|By Jeremy Geelan||
|February 27, 2009 09:40 AM EST||
"Cloud computing is here to stay as a major IT wave that will take its place in the data center alongside mainframes, client-server and 3-tier web, says Sajai Krishnan, CEO of ParaScale, in this Exclusive Q&A with SYS-CON's Cloud Computing Journal.
"The recession is driving IT to consider newer, lower cost offerings and cloud computing is delivering on these requirements," he adds. Krishnan specifies the two primary concerns for users of the cloud right now to be Security and Lock-in.
Cloud Computing Journal: David Linthicum, the industry analyst and commentator sees Cloud Computing as being divisible into ten distinct patterns:
Do you think it is just coincidence that he lists Cloud Storage first? Or does Cloud Storage undergird the entire stack?
Sajai Krishnan: It is no coincidence that storage is listed first. With any system, storage is the persistent foundation for which the data starts and finishes. Cloud storage is no exception and can even introduce unique challenges when compared to cloud computing. Take the classic use case of cloud computing:
My company needs to spin up 2000 servers in one day to deal with unforeseen demand or 20 servers at the close of each quarter. Two days later I spin them down when the demand passed. Cloud computing saves the day.
Given the need for an organization to save everything, storage growth tends to be steady and relentless. Shrinking your cloud storage footprint after a demand event is more difficult and less common (outside of special situations like simulations, data mining, scratch storage situations, etc.
Cloud Computing Journal: Are there problems associated with Amazon and Google's cloud computing concepts - to take tow leaders in the space?
SK: There are two primary concerns for users of the cloud: Security and Lock-in.
Security: Shared infrastructure scares many enterprise customers. How do they know their data is safe or even in the specified location? There have been numerous articles published about this issue so I'm not going to dive into the details but the concern is real. Combined with privacy concerns, this issue will be something that will continue to dog public cloud services.
Cloud lock-in: Each public cloud vendor has created a unique interface or API for using their offering. A user must program to that specification. If the user wants to change providers, they must reprogram to a different specification and pay double bandwidth charges for moving data. This puts the onus of change on the customer and enables cloud lock-in for the vendors.
Cloud Computing Journal: How does ParaScale's approach circumvent those problems?
SK: ParaScale addresses these issues by enabling the enterprise to build a private cloud and write files using standard protocols. We do not require a custom language to "speak ParaScale", instead we support industry standards like NFS, FTP, and HTTP that are well understood and widely deployed (in addition to new protocols like WebDAV).
A private cloud is deployed inside a customer's firewall and is managed by internal employees. Established security practices can be used to secure data and access yet the enterprise still benefits from the scale and economics of cloud storage. Additionally, with the ability for both service providers and enterprises to leverage ParaScale technology, before broad-based standards are established, end-users can transition between public, hosted and private clouds.
Cloud Computing Journal: What are the main new security issues that IT needs to address when storing data in the Cloud?
SK: Control of data is the main new security issue. Security is a broad subject but when considering public clouds data control is new and should be considered. There are plenty of unanswered questions about data control and reporting responsibilities. If a public cloud service provider is subpoenaed by the government it could well be that your data is vacuumed up, even though your company is not being specifically subpoenaed.
Think about what we have seen in the cell phone industry. Even more unclear is who is responsible for the data. Some argue that control is based on locality and therefore the cloud provider is responsible. Others say control lies with the owner of the data. Until this is feted out in the courts, this will be an open issue.
Cloud Computing Journal: How does the Public vs. Private paradigm apply to storage provisioning in the Cloud?
SK: In general, both public and private provisioning decisions come down to capacity and quality. Public clouds offer one model for provisioning storage. Private clouds have the ability to provide several options such as thin provisioning, fixed provisioning or a combination of those two.
Cloud Computing Journal: So companies actually can choose themselves whether to introduce cloud storage inside or outside the corporate firewall?
SK: Yes. In fact we expect many customers to choose both. Highly sensitive data will be kept on a private cloud. Data that needs geographic deployments and is not sensitive can be put into the public clouds. Others will use the public cloud to backup a private cloud with their service provider. New options are emerging every day, and end users benefit from selecting the best option based on cost and security.
