Posts tagged ‘IaaS’

Google and Why the New Standard for Modern Applications is a Non-Relational Database Deployed in the Cloud #CloudWF

Guest Blog with MongoDB

Google and Why the New Standard for Modern Applications is a Non-Relational Database Deployed in the Cloud

Author: Kelly Stirman, VP of strategy at MongoDB

It’s positively raining cloud stories. Sorry. Cloud puns are so over…cast. Regardless, recent months have seen some interesting developments in the high stakes game for control of the foundational layer of your application stack i.e. what database you use and where it’s deployed. In early May Google released Cloud BigTable as a managed NoSQL database. Two weeks later Gartner released its  Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (Cloud IaaS) report.

While unrelated, the two announcements both shine some light on our path to a new, cloud-rich future. While the aspiring cloud giant Google gave further validation, if it were needed, that  NoSQL databases deployed in the cloud are the new standard for modern applications.

You see, the workload from modern applications is quite different from what it’s been in the past. Building your own data centre and installing a relational database was fine when you could predict the size, speed and type of data. Applications in 2015 are a different breed. The growth of social, mobile and sensor data has dramatically altered the way we approach development. Developers can’t tell in advance what any of this will look like in the final production version of their application, let alone future iterations.

Many organisations are already overcoming this by deploying non-relational databases on commodity hardware in the cloud. This approach lets companies gear up for massive scale and gives them enough flexibility to incorporate new data types that will support business processes and provide operational insight.

Google’s BigTable and Gartner’s Magic Quadrant

Google’s announcement highlighted two things. One: the big infrastructure players are looking to diversify and find new ways to wring revenue from the big data stack. Two: BigTable’s release illustrated that all major data innovation is happening away from relational data models.  Relational databases aren’t going anywhere fast, but they are challenged by the requirements of modern applications. In particular the trickiest of the three Vs of big data – variety of data types. BigTable is yet another database-as-a-service offering that is designed to be deployed on the vendor’s own cloud infrastructure, see also Amazon and Microsoft.

From one cloud provider’s announcement, we now look at a broader view of the industry from Gartner. This is from the introduction to the Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide report[1]:

The market for cloud IaaS is in a state of upheaval, as many service providers are shifting their strategies after failing to gain enough market traction. Customers must exercise caution when choosing providers.

The report went on to explain that ‘all the providers evaluated are believed to be financially stable, with business plans that are adequately funded. However, many of the providers are undergoing significant re-evaluation of their cloud IaaS businesses’. In other words, some vendors may not be in it for the long haul.

What it means for you

As well as diversification into database services, the cloud competition is also sparking a healthy price war. Just a few days after the Magic Quadrant was released Google announced it was slashing prices by as much as 30%. Microsoft and Amazon are also fond of aggressive pricing as they try to eat as much market share as possible.

Which brings us back to Google’s launch of NoSQL database-as-a-service BigTable. The release came on the back of Microsoft’s recent Azure DocumentDB announcement and, of course Amazon’s own DynamoDB offering. As the competition for cloud infrastructure drives margins down, the big players are looking up the stack to drive revenue and it’s clear NoSQL technology is one of the most attractive areas.

Though it’s worth pointing out that these as-a-service database offerings generally come with a very narrow set of features. For example Cloud BigTable is a wide column store with a simple key-value query model. Like some other NoSQL databases, it is limited by:

  • A complex data model which presents a steep learning curve to developers, slowing the rate of new application development
  • Lack of features such as an expressive query language (key-value only), integrated text search, native secondary indexes, aggregations and more. Collectively, these enable organisations to build more functional applications faster

Ultimately the cloud providers can relieve users of some of the overhead of running a database but they still will have to deal with the complexity of mastering data models and working around key-value query limitations.

Out of the chaos it’s becoming clear that a non-relational database hosted in the cloud, is going to be the predominant way modern companies deploy applications. Each customer will have varying demands of control. Some will want everything ‘as-a-service’, others will want full control over how and where their database runs and security on each layer of the stack. In the modern world of cloud-ready, non-relational databases, you have more choice than ever. That choice can also bring a risk of vendor lock-in, if you select an offering that is tied to one specific platform, no matter how ‘web-scale’ that platform claims to be.

