|By Jeremy Geelan||
|October 4, 2009 10:15 AM EDT||
Unisys announced in September a four-part cloud computing strategy that will enable clients to move their enterprise application workloads securely to tailored cloud environments and give them confidence in maintaining the integrity of their critical information.
In this Exclusive Q&A with Cloud Computing Journal in the run-up to SYS-CON's 4th International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo (November 2-4, 2009) - Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan speaks with Rich Marcello - Unisys President, Systems & Technology - about the Unisys Secure Cloud and sets the scene for the upcoming Unisys Cloud-in-a-box.
Cloud Computing Journal: Starting at 35,000 feet, what overall relationships does Unisys see between cloud computing and the increasingly real-time needs of today's enterprise?
Rich Marcello: I believe that cloud computing will revolutionize the way enterprises obtain IT and business services because of a number of converging factors - 1) the economy has forced enterprises to rethink their traditional cost models and minimize their capital expenditures in favor of pay-as-you-go models, 2) the need for anywhere, anytime IT since data sets continue to grow exponentially, and 3) the shift in the way IT works with, for example, virtualization and automation, which enable cloud computing.
Cloud Computing Journal: So cloud computing isn't just a buzzword, it's actually a glimpse of the future of enterprise IT so far as you are concerned?
Rich Marcello: Absolutely. When you think about "IT as a service", ease of delivery, access from anywhere at anytime, the ability to have a totally flexible IT infrastructure, and the cost benefits of a subscription or pay as you go model, you realize very quickly cloud computing, in any of its forms (internal, external, hybrid) is here to stay.
Cloud Computing Journal: I understand, though, there are some concerns with moving to the Cloud.
Marcello: That's right. Security is a big concern as well as privacy of the data once it leaves a client's data centers and the ability of a cloud provider to meet the client's compliance requirements. Additionally, there's concern about whether or not a client's applications can be moved to the cloud without rewriting them. Unisys addresses each of these concerns with Unisys Cloud Computing Strategy and solutions portfolio announced June 30, 2009.
Cloud Computing Journal: Tell me more about this new Strategy and what it means to your clients.
Marcello: We announced a four-part cloud computing strategy that will enable clients to move their enterprise application workloads securely to tailored cloud environments and give them confidence in maintaining the integrity of their critical information. We're delivering on the first two parts this year beginning with our June 30 announcement and the availability of our Cloud Transformation Services, followed by our Unisys Secure Cloud Solution available on July 31. Our "Cloud-in-a-box" solution planned for later this year is a comprehensive IT infrastructure package that will enable quick and cost-effective implementation of a private cloud. We also plan to deliver hybrid cloud technologies early next year that will provide the best of managed and dedicated services by combining public and private cloud capabilities.
Our comprehensive Cloud Transformation Services include Advisory and Assessment services that can provide our clients with strategic guidance on how best to move to the cloud.
Cloud Computing Journal: How are you leveraging your breadth of Enterprise IT experience?
Marcello: We believe our strong heritage in Data Center Transformation and Outsourcing is foundational to cloud computing - you can't begin to offer a cloud computing solution unless you understand the data center and are true experts. We've been helping clients transform their data centers and make the right IT sourcing decisions for a long time by leveraging our services, technology, and outsourcing capabilities so they can achieve maximum return from capital expenditures, reduce operating expenses, and increase business performance. Our heritage of experience and innovation combined with our independent thinking, innovative infrastructure and sourcing capabilities deliver data center solutions that are secure, productive and reliable. We see all of this as a key advantage over other cloud providers who are just entering this market.
Cloud Computing Journal: How big an issue is security for enterprises who wish to migrate toward this kind of an infrastructure wholly or in part?
Marcello: As I mentioned earlier, security is the biggest barrier to cloud adoption as cited by organizations and industry analysts, as well as our own clients in a recent survey we conducted.
When it comes to security in a cloud it's really about the workloads and how clients can confidently move them to the cloud. A lot of vendors talk security in the cloud but we've tackled this issue head-on and believe we have an advantage. Security is inherent in all Unisys operations and offerings and, like Data Center Transformation and Outsourcing, is one of Unisys four key areas of strength.
We address security by ensuring operational excellence. Unisys Secure Cloud services teams operate ISO 20000-certified delivery processes that are ITIL V3-compliant. All of this protection is delivered in independently audited and ISO 270001-certified delivery centers. We utilize security best practices - a layered multi-vendor approach to security with Intrusion Detection and Prevention Services (IDPS), firewall management, 24x7 security monitoring, advanced correlation and analytics, auditable logs, and so forth.
From a cloud perspective, our commitment is to provide a security framework that is as good as or better than any clients could establish for themselves. We do all of this and more with the addition of our patent-pending Stealth technology that allows private communities of interest based on FIPS 140-2, 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption and cloaks the data with proprietary "bit splitting". Unlike other approaches to security, Unisys Stealth is very simple to deploy and does not require rewriting applications. We believe this is a key differentiator as Stealth technology allows different groups in a multi-tenant client environment to share the same IT infrastructure without fear of exposing one client's data to another, and there's no need for the client to rewrite the applications it chooses to move to the cloud.
Cloud Computing Journal: What kinds of applications need security that your cloud offers?
Marcello: Clients who have workloads that require application, database or user security will have exposure if they put such workloads onto an unsecured cloud service. Consequently, today companies are primarily using unsecured cloud services for workloads that have few security needs, such as Application Development and Testing or basic Web services, along with some less secure email workloads.
