Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

The Case for the Heterogeneous Cloud

What will be the challenges of this brave new world?

The last few weeks have been rife with turmoil in the cloud computing space, thanks to everything from outages at Amazon to security breaches at Sony. This, in turn, has led to a number of articles conveying extreme predictions about what this turmoil means for cloud computing. The more bearish among us point to the turmoil as justification for a vision of cloud computing that relegates it to the periphery of IT as a fringe solution not suited for the mainstream. The more bullish among us shrug off the turmoil as growing pains, and zealously hold to a vision of cloud computing that sees public cloud computing as the de facto standard for IT service delivery, and traditional IT as a rare and unfortunate occurrence. Both of these views reflect a naiveté born out of passionate dogmatism. If history has taught us anything about technology adoption, the future of cloud computing likely will be richer and more complex than either of these viewpoints espouse. It won't be all or nothing. The cloud will be heterogeneous.

In his seminal work entitled, "The Innovator's Dilemma," Clayton Christensen outlines a pattern of technology adoption and proliferation that closely resembles Darwinian evolution. Innovative technologies like cloud computing start out by being less capable and less reliable than the technologies they supplant. They also tend to disrupt the economics of entrenched technologies by being more affordable. Over time, their capabilities improve to the point where they reach a price/performance tipping point. They may not provide all the capabilities of the entrenched technologies, but they provide just enough, given the costs of those capabilities, that customers adopt them in vast numbers. Geoffrey Moore, in his influential work, "Crossing the Chasm," adds another perspective on this dynamic. Over time, as these new technologies become mainstream, they begin to specialize to address ever-increasing niche needs. Think of the Cambrian explosion, but with silicon. Variety rules the day, and customers have a number of choices from which to pick the one that's just right for them. As the technology moves beyond the mainstream, this trend eventually reverses, resulting in very few survivors battling for fewer and fewer customers. The cycle repeats over and over again, and the duration of the cycles gets shorter and shorter with every iteration.

What does history teach us to expect about the evolution of cloud computing? Well, for one, we should probably stop referring to "the cloud" and start referring to "clouds," because there will be many of them, each designed to address a variety of IT needs in terms of reliability, security, performance, and cost. Today, the landscape consists of on-premise Infrastructure as a Service private clouds, off-premise Infrastructure as a Service private clouds, public Infrastructure as a Service clouds, private Platform as a Service clouds, public Platform as a Service clouds, and Software as a Service. It sounds like a lot, but imagine a world where each of these existing types are specialized to address a particular vertical industry need or a different set of regulatory environments. The virtual data center of the future will consist of a plethora of cloud computing environments hosted on-premise and off-premise, and integrated to deliver a responsive and cost-effective IT service fabric. In some instances, those clouds also will sit right next to legacy non-virtualized computing environments and be expected to work well with them.

If the future of cloud computing is heterogeneity, what will be the challenges of this brave new world? In a word, the challenge will be management. Managing these environments, containing costs, and integrating these various clouds together effectively will prove a significant challenge - one that will be exacerbated by the real-time nature of the cloud computing paradigm. Make no mistake, however; the enterprises that effectively address this challenge will be the winners. Those that don't will quickly be forgotten in the annals of history.

More Stories By Dave Geada

Dave Geada is the CEO of Buzzoink, a mobile search SaaS start-up that delivers advertising solutions to food retailers by enhancing the in-store shopping experience and building brand loyalty. He has over 15 years of experience in technology marketing, working for name brand companies like Computer Associates, Network Solutions and VeriSign. For the last seven years Dave has been marketing cloud computing solutions to both SMB and Fortune 5000 customers at companies like Quest Software, Rackspace and StrataScale.

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.


CloudEXPO Stories
Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Chicago, Nexum® takes a comprehensive approach to security. Nexum approaches business with one simple statement: “Do what’s right for the customer and success will follow.” Nexum helps you mitigate risks, protect your data, increase business continuity and meet your unique business objectives by: Detecting and preventing network threats, intrusions and disruptions Equipping you with the information, tools, training and resources you need to effectively manage IT risk Nexum, Latin for an arrangement by which one pledged one’s very liberty as security, Nexum is committed to ensuring your security. At Nexum, We Mean Security®.
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (T-Cloud) is a neutral organization for researching new computing models and business opportunities in IoT era. In his session, Ikuo Nakagawa, Co-Founder and Board Member at Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium, will introduce the big change toward the "connected-economy" in the digital age. He'll introduce and describe some leading-edge business cases from his original points of view, and discuss models & strategies in the connected-economy. Nowadays, "digital innovation" is a big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies. IoT, Big Data, AI, FinTech and various leading-edge technologies are key components of such business drivers.
Doug was appointed CEO of Big Switch in 2013 to lead the company on its mission to provide modern cloud and data center networking solutions capable of disrupting the stronghold by legacy vendors. Under his guidance, Big Switch has experienced 30+% average QoQ growth for the last 16 quarters; more than quadrupled headcount; successfully shifted to a software-only and subscription-based recurring revenue model; solidified key partnerships with Accton/Edgecore, Dell EMC, HPE, Nutanix, RedHat and VMware; developed Open Network Linux, an open source NOS foundational component designed in partnership with Facebook and Google; and he played an integral role in raising two-thirds of the company's $120MM of funding. Prior to Big Switch, Doug was SVP & GM of Juniper Networks $1BN business across Asia-Pacific, Japan and Greater China, and he began his time at Juniper as SVP & GM of its Security bu...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve full cloud literacy in the enterprise world.
Having been in the web hosting industry since 2002, dhosting has gained a great deal of experience while working on a wide range of projects. This experience has enabled the company to develop our amazing new product, which they are now excited to present! Among dHosting's greatest achievements, they can include the development of their own hosting panel, the building of their fully redundant server system, and the creation of dhHosting's unique product, Dynamic Edge.