Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Trevor Parsons, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Jacob Olcott, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Cloud Expo

Cloud Expo: Article

Cloud Computing: Creating a Generic (Internal) Cloud Architecture

Do Cloud-like architectures have to remain external to the enterprise? No.

Kenneth Oestriech's Blog

I've been taken aback lately by the tacit assumption that cloud-like (IaaS and PaaS) services have to be provided by folks like Amazon, Terremark and others. It's as if these providers do some black magic that enterprises can't touch or replicate. However, history has taught the IT industry that what starts in the external domain eventually makes its way into the enterprise, and vice-versa.

I've been taken aback lately by the tacit assumption that cloud-like (IaaS and PaaS) services have to be provided by folks like Amazon, Terremark and others. It's as if these providers do some black magic that enterprises can't touch or replicate.

However, history's taught the IT industry that what starts in the external domain eventually makes its way into the enterprise, and vice-versa. Consider Google beginning with internet search, and later offering an enterprise search appliance. Then, there's the reverse: An application, say a CRM system, leaves the enterprise to be hosted externally as SaaS, such as SalesForce.com. But even in this case, the first example then recurs -- as SalesForce.com begins providing internal Salesforce.com appliances back to its large enterprise customers!

I am simply trying to challenge the belief that cloud-like architectures have to remain external to the enterprise. They don't. I believe it's inevitable that they will soon find their way into the enterprise, and become a revolutionary paradigm of how *internal* IT infrastructure is operated and managed.

With each IT management conversation I've had, the concept that I recently put forward is becoming clearer and more inevitable. That an "internal cloud" (call it a cloud architecture or utility computing) will penetrate enterprise datacenters.

Limitations of "external" cloud computing architectures

Already, a number of authorities have pretty clearly outlined the pros and cons of using external service providers as "cloud" providers. For reference, there is the excellent "10 reasons enterprises aren't ready to trust the cloud" by Stacey Higginbotham of GigaOM, as well as a piece by Mike Walker of MSDN regarding "Challenges of moving to the cloud”. So it stands that innovation will work around these limitations, borrowing from the positive aspects of external service providers, omitting the negatives, and offering the result to IT Ops.

Is an "internal" cloud architecture possible and repeatable?

So here is my main thesis: that there are software IT management products available today (and more to come) that will operate *existing* infrastructure in a manner identical to the operation of IaaS and PaaS. Let me say that again -- you don't have to outsource to an "external" cloud provider as long as you already own legacy infrastructure that can be re-purposed for this new architecture.

This statement -- and associated enabling software technologies -- is beginning to spell the beginning of the final commoditization of compute hardware. (BTW, I find it amazing that some vendors continue to tout that their hardware is optimized for cloud computing. That is a real oxymoron)

As time passes, cloud-computing infrastructures (ok, Utility Computing architectures if you must) coupled with the trend toward architecture standardization, will continue to push the importance of specialized HW out of the picture. Hardware margins will continue to be squeezed. (BTW, you can read about the "cheap revolution" in Forbes, featuring our CEO Bill Coleman).

As the VINF blog also observed, regarding cloud-based architectures:

You can build your own cloud, and be choosy about what you give to others. Building your own cloud makes a lot of sense, it’s not always cheap but its the kind of thing you can scale up (or down..) with a bit of up-front investment, in this article I’ll look at some of the practical; and more infrastructure focused ways in which you can do so.

Your “cloud platform” is essentially an internal shared services system where you can actually and practically implement a “platform” team that operates and capacity plans for the cloud platform; they manage its availability and maintenance day-day and expansion/contraction.
Even back in February, Mike Nygard observed reasons and benefits for this trend:
Why should a company build its own cloud, instead of going to one of the providers?

On the positive side, an IT manager running a cloud can finally do real chargebacks to the business units that drive demand. Some do today, but on a larger-grained level... whole servers. With a private cloud, the IT manager could charge by the compute-hour, or by the megabit of bandwidth. He could charge for storage by the gigabyte, and with tiered rates for different availability/continuity guarantees. Even better, he could allow the business units to do the kind of self-service that I can do today with a credit card and The Planet. (OK, The Planet isn't a cloud provider, but I bet they're thinking about it. Plus, I like them.)
We are seeing the beginning of an inflection point in the way IT is managed, brought on by (1) the interest (though not yet adoption) of cloud architectures, (2) the increasing willingness to accept shared IT assets (thanks to VMware and others), and (3) the budding availability of software that allows “cloud-like” operation of existing infrastructure, but in a whole new way.

