SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Kevin Benedict, Rich Waidmann, Pat Romanski, Michael Jannery, Javier Paniza

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, Linux, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

A Hybrid Future: Blending Public and Private Clouds

An exclusive Q&A with Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech

"Organizations take time to evolve. That's why we're bound for a hybrid future, where public and private clouds blend to create a shared infrastructure that spans application, organization and data center boundaries," noted Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo conference chairs Larry Carvalho and Vanessa Alvarez.

Cloud Computing Journal: How are cloud standards playing a role in expanding adoption among users? Are standards helping new business models for service providers?

Esmeralda Swartz: I think enterprises made the adoption choice based on the business need for cheap and good enough at the expense of transparency, security and privacy. Standards have played a role in eliminating fear and building trust thereby increasing adoption. For example, when you are picking a cloud provider and they produce certification, you know that they're being audited and adhering to common standards. We now need to move to the user experience and extend control to users and empowering them.

In addition, the big players are not portable, say from Azure to AWS or vice versa, as an example. Other stack vendors and projects attempt to emulate a market leader like Amazon but I wouldn't call that a standard. Within IaaS, we're still using traditional machine-by-machine management tooling internal to a deployment like Puppet or other tools. Some are beginning to use advanced cloud provider management API-based tools, but that's the least portable part. Customers don't want to suffer a new form of lock-in. Until managing your cloud infrastructure is common with your traditional infrastructure people will hold back.

Cloud Computing Journal: How are hybrid clouds evolving to allow the coexistence of private and public clouds? What are the challenges to meeting a true hybrid cloud scenario?

Swartz: Organizations take time to evolve. That's why we're bound for a hybrid future, where public and private clouds blend to create a shared infrastructure that spans application, organization and data center boundaries. Companies need the freedom to evolve and optimize applications and data for SLAs tuned for price, policy and performance. A future that blends the best of public and private clouds, provides the right balance of an elastic cloud infrastructure to meet the range of requirements from applications and users.

Private clouds are a natural starting point for an enterprise and by setting down this path, most enterprises will end up with hybrid, one that leverages their private cloud investment and provides for a public cloud future. Hybrids are also inadvertently solving the standards problem. While starting with the private data center to cloud data center co-existence model, this will evolve from a simple cloud to a common cloud management layer, whether the cloud in question is public or private. These platforms are going to wrap up the underlying proprietary APIs and become the new control panel for IT.

Cloud Computing Journal: Are on-premise software vendors successfully migrating their business model to a SaaS model? What are the challenges faced in this journey?

Swartz: It's a tough and unforgiving road. For SaaS, investors are focused on growth and not margins whereas if you are an on-premise vendor transitioning to SaaS, investors don't like margin hits and expect delivery of both growth as well as margins without slips during the transition. It is possible to achieve economies of scale and to keep the overall cost down and share and integrate business functions during the transition. We are seeing more common sense applied to the SaaS dream. When packaged software vendors try to move to the purest technology point of view where certain architectures are dictated that's a tough challenge.

There is no question that on-premise providers are adopting the principles of SaaS, such as continuous delivery of new features and increasing value at a reduced cost beyond the initial license to the customer. Some on-premise vendors can't make this cultural shift and still cave in to delivering one-off and bespoke versions to make deals happen. Ironically we are seeing SaaS vendors do the same, which is a particularly slippery slope. We recognized that the inevitable evolution path is user-driven configuration. We have a configurable on-premise cloud platform and a SaaS-based platform. For some customers SaaS is a fit, for others it is not. We don't have to dictate the business model our customers must fit into. You'll often hear customers want SaaS because they want lower prices. Customers care about increasing ROI and driving down TCO with reduced time to revenue, irrespective of the delivery model.

Cloud Computing Journal: With several vendors lowering costs for infrastructure, is there a way for new cloud service providers entering this space to make money?

Swartz: If you are entering the market based on price alone, then don't bother; the big players are already battling it out on price, where even the winner loses. You're better off starting with at least PaaS or better yet delivering value-add on top of an existing infrastructure provider. The only possible exception to this is companies that must have massive infrastructure under their control. For example, Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) are going to cause communications providers to transform their proprietary hardware into massive farms of commodity computing and network infrastructure. Selling excess capacity to customers is reasonable as is packaging value add options that will appeal to enterprises. We'll see the traditional subscription model supplemented by a wide variety of per-occasion charges (premium and discount) and short-term and long-term relationships that will come and go on a continual basis.