With Unisys Secure Cloud, you can move conventional business applications that contain patient data, employee, financial, or customer information, or document management or disaster recovery applications to the cloud environment. In addition to security, most of these applications tend to require quite a bit of IT infrastructure and staff time to manage even though they tend to run in spurts and are quite cyclical or the workloads can dramatically vary in size from one period to the next. For example, they may only run at the end of day, end of week, month, or year. Some good examples are: Budgeting and planning; or HR systems like employee self-service, or time reporting. Retailers have massive swings in system demand from one season to the next and need flexible capacity. IT also has workloads that are cyclical in nature, including back-up, disaster recovery, and quality assurance, each of which has very high security requirements. And, most of the time they are not using all of the hardware dedicated to them. This is why the average enterprise server utilization is only 5-10%. Think of the savings in capital and IT operations if these applications could be moved to a cloud service where you only pay for what you use.
Lastly, large OLTP-based workloads, or ERP systems or web store fronts are the most critical applications for your business. If you are a manufacturer, it could be your order, inventory and supply chain systems; for banks, it's core systems like deposits, transfers, etc; for airlines it would be the reservation systems. When these go down, the business is all but dead. Therefore, these are the kinds of systems that make sense to continue to invest in traditional, in-house IT infrastructures. Because these kinds of workloads tend to run nearly all the time, it makes good economic sense to buy the infrastructures to support them.
Cloud Computing Journal: How would someone decide if cloud computing is right for their business and which workloads to move?
Marcello: It's really about understanding what makes the most business sense for the client and what they are trying to accomplish. As part of the June 30th announcement, we have Unisys Cloud Transformation Services, available now, which allow clients to plan and migrate to the type of cloud environment that best meets their business goals. These services help clients assess what application workloads can be moved to the cloud, how that can be done, and the technology, financial and security implications of their choices.
Cloud Computing Journal: How about virtualization and automation, where do they fit in the big picture?
Marcello: These are fundamental to cloud computing and for Unisys, our Real-Time Infrastructure technology powers our cloud. Virtualization is an enabler that helps us supply only the needed amount of IT resources based on the workload demand of the business at any given time. Automation adds elasticity to the environment, reduces the time needed for changes, and eliminates or at least simplifies the manual intervention in a potentially rapidly changing environment.
Cloud Computing Journal: And what kinds of governance and service management tools does the enterprise need?
Marcello: From a service management perspective, many vendors operate as siloed mechanisms. Unisys, on the other hand, has built into our secure cloudware stack an integration layer that enables us to interface with our clients' service management framework as well. The virtual data center, regardless of the location of the resources, is managed seamlessly. Unisys makes it look like one holistic environment. A key point to keep in mind is how hard it is for any IT organization to develop world class governance and service management. With Unisys Secure Cloud Solution and "Cloud in a Box" we have developed a broad set of ITIL best practices, which are fully automated, and which allow us and our clients to run a very efficient IT infrastructure. With this, a lot of automation occurs, and this can save money by minimizing manual tasks, reducing errors, and getting much higher utilization rates.
Cloud Computing Journal: What verticals among your customers are leading the adoption of the Cloud?
Marcello: We're getting a number of inquiries from a broad range of Unisys clients in telco's, financial institutions, transportation, and the public sector as well as partners who are interested in Unisys hosting their solutions within our Secure Cloud.
Cloud Computing Journal: What does Cloud Computing have to offer to mid-tier enterprises?
Marcello: Cloud computing is compelling for mid-tier enterprises since it minimizes the need for capital expenditures as well as lowers the need for on-going operational support. They will be interested in our Secure Cloud Solution, especially secure Software as a Service (SaaS).
Additionally for those clients who want to build an internal cloud, the Unisys Cloud-in-a-box that we'll deliver later this year will be a cost-effective, simplified cloud deployment alternative.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC 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. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
May. 27, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 464
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
May. 27, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 4,268
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
May. 27, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,771
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
May. 27, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,300
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
May. 27, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 5,469
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fil...
May. 27, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,241
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 27, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 4,618
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
May. 27, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 7,124
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
May. 27, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 5,731
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
May. 27, 2015 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 4,328
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
May. 27, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,004
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
May. 27, 2015 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 5,669
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
May. 27, 2015 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,417
Collecting data in the field and configuring multitudes of unique devices is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process that can stretch IT resources. Horan & Bird [H&B], Australia’s fifth-largest Solar Panel Installer, wanted to automate sensor data collection and monitoring from its solar panels and integrate the data with its business and marketing systems. After data was collected and structured, two major areas needed to be addressed: improving developer workflows and extending access to a business application to multiple users (multi-tenancy). Docker, a container technology, was used to ...
May. 27, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,624
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
May. 26, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 5,280
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
May. 26, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 5,012
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
May. 26, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 6,749
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
May. 26, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 7,361
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
May. 26, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,655
Container frameworks, such as Docker, provide a variety of benefits, including density of deployment across infrastructure, convenience for application developers to push updates with low operational hand-holding, and a fairly well-defined deployment workflow that can be orchestrated. Container frameworks also enable a DevOps approach to application development by cleanly separating concerns between operations and development teams. But running multi-container, multi-server apps with containers is very hard. You have to learn five new and different technologies and best practices (libswarm, sy...
May. 26, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,528