Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Automic Blog, Stackify Blog, Sven Olav Lund

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Post

Today's Networks Not Yet Ready for Enterprise Cloud

Enterprise networks are not ready for broad enterprise cloud IT services

Enterprise networks are not ready for broad enterprise cloud IT services a la Nicholas Carr.

As network and IT practitioners gathered in Las Vegas (Interop) and tech thought leaders conveyed on San Diego (Future in Review) the week of May 18th, there was more than a weave of flights running between them related to the timing and impact of cloud computing on the enterprise IT industry.

It was clear from a multitude of thought leaders, vendors and data center professionals that today’s networks are not ready for the deployment of many forms of cloud computing, especially the multi-site enterprise (or private) cloud. This is both an opportunity and risk for investors and companies who could prosper or suffer through the coming transformation of IT.

In between two panels I caught plenty of hallway conversations about the potential victors of ITs coming transformation; as well as those who will need to embrace new technologies, partners and strategies in order to continue their legacy of success.

At the Interop panel on Monday (on how things can go wrong in the cloud) it was clear that everything still had not been worked out enough to encourage widespread enterprise adoption of cloud. There were issues with security, infrastructure, lock-in and even economics. Yes, cloud was not always cheaper than its enterprise IT counterparts, especially for services used regularly.

For application and infrastructure as a service (now forms of cloud) the cloud computing vine has indeed been fruitful. Yet with much broader and more complex enterprise IT services there are substantial barriers, which we’ve discussed before in 3 Major Barriers.

Forrester analyst James Staten likened some forms of cloud to renting a car when you travel. It makes sense if you travel to a bit occasionally to rent a car for a few days or weeks at a time. Yet renting a car daily for regular use may end up costing you more.

The Fire panel on Infrastructure 2.0 drilled down a bit deeper into the network issues, especially the growing legions of manual processes and clerks required to keep the network available and secure as the population of IP addresses continues to mushroom and virtualization and cloud computing promise even higher velocities of change.

Cisco’s Gourlay predicted that cloud deployed on ill-prepared networks could break the Internet. F5’s Giesa talked about the need to allow application delivery policies to follow mobile systems to ensure proper delivery. VMware’s Thiele discussed new demands on data center managers which will force network shortcomings into the open. Infoblox’s Kagan talked about the core need for core network service automation as a starting point for Infrastructure 2.0.

During the introduction I commented that: “networks today are run like yesterday’s businesses and factories, with legions of …clerks…” I drew a parallel between the rise of automation and supply chain in manufacturing and the coming impact of cloud on IT service delivery. Cisco’s Gourlay coined the term “just-in-time IT services” to describe where cloud is taking IT and the parallel ramifications for companies, jobs and the wealth of nations.

The core cloud/network problem: There are layers of outdated practices that today are extracting volumes of micro-tolls from enterprise networks, simply because they’re usually informal, ad hoc and scattered among units. These practices need to be automated and integrated with each other or the fruits of virtualization and cloud will be minimized in darker clouds of expense, delays and outages. Networks need to be intelligent and able to keep up with the changes ushered in by the automation of systems enterprises are carrying out today. Simon Bisson summarized it well on this IT PRO blog:

Perhaps the most telling piece of the puzzle was one simple phrase: “We need to stop treating IT pros like Victorian file clerks”. It’s a statement that hit home - we do treat our IT pros as glorified clerks, waiting for them to do things by rote. What we really need is an automated infrastructure that flexibly configures itself to deal with the tools, applications and workloads we need to use every day.

Pull apart all the different definitions from all the vendors out there and that’s what Infrastructure 2.0 boils down to. It’s a world we really need to build - if only to show the world just what value IT really brings to business.
- Simon Bisson, IT PRO, May 27, 2009

Similarly, IT pros will have to evolve and transform the physical silos built and maintained today into dynamic pools of data and processing power that can be delivered (almost) everywhere from (almost) anywhere with the same level of security and performance as today. The payoff is substantial. Yet the decades-old legacy of manual labor empires in the network architected decades ago stands in the way.

Moments after the FIRE panel, Dan Lynch (the founder of Interop) approached a few of us and advised that the network management tools and cultures in place today are very similar to those put in place in the early days of the network, before the revolution in business productivity enabled by the network. He was one of the people who created them.

This irony is akin to seeing typewriters in the offices of PC companies. It makes no sense, yet many CIOs haven’t taken a full audit of their scattered, or hidden labor costs and the delays, outages, etc that are directly attributable to outdated practices, from ad hoc scripting to checklists and spreadsheets manually tracking IP addresses.

