Cloud Computing Expo
Big Data Gold Mine in Cloud Governance and Automation
Re-imagining the Technology Portfolio from a Governance and Big Data Perspective
By: Brian McCallion
Jan. 2, 2012 02:45 AM
I've been working on Enterprise Cloud Strategy and in the course of this work identified some interesting and non-obvious opportunities in the Cloud.
One solution I’ve examined is the well-crafted solution that is enStratus. enStratus has built a SaaS Cloud Management / Governance product focused on providing critical management, monitoring, governance capabilities tailored to the needs of the Global 2000 market, rather than the startup market. As I have worked with a current Fortune 500 client to identify Cloud solution components, my assessment is that enStratus is uncannily well designed for the enterprise market. Yet as a result of working with the enStratus team and product I found not just a management tool, but also a deeply insightful perspective as to the how and what of the Cloud.
To put this another way, as a result of using enStratus, teams will learn from the experienced approach enStratus takes to working in the Cloud and align with these successful practices. Yet enStratus remains open and light, rather than didactic. Again, this is a remarkable achievement in itself. As a result of my work with George Reese and John Willis of enStratus, I now have new insights into the Cloud and how Cloud management, governance, and automation fits into the overall enterprise Cloud opportunity. Where I expect to find functionality, I continue to find a deep intelligence and sophistication that runs through each aspect of the enStratus solution.
While the client I’m working with is primarily focused on Amazon as the Cloud provider, enStratus’s vision has resulted in a product that today serves as a single pane of glass for vSphere / VMware, yet also AWS, Eucalyptus, RackSpace, GoGrid, and about 9 other Clouds. At first I was incredulous and probed deeper into the quality of management across these services. Beyond discipline and hard work, what clearly differentiates enStratus is that it takes a very well honed and insightful point of view. In this example, the architecture of the product leverages smart design by creating a Cloud abstraction layer which enables new Clouds and new functionality to be rapidly implemented.
This difference in approach was so striking to me because while I have been working with salesforce.com for years, I remember how early versions of the offering often didn’t quite make sense to me, or didn’t quite align with what was required for enterprise consumption. I asked George Reese, a founding member and Chief Technology Officer of enStratus how it is that the enStratus vision and service stands-out in terms of the depth and finely honed implementation. George stated that at enStratus, the decision to build a product for the enterprise and solve some of the hard problems early, shapes the overall production strategy.
In practice, this vision of “focuses on solving hard problems” bring the enterprise a powerful solution which not only assists the enterprise in “getting to the Cloud,” but also, getting there with a solution that’s comfortable and addresses the needs of multiple stakeholders. In terms of the Cloud ecosystem, the enStratus approach raises sea and removes a number of rocks and barnacles and hazards and enables everyone to start at a much higher level of maturity and to focus on the real business of their Cloud strategy rather than on the bits and pieces.
Early Cloud solution requirements I had in mind, but which I suspected were too ambitious given the relative “newness” of all things Cloud, were not only part of enStratus, but implemented with several iterations more maturity and ambition that I had imagined. In some cases, by thinking about why the tool chose to approach a certain problem or certain capability in a certain way, I came to a sudden revelation that enStratus had solved a problem I hadn’t even realized was a problem and had done so in a very elegant and practical way. A clear example of the enStratus approach is that enStratus not only manages a Cloud, it addresses what should be a core requirement for every enterprise moving workloads to the Cloud: choice of Clouds and the ability to manage workloads wherever they are through a single pane of glass. And enStratus manages not only compute, but also storage Clouds such as AT&T Synaptic Storage, and on-premise enterprise storage Clouds such as EMC Atmos. I think the reason for what might otherwise seem like early support for storage Clouds is pragmatically driven by enterprise requirements for backing up or migrating workloads across Clouds. This plays a key role in where I see the Big Gorilla opportunity for enStratus.
While one might expect to have to sacrifice nuances or specific capabilities of specific Clouds, enStratus enables each Cloud’s unique capabilities to be managed and instrumented and automated. Frankly, most enterprises don’t have this kind of technology for any of their earlier generation technology, and what management tools exist require tedious and time consuming integration—the kind that doesn’t always get done as readily as one might expect.