Cloud Computing Journal: How about cost? Do you agree with those who contend that the lowest cost per gigabyte or terabyte wins?
SK: No. Cost is more than a purchase price. If you sell something for a penny a TB but it takes 15 guys to manage it, it's a bogus solution. If the user has to re-write applications and break security practices to save money, it will not fly. Cloud drives new economics that save the enterprise money from both a CAPEX and OPEX standpoint. Entry prices are lower due to commodity hardware and standard protocols. OPEX is saved via automation and policy based management, removing the need for multiple administrators per petabyte.
Consider, for example, the issue of data migration. NAS implementations require downtime and significant effort to move data from device A to device B. Usually a weekend or two is involved and end users need to be remapped to new mount points. The disruption is significant enough to enable a new class of file virtualization appliances that sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars each. With cloud storage, data migration is automatic and doesn't require weekends (or administrator interaction for that matter). This is one example of the exponential simplicity the cloud architecture enables.
Cloud Computing Journal: Does ParaScale pricing conform to the Cloud Computing norm of "pay-only-for-what-you-eat"?
SK: Yes. Even better, with ParaScale you can provision virtual file systems larger than your physical capacity, enabling your eyes to be bigger than your stomach. As files are written to the cloud, the administrator can add capacity just in time, leveraging newer hardware at a lower cost and larger capacity. And acquiring the standard Linux servers is really easy versus having to wait for the traditional specialty storage appliances.
Cloud Computing Journal: And scalability, presumably, is all taken care of?
SK: Others talk of unlimited scalability but everything has limits. No system is "infinitely scalable" and claims as such are bogus. ParaScale is designed to scale to hundreds of nodes and multiple petabytes. For customers who want to go bigger than that we recommend a few clouds connected logically with a single global namespace. It's not an architecture limitation; instead it is a practicality of networking capabilities and testability.
Cloud Computing Journal: Aside from storage, is there any other aspect of the Cloud Services stack that ParaScale has identified as having growth potential for the company?
SK: ParaScale is focused on cloud storage. Our roadmap is filled with enhancements that will enable new management paradigms, simplify application integration and continue to drive economies of scale.
Cloud Computing Journal: Last summer you raised $11.4M in a funding round; how have those funds mainly been applied to date?
SK: Our core technology has been running in customer environments for many years and proven itself stable and reliable. At GA, we plan to make our code available via a web download to anyone who registers on our website. Users can build a cloud up to 4TBs in size and use it forever, free of charge. We don't ask you to believe our marketing, instead try the software for yourself. To enable this model the software must be as simple as installing an application on your laptop. Therefore since funding we have been focused on making our product simple to install and configure.
I can personally attest to the simplicity as I've downloaded and built a cloud myself in an afternoon, and remember, my specialty is not systems administration.
Cloud Computing Journal: What's the risk of Cloud-* becoming just another buzz phrase used in the attempt to get organizations to "sign a check"?
SK: In this economy you need more than a buzz phrase to get a check cut. It's true that every vendor is jumping on the cloud bandwagon and trying to mould the definition to fit their offering, ParaScale included. But customers will look for offerings that solve their challenges regardless of the tag applied.
The cloud tag may get vendors in the door, but without the architecture to back up the claim, customers will move on. With any new hyped technology there is burst of marketing "me-too". Cloud is no different and as with new areas there will be a shake-out. But beyond that, it is our view that cloud computing is here to stay as a major IT wave that will take its place in the data center alongside mainframes, client-server and 3-tier web.
Cloud Computing Journal: Do you agree with those who contend that Cloud Computing, in its current incarnation anyway, falls somewhat short on its promise to make computing as a whole as simple as plugging an application into a utility service?
SK: Cloud computing is in its infancy and the protocols and implementations are not ubiquitous (yet). It's a bit like an American running around the UK trying to find a 110V electrical plug. The answer is always, you need an adapter. When a standard emerges and any application can talk to any cloud the promise will be delivered.
Cloud Computing Journal: What's the future trajectory of Cloud Computing seen from a ParaScale perspective?
