Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Jose Diaz, Derek Weeks

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

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud-Based DevOps

Innovating at the Speed of the Market

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.

More Stories By Shawn Douglass

Shawn Douglass has been a cloud visionary and key contributor to the emerging enterprise cloud operating model for over a decade. Mr. Douglass is responsible for the strategy and vision of the Agility Platform and contributing to IT transformation at Global 2000 enterprises.

Prior to ServiceMesh he was managing director at EMC Ventures where he drove strategic investments in cloud, security, big data/analytics, and disruptive technology and business models.

He has served on the Board of Directors and as Chairman of the Technical Steering Committee for the Enterprise Grid Alliance (EGA), and on the Board of Directors at Joyent, a high-performance cloud infrastructure provider. He is also a winner of the Always On 2012 Power Players in the Cloud award. Mr. Douglass is a graduate of Harvard Business School.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss 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). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. 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 Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
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, Containers, 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 opportunity. Submit y...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will discuss the vast to...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu, a leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to foc...
SYS-CON Events announced today the How to Create Angular 2 Clients for the Cloud Workshop, being held June 7, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified. Now it’s a component-based well-performing framework. The immersive one-day workshop led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and...
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when developing your IoT product? What are the key challenges addressed by Data as a Service? How does cloud computing underlie and connect the notions of Digital and DevOps What is the impact of the API economy? What is the business imperative for Cognitive Computing? Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 18th Cloud Expo...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 24Notion has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. 24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to con...
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT's direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
SYS-CON Events announced today BZ Media LLC 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. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and Commercial Drone markets.
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, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...