Cloud Computing Journal: What are the challenges for end users to adopt a new model for application development using Platform as a Service? Are vendors doing enough to meet their needs?

Swartz: Four years ago when presented with this question it seemed clear to us that PaaS was far superior to IaaS and SaaS. You control the application, it's your code and the only thing you really have to worry about is the application itself.Why would we want the overhead of IT managing and patching machines and licensing OS and other basic software? With PaaS our developers could develop as always and adopt a DevOps strategy from day one, making the whole process streamlined and efficient for delivering application services. Perhaps developers are just distrustful and rely on fine-grained machine tuning for too many things to let go of the hardware even if it is virtual. We expect people to move to PaaS more vigorously in the future but that opens its own portability and standards problems.

More Stories By Pat Romanski

News Desk compiles and publishes breaking news stories, press releases and latest news articles as they happen.

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.


Latest Stories
CloudBees, Inc., has announced a $23.5 million financing round, led by longtime CloudBees investor Lightspeed Venture Partners. Existing investors Matrix Partners, Verizon Ventures and Blue Cloud Ventures also participated in the round. The latest funding announcement follows earlier rounds of $4 million, $10.5 million and $10.8 million, bringing the total investment in CloudBees to just under $50 million since the company’s inception in 2010. Previous venture investment rounds were led by Ma...
AppDynamics, the application intelligence leader for software-defined businesses, announced the general availability of the AppDynamics Fall '14 Release. Serving the combined needs of IT and business teams across the enterprise, the latest release provides a comprehensive view across all aspects of digital performance in ultra large scale deployments. AppDynamics delivers Application Intelligence by building out advanced capabilities across the key areas of analytics, unified monitoring and D...
In this Women in Technology Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO at MetraTech; Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems; Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies; Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell Inc.; Anne Hungate, Senior Director of Software Quality at DIRECTV, discussed what path they took to find their spot within the tec...
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise be...
The cloud is becoming the de-facto way for enterprises to leverage common infrastructure while innovating and one of the biggest obstacles facing public cloud computing is security. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jeff Aliber, a global marketing executive at Verizon, discussed how the best place for web security is in the cloud. Benefits include: Functions as the first layer of defense Easy operation –CNAME change Implement an integrated solution Best architecture for addressing network-l...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. 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...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Appcore deploys cloud for service providers based on the Apache Cloud set. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Nate Gordon, Director of Technology at Appcore, shows their new product that's coming out in January - Appcore Atlas, which is focused on deploying private clouds based on CloudStack in 15 minutes or less. Our upcoming June 9-11, 2015, event in New York City will present a total of 10 simultaneous tracks (the largest conference content in the world) by an all-star faculty, over three days...
Amazon, Google and Facebook are household names in part because of their mastery of Big Data. But what about organizations without billions of dollars to spend on Big Data tools - how can they extract value from their data? In his session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Ali Ghodsi, Co-Founder and Head of Engineering at Databricks, discussed how the zero management cost and scalability of the cloud is addressing the challenges and pain points that data engineers face when working with Big Data. He also s...
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, ...
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of present...
IBM has announced a new strategic technology services agreement with Anthem, Inc., a health benefits company in the U.S. IBM has been selected to provide operational services for Anthem's mainframe and data center server and storage infrastructure for the next five years. Among the benefits of the relationship, Anthem has the ability to leverage IBM Cloud solutions that will help increase the ease, availability and speed of adding infrastructure to support new business requirements.
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Today, IT is not just a cost center. IT is an enabler and driver of business. With the emergence of the hybrid cloud paradigm, IT now has increasingly more capabilities to create new strategic opportunities for a business. Hybrid cloud allows an organization to utilize multi-tenant public clouds, dedicated private clouds, bare metal hosting, and the associated support and services for the right use cases through an on-demand, XaaS model. This model of IT creates tremendous opportunities for busi...
DevOps means different things to different people. Qubell defines DevOps as the ability for the developer teams to do what they need to do to have this level of self-service. At DevOps Summit, Stan Klimoff, CTO of Qubell, demos the enterprise DevOps platform.