Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Greg Schulz, Patrick Hubbard, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Linux Containers, Release Management

@CloudExpo: Article

How Cool is the Cloud?

The promise of the cloud is that everything is easy and portable

Seven years ago we set out to build a technology that would solve the immense problems faced by business in adoption of technology. If you are not familiar with those problems, you need to familiarize with the now canonical Standish Groups’ Chaos Report, which among other things documents only a 32% rate of software projects completing successfully.

During our journey, we encountered many cool things. From the beginning, we were early adopters of the LAMP stack; Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. Further, we were able to leverage all sorts of open-source tools like WYSIWYG controls, time and date management libraries, an amazing JavaScript library called jquery, parsers, ftp servers, email and so much more. These things greatly accelerated our time to market.  Open sources was and remains really cool because it provides practical solutions to complex code problems.

Soon after, “Web 2.0” emerged, and this was also cool.  Essentially, this meant that many technologies would be opened up over the web for access by other technologies, leveraging very standard and common methods of interaction.  Such concepts as XML and SOAP opened up new worlds for accessing large and complex software applications via relatively simple mechanisms.  As a small software developer, we could now expend minimal resources to access one of the world’s largest geo-data repositories (google maps), to transact on the world’s leading online marketplace (eBay) and to ship via one of the world’s leading shippers (FedEx). Best of all, as a Platform provider, we could provide all of these capabilities to non-programmers using our tools!  This was cool.

Several years ago as an ISV, we also became early adopters of VMWare’s server virtualization product line.  Recent releases have even included a free version of their flagship ESX product line called ESXi, and this brings tremendous value to small business customers.  Once installed, ESX allows the creation of many “virtual servers” on a single piece of hardware, and facilitates the installation of “virtual appliances”, essentially an entire software stack, into those virtual servers.  Maybe even more impressively, it also allows for a deep level of management and portability of those appliances onto other ESX or any OVF formatted location.  Being able to package an entire application stack as an appliance and make it portable, while removing many aspects of hardware support from the equation, was and is very cool.

Today, we are an early cohabitant of “The Cloud”, thanks in no small part to our adoption of all of the cool cloud enablers mentioned above.  But to understand how cool cloud computing really is, you first have to understand that the cloud is still in its infancy, and already, it’s a cool kid.  It’s kind of like that ten year old who hangs around with friends that can drive.

The promise of the cloud is that everything is easy and portable. When you provision a new server, you can decide where you want it to sit… GoGridAmazon?  Behind your firewall?...it’s up to you.  And with just points and clicks, you can move them later if you change your mind, data and all. You can perform simple ramp ups of storage, processor and memory, or more sophisticated ramp up’s by adding new servers to a cluster. Provisioning those servers is always simply point and click, and all things complex about the underlying software stack is handled for you.  It won’t be long at all before you won’t even have to know what a “cluster” or “RAM” physically represents…you’ll just buy it if things are running slowly.

And, there’s so much more.  Imagine having a one-click choice whether your data files are uploaded to your server…or sent directly to Amazon S3 for cheap, efficient storage? Imagine choosing a host, based on SLA and price, with a single click?  Imagine pointing-and-clicking to select a data backup and archival plan that most closely suits your needs?

And, in the cloud, you will access a plethora of features and services a la carte.  Access a 5GL Platform as a Service so you don’t even have to be a programmer to build and deploy sophisticated applications, or to speed up your deployment timeframes if you are a programmer. Spin up a development environment, import some baseline functionality, customize it, tie into some web services to do anything from shipping to currency conversion to mapping, and roll the entire package out to production for your company to benefit from.

So, again, how cool is the cloud?  The cloud will empower legions of people to do things they never had even a remote chance to accomplish prior. The decreased timeframes for deployment coupled with dramatic empowerment of people represents a transformative productivity gain globally. It builds on a host of incredible technologies that have been pioneered over the last decade or so, and it brings them all together, once and for all, under a common umbrella. Using the right tools, even non-programmers will be able to produce results that would pleasantly surprise the authors of the Chaos report referenced above by bringing in new functionality on time and on budget.

The last decade has seen a lot of cool evolution in technology. The cloud is what brings it all together, and really puts it to work efficiently and easily. That’s how cool the cloud is.

More Stories By Treff LaPlante

Treff LaPlante has been involved with technology for nearly 20 years. At WorkXpress, he passionately drives the vision of making customized enterprise software easy, fast, and affordable.

Prior to joining WorkXpress, Treff was director of operations for eBay's HomesDirect. While there, he created strategic relationships with Fortune 500 companies and national broker networks and began his foray into the development of flexible workflow software technologies. He served on the management team that sold HomesDirect to eBay.

During his time at Vivendi-Universal Interactive, Treff was director of strategy. In addition to M&A activities, Treff broadly applied quantitative management principles to sales, marketing, and product line functions. Treff served as the point person for the management team that sold Cendant Software to Vivendi-Universal. Earlier positions included product management and national sales trainer for Energy Design Systems, an engineering software company. Treff began his professional career as a metals trader for Randall Trading Corp, a commodities firm that specialized in bartering and transporting various metals and coal from the then-dissolving Soviet Union.

Treff received his MBA from Pepperdine University and a BS in chemical engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. http://www.workxpress.com

Comments (1) View Comments

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.


Most Recent Comments
gdavismcf 08/26/09 05:11:00 PM EDT

For anyone looking for a good definition of what exactly this Cloud thing is, check out our recent blog.

What is really exciting about the Cloud and Web 2.0 evolution is that how it is bringing complex technology to the mainstream in a big way. Just a few years ago a collaborative 5GL platform like WorkXpress did not and almost could not have existed. The accessibility of viable Cloud infrastructure and dramatic increase in web service interconnection, much of which Treff alludes too is what makes this possible.

@ThingsExpo Stories
TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets. By creating abundant, high-quality editorial content across more than 140 highly targeted technology-specific websites, TechTarget attracts and nurtures communities of technology buyers researching their companies' information technology needs. By understanding these buyers' content consumption behaviors, TechTarget creates the purchase inte...
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.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry’s single source for the cloud. Fusion’s advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new in...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ca...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business. Though, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected with a majority of IoT projects having failed. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, Chief IoTologist at Wipro, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology portfolios and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will delve in...
In the enterprise today, connected IoT devices are everywhere – both inside and outside corporate environments. The need to identify, manage, control and secure a quickly growing web of connections and outside devices is making the already challenging task of security even more important, and onerous. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Rich Boyer, CISO and Chief Architect for Security at NTT i3, will discuss new ways of thinking and the approaches needed to address the emerging challenges of securit...
As cloud adoption continues to transform business, today's global enterprises are challenged with managing a growing amount of information living outside of the data center. The rapid adoption of IoT and increasingly mobile workforce are exacerbating the problem. Ensuring secure data sharing and efficient backup poses capacity and bandwidth considerations as well as policy and regulatory compliance issues.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions with...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.