Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Machine Learning , Agile Computing, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal, @ThingsExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Azure Is King of the Hill | @CloudExpo @Azure #BigData #IoT #DataCenter

The company snatched the stack crown by releasing its Azure stack to the public

As I wrote earlier this year over at InfoWorld, Microsoft took another step toward being king of the cloud hill when it announced in January that it was releasing its Azure stack to the public. There are many technical reasons why this is cool, but more importantly, it's the psychological advantage this gives Microsoft.

Google has always had the ability for developers using its stack to develop locally on the same tools that run in Google App Engine. It recently forked its environments, so now the local and cloud environments are slightly different for some of the configurations -- I can't tell you how many nights I have lost sleep because of environments being slightly different! Development and hosting are two completely different things. What Microsoft did is one-upped Google and Amazon.

The psychological advantage comes into play for companies that aren't 100 percent sure about moving into the cloud or companies that don't want to be trapped in a proprietary ecosystem. Ten years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine Microsoft doing such a thing, but now their decision to release the Azure Stack is in line with their newfound love for open systems.

The truth of the matter is that we are all trapped by proprietary ecosystems, even if you are a big open source user. Everywhere you look, companies are using proprietary chat, storage, workflow, CRM, on and on, but one of the biggest blocks for companies adopting a cloud strategy is the fear of being trapped in an ecosystem that you can't get out of. Problem solved! Now if something goes wrong, just download the Azure stack, and you can run locally.

Truthfully, moving from the cloud to a local environment is going to be rare. Although it will now be possible, many of the advantages would be lost. Advantages like infinitely scalable storage, no need for IT support, offloading compliance issues. It would just be a lot of work, and unless you have the will and the staff, a move from the cloud locally would be beyond most organizations.

But I could see some companies that aren't yet ready to move up to the cloud but thinking about it seriously. In these cases, it would be great to design for the cloud, run locally, and then move the whole stack when you're ready. Sure, it would be extra work, but a whole lot less work then attempting to code in a "normal" on-premises environment and then attempting a move. Running the Azure stack locally first would be a smart first steps for companies that plan on moving to Azure but not for a couple of years.

Another option would be to run some of the stack locally and some in Azure. There are numerous reasons why people may think this is a good idea. However, the only two that resonate with me are performance or applications that for some reason won't run in Azure but could be cajoled to be running on a local Azure stack. Even with these two reasons, I would have to be convinced it to mix and match local and remote Azure environments. My general experience has not been good on this front. I really believe in all in or all out when possible.

I have talked about this before, but the truth is you shouldn't move your system to the cloud - you should instead re-architect it for the cloud. Since Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are all very different in their PaaS offerings, to be successful you have to code specifically for any environment you are in. So even though the chances of moving a company from hosted Azure to local Azure are close to zero, it will make moving to the cloud an easier decision for those in charge. Being one of those people, I really enjoy one less tough decision to make in my day.

More Stories By John Basso

John Basso is an experienced technology executive with a unique ability to help businesses win through strategic roles both inside and across multiple organizations. He has been leading technical teams and implementing leading-edge business processes and custom technology solutions for over 20 years.

John’s versatile skill-set across all major business functions has made him an integral part of the success for Amadeus Consulting - where he is the CIO. As a dynamic executive, John is inserted into critical phases of the business lifecycle for Amadeus Consulting and works closely with its business partners to ensure their success.

John's demonstrated ability to manage complex custom software development programs across US and international teams has led to senior executive positions, including Chief Strategy Officer, CTO, and VP of Marketing, with several Amadeus Consulting clients and partners. Additionally, he has extensive experience with venture capital funding and was a key contributor to equity investment deals for three different promising startup companies of over $20 million each. Boards: Left Hand Design Corporation, Business Information & Analytics Advisory Board, University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business

Awards: "Forty Under 40 Business Leader" by the Denver Business Journal in 2005, Eco Hero by the Boulder County Business Report.

CloudEXPO Stories
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve full cloud literacy in the enterprise world.
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous importance on software-based innovations. They require not only skilled occupations, such as data analysts and DevOps professionals, with more technical skills, but also middle-level employees with more software and computing acumen. Both large and small firms operate differently.
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it’s important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. “Fly two mistakes high” is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, will discuss how this same philosophy can be applied to highly scaled applications, and can dramatically increase your resilience to failure.
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at Dice, he takes a metrics-driven approach to management. His experience in building and managing high performance teams was built throughout his experience at Oracle, Sun Microsystems and SocialEkwity.
Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throughout enterprises of all sizes. We are offering early bird savings on all ticket types where you can save significant amount of money by purchasing your conference tickets today.