Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Java Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, XML, Microservices Journal, Virtualization, Web 2.0

Cloud Expo: Blog Feed Post

A Cloud That Cares? Or About Eating Your Cloud and Having It Too

Self-service in most cases means the provider is not aware of what the individual customer is using its product or service for

Although self-service - together with elasticity, pooling/sharing, etc. - is a defining attribute of cloud computing, many of the companies expressing an interest in cloud computing do not seem to be aware of that.

In fact, when asked: who do you expect to provision your services to the cloud?; who will monitor your services' performance and availability? and; who do you expect to take action if something goes wrong?, a majority of the companies asked look to be somewhat surprised by the question, as they simply assumed that their service provider would do so.

This is a bit like going to a supermarket (a typical self-service facility), pointing to the ingredients you like and expecting the cashier to clean, cook and serve them for you. The name we generally use for such a service however is "restaurant" and it comes with significant different expectations and pricing, as demonstrated by the price of a bottle of the wine in a restaurant versus that same bottle at a supermarket (which is one reason restaurants prefer to buy from exclusive wine merchants and not to put bottles or their wine list that are available in retail).

The supermarket versus restaurant analogy may sound like a silly comparison, but is useful to further illustrate the difference between cloud computing and more traditional IT services. It is not just that the product is vastly different: a raw steak on styroform and a brown bag with vegetables versus a prepared steak - cooked to our liking - on a nice plate, brought to our table with a smile./p>

The much more telling difference lies in what we would reasonable expect to happen if something goes wrong. For example: if a supermarket burns down, we would expect the supermarket to - first and foremost - concentrate on building a new facility so it can restore its service. We would not expect the supermarket to call us and help us plan tonight's meal or offer any alternatives on an individual basis. Likewise expect cloud providers to focus primarily on getting their cloud back up in case of problems.

However, if a restaurant burns down we would find it reasonable they would call people that have made reservations. And if we booked a wedding there for next weekend, we would expect the restaurant to help us find a new facility, help us agree the new menu with the new chef and reimburse any additional cost (unless we change the menu from steak to lobster).

Self-service in most cases means the provider is not aware of what the individual customer is using its product or service for. As a result it is not getting involved with individual outcomes (as it simply does not know those). This separation is also not uncommon in self-service infrastructure and even used as line of defense in case that infrastructure turned out to be used in "less than legal" ways.

Hybrids
Self-service supermarket have a lot of benefits that restaurant customers may also be interested in: choice, speed, price, no need to make a reservation, ample parking, to name just a few. So is there a way to eat our cake and have it to?

One option are self-service restaurants, like the ones you may find along most European highways. Service tends to be fast, no need to make a reservation and if the restaurant happens to be full, we just drive to the next one. Here self-service is the overriding attribute. It's a supermarket with cooked foods, in most cases without the price advantage. And we probably would not plan having something important, like a wedding (or another mission critical event) there.

An option closer to the desired experience may be eating at a full service restaurant that sources from a supermarket. Such a restaurant could source it ingredients on demand (by simply walking across the street), it could offer enormous choice and would in most cases not run out of ingredients. It would however likely have to pay retail prices for these ingredients (supermarkets margins are thin and they do not have a lot of room for additional discounts, especially if you don't buy in bulk). But retail prices might conceivably still be lower than what a restaurant would normally pay from it traditional channels (like the exclusive wine merchant).

Pricing
As the prices of the underlying ingredients are now transparent, end-user pricing becomes an issue. Do we pay for an all in price a cooked meal (including seat and cutlery) or do we pay separate for cooking, serving and use of the facilities. In North America paying separate for service is still customary, and although not too long ago - in the southern parts of Europe - you would be charged separately for the couvert and the service, European restaurants now largely evolved to all-in-pricing. The drawback of such fully inclusive prices is that people compare it to the publicly known ingredient prices (a problem not unfamiliar to many an IT manages, who tried to explain the difference between the TCO based price of the fully managed PC their department offered and the price of that same PC in the local mall or - even more pronounced - from an on-line retailer).

Resilience
But -just like cloud computing is not all about cost - eating out is not just about price, it is also about agility, productivity and resilience. By not having to spend time cooking, people can have more quality time or -more likely - spend more time at work: finishing that last assignment, winning that additional customer. This does however mean we are now dependent on the restaurant for a pretty essential part of our life: eating. So what happens if our restaurant - that now sources from a third party self-service supermarket- runs into problems?

