Welcome!

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Opinion

For Cloud Computing Solutions, Look for Business Outcomes, Not Definitions

Maturing cloud technologies help organizations build solutions to meet their business needs

A couple of weeks ago, I attended IBM's Cloud Innovation Analyst Forum in Chicago. The event kicked off with a panel discussion where company customers, including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Top Coder and Colleagues in Care, discussed their experiences with solutions powered by IBM cloud technologies. The benefits that the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee gained in reducing SAP client set-up time by 90% was especially impressive and went right into the heart of the problem of supporting 80,000 students in multiple campus settings. Reducing backup time by 99% overcame time constraints and helped reduce their risk as well.

Interestingly, some of the analysts in the audience expressed concern about whether this was really a cloud solution. In fact, we often hear that using virtualization and application service provider (ASP) or other hosting models does not qualify as a cloud solution. To an extent, these concerns are right as SaaS providers do utilize different architecture models, like web services fine-tuned to provide multi-tenancy applications with a low entry point for consumers. As an example, SalesForce has entry points as low as $50 a year for basic contact management capability that can be enhanced with full web service capabilities for approximately $300 a year.

From an IT perspective, cloud computing is really a management layer, mostly on top of virtualization, that supports a portfolio of service capabilities like security, elasticity, provisioning and configuration management. Customers can pick just one or several of the capabilities that most appropriately address their specific challenges, allowing them to harvest low hanging fruit with the least effort.

As a result, cloud computing has grown from its infancy to an adolescent with a wealth of benefits that customers cannot ignore. If they choose to craft a solution that does not meet a formal or full definition of cloud computing, that should not dissuade them or their technology providers in spreading the word of the value they gained.

After running 300+ CloudCamps all over the world, their co-founder, Dave Nielsen, came up with a simple definition of cloud computing. Is it OSSM (aka Awesome) in the sense of having the characteristics of: On-demand, Self-Service, Scalability and Measurement? Many or even most solutions typically have some measure of all of these. However, if your solution is less than OSSM in that it does not meet all of these requirements, it is something worth implementing in order to meet business challenges.

Today, cloud computing is moving into a more mature stage. Customers are no longer asking "What is cloud?" but "How do I leverage it?" In the case of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the maximum benefit was successfully provisioning and backing-up self-service SAP instances to students. Small customers and departmental applications may not need a Cadillac version of a cloud computing solution but could gain significant advantage over competitors by just finding the path of least resistance. While leveraging new technologies, customers look to gain maximum benefit and do not (and should not) prioritize meeting cloud definitions while optimizing the IT environments.

In conclusion, let's accept that cloud computing has gone beyond its initial phases and has evolved to a fairly mature level. It is time to get past the definitions and celebrate the value that the technology brings to individual customer solutions. It is time for customers to ask whether every investment they make takes advantage of at least some benefits of cloud technology.

Disclosure: IBM paid for a one night stay in Chicago

PS: If interested in keeping up with the maturing and evolution of cloud computing, please attend the Cloud Computing bootcamp in NYC held as a track with CloudExpo. The agenda is constantly transforming along with the ecosystem.

More Stories By Larry Carvalho

Larry Carvalho runs Robust Cloud LLC, an advisory services company helping various ecosystem players develop a strategy to take advantage of cloud computing. As the 2010-12 Instructor of Cloud Expo's popular Cloud Computing Bootcamp, he has already led the bootcamp in New York, Silicon Valley, and Prague, receiving strong positive feedback from attendees about the value gained at these events. Carvalho has facilitated all-day sessions at customer locations to set a clear roadmap and gain consensus among attendees on strategy and product direction. He has participated in multiple discussion panels focused on cloud computing trends at information technology events, and he has delivered all-day cloud computing training to customers in conjunction with CloudCamps. To date, his role has taken him to clients in three continents.

Latest Stories
Actian Corporation has announced the latest version of the Actian Vector in Hadoop (VectorH) database, generally available at the end of July. VectorH is based on the same query engine that powers Actian Vector, which recently doubled the TPC-H benchmark record for non-clustered systems at the 3000GB scale factor (see tpc.org/3323). The ability to easily ingest information from different data sources and rapidly develop queries to make better business decisions is becoming increasingly importan...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Kubernetes, Docker and containers are changing the world, and how companies are deploying their software and running their infrastructure. With the shift in how applications are built and deployed, new challenges must be solved. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, will discuss the implications of containerized applications/infrastructures and their impact on the enterprise. In a real world example based on Kubernetes, he will show how to ...
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. 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 Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Aspose.Total for .NET is the most complete package of all file format APIs for .NET as offered by Aspose. It empowers developers to create, edit, render, print and convert between a wide range of popular document formats within any .NET, C#, ASP.NET and VB.NET applications. Aspose compiles all .NET APIs on a daily basis to ensure that it contains the most up to date versions of each of Aspose .NET APIs. If a new .NET API or a new version of existing APIs is released during the subscription peri...
SYS-CON Events announced today that StarNet Communications will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. StarNet Communications’ FastX is the industry first cloud-based remote X Windows emulator. Using standard Web browsers (FireFox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) users from around the world gain highly secure access to applications and data hosted on Linux-based servers in a central data center. ...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. 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 dev...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
StarNet Communications Corp has announced the addition of three Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. The new modules enable X-Win32 to safely tunnel the remote desktops from Linux and Unix servers to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. Traditionally, users of PC X servers deploy the XDMCP protocol to display remote desktop environments such as the Gnome and KDE desktops on Linux servers and the CDE environment on Solaris Unix machines. XDMCP is used primarily on comp...
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, 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 world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...