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[1] Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide, Lydia Leong et al, May 18, 2015

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MongoDB will be exhibiting at the Cloud World Forum taking place on the 24th & 25th June 2015.

Kelly Stirman is Vice President of Strategy at MongoDB, speaking at the Cloud World Forum on the 25th June at 10.35 in Theatre A: Keynote – Building Business in the Cloud on ‘Escaping Cloud Cuckoo Land: 5 Tips for Making Success a Reality in the Cloud.’

REGISTER YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE.

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Exclusive Interview with Liam Quinn, IT Director of Richmond Events

1c061f4Session: Cloud as a Utility: Working Seamlessly Across Public & Private Clouds

When: 24th June 2015, 12:05 – 12:25

Where: Employee Experience Theatre

Liam Quinn is IT Director of Richmond Events, pioneers of the one-to-one, pre-scheduled strategic business forums, aiming to match buyers with sellers.

We took a few minutes with him to talk about the challenges and status of Cloud specifically in the events sector, and the importance of SaaS versus IaaS and PaaS.

The interview…

So just to kick off, what do you feel are the unique challenges you face in the events sector?

Our challenges really are two-fold.  The first one we have is the fact that there’s an explosion of technology at the moment within the industry. The challenge lies in trying to work out what is good, helpful technology that’s going to enhance the experience of our attendees, and filter out the stuff which is really a lot of hype or, good today but maybe not very useful in the future.

In terms of our part in the industry, being a multinational organization, we’re operating events in four different countries to a consistent and very similar model.  So trying to make sure that we have the right technology in place that can support all four different business models is a challenge.
In terms of cloud technology specifically, how do you see the status of it in your sector in 2015? Do you feel it differs from other sectors? 

It’s hard to believe we’re very different to anyone else, but that may be a naïve way of looking at it.  I think the cloud is impacting the sector in two ways.  First of all, there are many software solutions that are being developed at the moment and being pushed within the marketplace, which are very cloud-based. So the economies of scale are there, and the price per event or price per attendee is very low. These systems are utilizing the cloud model in order for these software solutions to be implemented across every event organizer who wishes to use it.

The second place, which is where we come in and a lot of our foreign competitors, is whereby people are trying to consolidate their internal IT systems in order to provide a much more cost effective base for providing IT support to the business itself.
Leading on from that, would you therefore say SaaS is more imperative than IaaS or PaaS specifically for the events sector?

I think from a third-party solution perspective, most of the solutions being used are SaaS.  I don’t think event organizers want large IT teams, or want to be developing their own software.  So there’s a lot of software out there.  What they want is to consume it in any way they desire, in any location and that’s why they’re looking for software solutions available that they can just tap in, log in to, and work for their event.  We differ from that slightly in that all our systems are actually bespoke written for ourselves.

Download the full interview here!

Join Liam at the Cloud World Forum at London’s Olympia on the 24th of June for his session: Cloud as a Utility: Working Seamlessly Across Public & Private Clouds.

Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of all the knowledge and networking opportunities presented by EMEA’s only Cloud & DevOps exhibition.

Register for your FREE exhibition pass here!

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Deploying IaaS and Cloud in the Asian Financial Sector

August ChanAugust Chan is Head of IT at Delta Asia, and is participating in a cross-industry panel session at Cloud Asia entitled What Challenges Does X Industry Face When Adopting the Cloud, alongside Senior Representatives from Swiss Re and City University of Hong Kong. The session promises to offer a diverse approach to Cloud implementation, adding value for enterprises from all industry verticals.

Looking at August’s specific vertical, the financial sector, we looked at how Delta Asia has implemented Cloud computing so far, what models they have chosen to deploy at this stage, and why. He details that, as Delta Asia’s businesses are highly regulated (including banking, brokerage, insurance), they are vigilant in adopting Cloud, in view of possible (often time-consuming) regulator challenges, questions over compliance, and other non-technical considerations. In terms of rollout, they are ‘cloudifying’ peripheral systems first (that is, non-core systems such as their information portal and marketing-related applications). Cost effectiveness is one of the main objectives of their cloud strategy, with other main reasons being fast provision and easy scalability. August concludes that “all things considered, at this stage, IaaS is what we are working at”.

