Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Roger Strukhoff, Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Dana Gardner

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @DXWorldExpo, FinTech Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

OpenStack in Asia – Where Business Agility Trumps Cost Savings

Meeting business needs with speed is key for customers

Enterprise customers are frustrated with growing costs and limitations of traditional IT software. This problem is exacerbated when start-ups appear out of nowhere to compete with agile businesses powered by the cloud. To meet customers' needs, I have seen a number of legacy IT vendors extend the OpenStack cloud platform to give their customers a viable cloud computing operating system that does not lock customers in with a single provider and limited options.

Recognizing the growing popularity of OpenStack among enterprise developers, HP sponsored OpenStack "Stackups" across Asia to promote open discussion of OpenStack-related solutions and encourage community feedback. I moderated panel discussions at three of these Stackups in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bangalore and personally interacted with hundreds of developers and other IT professionals and learned a great deal about the challenges they face in evaluating OpenStack and other technologies.

Opening the Stackups to demos by OpenStack members in each community helped create an understanding of possible benefits when OpenStack is used in their environment. Attendees at all three events were made up of a combination of enterprises and start-ups with a sprinkling of consultants with OpenStack experience. There were others who were just beginning to learn about managing IT resources with cloud technology. The following are some insights I gathered from the audience during the events:

  • While OpenStack promises a flexible cloud infrastructure, attendees were not aware of the continuous delivery model that solutions like OpenStack enable. Business requirements are changing at a much higher pace, requiring IT to modify its strategy on how to meet those needs at an increased pace. The cycle of modifying code, testing, and deploying applications under current technology is cumbersome and slow. The opportunity for OpenStack-based solutions to significantly reduce the time and cost to meet business needs is often overlooked. Labor costs in Asia are lower than other economies, so the cost benefits of continuous delivery are a lower component of value; however, attendees seemed to embrace the benefit of increased business agility as an incremental benefit to cost reduction.
  • The DevOps capabilities of OpenStack-based solutions needed to be clearly explained to attendees. Developers view operations as a roadblock to their success and often overlook the new role that operations now play as a deployment enabler. The organizational change required for developers and IT to work together to deliver business applications to end users does not yet seem to be a priority. Once the capability of delivering new functionality with more agility is recognized, customers are quick to embrace this new business and delivery model.
  • OpenStack as an enabler to help transform ISVs to SaaS providers was another value discussed extensively at these events. There were a number of start-ups at each event as well as ISVs currently delivering on-premise solutions. ISVs had domain knowledge in specific areas but needed to understand the value of new delivery models before they were convinced of making the investment to use OpenStack as the cornerstone of their strategy. The benefits of multi-tenancy and continuous delivery led many attendees to view OpenStack-based technology in a new light.
  • While many predict direct migration of workloads to public clouds, enterprise customers seem to be adopting cloud technology with a hybrid-first strategy.

The opportunity for improved data center utilization due to increased agility is very attractive. OpenStack-based solutions provide the capability to improve the management of the entire stack of a data center technologies including compute, storage and networks at a lower cost. As evidenced from attendee feedback on all these events, the market for IT optimization is growing in Asia not just for cost cutting but also business agility. These Stackups provided a forum for attendees to learn about these benefits as they begin their cloud journey.

The preferred hybrid approach needs a vendor who can integrate a strong private cloud infrastructure with a reliable public cloud offering. While HP leads in private cloud implementations, the challenge I see for HP is to combine their current hardware-based business model in delivering its new style of IT with the melting pot of cloud-based resources available, including their own. A hybrid cloud strategy is complex. And the road to OpenStack-based solutions is new and unpaved. Continuing to engage with customers in the community is one way to reduce the confusion and smooth out that road. I expect we will see many more customer-focused events in the near future.

More Stories By Larry Carvalho

Larry Carvalho runs Robust Cloud LLC, an advisory services company helping various ecosystem players develop a strategy to take advantage of cloud computing. As the 2010-12 Instructor of Cloud Expo's popular Cloud Computing Bootcamp, he has already led the bootcamp in New York, Silicon Valley, and Prague, receiving strong positive feedback from attendees about the value gained at these events. Carvalho has facilitated all-day sessions at customer locations to set a clear roadmap and gain consensus among attendees on strategy and product direction. He has participated in multiple discussion panels focused on cloud computing trends at information technology events, and he has delivered all-day cloud computing training to customers in conjunction with CloudCamps. To date, his role has taken him to clients in three continents.

CloudEXPO Stories
IT professionals are also embracing the reality of Serverless architectures, which are critical to developing and operating real-time applications and services. Serverless is particularly important as enterprises of all sizes develop and deploy Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives. Serverless and Kubernetes are great examples of continuous, rapid pace of change in enterprise IT. They also raise a number of critical issues and questions about employee training, development processes, and operational metrics. There's a real need for serious conversations about Serverless and Kubernetes among the people who are doing this work and managing it. So we are very pleased today to announce the ServerlessSUMMIT at CloudEXPO.
AI and machine learning disruption for Enterprises started happening in the areas such as IT operations management (ITOPs) and Cloud management and SaaS apps. In 2019 CIOs will see disruptive solutions for Cloud & Devops, AI/ML driven IT Ops and Cloud Ops. Customers want AI-driven multi-cloud operations for monitoring, detection, prevention of disruptions. Disruptions cause revenue loss, unhappy users, impacts brand reputation etc.
This month @nodexl announced that ServerlessSUMMIT & DevOpsSUMMIT own the world's top three most influential Kubernetes domains which are more influential than LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Medium, Infoworld and Microsoft combined. NodeXL is a template for Microsoft® Excel® (2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016) on Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10) that lets you enter a network edge list into a workbook, click a button, see a network graph, and get a detailed summary report, all in the familiar environment of the Excel® spreadsheet application. A collection of network maps and reports created with NodeXL can be seen in the NodeXL Graph Gallery, an archive of data sets uploaded by the NodeXL user community.
"There is a huge interest in Kubernetes. People are now starting to use Kubernetes and implement it," stated Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable?Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, answered these questions and demonstrated techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances and cost-effective resources on AWS, coupled with the ability to deliver a minimum set of functionalities that cover the majority of needs – without configuration complexity.