Welcome!

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

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Cloud Security, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud-As-It-Is Versus Cloud-As-We'd-Like-It-To-Be | Part 1

In 2013, the evolution of the cloud has really only just started. We don’t know in precise detail how it will evolve

It is hard to believe that there was a time when "the cloud" didn't exist. Then, maybe 50 years ago, a lot of cloud-like things started to happen, such as remote computing, networked computing, resource sharing, virtual networks, and then, eventually, the Internet. But it still wasn't the cloud. Large-scale virtualization of computing and increasingly powerful ways of managing and sharing that computing power resulted in the term "the cloud." Everything was up in the air for a while as various vendors tried to align their own ideas of what the cloud might be with other ideas, and to align their ideas with what was actually happening out there.

Now in 2013, the evolution of the cloud has really only just started. We don't know in precise detail how it will evolve. The community is debating and working to address concerns of security and regulation, while trying to remain compliant with all the administrations in the world, and experimenting to develop business models that make sense both for the potential users and those who provide the cloud services. It is now obvious that the cloud, however it all turns out, is going to offer plentiful opportunities for new services and new ways of doing business.

For me there are a small number of characteristics that make today's cloud different from the remote computing services of the past, and even different from the basic Internet itself. (And yes, my list is not quite the same as the authoritative list from NIST. Some things, such as access, elasticity and measurement are obviously important, but those needs and features pre-dated today's cloud concept.

  • First, the cloud implies that everyone who needs some kind of computing power or functionality can choose from a planet-wide smorgasbord of applications, tools, platforms and infrastructure, without a whole lot of human beings getting in the way.
  • Second, the cloud is a successful abstraction of almost all computing facilities: end users don't (necessarily) need to know how the underlying infrastructure works.
  • Third, the cloud is not just a cloud of technology. It's a cloud of business models and opportunities and an open market for ideas.

However, this is easier to state than to build, and actually using it might not be as simple as we want it to be. For example, we might not need to know too much about the underlying structure, but making best use of the cloud services themselves requires a lot of non-trivial learning. It's great to have choices, but sometimes too many choices can be paralyzing. How can you choose the best? And more worryingly, how do you go about choosing the best value for your specific needs? Once you've chosen a set of cloud services, how do you make them work together and actually be useful for your specific business?

The challenges can be daunting, but it's early for the cloud, and it will take a while to reach perfection. The myriad fragments of applications, platforms and infrastructure out there are only just starting to coalesce into something a bit more organized. De facto and actual standards are starting to emerge, and a new generation of software and a new type of activity is developing to support this new business: cloud services brokerage. In Part 2, we'll introduce the potential for cloud service brokerage to transform cloud to cloud-as-we'd-like-it-to-be.

More Stories By Esmeralda Swartz

Esmeralda Swartz is VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud, BUSS. She has spent 15 years as a marketing, product management, and business development technology executive bringing disruptive technologies and companies to market. Esmeralda was CMO of MetraTech, now part of Ericsson. At MetraTech, Esmeralda was responsible for go-to-market strategy and execution for enterprise and SaaS products, product management, business development and partner programs. Prior to MetraTech, Esmeralda was co-founder, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Lightwolf Technologies, a big data management startup. She was previously co-founder and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development of Soapstone Networks, a developer of resource and service control software, now part of Extreme Networks.

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
Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, is an accomplished digital business executive with extensive global expertise as a strategist, technologist, innovator, marketer, and communicator. For over 30 years across five continents, he has built success with Fortune 500 corporations, vendors, governments, and as a leading research analyst and consultant.
Most DevOps journeys involve several phases of maturity. Research shows that the inflection point where organizations begin to see maximum value is when they implement tight integration deploying their code to their infrastructure. Success at this level is the last barrier to at-will deployment. Storage, for instance, is more capable than where we read and write data. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Atwell, a Developer Advocate for NetApp, will discuss the role and value extensible storage infrastructure has in accelerating software development activities, improve code quality, reveal multiple deployment options through automated testing, and support continuous integration efforts. All this will be described using tools common in DevOps organizations.
"When you think about the data center today, there's constant evolution, The evolution of the data center and the needs of the consumer of technology change, and they change constantly," stated Matt Kalmenson, VP of Sales, Service and Cloud Providers at Veeam Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence 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 idea how to get a proper answer.
Today, we have more data to manage than ever. We also have better algorithms that help us access our data faster. Cloud is the driving force behind many of the data warehouse advancements we have enjoyed in recent years. But what are the best practices for storing data in the cloud for machine learning and data science applications?