How might these "internal clouds" first be used?

Let's be real: there are precious few green-field opportunities where enterprises will simply decide to change their entire IT architecture and operations into this "internal cloud" -- i.e. implement a Utility Computing model out-of-the-gate. But there are some interesting starting points that are beginning to emerge:

  • Creating a single-service utility: by this mean that an entire service tier (such as a web farm, application server farm, etc.) moves to being managed in a "cloud" infrastructure, where resources ebb-and-flow as needed by user demand.
  • Power-managing servers: using utility computing IT management automation to control power states of machines that are temporarily idle, but NOT actually dynamically provisioning software onto servers. Firms are getting used to the idea of using policy-governed control to save on IT power consumption as they get comfortable with utility-computing principles. They can then selectively activate the dynamic provisioning features as they see fit.
  • Using utility computing management/automation to govern virtualized environments: it's clear that once firms virtualize/consolidate, they later realize that there are more objects to manage (virtual sprawl) , rather than fewer; plus, they've created "virtual silos", distinct from the non-virtualized infrastructure they own. Firms will migrate toward an automated management approach to virtualization where -- on the fly -- applications are virtualized, hosts are created, apps are deployed/scaled, failed hosts are automatically re-created, etc. etc. Essentially a services cloud.

It is inevitable that the simplicity, economics, and scalability of externally-provided "clouds" will make their way into the enterprise. The question isn't if, but when.

More Stories By Kenneth Oestreich

Ken Oestreich is VP of Product Marketing with Egenera, and has spent over 20 years developing and introducing new products into new markets. Recently, he’s been involved in bringing utility- and cloud-computing technologies to market. Previously, Ken was with Cassatt, and held a number of developer, alliance and strategy positions with Sun Microsystems.

Comments (2) 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
sajai krishnan 08/26/08 09:53:44 PM EDT

Ken
Very much on topic. In our parallel area around cloud storage we see interest in internal/private storage clouds as much as with external/public storage clouds. Bandwidth, security are clearly reasons to go with a private cloud, whereas getting offsite copies is certainly one reason to consider a public cloud. There is the additional reason that by building your own storage cloud you can tune the performance characteristics of your cloud by having, for example, beefy, hi-performing nodes for streaming or inexpensive nodes with a lot of disks for archival applications.

As for service providers - I think we will see service providers delivering the typical public service like S3, but could also provide "insourcing" services ... i.e. a service provider managing an dedicated internal cloud for Fortune100 data center in a colo model. I think AT&T's recent Synaptic Hosting is probably headed in that direction.

There are a few different ways to skin this cat in terms of implementation. The key is that the technology matures, and customers get familiar with the commodity scale-out economics, and easy management model that is at the core of this approach.