Looking more closely at those main objectives, we ask what cost and organisational benefits August expects to see from implementation. With IaaS being a relatively simple cloud adoption, he states that they can maintain lot of controls on the platform running on the ‘rented’ infrastructure, while the ‘landlord’ will handle the hardware availability, maintenance, aged equipment replacement. He goes on to say that “other than the cost saving by avoiding up-front capex investment, we are expected to be able to cope with some short-notice changes in business requirements, such as time-to-market and scalability”.

Many enterprises have concerns before adopting Cloud, and it was no different for Delta Asia. The reasons being that, in August’s words, for a highly regulated industry, those current and possible future regulatory requirements, internal due care and compliance considerations drove them to think about the security and control of data, the location and accessibility of it, and exit planning. But they always remind themselves to “get a good control on what you have and on what makes your business run. We are thus still at the IaaS stage”.

To conclude, we consider the enterprise landscape in Asia as a whole; are enterprises in the region taking full advantage and seeing benefits from technologies such as Cloud? August’s response is straightforward: “Obviously not.  I see many companies not utilizing cloud when it may be more cost effective than all in-sourcing”. So what advice would he offer for enterprises looking to develop their IT infrastructure? “I would suggest when you need to procure a new server or commission a new system, try thinking about cloud; don’t necessarily go for cloud, but think if cloud can help or not before spending on your capex”.

You can discuss this with August Chan and all of our industry experts at Cloud Asia, taking place in Hong Kong on 24-26 November. Enterprises can claim a complimentary full conference pass, with exhibition passes complimentary for all company types.

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HP Cloud Survey on IT challenges

You are invited to take part in the HP Cloud Survey on IT challenges. We’d love to hear about the risks you face and benefits you expect.

We’d be very grateful if you could take the 2 minutes required to answer our survey.

HP SurveyTAKE THE SURVEY NOW >>

As a thank you for your time & opinion we’ll send you a piece of Forrester Research on Private Cloud Solutions.

The Forrester Wave™: Private Cloud Solutions
“Three Vendors Rise To The Top Of The Private Cloud Market”
 
Why Read This Report?

In Forrester’s 61-criteria evaluation of private cloud solution vendors, we identified the 10 most significant software providers — ASG Software Solutions, BMC Software, CA Technologies, Cisco Systems, Citrix Systems, Eucalyptus Systems, HP, IBM, Microsoft, and VMware — in the category and researched, analyzed, and scored them.

This report details our findings about how well each vendor fulfills the breadth and depth of our criteria and where each stands out to help infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals select the most full-featured private cloud solution. I&O pros can also customize criteria weightings to align with their own private cloud initiative. This report focuses on commercial-softwareonly private infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud solutions.

Thank you

The Cloud World Series and HP Teams

Public clouds are becoming vertical market-centric

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Summary

Public cloud vendors are increasingly focusing on vertical markets, which will significantly accelerate public cloud adoption by latecomers. The “verticalization” of public clouds comes as a result of efforts throughout vertical ecosystems, from regulators to traditional IT service providers such as IBM, as well as newcomers such as AWS, Salesforce.com, and Veeva. It will grow in parallel to public cloud providers increasingly moving from technology services to packages targeted at specific needs and audiences. For more information, see the 2014 Trends to Watch: Public Clouds report that looks at the overall public market trends as well as specific trends for infrastructure, platform, and software-as-a-service (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) public clouds.

Vertical market regulators are catching up with public clouds

Vertical market regulators are catching up with public clouds, and will continue to do so in 2014. For example, the publication of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Omnibus Final Rule in early 2013 clarified that data centers and providers offering cloud-based services are officially considered Business Associates (BAs) under HIPAA and must therefore comply with all applicable privacy and security requirements. Similarly, in July 2013, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the Dutch banking regulator, approved the use of the AWS cloud for all financial operations, such as websites, mobile applications, retail banking platforms, high-performance computing, and credit risk analysis solutions.

