|By Dave Jilk||
|June 26, 2012 11:00 AM EDT||
Think back to when you were a kid. Remember that thing you thought, felt, wanted or did that you were embarrassed about? You probably worried that you were the only person in the world who had that thought, feeling, desire or behavior. It was your Little Secret. Only as you got older did you figure out that it was actually pretty common, that everyone did that, or felt that way, at least once in a while. And that maybe it even had a name.
If you're a nerd like me, you probably had more than one of these.
As we've talked to customers, prospects and vendors in the industry, we've realized that the Cloud has a Little Secret. It doesn't have a popular name yet. But I'm here to reassure you that everyone does it. And it's okay if you do it too.
Before I let you in on the Secret, let's start with a little history.
The "cloud" terminology has been around for a while, but it was broadly popularized when Amazon Web Services started offering its S3 storage service and its EC2 compute service. With these services, you could easily store data or run software without owning or managing the physical infrastructure. Quickly, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies like Salesforce.com realized that there were similarities between their offerings (which had been around for almost a decade) and this new "cloud." So as not to be left out of the hype cycle, they started calling their offerings "cloud." Fair enough: indeed, with SaaS you don't have to manage the infrastructure or the software.
Lately, though, it seems that partisans of this model - I am talking specifically about SaaS that is shared-everything, and multi-tenant at the application and database level - are attempting to abscond entirely with the term. I've had industry analysts and others tell me that, for all intents and purposes, Cloud means multi-tenant SaaS. When I challenge this point of view by asking whether Amazon EC2 is "cloud," they mutter something about it being transitional, or mainly for online games, or for high-performance computing. Certainly it's not where enterprises or ISVs should be, according to this viewpoint.
Let's face it; shared-everything SaaS has a lot of advantages. It's easy to get started, you can access it from anywhere, the pricing model is subscription-based rather than license-based, and you don't need any technical skills or staff to use it. It just works. Standing Cloud uses Rally, Google Apps, Beanstalk and Desk.com. We certainly have no aversion to the model.
But there is another way to deploy software in the cloud and deliver it as SaaS. Forbes columnist Dan Woods and the folks at SugarCRM sometimes call it "Distributed SaaS." I like to call it "cloud-premises" or "virtualization SaaS" (vSaaS). I'm sure there are other names floating around, but none in common use.
The Naughty Little Secret of the Cloud is that people are deploying their applications as a distinct instance on Infrastructure-as-a-Service virtual servers. It's multi-tenant, but through server virtualization rather than application code, and therefore is not "shared everything." We've talked to many companies and ISVs who are doing this, and some feel vaguely embarrassed about it, as though they were doing something wrong. But they needn't feel that way. A lot of people do this, and they have good reasons for it, and it's nothing to be ashamed of.
For example, 451 Research analyst Carl Lehmann noted in a recent report that Exostar Corporation, a leading provider of cloud-based business-to-business collaboration solutions to the aerospace and defense industries, "began implementing a shift in strategy when it realized, after six years of trying a multi-tenant SaaS model, that it was unable to satisfy the needs of its top clients." According to Lehmann, issues of identity assurance, security and control of intellectual property combined to "make multi-tenant architectures suspect" in their industry.
Similarly, Interactive Intelligence, a provider of Communication-as-a-Service delivered under a virtualized single-tenant model, is winning against multi-tenant competitors, due in large part to their customers' need for control over the timing of upgrades, and strong preference for true data isolation.
Let's take a closer look at some of the reasons why this deployment model might be right for you and your application:
- Data isolation. Some customers are nervous about proprietary company information in a shared-everything application model. Indeed, every time the service has a feature update, customers are just one bug away from a potential data leakage problem: the isolation depends on the software code and the quality assurance procedures of the software provider. In IaaS, data is isolated via virtualization, and the hypervisors that provide the virtualization are vetted much more broadly than the application code.
- Control over upgrades. This is the reason we hear most often. Invariably, a shared-everything SaaS application is upgraded on exactly the day you most need to be productive. Everything takes longer because the features work differently, and integrations / automations / add-ons actually break due to incompatibility. If the application is used broadly within an organization, a customer may want to train staff on the new version prior to launch. When an application instance is deployed separately, the customer controls when upgrades happen.
