Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Cloud Computing, DevOps and Business Velocity

Cloud computing and DevOps are certainly taking the world by storm

Sometimes you just need to stop and contemplate Larry Ellison’s comment about the computer industry in general and cloud computing specifically.

“The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It’s complete gibberish. It’s insane. When is this idiocy going to stop? ―Larry Ellison

Cloud computing and DevOps are certainly taking the world by storm with promises of transforming the way that business will access and use technology. Cloud computing represents the consolidation of compute resources inside the data center and the use of all applications and infrastructure outside the data center. DevOps is transforming the processes around delivery of applications and data to its user base by instituting more automation and collaboration between the parties responsible for building and deploying.

When combined, businesses can successfully implement a design, build, test, stage, deploy and operate process that has the ability to use various infrastructure and application platforms. In turn, businesses can use this process to more easily implement disaster recovery, high availability and greater scalability in the most economically appropriate manner.

Make no bones about it, I am a believer and an evangelist of this approach. That said, I’m also a pragmatist and believe that the hype needs to be tempered. For example, there has been significant hype around the new Docker technology. Docker is an open source project backed by a commercial company of the same name. Docker enables applications to be containerized so that they can be packaged and reused across platforms. If you read the reviews, Docker is the greatest contribution to virtualization since the emulator and going to revolutionize the aforementioned process I defined above. After getting hands on with the technology, which Docker admits is still not ready for production enterprise deployments, what I found was a very good technology for homogenizing Linux distributions. However, it doesn’t operate on Solaris, Windows or AIX. Yet, the Docker fanbois are out in force diminishing the value of automation tools, such as Chef, which can operate across a heterogeneous environment, such as the ones you would find in any Fortune 2000 business.

My point is that the speed and velocity with which cloud computing and DevOps is penetrating IT creates a vacuum that is filled with accurate and questionable information. Business velocity is a metric that is used to measure the ability of a business to absorb the many changes that seem to follow adoption of cloud, DevOps or both. Business velocity is comprised of three key elements:

  • The desire of the business for IT to change
  • The range of time required to fully embrace and deliver based on a change
  • Competitive pressures due to industry events and competitors

While it may be advantageous to implement the build-to-operate process, it may not be pragmatic in the current business cycle. For example, retailers cannot absorb significant changes like this three months prior to the Christmas shopping season. Banks cannot absorb changes of this ilk three months before year end close. Hence, in these situations the range of time is limited to achieve training and implementation to achieve this goal. So, it could take upwards of two business cycles to facilitate getting the right resources in place and then implement the proposed changes. Hence, their business velocity is constrained by these factors.

That said, many retailers are in a struggle to compete against online retailers and specifically the giant, Amazon. Two years is two years too long to implement changes that will allow them better inventory control, better customer experience and the agility to drive a brick and mortar retail chain in a manner that competes with an online only presence. For these businesses, competitive pressures override the constrained business velocity and force the business to absorb these changes much more quickly.

While this is seemingly common sense, there are many businesses that fail to stop and take account of their business velocity before engaging in projects that use cloud and DevOps. The results are often less than stellar because they may get interrupted by competing priorities, lack of appropriate time and/or resources or simply the hurdle created by the parts of the business that are risk averse and don’t see value in this change. The latter happens a lot more than people realize in large organizations. Individuals often put their own concerns for their roles and stature above the needs of the business.

A little pragmatism goes a long way. Sure, everyone wants to be part of the cloud and DevOps train because as Larry stated, “…we’re more fashion-driven than women’s fashion.” It is imperative upon management to take honest accounting of your business’ velocity as a means of tempering how and when you will embrace these technologies in your own organization.

More Stories By JP Morgenthal

JP Morgenthal is a veteran IT solutions executive and Distinguished Engineer with CSC. He has been delivering IT services to business leaders for the past 30 years and is a recognized thought-leader in applying emerging technology for business growth and innovation. JP's strengths center around transformation and modernization leveraging next generation platforms and technologies. He has held technical executive roles in multiple businesses including: CTO, Chief Architect and Founder/CEO. Areas of expertise for JP include strategy, architecture, application development, infrastructure and operations, cloud computing, DevOps, and integration. JP is a published author with four trade publications with his most recent being “Cloud Computing: Assessing the Risks”. JP holds both a Masters and Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from Hofstra University.

Latest Stories
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
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 ...
So you think you are a DevOps warrior, huh? Put your money (not really, it’s free) where your metrics are and prove it by taking The Ultimate DevOps Geek Quiz Challenge, sponsored by DevOps Summit. Battle through the set of tough questions created by industry thought leaders to earn your bragging rights and win some cool prizes.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
Governments around the world are adopting Safe Harbor privacy provisions to protect customer data from leaving sovereign territories. Increasingly, global companies are required to create new instances of their server clusters in multiple countries to keep abreast of these new Safe Harbor laws. Is it worth it? In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Adam Rogers, Managing Director of Anexia, Inc., will discuss how to keep your data legal and still stay in business.
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions 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. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn 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. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Successful transition from traditional IT to cloud computing requires three key ingredients: an IT architecture that allows companies to extend their internal best practices to the cloud, a cost point that allows economies of scale, and automated processes that manage risk exposure and maintain regulatory compliance with industry regulations (FFIEC, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, FISMA). The unique combination of VMware, the IBM Cloud, and Cloud Raxak, a 2016 Gartner Cool Vendor in IT Automation, provides a co...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...