OpenStack Summit 2017: Hosted Private Cloud Demand Reflects Both the Popularity and Problems of OpenStack

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • OpenStack cloud deployment continues to grow, with the main business drivers among enterprise users including the desire to avoid vendor lock-in and the potential to enhance innovation and operational efficiency.
  • Specific criticisms of OpenStack focus on the current six-month release cycle, as well as the complexity of the installation process for new releases and insufficient support for containers.

The May 2017 OpenStack Summit in Boston highlighted continued growth in the number and size of OpenStack cloud deployments, as well as evidence of increasing maturity for the technology. It also illuminated some of the ongoing challenges facing the OpenStack movement. Read more of this post

SAP Jumps on the Multi-Cloud Bandwagon as a Venue for Selling Leonardo

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • SAP is playing catchup with PaaS rivals, integrating its middleware with public cloud providers.
  • SAP missed the opportunity to provide an SCP roadmap around emerging DevOps technologies.

SAP focused much attention during this week’s annual Sapphire Now conference on the re-release of its Leonardo IoT platform, expanded to include machine learning and big data innovations (please see: SAP Relaunches Leonardo, Blending AI, Big Data, IoT and Blockchain, May 17, 2017). Perhaps more significantly, SAP revealed that these high-value services will run on SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) with the ability to reach broader markets through multi-cloud agreements and integrations with popular public cloud partners. Read more of this post

As Huawei Expands Its Public Cloud Platform It Should Not Underestimate Private and Hybrid Cloud Requirements

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

• Although Huawei’s public cloud platform will compete internationally against Amazon, Microsoft and Google, Huawei will differentiate by focusing on emerging markets and specific verticals.

• In promoting its public cloud platform, Huawei must continue to support the long-term need among many enterprises for private and hybrid cloud solutions.

It’s been a busy few weeks for Huawei, which has been forging ahead with new initiatives for supporting the adoption of cloud-based technologies and services among enterprise customers. One of the most attention-grabbing announcements at Huawei’s 14th Global Analyst Summit in Shenzhen (April 11-13), centered on the international expansion of the company’s public cloud platform. Huawei has offered public cloud services in China since 2015, competing against local providers such as Alibaba. It is now extending its ability to deliver public cloud services internationally via strategic partnerships with Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Telefónica, which will each utilize Huawei’s platform to offer public cloud services in regions where they have network infrastructure strengths. Although Huawei plans to extend its public cloud platform to other regions, it will do so cautiously, in response to customer demand, and with partners that need strict selection criteria. Read more of this post

DockerCon 2017: Major PaaS Announcements Address Microservices, Production Deployments

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Microservice frameworks are evolving to better address containerization complexities.
  • Containerization is at the foundation of comprehensive clouds, enabling microservices.

Attendees of DockerCon’s third-annual conference this week in Austin noted that, this time around, it felt like a real technology conference, despite the fact that the opening ceremony began by volleying a big blue whale among the keynote audience. Real or not, DockerCon’s participant list included all the major application platform leaders, including IBM, Oracle, VMware, Red Hat and others (not to mention several OpenStack infrastructure vendors). Read more of this post

Cloud Offerings Evolve to Usher in Containerization, Microservices

Charlotte Dunlap – Senior Analyst, Application Platforms

• Microservice frameworks are evolving to better address containerization complexities

• Containerization is at the foundation of comprehensive clouds, enabling microservices

Cloud players with a vested interest in platform services to virtualization and private cloud are refining their strategies to emphasize the importance of application containerization. PaaS’s are downplaying the building and hosting of monolithic and even N-tier apps, for clouds which now include containerization plus the use of microservices and distributed service components to support continuous delivery of services and applications. Read more of this post

IBM InterConnect 2017: Hybrid Cloud Offers IBM the Best Chance to Differentiate

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • In contrast to HPE and Cisco, which have recently retreated from maintaining public clouds, IBM continues to assert its strengths as a public cloud provider.
  • IBM should build on its capabilities to deliver hybrid cloud solutions, while also preparing for strong competition from Microsoft, Dell EMC and VMware.

