CSO), CIOs and IT Directors are all concerned with providing a secure environment from which their business can innovate and customers can safely consume without the fear of Distributed Denial of Service attacks. To be successful in today's hyper-connected world, the enterprise needs to leverage the capabilities of the web and be ready to innovate without fear of DDoS attacks, concerns about application security and other threats. Organizations face great risk from increasingly frequent and sophisticated attempts to render web properties unavailable, and steal intellectual property or personally identifiable information. Layered security best practices extend security beyond the data center, delivering DDoS protection and maintaining site performance in the face of fast-changing threats.
From data center to cloud to the network. In his session at 3rd SDDC Expo, Raul Martynek, CEO of Net Access, will identify the challenges facing both data center providers and enterprise IT as they relate to cross-platform automation. He will then provide insight into designing, building, securing and managing the technology as an integrated service offering. Topics covered include: High-density data center design Network (and SDN) integration and automation Cloud (and hosting) infrastructure considerations Monitoring and security Management approaches Self-service and automation
In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, David Holmes, Vice President at OutSystems, will demonstrate the immense power that lives at the intersection of mobile apps and cloud application platforms. Attendees will participate in a live demonstration – an enterprise mobile app will be built and changed before their eyes – on their own devices. David Holmes brings over 20 years of high-tech marketing leadership to OutSystems. Prior to joining OutSystems, he was VP of Global Marketing for Damballa, a leading provider of network security solutions. Previously, he was SVP of Global Marketing for Jacada where his branding and positioning expertise helped drive the company from start-up days to a $55 million initial public offering on Nasdaq.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 14th Cloud Expo, Marc Jones, Vice President of Product Innovation for SoftLayer, will explain how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.