Regards,
Sajai Krishnan, CEO ParaScale

amuletc 08/25/08 08:14:58 PM EDT

By Dan D. Gutierrez
CEO of HostedDatabase.com

I really like your concept of an "internal cloud"! When my firm launched the web's first Database-as-a-Service offering in 1999, we had a sales option to create a special instance of our product for an enterprise that wanted the convenience of SaaS, but was concerned about privacy and security issues. Bringing in our service as an internal cloud solved these issues. Fast forward nearly 10 years, it is great to see this concept mentioned in this timely article.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Dave will share his insights on how Internet of Things for Enterprises are transforming and making more productive and efficient operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures in the cleantech industry and beyond. Speaker Bio: Dave Landa is chief operating officer of Cybozu Corp (kintone US). Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dave has been on the forefront of the Cloud revolution driving strategic business development on the executive teams of multiple leading Software as a Services (SaaS) application providers dating back to 2004. Cybozu's kintone.com is a leading global BYOA (Build Your O...
Health care systems across the globe are under enormous strain, as facilities reach capacity and costs continue to rise. M2M and the Internet of Things have the potential to transform the industry through connected health solutions that can make care more efficient while reducing costs. In fact, Vodafone's annual M2M Barometer Report forecasts M2M applications rising to 57 percent in health care and life sciences by 2016. Lively is one of Vodafone's health care partners, whose solutions enable older adults to live independent lives while staying connected to loved ones. M2M will continue to gr...
With IoT exploding, massive data will transform businesses with opportunities to monetize almost anything that can be measured. In this C-Level Roundtable Discussion at @ThingsExpo, Brendan O’Brien, Aria Systems Co-founder and Chief Evangelist, will lead an expert panel of consultants, thought leaders and practitioners who will look at these new monetization trends, discuss the implications, and detail lessons learned from their collective experience. Finally, the panel will point the way forward for enterprises who wish to leverage the resulting complex recurring revenue models, adding valu...
How is unified communications transforming the way businesses operate? In his session at WebRTC Summit, Arvind Rangarajan, Director of Product Marketing at BroadSoft, will discuss how to extend unified communications experience outside the enterprise through WebRTC. He will also review use cases across different industry verticals. Arvind Rangarajan is Director, Product Marketing at BroadSoft. He has over 19 years of experience in the telecommunications industry in various roles such as Software Development, Product Management and Product Marketing, applied across Wireless, Unified Communic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vicom Computer Services, Inc., a provider of technology and service solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. They are located at booth #427. Vicom Computer Services, Inc. is a progressive leader in the technology industry for over 30 years. Headquartered in the NY Metropolitan area. Vicom provides products and services based on today’s requirements around Unified Networks, Cloud Computing strategies, Virtualization around Software defined Data Ce...
What exactly is a cognitive application? In her session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ashley Hathaway, Product Manager at IBM Watson, will look at the services being offered by the IBM Watson Developer Cloud and what that means for developers and Big Data. She'll explore how IBM Watson and its partnerships will continue to grow and help define what it means to be a cognitive service, as well as take a look at the offerings on Bluemix. She will also check out how Watson and the Alchemy API team up to offer disruptive APIs to developers.
The IoT Bootcamp is coming to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo on June 9-10 at the Javits Center in New York. Instructor. Registration is now available at http://iotbootcamp.sys-con.com/ Instructor Janakiram MSV previously taught the famously successful Multi-Cloud Bootcamp at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in November in Santa Clara. Now he is expanding the focus to Janakiram is the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquired by Aditi Technologies. He is a Microsoft Regional Director for Hyderabad, India, and one of the f...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps 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 your speaking proposal today!
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 9-11, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cisco makes amazing things happen by connecting the unconnected. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by becoming the worldwide leader in transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Cisco and our partners are building the platform for the Internet of Everything by connecting the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Liaison Technologies, a leading provider of data management and integration cloud services and solutions, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Liaison Technologies is a recognized market leader in providing cloud-enabled data integration and data management solutions to break down complex information barriers, enabling enterprises to make smarter decisions, faster.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ciqada will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ciqada™ makes it easy to connect your products to the Internet. By integrating key components - hardware, servers, dashboards, and mobile apps - into an easy-to-use, configurable system, your products can quickly and securely join the internet of things. With remote monitoring, control, and alert messaging capability, you will meet your customers' needs of tomorrow - today! Ciqada. Let your products take flight. For more inform...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 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 f...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GENBAND, a leading developer of real time communications software solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The GENBAND team will be on hand to demonstrate their newest product, Kandy. Kandy is a communications Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables companies to seamlessly integrate more human communications into their Web and mobile applications - creating more engaging experiences for their customers and boosting collaboration and productiv...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Open Data Centers (ODC), a carrier-neutral colocation provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Open Data Centers is a carrier-neutral data center operator in New Jersey and New York City offering alternative connectivity options for carriers, service providers and enterprise customers.
SYS-CON Events announced today that On the Avenue Marketing Group, a sales and marketing firm that utilizes events to market and sell products to consumers, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. On the Avenue Marketing Group (OTA) is a sales and marketing firm that utilizes events to market and sell products to consumers. On behalf of our clients, we attend thousands of fairs, festivals, expos, concerts, conferences, and sporting events annually, helping them reach millions of individuals ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BroadSoft, the leading global provider of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) services to operators worldwide, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BroadSoft is the leading provider of software and services that enable mobile, fixed-line and cable service providers to offer Unified Communications over their Internet Protocol networks. The Company’s core communications platform enables the delivery of a range of enterprise and consumer calling...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ActiveState, the leading independent Cloud Foundry and Docker-based PaaS provider, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. ActiveState believes that enterprises gain a competitive advantage when they are able to quickly create, deploy and efficiently manage software solutions that immediately create business value, but they face many challenges that prevent them from doing so. The Company is uniquely positioned to help address these challenges thro...