Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Jim Hansen, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Aruna Ravichandran

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, Cloud Security, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Critical Enterprise Applications and Cloud Deployments

The 7% solution (so far)

New technologies always generate hype. To cut through the hype and find the value, you have to see how things fit in the real world, both in implementation and in actual realized benefits.

That's one of the reasons BlueStripe Software conducts an annual survey of IT Operations executives. It sheds light on their needs, their aspirations, and "what keeps them up at night." We've uncovered some interesting trends, and this year was no different when we asked about service delivery, performance monitoring tools, and the cloud.

It's conventional wisdom that the cloud is "good for IT" - that it can enable faster time to deployment, savings in capital and operating expense, consolidated infrastructure management, and flexible capacity scaling on demand. With that in mind, one number that stuck out in this year's survey was seven - the percentage of executives who said they have committed to investing in public or hybrid cloud solutions for their critical applications this year.

Seven percent? Didn't we just agree that everybody thinks that the cloud is good? How did this number end up so low?

It's useful to look at the makeup of the survey respondents at this point, because it has a lot to do with the 7%. The 2013 survey interviewed 166 IT Operations executives from large enterprise companies. While these companies are enthusiastic adopters of virtualization and private cloud (75% have deployed more than half their applications on those technologies), they tend to shy away from public cloud for their most critical applications.

A key reason enterprise IT shops have largely avoided public cloud services for critical applications is that those applications tend to include highly sensitive back-end systems and data, performing everything from building insurance policies to executing large volumes of financial transactions. They want to retain complete control and security over these systems - which they can't do if their applications are running in a public cloud service (or so they think).

Let's go back to the question of deployment. While only seven percent had committed, 65% of respondents said they were considering a public or hybrid cloud implementation. The value of cloud is still alluring to operations executives, but there's still work to be done to overcome the insecurity about - well - the insecurity.

The door is open, though. What do those executives need to see to step through that door? That information came out in the other areas of the 2013 survey. Specifically, IT executives were asked about satisfaction with their performance monitoring tools (especially around business services and applications). The numbers aren't pretty. Sixty-three percent were unsatisfied with their Application Performance Management (APM) tools, and 75% of executives were unsatisfied with their Business Service Monitoring (BSM) tools. Considering the cost - and IT Operations criticality - tied to these specific tools, those numbers are bad.

Those numbers pale, though, when compared to the percentage of respondents who said at least 25% of the time their tools couldn't find the cause of high priority application problems - 81%! Let that number soak in. These tools fail to accomplish the thing they're supposed to do one out of every four outages. Let's look at that number a different way. If the tool were an employee, that employee would simply slip out the door at 3 o'clock Thursday and show up for work again on Monday - every single week. I don't think it's a stretch to say that the answer to this question sheds light on the dissatisfaction results.

These bad feelings about management tool capabilities and effectiveness, combined with the fear of the loss of control in the first place, are at the heart of why large enterprise IT teams aren't moving to public cloud in droves. That could all be changing soon, though. The answer is hybrid cloud.

A properly architected application in a hybrid cloud environment puts user access systems into a public cloud service, while keeping the critical transaction systems on premise in the data center. This gives IT teams the best of both worlds: "unlimited" on-demand scalability for user requests on the front end, coupled with the security and control they need for their back-end systems. An application designed and deployed this way will alleviate the security and control concerns enterprise IT executives have with cloud systems.

There is one last piece, though, needed to complete the enterprise IT picture of a properly deployed hybrid cloud application - effective performance and availability management. Remember those dissatisfaction percentage numbers, 63 and 75? If IT executives can't trust their management tools in the data center, how can they rely on them to help in the cloud? The answer lies in transaction monitoring. The type of transaction monitoring needed for hybrid clouds hasn't been available long. The traditional APM and BSM tools aren't really built for it, but there are a set of solutions now that can track transactions across the data center and through the cloud.

With these tools in place, IT operations teams can track transactions across different application components in the cloud, in addition to the data center. Even better, some of them can even tie those two sides together to get a complete end-to-end view of any given transaction from the web request, through the cloud and into the back-end data center systems. This final step in the management evolution means that IT teams can deploy their critical applications in hybrid environments, scale on demand, secure their back-end systems, and manage performance and availability across both.

Who knows? Next year, we might have most of that 65% of "considering the cloud" executives answer that they're deployed in a hybrid environment and that they're actually happy with their performance management tools. Well, at least their transaction management tools.

More Stories By Vic Nyman

Vic Nyman is the co-founder and COO of BlueStripe Software. He has over 20 years of experience in systems management and APM and has held leadership positions at Wily Technology, IBM Tivoli and Relicore/Symantec.

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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud enviro...
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
The security needs of IoT environments require a strong, proven approach to maintain security, trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vic...
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, discussed the impact of technology on identity. Sho...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus o...
Providing secure, mobile access to sensitive data sets is a critical element in realizing the full potential of cloud computing. However, large data caches remain inaccessible to edge devices for reasons of security, size, format or limited viewing capabilities. Medical imaging, computer aided design and seismic interpretation are just a few examples of industries facing this challenge. Rather than fighting for incremental gains by pulling these datasets to edge devices, we need to embrace the i...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).