The AWS re:Invent floor this year was much more vibrant than last year. It included remarkable cloud products’ promotions made by the 189 conference sponsors, some of which only began their ventures one year ago. Naturally, the ‘experienced’ vendors made themselves known, with more lavish displays and a larger staff headcount, but that is to be expected.
In this post series, I will raise some basic questions and will delve deeply into this topic to debate the common resistance to what I call “pure cloud deployment”.
Let’s begin with a leading question: Can’t the hybrid economy model live within the public cloud? From the enormous number of conversations with top cloud thought leaders, CIOs, startups, and the like, it seems that the answer is YES.
The cloud market is young, despite AWS’ growth and current worth of a few billion dollars. Most of the enterprise’s IT resources are still hosted on the organizational premise of using VMware hypervisor. The enterprise hybrid cloud challenge is hidden in the cloud utility model’s basic notion of hardware as software, whereas legacy application performance and usages are still based on physical resources capabilities. This difference is the greatest factor when it comes to discussing the evolution pace of the `enterprise grade cloud`. The CIO today is required to show cloud adoption and IT operations’ efficiency. This is consequentially triggering new startups to evolve in efforts to facilitate IT resources to close this existing gap. What follows is a story of such a startup that, in my opinion, has a real chance at becoming a leader in this intermediary cloud adoption phase and the hybrid cloud ultimate enabler, Ravello Systems.
Cloud brokers were recognized and described by Gartner analysts as the `Intermediary services that support fast cloud adoption`. From their customers’ perspectives cloud brokers are the system integrators (SI) or the `cloud enablers` that support fast adoption and maintenance of cloud technologies. For example, the independent software vendor (ISV) can benefit greatly from a cloud managed service provider (MSP) starting with integrating into the underlying cloud infrastructure, all the way up to the offering stack wrappers, such as service provisioning methodologies’ implementation. From the cloud provider’s perspective, cloud brokers are key customers, value-added resellers and aggregators of its cloud services.
In this article, I cover the perceptions, evolution and future of cloud brokerage in great detail.
Following several discussions with fellow bloggers and industry executives, I found it quite fitting that the natural cloud leaders are the top software and web giants: Google, Microsoft and Amazon. While Amazon’s AWS is The public cloud today Google recently reported that it is doubling its office space near Seattle, just miles from the campuses of Amazon and Microsoft, in order to expand its cloud technology team and engineers. Over two years prior to these Google’s expansion news, Microsoft reported that 90% of its R&D investment was earmarked for cloud technology. Last month they finally announced that Windows Azure Cloud Services now support auto-scaling. For these reasons and more, the following points will strengthen the trivial perception that cloud technologies should and will prosper in the hands of this software giant trio.
A while back, I was starting up an EC2 instance on the AWS cloud when it entered an endless restart loop. All the application deployment efforts we’d made (installation and service configuration) over two weeks just went down the drain. So we called support. The support rep redirected us to his team leader who simply told us that, as indicated in the SLA, we had to abide by the shared responsibility model and they were not liable for our loss.
The benefits of migrating workloads between different cloud providers or between private and public clouds can only truly be redeemed with an understanding of the cloud business model and cloud workload management. It seems that cloud adoption has reached the phase where advanced cloud users are creating their own hybrid solutions or migrating between clouds while striving to achieve interoperability values within their systems. This article aims to answer some of the questions that arise when managing cloud workloads.