SK: Upward and to the right. Cloud Computing is just getting started. Early adopters are getting on board and helping the industry make better products. The recession is driving IT to consider newer, lower cost offerings and cloud computing is delivering on these requirements. At ParaScale our early customers are excited about cloud storage and dreaming up use cases we haven't considered. We are on the cusp of the next wave of computing and at ParaScale, surf's up.
Collecting data in the field and configuring multitudes of unique devices is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process that can stretch IT resources. Horan & Bird [H&B], Australia’s fifth-largest Solar Panel Installer, wanted to automate sensor data collection and monitoring from its solar panels and integrate the data with its business and marketing systems. After data was collected and structured, two major areas needed to be addressed: improving developer workflows and extending access to a b...
May. 27, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,832
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...
May. 27, 2015 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,146
Containers Expo Blog covers the world of containers, as this lightweight alternative to virtual machines enables developers to work with identical dev environments and stacks. Containers Expo Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Bookmark Containers Expo Blog ▸ Here Follow new article posts on Twitter at @ContainersExpo
May. 26, 2015 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 650
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. 8th International Big Data Expo, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. As advanced data storage, access and analytics technologies aimed at handling high-volume and/or fast moving data all move center stage, aided by the cloud computing bo...
May. 26, 2015 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,418
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the...
May. 26, 2015 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,969
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. But what about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today's databases are anything but agile - they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application an...
May. 26, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,384
Move from reactive to proactive cloud management in a heterogeneous cloud infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Manoj Khabe, Innovative Solution-Focused Transformation Leader at Vicom Computer Services, Inc., will show how to replace a help desk-centric approach with an ITIL-based service model and service-centric CMDB that’s tightly integrated with an event and incident management platform. Learn how to expand the scope of operations management to service management. He will al...
May. 26, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,335
Over the years, a variety of methodologies have emerged in order to overcome the challenges related to project constraints. The successful use of each methodology seems highly context-dependent. However, communication seems to be the common denominator of the many challenges that project management methodologies intend to resolve. In this respect, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be viewed as powerful tools for managing projects. Few research papers have focused on the way...
May. 26, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,698
As the world moves from DevOps to NoOps, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. However, applications have been architected with a much tighter coupling than it needs to be which makes deployment in different environments and migration between them harder. The microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, Netflix and so on is at the heart of CloudFoundry – a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS...
May. 26, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,577
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
May. 26, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,729
High-performing enterprise Software Quality Assurance (SQA) teams validate systems that are ready for use - getting most actively involved as components integrate and form complete systems. These teams catch and report on defects, making sure the customer gets the best software possible. SQA teams have leveraged automation and virtualization to execute more thorough testing in less time - bringing Dev and Ops together, ensuring production readiness. Does the emergence of DevOps mean the end of E...
May. 26, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 5,216
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 wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential. The DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo – to be held June 3-5, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City – will expand the DevOps community, enable a wide...
May. 26, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,849
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
May. 26, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,811
Amazon and Google have built software-defined data centers (SDDCs) that deliver massively scalable services with great efficiency. Yet, building SDDCs has proven to be a near impossibility for companies without hyper-scale resources. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, David Cauthron, CTO and Founder of NIMBOXX, highlighted how a mid-sized manufacturer of global industrial equipment bridged the gap from virtualization to software-defined services, streamlining operations and costs while connect...
May. 26, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,201
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
May. 26, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 6,360
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to DevOps Summit 2015 as Conference Chair. The 4th International DevOps Summit will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited to help the great team at ...
May. 26, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,569
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue o...
May. 26, 2015 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 711
Enterprises are fast realizing the importance of integrating SaaS/Cloud applications, API and on-premises data and processes, to unleash hidden value. This webinar explores how managers can use a Microservice-centric approach to aggressively tackle the unexpected new integration challenges posed by proliferation of cloud, mobile, social and big data projects. Industry analyst and SOA expert Jason Bloomberg will strip away the hype from microservices, and clearly identify their advantages and d...
May. 26, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,387
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
May. 26, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 6,852
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enter...
May. 26, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,948