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Among the many challenges facing IT management is the need to provide robust web security while at the same time delivering flawless user experiences on any device, anywhere. To better understand how you can survive and thrive in the cloud while proactively addressing today’s security challenges, join a guest speaker from Forrester Research, Inc., and Akamai Technologies at the upcoming live web panel “Strategies for Securing, Optimizing and Controlling the Cloud.” In this interactive webcast sponsored by Akamai Technologies, you’ll learn about:

* Today’s changing threat landscape

* Web security that won’t slow you down

* Tips for optimizing your cloud deployment

* Solutions available to ensure protection and performance

Register now for this free webcast to learn how to maximize the benefits of cloud computing for your enterprise and for your bottom line.

Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 | Time: 10:00 am PT/1:00 pm ET | Duration: 60 minutes

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SPEAKERS:

  • Rick Holland, Chief Analyst, Forrester Research, Inc.
  • Gary Ballabio, Executive Director of Cloud Products, Akamai Technologies
  • Martin McKeay, Security Evangelist, Akamai Technologies
  • Steve Wylie, General Manager, Cloud Connect

================================

REGISTER NOW >>

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Sponsored by: Akamai

 

 
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Steve Wylie

That’s the question we’re asking with the launch of the 2013 ICE Awards. Cloud Connect and Everest Group are teaming up for a first of its kind look how companies are innovating through cloud computing.  Submissions are due on July 26, 2013!

Why are we launching the ICE Awards?

Our industry has moved beyond the era of defining the cloud and evangelizing its merits. The cloud and it’s benefits are now well understood. But what’s less understood is how cloud has impacted the enterprise in a long-term, meaningful and measurable way. That’s the focus of the ICE Awards.

The Industry Categories
  • Consumer goods & retail
  • Financial services
  • Healthcare
  • Media & entertainment
  • Other

What We’re Looking For?

  • Significant positive effects on one or more segments of your stakeholders (customers, employees, partners/channels, and/or society in general), e.g., improved customer satisfaction, improved collaboration between employees and partners, reduced resource consumption footprint etc.
  • Striking business impact in terms of revenue, costs, pricing, investments, retention, and/or reduced time to market
  • Notable technology transformation that led to process simplification, creation of new feature/functionality, flexibility, uniqueness/cleverness, business agility, etc.
  • Achievement of organizational transformation, e.g., the cloud solution improved your organizational model, bettered your change management practices, empowered a previously impassive organization, etc.

Who Decides the Winners?

We’re working with a team of judges from industry, media & the enterprise. Our growing list of ICE Awards judges includes:

  • Reuven Cohen, Writer of the Digital Provocateur column for Forbes Magazine
  • Neal Sample, CIO – Enterprise Growth, for American Express
  • Dave McCrory, SVP of DSP (Platform) Engineering at Warner Music Group
Winners will be announced at Cloud Connect Chicago 2013 and will have the option to take the stage and tell their story.

 
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Steve Wylie

Each year Cloud Connect Silicon Valley hosts the Cloud Executive Summit (CES), an exclusive program which takes place in advance of the main Cloud Connect Conference and Expo. The speakers and audience for CES include an interesting blend of industry executives, investors and entrepreneurs, and ample opportunity for discussion and networking. The program is fast-paced, thought provoking and focuses on a variety of interesting topics.  But the underlying theme at CES is very much focused on one thing… finding the next business opportunity in the cloud.

Here’s an overview of what we have planned this year and the excellent speakers we have lined up.  I hope to see you there!

Opportunities in the Mobile Cloud

  • Presented by Avery Lyford, VP of Business Development, LEAP Commerce

What’s the Big Data Deal: Market Insights and Opportunities

  • Presented by Seth Robinson, Director, Technology Analysis, CompTIA

How Software Defined Networks Change Everything

  • Presented by Andre Kindness, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research

How to Get Your Cloud Startup Funded

  • Presented by Glenn Solomon, partner, GGV Capital

Understanding Enterprise Requirements for the Cloud – A CIO Interview

  • Presented by John O’Farrell, General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz
  • Presented by Mark Settle, CIO, BMC Software

Are you Being a Good Cloud Broker for your Business?