Vendors are increasingly vertical market-centric

Traditional IT product and service providers have been leveraging their vertical market expertise from the start, but newcomers have now begun to build up their vertical market-centric strategies. In 2013, for example, following the clarification of how HIPAA and cloud relate, both AWS and Google agreed to sign formal BA Agreements under HIPAA. Similarly, Salesforce.com, which has been certified as a BA for some time, is developing industry-specific solutions alongside its partner ecosystem. As a result, about one-quarter of the new applications added to Salesforce.com’s AppExchange marketplace in 2013 are vertical market-specific. In September 2013, Workday confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets in the higher education industry: it is building a student information system (SIS) called Student.

Vertical market-centric startups are emerging

In parallel, vertical markets-specific startups are increasingly in the headlines. Athenahealth reached about $600 in annual revenue in 2013 while pharmaceutical and life sciences specialist Veeva Systems attracted a lot of attention when it went public. It reached an impressive $4.6bn market capitalization on nearly $170m in trailing 12-month revenues. New vertical market-centric ecosystems are also emerging. For example, in 2013, CareCloud, an electronic medical records and practice management provider partnered with generic cloud storage provider Box as well as with US SaaS health appointment booking startup ZocDoc.

Public cloud verticalization will be slow but unstoppable

The verticalization of public clouds will be an ongoing trend until the end of the decade. Evolution will be slow as many vertical specialists struggle to move to the cloud. The public sector is a good example of this trend. It has been the target of generic public cloud providers such as AWS and Saleforce.com for a number of years. However, public sector specialists in areas such as benefits and transport management, for example, are much more cautious, all the more so because public clouds make it easier for third parties to compete with what they offer.

Nevertheless, they will have to make a move sooner rather than later because not only public sector organizations but also those in the private sector are increasingly asking for public cloud-based vertical-specific solutions. A variety of vertical market-specific Ovum reports illustrate this trend. Our Business Trends: Pharmaceutical Technology report, for example, indicates that while current levels of SaaS adoption are low in the lab informatics solutions such as laboratory information management systems (LIMSs) and electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs), most companies are now considering SaaS delivery for these solution types. Similarly, cloud service adoption in the capital markets has increased considerably in the last few years, as described in The Cloud in the Capital Markets: A Progress Report. Order management systems (OMS), which used to be deployed on-premise, are moving toward becoming hosted and managed services delivered by third parties. They are not yet fully cloud services, but they are on their way to becoming so. Portfolio management systems (PMS), which have followed OMS and have in some senses leapfrogged them, are already available in full cloud mode from companies such as Alphakinetic.

Appendix

Further reading

2014 Trends to Watch: From Private to Hybrid Clouds, IT022-000007 (March 2014)
2014 Trends to Watch: Public Clouds, IT022-000008 (March 2014)
2014 Trends to Watch: Cloud Computing, IT022-000006 (February 2014)
2014 Trends to Watch: Cloud Services, IT019-003310 (January 2014)

Cloud in the Capital Markets: A Progress Report, EI003-000004 (September 2013)

Business Trends: Pharmaceutical Technology, IT010-000169 (March 2013)

Methodology

  • Vendor events and analyst briefings.
  • Vendor meetings and technology assessments.
  • Interviews with end users.

Authors

Laurent Lachal, Senior Analyst, Ovum Software
Laurent.lachal@ovum.com

The Role and Importance of Multitenant Solutions in Cloud Infrastructure

In cloud computing, “multitenancy” architecture represents a shared infrastructure and/or resources topology along with the advantages of virtualization and remote access to new business models and services. (more…)

Saudi’s Mobily to offer cloud services through partnership

cloudsGuest Blog from Telecoms.com, January 24, 2013 Written by Dawinderpal Sahota

 

Saudi Arabian operator Mobily has inked a partnership with enterprise cloud software and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider Virtustream to offer cloud services to enterprises and small-to-medium businesses. (more…)

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