Yet because enStratus provides multiple cloud provider integration as “table stakes,” the ecosystem of tools for the Cloud raises Cloud to a higher standard and does in fact make the Cloud more immediate, viable, useful, and enterprise ready. And by delivering a solution that manages not just a heterogeneous Cloud, but also vSphere, enStratus addresses a key CIO concern of vendor lock-in and enables a Cloud strategy that can leverage tools rather than requiring the enterprise to build from scratch out of concern for “lock-in.” Moreover, while CIOs look to the Cloud and voice concerns over vendor lock-in, the fact that enStratus also integrates with vSphere makes moving forward so much easier.
In other words, it’s much easier to move forward with an enterprise Cloud strategy by choosing a vendor such as Amazon that meets current needs, but without the concern that in eighteen months more suitable Cloud vendors will emerge. The flexibility of enStratus enables the enterprise to move forward with the Cloud yet with protection from investing heavily in a couple of Cloud service providers, only to find that business units within the enterprise each may require different types of Cloud services, or that some units may use vSphere internally, but also desire to move some application to Verizon / Terremark. These scenarios are very likely and even desirable and inevitable.
A broad and deep Cloud solution enables the enterprise to execute now and manage all the moving and changing components of the Cloud.This kind of operations is remarkably simple to visualize and explore with a tool like enStratus. And where in the enterprise, multiple stakeholders each require specific privileges at a user / role level of granularity, the enStratus approach provides what I consider not only the required level of flexibility and modeling of users, groups, resources, and roles. Clearly enStratus has worked closely with the enterprise and gotten the enterprise stuff right. In my opinion, enStratus delivers a higher quality and more thoughtfully designed compute, storage, accounting, and corporate cost center charge-backs than VMware's vSphere®. And believe I was pleasantly surprised to learn how the service also enables soft and hard budget capping based on corporate (or other) charge-center codes.
Here’s the Best Part, Although at First I didn’t Get it At All: Data Visualization Capabilities Targeted for 2012
How could powerful data analysis and visualization capabilities enhance enStratus to create significant business value? I see significant opportunity for analytics and data such as Corporate Performance Management metrics to unlock valuable information about a firm’s technology operations, project portfolio, and to monitor and guide such operations so as to realize an unprecedented degree of insight, management, and process monitoring over the enterprise technology portfolio. Think for a moment if the Corporate Performance Management capabilities of a SaaS solution such as Host Analytics were to consume data available to enStratus as a result of enStratus’s role as the management pane, but also for monitoring, and orchestration and capture of events and actions.
Such a solution enables a different and more detailed and more insightful tool for examining corporate performance from an application development lifecycle perspective. Because enStratus also provides structured, flexible containers for modeling, managing, and deploying applications, the context for events is part of the solution and it's naturally available for all activity.
In other words, enStratus offers an organic, bottom-up approach to managing and monitoring and analyzing corporate technology projects and resources. This capability contrasts with the rigid and bureaucratic approach to portfolio management tools such as HP's PPM tool. enStratus, by naturally capturing events and context across an enterprise’s diverse technology infrastructure, and technology environments maintains and readily queries the context of people, project, resources, events. And in this way, the enStratus framework offers the world a new and powerful tool through which to understand and managie the entire technology portfolio. For the first time, Corporate America has the means to track the lifecycle of even the smallest project along the entire arc of its lifecycle. I don’t think I’ve stated this clearly enough, given how important I thinks this is, so I’m going to try again.
As innovation by small teams seems to lead to more beneficial outcomes, enStratus becomes a perspective business can use to understand innovation and to how to stimulate rather than crush it under the latency of bureaucracy. This bottom-up, organic perspective could lead to insights as to what a firm's actual technology portfolio that naturally associates people, projects, costs, and application releases, and yes, return-on-investment and business value and other presently unknown characteristics of the enterprise. I don't know how to begin to qualify the value of a tool for applying such technology, but it is giant. And this last aspect of the model warrants further discussion. Part of the management and governance capabilities of enStratus that may not be readily perceived by those outside of corporate technology managers, is that enStratus provides the layer that abstracts interfaces to third generation build and deployment services such as Puppet and Chef. Through this abstraction enStratus monitors, tracks, governs, and manages the continuous deployment of applications and "infrastructure-as-code."