The Tug of Cloud on the Data Center

Perhaps Art Wittmann (from InformationWeek) best summarized today’s vision tug of war between the leading cloud players and the IT community in a recent “Private Clouds on the Horizon” report (April 2009):

Cloud vendors want to offer you simplicity, and while that makes sense in some instances, IT’s job of both securing data and making it usable for the business is just as complex as it ever was, regardless of which end of the dog you’re looking at.
– Art Wittmann, InformationWeek, April, 2009

In between that billowing mist of simplicity and cost savings, whipped up by a host of emerging cloud applications fueled with the promise of hot-selling netbooks -and the complex and often static world of enterprise IT- are a host of evolutions and revolutions required for cloud to become enterprise-grade. As suggested in Three Barriers to Cloud , security, network management and capacity issues all need to be addressed. There are also others, including semiconductors and applications that may need to be re-architected for new communications and display and power consumption requirements. Storage will also be impacted.

Today I read about the Emerging Technologies Forum hosted by Integrated Archive Systems on June 24 in Mountain View, California. The list of sponsors includes Cisco, F5, VMware and Infoblox, along with NetApp, Microsoft and Sungard. From the looks of it, I think that the I2.0 herd is continuing to form as other voices join the conversation.

Public Companies in the Infrastructure 2.0 Mix

If someone was interested in following public companies well positioned for the evolution to infrastructure 2.0 one would naturally include Cisco, VMware, F5 Networks, Citrix, IBM and Juniper. Notably, Cisco and VMware recently won Best of Interop awards for their infrastructure 2.0 innovations. Amazon, Google, and numerous service providers (including Sungard) could transform the IT services (especially for small and medium businesses) if they can drive the evolution of cloud services and applications and minimize unplanned downtime.

Yet today the revenue impact of cloud on mentioned companies is dwarfed by their core or legacy business revenues.

You could also explore the dynamic infrastructure opportunity based on the nature of its impact on endpoints, from new cloud chip architectures to flash memory players (ala for netbooks) and emerging phone handset players (with larger screens and more complex cloud-based applications) who are well positioned to enter the netbook market with hardware and applications perhaps better suited to the rigors of cloud (versus motherboard) computing.

A Not-So-Wild Idea: OEM Netbooks from a Network Player

As the lines blue between traditional networking players and servers and services I think it is very possible to see a networking player (or even a phone handset player) enter the netbook space. Imagine a netbook with logos from network vendors rather than processor vendors; after all, isn’t that what cloud is all about? It’s the network and service “inside” that really impacts performance, availability, security, etc.

Netbooks could generate brand visibility and help drive more bandwidth demands for network vendors.

A Private Player of Interest

At Future in Review I also saw a cloud application from SIMtone that garnered its fair share of enthusiasm. SIMtone demonstrated a kind of cloud-based portable desktop that can be easily transferred (on demand) from one device to another. I’m tempted to call it a virtual desktop service, for lack of a better term. According to CEO Mario Dal Canto a virtual desktop can be accessed via hyperlink or even a widget.

On the risk side of the infrastructure 2.0 revolution are a host of companies who have successfully monetized the powerful links and silos that exist today between hardware and software and services and various buyers. They are household names, so I don’t need to name them. They will have to balance today’s highly successful formulas and relationships with the ultimate decoupling of those links. They will need to become more nimble and embrace technologies that have perhaps not been core strengths.

Cloud computing poses massive opportunities, as VMware’s Thiele mentioned during the FIRE panel. Who benefits and who stumbles may have much to do with how nimble some of the world’s largest companies are when it comes to balancing short and medium term objectives that are in many ways contradictory. Perhaps that has a lot to do with why many companies become victims of their own success and cannot adapt to rapidly changing markets.

Cloud computing may still be years away from strategic implementation in large enterprise data centers, but it is already casting a long shadow. It was one of the biggest topics at two leading technology events addressing two very distinct IT audiences. Its impact across IT is about to elevate a new crop of startups and perhaps invigorate a few familiar names in the tech industry. And it is likely to rain on the fortunes of others.

I’m a senior director at Infoblox. You can catch my ramblings in real-time via www.twitter.com/archimedius.

FIRE Infrastructure 2.0 Panel – Photo copyright © 2009 by Sandy Huffaker Jr

Infoblox’s Ness (blog author) and Kagan, with VMware’s Thiele, F5’s Giesa and Cisco’s Gourlay

More Stories By Greg Ness

Gregory Ness is the VP of Marketing of Vidder and has over 30 years of experience in marketing technology, B2B and consumer products and services. Prior to Vidder, he was VP of Marketing at cloud migration pioneer CloudVelox. Before CloudVelox he held marketing leadership positions at Vantage Data Centers, Infoblox (BLOX), BlueLane Technologies (VMW), Redline Networks (JNPR), IntruVert (INTC) and ShoreTel (SHOR). He has a BA from Reed College and an MA from The University of Texas at Austin. He has spoken on virtualization, networking, security and cloud computing topics at numerous conferences including CiscoLive, Interop and Future in Review.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Google Cloud has been named “Keynote Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Companies come to Google Cloud to transform their businesses. Google Cloud’s comprehensive portfolio – from infrastructure to apps to devices – helps enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter, stay secure, and do more with data than ever before.