Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo, Rene Buest, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Machine Learning

@CloudExpo: Article

Recessionary Recitations: Reducing the Cost and Complexity of Application Delivery

Virtualization and cloud computing give shelter from the storm

Let's face it - 2008 was a real slog. Even the most wide-eyed optimist would agree that this was one year whose end was long overdue. Of course, ringing in the New Year doesn't somehow wash away what has become a fairly deep recession, but it does symbolize the fresh start that I think we're all looking for right about now.

Doom and gloom may be the currency of trade these days, but I would argue that there are important lessons to be learned from this and any recession. Nobody enjoys a down economy, but it may be comforting to remember that recession is a natural part of the business cycle. Just as an ebbing tide always returns, so will economic prosperity. And despite the discomfort, every recession teaches us a lesson or two that informs and sometimes transforms IT practices.

In that respect, this recession is no different. The need to "do more with less" has put pressure on organizations to scrutinize spending and look for new ways to conserve. At the same time, virtualization and cloud computing have entered the scene, promising to significantly change the economics of enterprise computing. This allows organizations to significantly reduce the capital costs associated with server infrastructure. In the case of external clouds, these costs can be deferred altogether.

What is arguably quite different this time around is the fact that IT organizations are expected to fundamentally change and transform from centralized bottlenecks to self-service enablers. So, the dual mandate the CIO now faces is to cut costs while also reinventing the datacenter. That's no mean feat.

The good news is that virtualization and cloud computing have emerged as both a salve for today's cost-cutting mandates, as well as a foundation for the computing model of the future. By removing much of the cost and friction from application delivery, organizations can more effectively weather the storm of a down economy, taking the time and cost out of application delivery. The real winners on the other side of this recession will be the organizations that take both paths concurrently.

But many organizations are looking beyond infrastructure and taking cost and complexity out of application workloads themselves. Why? Because enterprise applications are becoming increasingly distributed and unthinkably complex, which only adds cost and delay to application deployment and management. This complexity results from multiple factors at work:

  • Growing use of open source and overall componentization of software
  • Proliferation of target machines, most notably due to virtualization
  • Multiple target datacenter environments, including external clouds
  • Use of disparate application frameworks, such as JBoss, Ruby and Django
  • Corporate and regulatory mandates, such as HIPPA and Sarbanes-Oxley

All of this adds up to application workloads that are harder than ever to deploy and manage. The result is an ever widening "deployment gap" that sits between application development and IT operations. If you recall from my previous musings, this air gap stands in the way of application delivery and realization of application value. After the application is unit test complete, it enters a protracted and often manual process which looks something like this: stand up a server, install the OS, spin up the application, configure, tune, tweak, optimize, and certify. At this point, months have passed and lines of business stand waiting, costs and risks accrued and business opportunities forgone.

Many organizations are looking at virtualization as a way to accelerate and simplify application delivery by changing the form factor of the application workload to become easier to deploy and manage over time. This virtualized application, or "virtual appliance," makes application workloads far easier to deploy, manage and maintain because it combines the application bits with everything it needs to run in production and delivers it as a self-contained application unit that can run in any virtualized or cloud environment. Simply put, plug it in and it works. What's more, the virtualized application is fully instrumented for streamlined and scalable maintenance, significantly reducing ongoing costs and allowing IT organizations to do more with less.

Think of it this way: the typical enterprise today faces the dual challenge of growing application complexity and flat or declining people resources. Oh, and I forgot a critical detail. The reality is that lines of business are expecting applications to be deployed more, not less, rapidly. The "Amazon effect" is the backpressure lines of business place on IT because of the instant gratification external clouds like Amazon EC2 appear to promise. "Why can't you be more like EC2?" is the question de jour and fairly cringe-inducing for the unprepared CIO.

Complexity is the enemy when resources are thin and organizations are under pressure to do more with less. Of course application complexity isn't going away since fighting that battle is like trying to hold back a rising tide. But you can manage the complexity with new approaches for enterprise application virtualization, which can dramatically reduce the time, cost and risk of deploying and managing distributed application workloads across traditional, virtualized and cloud-based environments.

More Stories By Jake Sorofman

Jake Sorofman is chief marketing officer of rPath, an innovator in system automation software for physical, virtual and cloud environments. Contact Jake at [email protected]

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
"We want to show that our solution is far less expensive with a much better total cost of ownership so we announced several key features. One is called geo-distributed erasure coding, another is support for KVM and we introduced a new capability called Multi-Part," explained Tim Desai, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Hitachi Data Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, 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. Me...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
"Outscale was founded in 2010, is based in France, is a strategic partner to Dassault Systémes and has done quite a bit of work with divisions of Dassault," explained Jackie Funk, Digital Marketing exec at Outscale, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We focus on SAP workloads because they are among the most powerful but somewhat challenging workloads out there to take into public cloud," explained Swen Conrad, CEO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager – it’s starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are still a relatively small software house and we are focusing on certain industries like FinTech, med tech, energy and utilities. We help our customers with their digital transformation," noted Piotr Stawinski, Founder and CEO of EARP Integration, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We're here to tell the world about our cloud-scale infrastructure that we have at Juniper combined with the world-class security that we put into the cloud," explained Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering at Juniper Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
"We were founded in 2003 and the way we were founded was about good backup and good disaster recovery for our clients, and for the last 20 years we've been pretty consistent with that," noted Marc Malafronte, Territory Manager at StorageCraft, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.