Welcome!

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

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Cloud App Store Hype

I’m not convinced it is something that is going to create a dramatic market shift within the enterprise

With the rise of virtual appliances as a software delivery and deployment model, people are beginning to talk about the idea of cloud computing app stores (a la iTunes) where admins can find virtual appliances and then easily deploy them onto a cloud or a server in their data center.

Although this idea sounds cool (”Hey, I can search for apps like I’d search for songs on iTunes and then deploy them almost instantly!”), I’m not convinced it is something that is going to create a dramatic market shift within the enterprise.

Why not?

iPod 5th Generation white.

First let’s think about why customers would be inclined to use a virtual appliance or app store:

  • Easily demo software on their own environment or in the cloud:  The virtual appliance model is clearly a great way for an IT guy or developer to test new apps.  You can try before you buy, and you don’t need to requisition any hardware to test.
  • Pay-per-appliance instead of pay-per-physical server: A pay-per-appliance model makes more sense in the virtual world than does the old licensing model of per-CPU or per-server.
  • Choice: App stores are a place where the big vendors’ marketing muscle won’t matter as much.  Customers will be exposed to new vendors and solutions.

And some reasons why customers wouldn’t want to use virtual appliances or app stores:

  • Lack of Control: Larger companies will have strict standards on what kind of applications and OS’s go into their environment.  Typically, they are going to want control of the hardware, the application, and everything in between.  Using a virtual appliance means giving up much of the control enterprise IT is used to having on the entire stack.
  • Good config management and deployment tools beat virtual appliances any day of the week:  The virtual appliance value proposition is eliminated if you’ve got robust config and deployment systems (think Opsware, Puppet, etc) that let you deploy fully customized app stacks (w/custom OS) in minutes.  Why sacrifice the ability to customize when you don’t have to?

Why are the appliances and app stores good for vendors?

  • Lead gen: Download of virtual appliance = sales lead for appliance vendor
  • Makes software pre-sales process easier: Instead of putting a sales engineer onsite for a couple days to help setup a customer demo, give the customer a virtual appliance that they can get up and running in an hour or less.
  • Best practices:  The vendor can ensure the configuration of the appliance conforms with best practices.  This will prevent some folks from shooting themselves in the foot by not selecting manufacturer suggested default settings. (Although certainly the ’suggested’ settings are a really bad idea for certain use cases – a longer story which I won’t dig into here)
  • Makes cloud more useful:  Helps cloud customers deploy apps faster.
  • Long tail:  Exposes lesser known or upcoming vendors to IT buyers.

Seems to me like virtual appliances are a great sales/marketing tool for vendors large and small, but not something that will fundamentally change how enterprise IT is delivered.  SMBs on the other hand…maybe there is a play there.

Thoughts?

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By John Gannon

John Gannon is an Associate at L Capital Partners, a $165-million fund looking to advance companies with the potential to take groundbreaking products to market. He blogs at http://johngannonblog.com. Prior to joining L Capital Partners, John worked with Highland Capital Partners and Chart Venture Partners to identify and evaluate new opportunities in the enterprise IT sector. He also served as a consultant advising startup companies on business development, product strategy and venture capital fundraising. He currently sit on the board of advisers of VAlign Software.

CloudEXPO Stories
With more than 30 Kubernetes solutions in the marketplace, it's tempting to think Kubernetes and the vendor ecosystem has solved the problem of operationalizing containers at scale or of automatically managing the elasticity of the underlying infrastructure that these solutions need to be truly scalable. Far from it. There are at least six major pain points that companies experience when they try to deploy and run Kubernetes in their complex environments. In this presentation, the speaker will detail these pain points and explain how cloud can address them.
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-centric compute for the most data-intensive applications. Hyperconverged systems already in place can be revitalized with vendor-agnostic, PCIe-deployed, disaggregated approach to composable, maximizing the value of previous investments.
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, discussed how this same philosophy can be applied to highly scaled applications, and can dramatically increase your resilience to failure.
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by sharing information within the building and with outside city infrastructure via real time shared cloud capabilities.
As Cybric's Chief Technology Officer, Mike D. Kail is responsible for the strategic vision and technical direction of the platform. Prior to founding Cybric, Mike was Yahoo's CIO and SVP of Infrastructure, where he led the IT and Data Center functions for the company. He has more than 24 years of IT Operations experience with a focus on highly-scalable architectures.