|By Jeremy Geelan||
|October 30, 2012 10:30 AM EDT||
"The basic premise for any central computing system optimized for mass consumption is the 80/20 rule. It can be built only to serve 80% of the needs in an economized and optimized fashion," noted Chetan Patwardhan, CEO of Stratogent, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. "Having said that," Patwardhan continued, "the so-called cloud economics work only for a certain type of system and is outright prohibitively expensive for most enterprise setups where a typical three-year timeframe cost view is more dependent on human labor than on the infrastructure."
Cloud Computing Journal: Just having the enterprise data is good. Extracting meaningful information out of this data is priceless. Agree or disagree?
Chetan Patwardhan: Agree 100%. Let's look at the value creation process: data is nothing but innumerable floating points of reference. The gathering of data is the very first step. Creating useful information out of data is truly a daunting task because it's not based on the complexity of data, but the simplicity of information that leads to the creation of knowledge. For the CEO of a large company, a dozen key information sets presented in up/down or chart format can create knowledge of how the company is performing. Knowledge leads to a change in thinking, sometimes creating paradigm shifts in how companies approach challenges. Changes in thinking bring about decision making and changes in the behavior of the organization. This chain reaction finally leads to success.
One key here lies in the ability of the information system to let consumers of data effortlessly traverse from data sets to concise, simple information and vice versa. For example, if a simple graph shows the market share of a product worldwide, that's great information. Then, there should be the ability to click on that graph and keep drilling down to continents, regions, countries, states, cities, and finally stores. In other words, neither the data by itself nor the one way extraction of information can be answers in themselves without this ability to traverse back and forth, pivot, report, represent, and share with the ease of point and click.
Finally, let's revise the chain reaction: collection of good data leads to meaningful information. Information leads to knowledge, which in turn leads to changes in behavior and critical decision making. Not just the success, but the survival of enterprises more ever than before will be dictated by their ability to collect and covert data into precisely timed good decision making!
Cloud Computing Journal: Forrester's James Staten: "Not everything will move to the cloud as there are many business processes, data sets and workflows that require specific hardware or proprietary solutions that can't take advantage of cloud economics. For this reason we'll likely still have mainframes 20 years from now." Agree or disagree?
Patwardhan: Well, define mainframe and cloud. I thought they were synonymous :). Before the concept of cloud, the mainframe was the cloud. Back in the day, we connected to that cloud via the so-called dumb terminals. For those old enough to have used IBM PROFS messaging, it was the first instant email and instant messenger system in one. And it worked really well! Well, the limitation of the cloud and mainframe then is the same.
The basic premise for any central computing system optimized for mass consumption is the 80/20 rule. It can be built only to serve 80% of the needs in an economized and optimized fashion. Having said that, the so-called cloud economics work only for a certain type of system and is outright prohibitively expensive for most enterprise setups where a typical three-year timeframe cost view is more dependent on human labor than on the infrastructure.
Now, to the point, can cloud replace, say, 99% of all conventional computing. Certainly not any time in the near future. There are several reasons for this. First, let's admit that most applications were never designed and, as a matter of fact, can't be designed from scratch to run on the cloud. Why? Because fundamentally, there is no standardized, here-to-stay cloud infrastructure that enterprise applications can be written to. Second, as someone who has installed and managed systems for enterprises from startups to Fortune 500 companies, I can tell you that no two sets of information systems look alike, let alone 80% of them. Third, many enterprises need a level of security, customization, and back-end connections (XML, EDI, VPN) that can't be in the cloud without the cloud looking the same as the conventional system. Fourth, there is little transparency and answerability in the cloud when it comes to the ability to audit and maintain compliance levels. And last but not least, if the cloud finally maintains almost the same burden (minus keeping up the physical servers) on human engineers, where are the economies to be had?
From my perspective, consolidation of human resource talent pools, combined with the ability of leveraging the most economical cloud options (IAAS, PAAS and SAAS) as well as the conventional datacenter setups - essentially a super-hybrid approach - will be the way to go.
Cloud Computing Journal: The price of cloud computing will go up - so will the demand. Agree or disagree or....?
Patwardhan: I don't understand why the price of cloud computing will go up. I expect it to remain flat over the next few years. While the efficiencies in hardware will reduce the price and/or increase the processing capabilities, the overhead of maintaining availability and pressure to provide human interface will also increase. As a result, the prices will probably remain flat. As for the demand, it will increase, but one must first factor in the overall demand for computing, which is constantly on the rise. Since the cloud is one way to satiate that demand, cloud subscriptions will rise too. Of the three types of cloud, to me PaaS and SaaS should generate more demand than the pure IaaS, because they both address the problem of cost of human labor. As long as the PaaS and SaaS providers get it right in terms of addressing user needs, demand for those services should rise.
Cloud Computing Journal: Rackspace is reporting an 80% growth from cloud computing, Amazon continues to innovate and make great strides, and Microsoft, Dell and other big players are positioning themselves as big leaders. Are you expecting in the next 18 months to see the bottom fall out and scores of cloud providers failing or getting gobbled up by bigger players? Or what?