The second perhaps non-obvious area where I think Data Visualization and the analysis of the data underscores a key opportunity for companies adopting enStratus, is that enStratus provides a platform on which to define and manage workloads to a service level while also managing which Clouds and regions where a given workload can run. This kind of capability suggests a Phase II hidden opportunity emerging from enStratus's positioning strategy and enterprise focus.The non-obvious opportunity lies not in this fundamental management and governance capabilities, or the fact that enStratus is very well positioned in the enterprise market. This non-obvious opportunity lies in that part of the management solution that involves monitoring Cloud services, and also accounting for costs.
Monitoring and managing virtual machines and storage for thousands of enterprises across multiple clouds means that enStratus holds empirical data describing in detail metrics which describe as a commodity, the value of a given Clouds services compared to all other clouds. So in this way, enStratus describes and holds point-in-time market data for the global cloud market. As the market matures, a very real and global spot market emerges for Cloud services. This capability will in turn drive firms to require a vehicle through which to participate in the Cloud Economy. enStratus will serve as such a vehicle for the enterprise, and provide the abstraction, meta data, and automation through which to participate and through which to take delivery of Cloud Services.
In other words, a service like enStratus provides the abstraction and services required to Broker Cloud Services. And in this way enStratus is positioned to enable arbitrage, swaps, futures, and all manner of trading to be performed with respect to Cloud Resources. This level of efficiency will continue to drive Cloud innovation and competition, while services like enStratus grow to a critical mass, or Network Size that becomes difficult to displace, and extremely profitable in the way that enabling, orchestrating, brokering and managing a multi-trillion dollar Cloud marketplace seems like it might be profitable.
Read the original blog entry...
Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1
Articles & Feature Stories
Cloud Expo Breaking News
Top Stories for Cloud Expo Europe
Kevin L Jackson launched the "Government Cloud Computing Journal" on Ulitzer. The online magazine offers stories and articles on the effective use of cloud computing technologies within the government domain. Kevin L. Jackson is a senior information technologist specializing in information technology solutions that meet critical Federal government operational requirements. Currently, he serves as Director, Business Development for Dataline, Inc., and editor of Government Cloud Computing e-zine. Kevin L. Jackson (right) with Cloud Computing Expo conference chair Jeremy Geelan before his presentation on Government Cloud Computing. About Ulitzer.com Initiating content coverage on any topic or launching a magazine at Ulitzer.com is designed to be as easy as boiling an egg and doesn't take much longer. To become a Ulitzer author, anyone can fill out a simple author prof... (more)
Conference News & Updates
Enterprise-Level Cloud Computing: CEO Power Panel
In this fast-moving high-level CEO Power Panel held at the 8th International Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, June 6-9, 2011, Cloud Expo Conference Chair, Jeremy Geelan is joined by Michael Crandell, CEO and a founder of RightScale; Treb Ryan, CEO of OpSource; Cory Isaacson, CEO/CTO of CodeFutures Corporation; Brad Hokamp, President of Layered Technologies; Lawrence Guillory, CEO of Racemi; Andy Burton, CEO of Rise; and Paulo Rosado, Founder & CEO of OutSystems. Some of the main topics discussed include the big issues facing companies in cloud computing, the critical tools and infrastructure required, and the shift in the way IT infrastructure is being deployed and consumed.
Cloud Expo Power Panel: Enterprise Cloud Computing
In this brand new SYS-CON.TV Power Panel, recorded in Times Square on the eve of Cloud Expo Silicon Valley, which was held in Santa Clara, CA, November 1 -4, 2010, Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan discusses the State of the Nation with regard to Enterprise Cloud Computing with Unisys' Sam Gross & Jill T. Singer, CIO of the National Reconnaissance Office. Also on the panel is Internet security expert Patrick Hynds, Founder & President of DTS.
