Click here to close now.


Containers Expo Blog Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Ian Khan, Jason Bloomberg, Liz McMillan

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

@CloudExpo: Article

Taking the Pulse of Cloud Computing, Fall 2011

As Cloud Expo Silicon Valley approaches, what's being said, written, and done?

The markets may be melting, but Cloud Computing continues to attract headlines, VC dollars, M&A activity, and more. So let's take a quick look at what's being said, written, and done about the that we have reached Fall 2011.

Given the state of the economy, let's start with, where Joe McKendrick (@JoeMcKendrick on Twitter) recently wrote:

"As we ponder unemployment and underemployment in our economy, the availability of cheap cloud computing may be laying the groundwork for a startup boom, the likes we have never seen before."

McKendrick insists that cloud computing isn’t revolutionary because it’s changing the mode of technology delivery. "The real revolution that is underway," he claims, "is that it is opening up new lines of business in information technology or service delivery — even among non-IT businesses." Fighting talk.

Another Cloud commentator worth consulting is always Forrester's James Staten (@staten7), whose blog is always worth reading.

He recently wrote that, in his view, "our beloved cloud computing market showed significant signs of maturing," citing as evidence three simultaneous but independent announcement - from VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft. He felt that it was a kind of tipping point for the Cloud:

"Together, these announcements are strong milestones to the continuing progress and solid traction cloud platforms are having with the market. While the private cloud market is still very, very young, moves like these put it on more solid footing..."

One of the unusual characteristics of cloud computing is that it has perhaps one of the most vocal community of practitioners - infrastructure gurus of every stripe. So let's look what some of them are saying, to see if they share this heady enthusiasm as expressed by the analysts.

Where better to start than with the CTO & Co-Founder of Cloudscale, Randy Bias (@RandyBias)? Bias, like many of the Clouderati, is also keen blogger. In a recent post he opined that such confusion as we still see around virtualization and cloud computing "is because the change is so big, it’s hard for people to wrap their head around it. Folks struggle to find simple answers to a complex, multi-pronged, disruptive change."

Bias then continued with a call to action to his readers and followers:

"You need to watch the people and organizations who are part of the change.  Watch Amazon.  Watch Google.  Watch OpenStack and Open Compute.  Watch Cloudera and Hadoop.  Watch Salesforce, Heroku, and Engine Yard.  You can even watch VMware and what they do with CloudFoundry."

Bias's advice is worth bearing in mind if you want to bring yourself up to speed with the fundamental and deep changes to how the entire IT stack is designed, delivered, and managed.

Next let's turn to another card-carrying member of the Clouderati, Simon Crosby (@SimonCrosby). Now helping head up Bromium, Crosby recently surveyed the entire IT landscape through the lens of cloud computing, in the course of which he made the following observation:

"The Enterprise Private Cloud market is growing at about 30% per year, but IaaS and PaaS clouds, already well beyond the hypervisor-as-service-interface, are growing at break-neck pace of about 70% per year, driven by the staggering growth of mobile apps and our insatiable consumer appetite for services."

Crosby is no stranger to being - and staying - ahead of the curve. He is a true IT canary.

As is James Urquhart (@jamesurquhart), who recently blogged about how cloud computing "is an operation model, not a technology." For Urquhart, the chief thing to bear in mind is that "for the foreseeable future, applications are king" - a thought that he developed as follows:

"The application-centricity of cloud leads to an interesting corollary: if the focus of cloud is on applications, then all cloud solutions must look at the problem they solve from the perspective of the application. In other words, designing a tool for virtual machine management in the cloud is a short-term game. Eventually, the application will begin to hide the containers in which it runs, and the concept of managing a guest operating system in a virtual machine won't make sense.

However, designing tools with the development, deployment, and operations of code and data in the cloud model has tremendous promise. It's a disruptive concept--displacing our server-centric past--and one for which few enterprises have any serious tools or processes. Certainly not in terms of operations."

Urquhart is not alone in stressing the "application-centricity" of the Cloud. Peter Coffee (@PeterCoffee), known for decades as Technology Editor for eWEEK, is now Director of Platform Research for, and is one of the many insightful speakers due to give sessions at the upcoming Cloud Expo Silicon Valley being held November 7-10 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

In a world where every IT asset has a feed - in the era of 'Cloud 2' - the cloud model, Coffee believes, is changing:

"The first decade of cloud computing decisively demonstrated that massively sharable/scalable systems can shrink operating costs and slash development delays, but the era of 'Cloud 2' goes farther to turn the cloud model from a perceived challenge into a compelling avenue for IT innovations that need not compromise security or governance."

In a Cloud Expo session called Open Networks, Trusted Clouds: The Road Map to 'Social' Security, Coffee will be exploring further the potential of “application as conversation.”

I will continue this informal round-up tomorrow morning at the same time.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (0)

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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment process from development to production scenarios using Docker containers.
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn 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).
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them to design hosted applications.
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.