|By Shawn Douglass||
|June 22, 2013 06:30 AM EDT||
I have a confession. I am Shadow IT. I am the guilty party operations and security love to hate because I expense tens of thousands of dollars in cloud services...every month. Truth be told, my team and I couldn't afford to wait in line for IT to provision the resources we needed to begin work. We had goals to meet and objectives to achieve - all of which didn't include waiting in line for IT to give us virtual machines, development platforms or set up sandboxes so we could begin work.
With a lengthy approval process and cost justifications, there was no way I would have been able to secure either the physical infrastructure or cloud vendor approvals I needed to achieve the business unit's goals. And, honestly, the risk of choosing a vendor that would leak our data, or otherwise put the business at risk, seemed a lot lower than the risk of not getting my job done.
So, even though my monthly cloud bill continued to rise, it didn't surprise me too much that I was never questioned about the expense because my team was delivering. And, that is exactly what everyone from the business side of things cares about - is development creating new applications and/or services that can be brought to market before the competition? Can we secure ‘first-mover' status or market leadership because development is firing on all cylinders? These are the questions marketing, business development, and other teams ask. Not, did central IT get you those VMs you needed?
In talking to others, I know I'm not alone. And, yet, I intrinsically know there has to be a better way than to submit an expense report with fingers crossed every month. Which is why I am coming out of the Shadow.
The Real Problem
From my seat, the real problem is that the entire system is caught in a vicious cycle of process, governance and pig throwing. What do I mean? Limited central IT resources and a focus on infrastructure management limit the ability to allocate development resources and slows development's ability to innovate at the pace needed to match business requirements. Security and audit insert additional approvals and manual steps that need to be followed throughout the application lifecycle that adds drag to the system, and dev is often accused of throwing the proverbial pig over the wall to operations. And, anything and everything that goes wrong from that point forward is blamed on development's "pig".
The problem is exacerbated by pressure from the business - from beating small, nimble competitors to market to ensuring compliance and cutting budgets - that adds stress to the system. Operating in an "application economy" however, this system should run like a well-oiled machine.
Greasing System Dynamics with DevOps
DevOps may just hold the key in the application economy. In case you are unfamiliar with DevOps, it stemmed from Enterprise Systems Management and Agile software development methodologies, with an emphasis on communication, collaboration and integration between dev and IT Operations. And, most importantly, DevOps focuses on improving reliability and security while speeding development and deployment cycles at each phase of the application lifecycle--from conception and creation, to testing, QA, and product delivery.
DevOps also helps with release management by standardizing development environments, which gives development greater control because they can program to give apps the full knowledge of the supporting infrastructure. DevOps may well be the cure in the application economy because it automates as much of the operational process as possible, which speeds hand-offs, allows for automatic integration of processes and even governance and security controls.
When the Cloud Helps & When it Doesn't
While DevOps sounds great, when you couple it with some of the promises of cloud computing, it gets even better. For example, one of the core tenets of the cloud is IT-as-a-service, which translates into self-service access for development to the complete development platforms they need, when they need them. Take these resources, begin coding in your tool(s) of choice, and you are off to the races! One thing I learned when contracting with cloud service providers is that this full-service model is much better than renting Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) because the team was still responsible for managing middleware which is unnecessarily time consuming. If the VM is running, your provider is doing their job. Period.
Some IT organizations think IaaS is the place to start with DevOps. I'm of the mind that spinning up VMs faster is about as exciting as watching grass grow - I'm already getting that from the public cloud providers I've been covertly using. It gets you a fraction of the way there, but doesn't really address the spectrum of how DevOps can help break IT out of its box and create a dynamic system that is the rocket fuel of the company's growth. Let me break it down a bit. DevOps, supported by a self-service cloud environment, nets development:
- Standardized Environments: With on-demand access to entire application platforms that are already standardized and pre-configured to resemble IT's production environment, dev can create and deploy apps across the lifecycle without the tedium and bottlenecks that occur at each phase of the software development lifecycle today. Development can occur in any language, regardless of the final platform, and dev can focus on developing high-value, innovative applications. Between a greater focus on code, and access to standardized environments, apps are more likely to excel in quality and be less likely to need rework, or cause production hiccups.
