|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.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
Jul. 1, 2016 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 724
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jul. 1, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 513
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
Jul. 1, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 765
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profession...
Jul. 1, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 630
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Jul. 1, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 223
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
Jul. 1, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 295
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
Jul. 1, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,420
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Jul. 1, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 318
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Jul. 1, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,046
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Jul. 1, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 694
Apixio Inc. has raised $19.3 million in Series D venture capital funding led by SSM Partners with participation from First Analysis, Bain Capital Ventures and Apixio’s largest angel investor. Apixio will dedicate the proceeds toward advancing and scaling products powered by its cognitive computing platform, further enabling insights for optimal patient care. The Series D funding comes as Apixio experiences strong momentum and increasing demand for its HCC Profiler solution, which mines unstruc...
Jul. 1, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 683
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Jul. 1, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 652
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Jul. 1, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 564
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Jul. 1, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,089
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Jul. 1, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 523
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Jul. 1, 2016 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,191
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
Jul. 1, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 689
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
Jul. 1, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 806
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
Jul. 1, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 810
The idea of comparing data in motion (at the sensor level) to data at rest (in a Big Data server warehouse) with predictive analytics in the cloud is very appealing to the industrial IoT sector. The problem Big Data vendors have, however, is access to that data in motion at the sensor location. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Scott Allen, CMO of FreeWave, discussed how as IoT is increasingly adopted by industrial markets, there is going to be an increased demand for sensor data from the outermos...
Jul. 1, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 569