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

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Cloud Computing – Is Everything Old Really New Again?

Is the Cloud New?

Service Providers large and small have been delivering network-based services for decades, including infrastructure and software. These have come in the form of enterprise hosting, unified communications, managed security, and managed applications.  In fact, it’s not a stretch to include traditional telecommunications services such as Voice, MPLS, and Internet access into a discussion on traditional network services, since networks are shared. Over years of delivering these services, technological advances have taken place, many without interesting names or marketing budgets tied to them.

Enter the newest headline-grabbing network service – “Cloud.” It seems the market still has differing opinions on how to define Cloud. I have heard professionals blur the lines by referring to Cloud as anything in the network, or by lumping it in with services such as managed hosting. Purists call it self-service and unmanaged.  There are even sub-categories, such as IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, where even the lines between these blur.  Even though there isn’t consensus on the perfect definition of Cloud, there is agreement that something important is happening.

But is Cloud really anything new?  I’m not so sure. This era of Cloud very much reminds me of the start of the web hosting industry 12 or so years ago, but without the public appetite or vigor. In the age of Exodus, a “startup” building data centers for masses of startups as adoption of IP enabled applications was taking off.  It was thought Exodus would run away with the web hosting market.

IT Organizations were philosophically against using external Data Centers. To the startup, Telecommunications providers like AT&T were dinosaurs and favored Companies like UUNet and PSINet when buying Internet Bandwidth.  Neither enterprises nor startups would give me more than ten minutes to discuss it with them but for very different reasons.

A decade or so later we see a very different market, and adoption of these services pivoted from Startup to Enterprise.  Exodus is gone and dinosaurs reign as enterprises implement complex strategies like data center consolidation, virtualization, global expansion, and disaster recovery.  Amazon’s success with the ISV and SMB market is reminiscent of the stranglehold Exodus had on the Web Hosting Market.  But the Cloud industry will mature, and the more they change the more they stay the same.

The decision-making process has not changed. Enterprises are curious but cautious.  Just as they did a dozen years ago, business leaders evaluating web hosting services today still must answer key strategic questions:  Do We build or lease?  Or maybe a philosophical question of do we outsource or in source?

There are a number of underlying questions that roll up to these like use case, interoperability, security, compliance, mobility, and vendor lock in.  As the previous web hosting history lesson demonstrates, not only is Cloud adoption likely to grow, but its largest users will be the Enterprise.

Today’s largest consumers of IT and Technology services also make up the largest growth potential for Cloud Services.  The Enterprise’s “formal” Buyer will pivot over time to hybrid cloud models migrating workloads back and forth over their networks.  They will choose Cloud Providers where they already have natural synergies.  Cloud Service Providers whom they have come to rely on for a critical communication services like networks, virtualization and mobility.

So, why all of a sudden is there so much buzz about Cloud?  In a nutshell, it is the financial model offered through Cloud that makes it special.  For the first time in a long time businesses can consume services on demand, in an a la cart or per-user fashion, without long-term contracts or monthly financial commitments.  With little risk and low cost of entry, early adopters can test drive the cloud and startups can get to market.  The Cloud promises agility, operational efficiencies, and speed to market with little financial commitment.

So is Cloud new? No, and yes. Cloud has become a marketing term associated with a financial model.  Whether you call it Services or Cloud, the value is the same. Innovation is the end game.

What is your definition of cloud computing and its value to your business? Do you see Cloud as new? If so, why?

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Steve Caniano

Steve Caniano is VP, Hosting, Application & Cloud Services at AT&T Business Solutions. As leader of AT&T's global Hosting, Application and Cloud infrastructure business, he is instrumental in forging key partner alliances and scaling AT&T's cloud services globally. He regularly collaborates with customers and represents AT&T at key industry events like Cloud Expo.

CloudEXPO Stories
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure. Plus, with the proliferation of IoT, there is an explosion in the number of devices requiring interconnection - both in terms of asset monitoring and spatial analytics.
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing at Cloudera, covered the ins and outs of Hadoop, and how it can help cloud-based businesses.
Jo Peterson is VP of Cloud Services for Clarify360, a boutique sourcing and benchmarking consultancy focused on transforming technology into business advantage. Clarify360 provides custom, end-to-end solutions from a portfolio of more than 170 suppliers globally. As an engineer, Jo sources net new technology footprints, and is an expert at optimizing and benchmarking existing environments focusing on Cloud Enablement and Optimization. She and her team work with clients on Cloud Discovery, Cloud Planning, Cloud Migration, Hybrid IT Architectures ,Cloud Optimization and Cloud Security. Jo is a 25-year veteran in the technology field with tenure at MCI, Intermedia/Digex, Qwest/CenturyLink in pre-sales technical, selling and management roles.
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Alex Lovell-Troy, Director of Solutions Engineering at Pythian, presented a roadmap that can be leveraged by any organization to plan, analyze, evaluate, and execute on moving from configuration management tools to cloud orchestration tools. He also addressed the three major cloud vendors as well as some tools that will work with any cloud.