- Streamlined Release to Production: A cloud-based DevOps model allows teams to automate release management, using an organization's existing approval processes supported by automatic provisioning of application deployment environments. By streamlining across the development-to-operations lifecycle, teams are able to keep pace with faster change by automating and standardizing tasks that are manually configured today, creating less room for ‘fat finger' errors and the resultant problem resolution.
- Built-In Business Policy: Cut the vicious cycle by working with IT and security to provision policies as part and parcel of the standardized environment. By integrating policy early, you increase confidence in the process across the board, eradicating operations' ability to label your new baby nothing but a pig with lipstick.
By working with IT across the software development lifecycle via cloud-based DevOps, development teams can decrease software bottlenecks, increase code output and be seen as drivers of the business. And, who doesn't want a well-oiled machine that drives the company forward? It's much better than holding your breath for a call from accounting about that $20,000 AWS expense.
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud without worrying about any lock-in fears. In fact by having standard APIs for IaaS would help PaaS expl...
Oct. 4, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 370
As enterprises capture more and more data of all types – structured, semi-structured, and unstructured – data discovery requirements for business intelligence (BI), Big Data, and predictive analytics initiatives grow more complex. A company’s ability to become data-driven and compete on analytics depends on the speed with which it can provision their analytics applications with all relevant information. The task of finding data has traditionally resided with IT, but now organizations increasingly turn towards data source discovery tools to find the right data, in context, for business users, d...
Oct. 4, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 352
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless Thingies, will discuss and demonstrate how devices and humans can be integrated from a simple clust...
Oct. 4, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 601
“The Internet of Things transforms the way organizations leverage machine data and gain insights from it,” noted Splunk’s CTO Snehal Antani, as Splunk announced accelerated momentum in Industrial Data and the IoT. The trend is driven by Splunk’s continued investment in its products and partner ecosystem as well as the creativity of customers and the flexibility to deploy Splunk IoT solutions as software, cloud services or in a hybrid environment. Customers are using Splunk® solutions to collect and correlate data from control systems, sensors, mobile devices and IT systems for a variety of Ind...
Oct. 4, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 551
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk will be on IBM Cloudant, Apa...
Oct. 4, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 343
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Oct. 4, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 707
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Oct. 4, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 352
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Oct. 4, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 543
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
Oct. 4, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 153
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated and cloud solutions through hybrid hosting – a sustainable solution for the data required to manage I...
Oct. 4, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 382
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.
Oct. 4, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 325
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 150 developers, designers, quality assurance engineers, project manage...
Oct. 4, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 662
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Raxak has been named “Media & Session Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Raxak Protect automates security compliance across private and public clouds. Using the SaaS tool or managed service, developers can deploy cloud apps quickly, cost-effectively, and without error.
Oct. 3, 2015 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 573
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
Oct. 3, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 654
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
Oct. 3, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 497
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, will discuss the impact of technology on identity. Should we federate, or not? How should identity be secured? Who owns the identity? How is identity ...
Oct. 3, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 399
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgeniakhela will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgeniakhela is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional Social, Mobile and Cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dramatically improve productivity, reduce collaboration costs, and increase the overall enterprise value by bringing ...
Oct. 2, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 539
Sensors and effectors of IoT are solving problems in new ways, but small businesses have been slow to join the quantified world. They’ll need information from IoT using applications as varied as the businesses themselves. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Meike, Distinguished Engineer, Director of Technology Innovation at Intuit, will show how IoT manufacturers can use open standards, public APIs and custom apps to enable the Quantified Small Business. He will use a Raspberry Pi to connect sensors to web services, and cloud integration to connect accounting and data, providing a Bluetooth...
Oct. 2, 2015 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 339
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Oct. 2, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 556
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
Oct. 1, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 397