Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Ed Featherston, Rostyslav Demush, Jamie Madison, Jason Bloomberg, Greg Pierce

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Article

Mature Maneuverings in an Immature Cloud Climate

The cloud computing driving license has been issued, but in many cases it may still be a provisional document

Has cloud computing matured yet? This is of course the $64,000 question and if we knew the answer to this poser we would all be a lot clearer on the general ‘state of the virtualized multi-tenant nation' than perhaps we are today.

What we see happening at the coalface of average company X may not be exactly in line (yet) with the general shape of the big vendors' roadmaps. But if the industry gets it right architecturally, then surely there can be little doubt as to whether the average firm will get pulled along into the slipstream of cloud innovation momentum.

What we are alluding to here are higher-level technologies and in particular Software Defined Networking (SDN) and its impending impact upon the cloud firmament.

What Is SDN?
In terms of a definition, Software Defined Networking is designed to raise the deployment and management of the company network to a space above the physical structure of machines. In this strictly defined higher-level space we find our focus being directed toward actual behavior of data traffic flows so that the network can be managed via a layer of software programmability as a whole entity, rather than a collection of individual machines.

While we are repeatedly using terms like ‘still nascent' and ‘rapidly burgeoning' to describe the cloud computing marketplace, we might possibly argue that with SDN evolving as it is, the mechanics are already in motion among IT vendors to manage newly virtualized resources before they even get to the cloud.

This is arguably a very good thing.

CIOs put off by the prospect of cloud computing initially have voiced what we might even call ‘pseudo-misgivings' for waiting to migrate. Security fears, governance and compliance concerns or even uncertainties over latency were not really the problem; major hosting providers were clear on these issues from the start. No, the real problem with cloud computing was an issue of general maturity.

That was then and this is now - and today we are seeing rapid movement in the SDN-driven cloud engine room. Summer 2012 has seen Oracle purchase software-defined networking specialist Xsigo Systems; VMWare purchase Xsigo competitor Nicira; and IBM push to extol the virtues of OpenFlow, a data center protocol that IBM pitches against similar offerings from Cisco.

NOTE: OpenFlow is being promoted by the Open Networking Foundation founded by six companies that own and operate some of the largest networks in the world - Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon and Yahoo! - as well as close to 50 member companies, including IBM and NEC, as well as other major equipment vendors, software suppliers and IC technology providers.

HP also sits in this list of SDN-focused IT behemoths with new software capabilities designed to manage computing and storage resources across a cloud network. The firm is aiming to improve multi-tenancy controls (to shield clients' data from each other) and at the same time link multi-national datacentres together.

Specifically here we see HP adding features to its HP Converged Infrastructure offerings, which do indeed fall into its SDN strategy. Ultimately we want to be able to coalesce and corral virtual data centers in multiple locations into a single virtual space; this way, both data blocks and entire virtual machines can be moved within them at will. HP's product in this area is its HP EVI (Ethernet Virtual Interconnect) software.

Without going into an explanation of Layer 2 networking and Layer 3 routing, these are the mechanisms that will govern the way cloud data management is soon brought about.

Will a Transition to SDN Be Difficult?
Pat Phillips is practice director for independent IT and business change professional services firm Xceed Group. Phillips says that CIOs have to be aware of the "myriad of rapid changes" happening in the cloud space.

"After all, the CEO and other board members will be looking to them to interpret and plot the best course to adoption to support and grow their business. CIOs also have to consider the current state of their network infrastructure and the implications of migrating data and services off of it," he said.

"When thinking about this, keep it simple, breaking it down to focus on a small number of high-level areas such as current network design - is it optimal, is it scalable, is it resilient, can it be upgraded, is it a ‘business inhibitor', is it fully supported/supportable and is it documented? You need to understand what you have today to know what improvements are required for the future," argues Xceed Group's Phillips.

When Will We Reach Maturity?
When will cloud computing reach maturity then? Ah well, that's another $64,000 question I'm afraid. We may be able to pinpoint some level of adolescence at the very least if we look forward 18-months from now and see some of these SDN and other architecture centric technologies being brought to bear.

The cloud computing driving license has been issued, but in many cases it may still be a provisional document. So proceed with caution.

•   •   •

This post was first published on the Enterprise CIO Forum.

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

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
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventio...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., introduced you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He explored applications in several industries and discussed technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, provided a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to oper...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo 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 ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...