Abiquo Named “Platinum Plus Sponsor” of Cloud Expo 2011 Silicon Valley
SYS-CON Events announced today that Abiquo, the leading Enterprise Cloud Management software provider, has been named “Platinum Plus Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 9th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 7–10, 2011, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Abiquo is the Enterprise Cloud Management software company. With Abiquo, organizations can use Business Policy to manage an entire, globally deployed, computing infrastructure comprising unlimited physical and Cloud resources including private, public and hybrid Clouds through a “single pane of glass”. As a result, Abiquo customers are able to significantly decrease the cost and complexity of managing their virtual IT environments, while maintaining control of the physical infrastructure and increasing agility to change hypervisors as needed.
Cloud Computing Bootcamp at Cloud Expo 2011 Silicon Valley
Want to make sense of the hottest new concept in Enterprise IT? Want to understand in just hours what experts have spent many hundreds of days deciphering? Cloud computing is a technology that has rapidly evolving peppered with a lot of hype along the way. Customers find it hard to navigate through this and make sense of what aspects of this technology will give them real business benefit. Cloud Computing Bootcamp, led by our 2011 Bootcamp Instructor Larry Carvalho, is a great way to get a practical understanding of this technology. We offer multiple days of actionable insight into what vendor offerings are currently available and help you comprehend their strategy. The ever-popular Bootcamp, which is now held regularly around the world, is being held in conjunction with the 9th Cloud Expo, November 7-10, 2011, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA.
The Secret Behind The Incredible Growth of Cloud Expo
I can't comprehend that any event producer anywhere in the world today would answer this question by picking any one of the five available options presented. "A leading tool?" What do you mean by "a leading tool?" What other tools would you possibly have in this day and age? This question, the survey itself and its participants belong to the last decade. I personally don't use email anymore; I communicate through "Twitter." We don't do press releases unless we have to; we tweet stories to our roughly 12,000 followers in 8 channels. The news gets amplified to hundreds of thousands instantly. Even during Cloud Expo, we reach more people by Twitter than the announcements we make through loudspeakers in the convention centers. I would love to contact the people who are conducting this survey and ask them if any company answered their first question as "don't really consider it." In an age where I personally hail a cab at an airport through Twitter, I can't possibly comprehend which century bubble those people might be living in.
CTO Power Panel: Has Cloud Changed Enterprise IT?
Is there still a distinction between public, private and hybrid cloud? In this fast-moving high-level CTO Power Panel held at the 8th International Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, June 6-9, 2011, Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan discusses this and other topics such as cloud security and innovation in the cloud with Rich Wolski, CTO and Co-founder of Eucalyptus Systems; Vineet Tyagi, Head of Impetus Labs at Impetus Technologies; Bill Zack, Architect Evangelist with Microsoft; Scott Chasin, CTO at McAfee Content & Cloud; Mark Hinkle, Vice President of Community at Cloud.com; Logan McLeod, Director of Cloud Strategy at Dell; and Zach Smith, COO at Voxel.
A selection of some of the many themes & topics to be discussed at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley (9th Cloud Expo) - being held November 7-10, 2011, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. The markets may still be melting, but Cloud Expo is definitely coming of age! In his Cloud Expo session, The Basics of Automating a Cloud Storage Service, Abiquo's Azmir Mohamed will be discussiong how the complexity of combining server virtualization with storage virtualization, automation, self-service catalogs and other enabling technologies has become a huge barrier for the IT teams who have to deliver the cloud services. The good news, he will be telling Cloud Expo delegates, is that some cloud vendors have recognized this issue and have partnered to deliver integrated solutions offering the flexibility and cost benefits of cloud on top of familiar infrastructure products. At the 8th International Cloud Computing Expo in New York City in June 2011, Jill Tummler Singer - CIO of the National Reconnaissance Office - answered the question: "Is Enterprise Cloud Computing for real?" In a follow-on session at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley (9th Cloud Expo), called Riding the Enterprise Cloud Computing Wave of Change into the Future, she will be discussing key elements needed for a triumphant enterprise cloud computing migration and highlight strategies (including security advantages found in the cloud) to ensure that no one crashes and gets caught in the riptide of this rapidly emerging technology.