Patwardhan: The news of Rackspace reporting 80% growth in cloud computing needs a special lens for viewing! Rackspace's model from day one has been to lease hosted servers, networking gear, and storage. With their cloud solution, they are, hmmm, leasing hosted servers, networking gear and storage! Essentially, the only change in their offering (pre-cloud and cloud) is flexibility and elasticity. It's important to take into account the trajectory of their overall demand, then contrast that against how much of that demand was served by their conventional model versus their cloud model. The cloud model for Rackspace customers is nothing but a little cheaper way to get started.
As for the small and large companies setting up infrastructure farms, adding their differentiated layers of service, it's a phenomenon not unique to the cloud. It happens every time a new bandwagon arrives. For now, it seems that a variety of local, regional and national players are thriving. Again, this is a common phenomenon in any cycle.
What does the landscape look like five years from now? There are three big factors unique to cloud providers. First, it takes real infrastructure (datacenter, equipment) to create a cloud service. Second, infrastructure ages and becomes obsolete quickly in this industry. Third, smaller companies once past the first or second installation will struggle because either they will stagnate and die from attrition (easy in cloud) or from cash flow challenges if they find a way to grow.
Wait a minute, is that familiar to you? It's after all not that unique is it? All infra companies, from telecom to trucking, suffer the same fate. Ergo, some will die and for some customers their cloud will disappear with little notice. Yet some others will find bigger fish that will gobble them up at low prices. It's unlikely for an IaaS cloud provider to be bought by a big player for a handsome price unless they have great momentum, brand, and profitability. I don't expect dramatic events in the next 18 months, but do expect the law of the jungle to prevail over the next five years.
Cloud Computing Journal: Please name one thing that - despite what we all may have heard or read - you are certain is not going to happen in the future, with Cloud and BigData? ;-)
Patwardhan: I find this question amusing because it tempts me to put things in here like a telco or a bank will never use the cloud to provide their core telecom or banking service. I would have preferred to answer a question that mentioned a few things that are possible candidates for the cloud, but in my opinion will not happen. Let me leave this thought behind - if there are things that you think will never happen in the cloud, think again. It is a matter of time before the evolution of secure virtualized and orchestrated platforms, ingenuity of service providers, and the lack of qualified human engineers will move things to the cloud in a manner we are not willing to think about today.
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Dec. 3, 2016 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,758
The cloud competition for database hosts is fierce. How do you evaluate a cloud provider for your database platform? In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Chris Presley, a Solutions Architect at Pythian, gave users a checklist of considerations when choosing a provider. Chris Presley is a Solutions Architect at Pythian. He loves order – making him a premier Microsoft SQL Server expert. Not only has he programmed and administered SQL Server, but he has also shared his expertise and passion with b...
Dec. 3, 2016 08:00 PM EST Reads: 3,950
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, contrasted how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He showed how the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He also demoed building immutable pipelines in the cloud ...
Dec. 3, 2016 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,742
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Dec. 3, 2016 06:15 PM EST Reads: 1,508
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 3, 2016 05:30 PM EST Reads: 4,040
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Dec. 3, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 2,136
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Dec. 3, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,998
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
Dec. 3, 2016 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,471
Predictive analytics tools monitor, report, and troubleshoot in order to make proactive decisions about the health, performance, and utilization of storage. Most enterprises combine cloud and on-premise storage, resulting in blended environments of physical, virtual, cloud, and other platforms, which justifies more sophisticated storage analytics. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Peter McCallum, Vice President of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor, discussed using predictive analytics to mon...
Dec. 3, 2016 04:00 PM EST Reads: 4,859
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...
Dec. 3, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 1,591
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Dec. 3, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 3,222
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service. In his session at 19th Cloud Exp...
Dec. 3, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 475
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 522
Regulatory requirements exist to promote the controlled sharing of information, while protecting the privacy and/or security of the information. Regulations for each type of information have their own set of rules, policies, and guidelines. Cloud Service Providers (CSP) are faced with increasing demand for services at decreasing prices. Demonstrating and maintaining compliance with regulations is a nontrivial task and doing so against numerous sets of regulatory requirements can be daunting task...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 720
Fact: storage performance problems have only gotten more complicated, as applications not only have become largely virtualized, but also have moved to cloud-based infrastructures. Storage performance in virtualized environments isn’t just about IOPS anymore. Instead, you need to guarantee performance for individual VMs, helping applications maintain performance as the number of VMs continues to go up in real time. In his session at Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, Product and Marketing at Tintri, sha...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 786
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 700
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 6,955
Join Impiger for their featured webinar: ‘Cloud Computing: A Roadmap to Modern Software Delivery’ on November 10, 2016, at 12:00 pm CST. Very few companies have not experienced some impact to their IT delivery due to the evolution of cloud computing. This webinar is not about deciding whether you should entertain moving some or all of your IT to the cloud, but rather, a detailed look under the hood to help IT professionals understand how cloud adoption has evolved and what trends will impact th...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 2,482
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 475
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.
Dec. 3, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 2,130