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

Although HPE Announces a Milestone for Its “Machine” Project, Future Success is Far from Certain

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

• HPE announced a major milestone for The Machine research project, which promises to transform future computing and data center architectures.

• Despite real achievements, it remains to be seen whether HPE can make a success of The Machine in the way the vendor originally envisaged.

Of the various announcements Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) made at its recent Discovery Event in London, November 2016, one of the most interesting related to “The Machine”, a Hewlett Packard Labs research project that was inaugurated in 2014 and which aspires to revolutionize the way computers are built and data centers of the future are architected. At the London Discovery event HPE announced that it had reached a major milestone for The Machine project, having built and successfully tested a prototype of the “world’s first memory-driven computing architecture”.

Read more of this post

As HPE Builds Momentum with its IoT Strategy, Rivals Such as Cisco, IBM and Dell EMC Need to be Equally Clear about their Approach to IoT

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

• HPE’s IoT strategy focuses on converged systems at the network edge, along with security, analytics and partnerships with key industry players.

• The latest initiatives, solutions and solution enhancements announced by HPE at its London Discovery event add significant momentum to this multi-faceted IoT strategy.

At its Discovery Event in London, November 2016, HPE announced a number of new innovations that are intended to advance the vendor’s IoT infrastructure strategy and help enterprises tap opportunities in, what HPE refers to as, the “industrial internet.” Innovations announced in London include several enhancements to the HPE Universal IoT Platform – including support for a wider range of LoRa gateways, as well as the ability to manage both subscriber identify module (SIM) and non-SIM devices, and a new portal for simplifying IoT device management. Other solutions announced in London include new switches and device profiling tools from HPE business Aruba, to help enterprises identify, secure and manage IoT devices at the edge of their network, and the HPE Mobile Virtual Network Enabler, which is aimed at fostering the emergence of new, specialized IoT mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Read more of this post

How Lightweight Middleware and SOA Are Evolving into Fine-Grained Microservices

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • SOA supports the idea of reusing application development resources and functions, while a microservices architecture allows the same at a much more granular level.
  • Microservices plus automation addresses CI/CD via distributed service components.

During the next 12 months, we’ll see a flood of structured DevOps architectures emerge to support the growing microservices trend, which in turn fosters continuous deployment.

The emerging trend around microservices enhances traditional Java EE multitier/n-tier architectures with distributed service components and greater use of automation to support continuous integration, continuous deployment (CI/CD). Note that Java EE is considered the dominant standard for building next-generation, business-critical, distributed apps. By breaking an app down into smaller components, developers can target specific units of the app with more frequent updates. This enables more frequent deployments, which is where CI/CD comes into play. Read more of this post

The New PaaS Looks a Lot Like CaaS, with Orchestration

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

• The benefits of PaaS are being realized through a consistent deployment format, easing DevOps processes

• New microservices architectures and containers will usher in advanced technologies including serverless architectures

PaaS is evolving to address growing DevOps concerns through open technologies; these, in turn, support new architectures, new forms of deployment through containers, and necessary features including orchestration, management, monitoring, and push services. PaaS services have evolved beyond providing basic app hosting to address modern DevOps’ needs, including the ability to leverage hybrid cloud and multi-cloud portability to ensure continuous integration and continuous deployment (CICD). Platform services provide containerization with particular importance now being placed on the ability to deploy and orchestrate containers, with policy, in order to modernize and port legacy and new apps onto any cloud infrastructure. Read more of this post

Red Hat Needs a Market Message to Match Its Broad IT Solutions Portfolio

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Red Hat has been expanding its business model beyond infrastructure, to focus on solutions that support enterprise DevOps initiatives and container and hybrid cloud management.
  • Ongoing challenges facing the company include growing competition and the need to strengthen its market message about the full range of solutions it offers.

With Red Hat’s total revenues increasing by 18.5% in the six months to August 31, 2016, and with over 50% growth in the number of deals valued at over $1 million in the same period, the open-source software solutions vendor has stepped up its efforts to keep the international analyst community briefed on its latest achievements, initiatives and future plans. At a Red Hat Analyst Day in London – the first such event outside the traditional setting of the vendor’s annual U.S. summit – Red Hat unpacked its vision of the ‘open hybrid cloud’ future and expounded on a large and varied portfolio of enterprise solutions that stretch from traditional products such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Virtualization for physical and virtual data center environments, through to solutions for building and managing cloud architectures and for managing the entire lifecycle of applications within a hybrid cloud environment. Read more of this post

Salesforce DX: Consumer-Style, Source Driven Development Experience

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

• Salesforce DX will support popular standard development tools as part of its platform.

• The new platform experience will attract additional enterprise developers to its cloud services.

For enterprise developers, the most important news from Dreamforce 2016 was Salesforce DX—a new source-driven development experience (DX). The developer preview is based around externalizing source metadata, enabling the support of various open development tools to ease collaboration around metadata. Read more of this post