Abiquo CEO Pete Malcolm to Keynote at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley
There is one constant in data centers: Application groups always need more. Until recently, apps have been at the mercy of IT operations to feed their need. In his Keynote at the 9th International Cloud Expo, Pete Malcolm will discuss how with the advent of public cloud offerings, apps can bypass ops entirely and get the resources they need with just a few clicks and a credit card. What does this mean for the future of IT ops? Pete Malcolm is CEO of Abiquo, a leading vendor of Cloud infrastructure management solutions. Described by SYS-CON's Jeremy Geelan as "a beacon of light amid the murky fog surrounding Cloud Computing", Malcolm is the inventor of the term "Resource Cloud", a concept which provides complete separation between physical infrastructure providers and virtual enterprise consumers, with substantial benefits to both. Malcolm was previously founder and CTO of Orchestria, Benchmark Capital's first European Entrepreneur-in-Residence, and a Senior Vice President with CA, Inc.
The World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Computing Bloggers Live on Cloud Expo Website!
Ulitzer.com announced "the World's 30 most influential Cloud bloggers," who collectively generated more than 24 million Ulitzer page views. Ulitzer's annual "most influential Cloud bloggers" list was announced at Cloud Expo, which drew more delegates than all other Cloud-related events put together worldwide. "The world's 50 most influential Cloud bloggers 2010" list will be announced at the Cloud Expo 2010 East, which will take place April 19-21, 2010, at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center, in New York City, with more than 5,000 expected to attend.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is becoming one of the next industry buzz words. It joins the ranks of terms including: grid computing, utility computing, virtualization, clustering, etc. Cloud computing overlaps some of the concepts of distributed, grid and utility computing, however it does have its own meaning if contextually used correctly. The conceptual overlap is partly due to technology changes, usages and implementations over the years. Trends in usage of the terms from Google searches shows Cloud Computing is a relatively new term introduced in the past year. There has also been a decline in general interest of Grid, Utility and Distributed computing. Likely they will be around in usage for quit a while to come. But Cloud computing has become the new buzz word driven largely by marketing and service offerings from big corporate players like Google, IBM and Amazon.
Cloud Expo, Inc. Announces Cloud Expo 2012 New York Venue
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Expo 2012 New York, the 10th International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo, will take place June 11-14, 2012, at the Javits Center in New York City. The International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo series is the world's leading Cloud-focused event and is held three times a year, in New York, Silicon Valley and in Europe. Over 400 corporate sponsors and 20,000 industry professionals have participated in Cloud Expo since its inception, more than all other Cloud-related events put together. "10th Cloud Expo is trending to be both the biggest ever and the best-attended event in the international Cloud Expo series to date, so it is only natural that we should be holding it in the biggest and best conference venue anywhere on the East Coast, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center," stated Carmen Gonzalez, CEO of Cloud Expo. "If you are not at Cloud Expo New York, June 11-14, at the Javits Center, then you risk not getting the relevant parts of your IT infrastructure into the Cloud in time."
Top Two Technology Priorities for CIOs in 2011: Cloud & Virtualization
"New infrastructure and operations technologies such as cloud services and virtualization ... were selected by CIOs the most often and are the top-two technologies for 2011," said Mark McDonald, group vice president and head of research for Gartner Executive Programs, as the results were announced of the 2011 CIO Agenda survey by Gartner Executive Programs (EXP). The worldwide CIO survey was conducted by Gartner EXP from September to December 2010 and represents CIO budget plans reported at that time. According to the results, CIOs expect to adopt new cloud services much faster than originally expected. Currently, 3% of CIOs have the majority of IT running in the cloud or on SaaS technologies, but over the next four years CIOs expect this number to increase to 43%.
Cloud Expo, Inc. Registers Worldwide Cloud Expo (TM) Trademark
Cloud Expo, Cloud Expo East, Cloud Expo West, Cloud Expo Silicon Valley, Cloud Expo Europe, Cloud Expo Tokyo, Cloud Expo Prague, Cloud Expo Hong Kong, Cloud Expo Sao Paolo are trademarks and /or registered trademarks (USPTO serial number 85009040) of Cloud Expo, Inc.
The World's Most Influential Blogs