As we are not buying this as self-service, we would expect the restaurant to care about the outcome (us being hungry or fed) and take DR measures in case something goes wrong. But in how far is it fair to expect that the restaurant can reasonably do this, as they are now dependent on the supermarket? Can the restaurant stay open if the supermarket closes for a holiday or if I order something after supermarket closing hours. Or is it relegated to being a middle man no longer able to control its own SLAs.

Having the supermarket and the restaurant under the same management (meaning the restaurant guys have keys to the supermarkets' back door) can help. But only if the supermarket manager allows his restaurant colleagues to interfere in his operations and impact his targets and quality (something not very common in larger organizations).

Smart restaurant would likely source from two or more supermarkets - preferably from separate chains, located in different streets. So it will be able to serve its customers even if one of them closes or burns down. And maybe that should also be the conclusion if you are looking (even though the definition would argue there is no such thing) for a non self-service cloud. In other words if we want to eat your cloud and have it too.

Disclosure: Before getting caught up in IT & Clouds, the author worked as a manager at the largest restaurant in the Netherlands, which indeed did burn down during that period but managed to restore it services within a week and keep it running throughout the reconstruction.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Gregor Petri

Gregor Petri is a regular expert or keynote speaker at industry events throughout Europe and wrote the cloud primer “Shedding Light on Cloud Computing”. He was also a columnist at ITSM Portal, contributing author to the Dutch “Over Cloud Computing” book, member of the Computable expert panel and his LeanITmanager blog is syndicated across many sites worldwide. Gregor was named by Cloud Computing Journal as one of The Top 100 Bloggers on Cloud Computing.

Follow him on Twitter @GregorPetri or read his blog at blog.gregorpetri.com

@ThingsExpo Stories
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understanding the kinds of data: structured, unstructured, big/small? Analytics: What kinds and how responsiv...
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The threat landscape of today is drastically different than just a few years ago. Attacks are much more organized and sophisticated. They are harder to detect and even harder to anticipate. In the foreseeable future it's going to get a whole lot harder. Everything you know today will change. Keeping up with this changing landscape is already a daunting task. Your organization needs to use the latest tools, methods and expertise to guard against those threats. But will that be enough? In the foreseeable future attacks w...
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
Cloud is not a commodity. And no matter what you call it, computing doesn’t come out of the sky. It comes from physical hardware inside brick and mortar facilities connected by hundreds of miles of networking cable. And no two clouds are built the same way. SoftLayer gives you the highest performing cloud infrastructure available. One platform that takes data centers around the world that are full of the widest range of cloud computing options, and then integrates and automates everything. Join SoftLayer on June 9 at 16th Cloud Expo to learn about IBM Cloud's SoftLayer platform, explore se...
15th Cloud Expo, which took place Nov. 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, expanded the conference content of @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit to include two developer events. IBM held a Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held a Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo floor. The Bluemix Developer Playground, for developers of all levels, highlighted the ease of use of Bluemix, its services and functionality and provide short-term introductory projects that developers can complete between sessions.
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo – to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – is now accepting Hackathon proposals. Hackathon sponsorship benefits include general brand exposure and increasing engagement with the developer ecosystem. At Cloud Expo 2014 Silicon Valley, IBM held the Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held the DevOps Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo floor. The Bluemix Developer Playground, for developers of all levels, highlighted the ease of use of...
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
In the consumer IoT, everything is new, and the IT world of bits and bytes holds sway. But industrial and commercial realms encompass operational technology (OT) that has been around for 25 or 50 years. This grittier, pre-IP, more hands-on world has much to gain from Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications and principles. But adding sensors and wireless connectivity won’t work in environments that demand unwavering reliability and performance. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ron Sege, CEO of Echelon, will discuss how as enterprise IT embraces other IoT-related technology trends, enterprises with i...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise behind this presentation will provide attendees with a leading edge view of rapidly emerging IoT oppor...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Liaison Technologies, a leading provider of data management and integration cloud services and solutions, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Liaison Technologies is a recognized market leader in providing cloud-enabled data integration and data management solutions to break down complex information barriers, enabling enterprises to make smarter decisions, faster.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
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 ...