- Customization and configuration. Some firms must customize applications to match their business processes, either because those processes are a competitive differentiator, or because the cost of changing them to match an application is too high. Recognizing this need, Saleforce.com created the Force.com Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that allows applications to be customized or built within the Salesforce environment. But most SaaS companies do not have the resources to build this sort of environment, and their architecture may even preclude it. In contrast, an application deployed separately on IaaS is easy to customize and configure.
- Infrastructure lock-in. Shared-everything SaaS usually bundles the application subscription and infrastructure costs into a single monthly price, typically by number of users. End customers have no say in where the application is actually hosted, and if the infrastructure fails to keep up with the market with respect to performance, cost, and reliability, there is no recourse short of converting to a new application. Whenever you use a software application, you are locked into the application to some degree, but when the application is deployed as a separate instance on IaaS, you can at least move to new infrastructure if necessary.
- Development effort and pitfalls. Depending on how the application code is written, and what level of quality assurance resources you have available, converting an "on-premises" application to "multi-tenant shared-everything" can be an extensive and ongoing development effort. It will increase your time-to-market and may or may not be what the market actually wants, given the points above. Further (and if you have a sense of irony this is really quite funny), a lot of shared-everything implementations find that the database is a performance bottleneck and they end up having to "shard" it - i.e., split it into separate databases in some way. What's typically the easiest way to shard a shared-everything database? Yep, that's right: by customer. This deployment Franken-model is very difficult to manage.
- Single point of failure. If a shared-everything SaaS application is down, you and all their other customers are down, and there is pretty much nothing you can do about it. Even if you have some sort of data download, there is no application on which you can immediately get this data up and running. You're just going to have to wait for them to fix it. With a separately deployed application instance, in the event of infrastructure downtime you can simply redeploy the application on another IaaS service (temporarily or permanently) and restore a backup.
There's no question that shared-everything SaaS is a terrific model and works well in many circumstances. But the same is also true of separately deployed applications on IaaS. Maybe someday, someone will come up with a catchy name for this deployment model. But for now, just remember it's okay. Everyone does it.
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, will discuss how to use Kubernetes to setup a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace....
Feb. 21, 2017 02:45 PM EST Reads: 2,432
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Feb. 21, 2017 02:30 PM EST Reads: 1,288
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 21, 2017 02:15 PM EST Reads: 410
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry’s single source for the cloud. Fusion’s advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
Feb. 21, 2017 01:45 PM EST Reads: 3,545
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Feb. 21, 2017 01:45 PM EST Reads: 432
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Feb. 21, 2017 01:30 PM EST Reads: 727
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
Feb. 21, 2017 01:30 PM EST Reads: 1,062
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Feb. 21, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 1,388
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Feb. 21, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 1,185
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you...
Feb. 21, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 1,227
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain.
Feb. 21, 2017 12:45 PM EST Reads: 763
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.
Feb. 21, 2017 12:45 PM EST Reads: 688
Security, data privacy, reliability and regulatory compliance are critical factors when evaluating whether to move business applications from in-house client hosted environments to a cloud platform. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Vandana Viswanathan, Associate Director at Cognizant, In this session, will provide an orientation to the five stages required to implement a cloud hosted solution validation strategy.
Feb. 21, 2017 12:45 PM EST Reads: 4,515
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, I provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading the...
Feb. 21, 2017 12:30 PM EST Reads: 7,968
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Feb. 21, 2017 12:30 PM EST Reads: 593
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing at CA Technologies, has been named co-conference chair of DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Feb. 21, 2017 12:30 PM EST Reads: 1,156
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Feb. 21, 2017 12:15 PM EST Reads: 1,345
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new in...
Feb. 21, 2017 11:45 AM EST Reads: 2,008
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Feb. 21, 2017 11:45 AM EST Reads: 1,921
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...
Feb. 21, 2017 11:45 AM EST Reads: 404