The cloud was the central theme at this year’s IBM InterConnect conference in Las Vegas, with IBM emphasizing the growing strength and competitiveness of the IBM Cloud, while also launching several new initiatives to support enterprise hybrid cloud deployments. These include a new strategic alliance with Red Hat that is intended to make it faster and easier for enterprises to deploy OpenStack-based hybrid clouds and the launch of a suite of tools for managing hybrid and multi-cloud environments – some of which utilize IBM’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning engine, Watson, to offer predictive management capabilities. Read more of this post

Serverless Computing: Newest Cloud Evolution Abstracts Infrastructure Complexities

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Serverless computing promises to further abstract and thereby simplify VM/server infrastructure complexities, while supporting pay-as-you-go models.
  • Serverless is a logical extension and evolution of the ideas of microservices, containerization tools, and cloud-oriented software development itself.

Serverless computing’s ability to eliminate next-generation application development/deployment complexities by stripping away as much code from the server as possible will usher in a number of cloud service rollouts this year. This begs the question: when should DevOps adopt this approach? This next evolution in cloud computing builds on the momentum of PaaS offerings, microservices development methodologies, and containerization tools like Docker Swarm and Kubernetes, to support agile app development through functions-as-a-service (FaaS). First brought to light a few years ago through Amazon’s AWS Lambda service, serverless computing – also known as FaaS – lets enterprise developers focus on writing code and not managing servers. The technology is based on the concept that when an event is triggered, a function is invoked automatically via a container to provide the context and execution framework for the work, all aimed at reducing operational requirements. A number of cloud providers are rolling out services this year based on investments in FaaS, so in addition to Amazon, buyers will be able to explore IBM OpenWhisk, Microsoft Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, and Pivotal Spring Cloud Function. Read more of this post

VMware Reports Strong 2016 Growth and Dismisses HPE Threat, but Needs a Plan to Protect New Businesses

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • VMware has emphasized the importance of emerging businesses such as hybrid cloud and hyper-converged infrastructure to its 2016 revenue performance.
  • In order to safeguard future growth, VMware must pay attention to the rapidly changing competitive dynamics within these emerging business segments.

Presenting his company’s Q4 and full-year results for 2016, VMware CFO Zane Rowe noted the important contribution of emerging businesses such as hybrid cloud and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) to VMware’s overall performance. In Q4, hybrid cloud and SaaS revenue – a category that includes vCloud Air and SaaS offerings such as vRealize as a Service – experienced double-digit growth and accounted for 8% of total revenue. VMware has emphasized the importance of its Cross-Cloud Services initiative – commercially availability in mid-2017 – for the future of its hybrid cloud strategy. Another key element of this strategy is Cloud Foundation, a software-defined data center platform based on NSX, vSphere and vSAN for building private clouds and extending them to the public cloud. Read more of this post

RAD’s Speed, Collaboration Key to Cloud Offerings in 2017

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • RAD goes hand-in-hand with microservices architecture and container deployment scenarios.
  • RAD vendors will continue to leverage OSS technologies including Cloud Foundry and Docker.

Rapid application development (RAD) platforms are a technology whose time has finally come with the advent of platform service, microservices architecture and containers. The low-code, high-productivity tools go hand-in-hand with new cloud infrastructures, architectures and deployment capabilities, because they address DevOps’ concerns around speed and efficiency, collaboration and accessing open source software to support portability. (Please see “PaaS Cloud Providers and SIs Will Bulk Up on RAD Technology,” January 20, 2017.) Read more of this post

The Demise of Intercloud Services Provides an Opportunity for Cisco’s Cloud Strategy

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • With the termination of its Intercloud Services, Cisco will now focus on helping enterprise customers build and manage their own hybrid environments.
  • Cisco stands to benefit from the closure of Intercloud, which provides it with an opportunity to streamline and redefine its cloud strategy.

The announcement by Cisco that it plans to terminate its Intercloud Services (CIS) public cloud on March 31, 2017 has been widely criticized as a failure of Cisco’s attempt to compete against hyper-scale public cloud providers and further evidence of the comparative weakness of public cloud offerings based on OpenStack open source technology. However, the decision by Cisco to put to bed an initiative which it launched in September 2014 can also be seen as a positive move by the vendor to realign its resources and refocus its cloud business, the latter having been historically criticized for being disjointed, lacking clarity and failing to deliver momentum. Read more of this post