  • Presented by Ray Richardson, Master Cloud Strategist, Hewlett-Packard
  • Presented by Christian Teeft, Vice President Engineering, Latisys

Finding the Next Cloud Opportunity – VC Panel

  • Moderator: Ben Kepes, Blogger, Diversity Limited
  • Ryan Floyd, Founding General Partner, Storm Ventures
  • John O’Farrell, General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz
  • Salil Deshpande, Managing Director, Bain Capital Ventures
  • Reuven Cohen, Techstars Mentor, Contributing Author at Forbes Magazine and SVP at Virtustream

Have Business Buyers Driven us to the Tipping Point for Cloud Adoption?

  • Presented by Scott Bils, Partner, Everest Group

We look forward to seeing you at Cloud Connect next week.

 
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This isn’t a simple question to answer.

First of all, cloud computing is hidden behind a fog of abstraction. Whereas IT could once instrument every element of an application, today applications are like Descartes’ brain in a jar—never quite sure if they’re real, or virtual.

Second, on the surface many service providers’ goals aren’t aligned with those of their customers’. Service providers want to maximize revenues, and want the freedom to do with the underlying infrastructure what they will. That’s how they stay in business and make the most of what they have. Without that freedom, they lose economies of scale and skill. By contrast, customers want special treatment, and instrumentation all the way down the stack.

Third, people don’t really understand metrics well. Despite decades of criticism, we still use averages, even though they hide important fluctuations in service quality that can warn of bigger problems before they become disasters.

There’s a bigger problem here, however. For half a century, IT has been about protecting precious resources. The reason you put up with carrying a stack of punched cards to the basement of the computing building at 3AM was because the mainframe was scarce, and the humans abundant. No more: each of us has three screens, one of which is seldom more than a meter from our bodies at any time.

That means we’re less concerned about the consumption of resources and more concerned about the completion of tasks. We shouldn’t really care if the CPU is idle or maxed out, provided that the user accomplish what they set out to do. Proponents of Service Level Agreements have long known this, but cloud monitoring, hiding behind the fog of virtualization, drives it home hard.

Application Performance Management and Real User Monitoring have long been thought of as “advanced” forms of measurement*. These go beyond up/down metrics or numbers related to utilization, and instead look at the success of the application from the user’s point of view. They’ve often languished somewhere between web analytics (which show you what users did) and synthetic monitoring (which shows you whether the site is working.)

Today, however, the real question is: could they do it, well? There’s great evidence that slow applications undermine productivity, cost money, and cut into revenues. Slow clouds need fixing. To do this, I think we need to go beyond APM, and start with the business problem. Too often, IT professionals start at the bottom and work up. “Server 10 is down, which means the support site isn’t working, which means the phone queue is too long, which impacts our customer satisfaction rating.” They begin with the means, and work back to the end.

Instead, I think we need to step back and look at the business model. From that, we can derive the relevant metrics, and what’s considered an acceptable threshold. Then we can measure against those thresholds, and report on violations. That’s a much more palpable approach to measurement for executives. Starting at the model and working down says we say, “7% of visits need to result in an enrollment for us to meet our monthly target.” From that, we can measure the steps of an enrollment, and their performance against the past or response targets.

When we owned the infrastructure, this was considered progressive. But the fog of cloud monitoring means it’s often the only way we can measure. It lets us size cloud consumption, which in turn lets us define budgets—since with the right architecture, you can have any performance you can pay for. And it leads to good metrics, since it’s focused on rates and exceptions rather than averages.

We’ll be talking about how to measure cloud-based applications at this spring’s Cloud Connect event in Santa Clara. In fact, we have a whole track of content dedicated to it, including sessions on WAN, application delivery networks, load-balancing, and choosing the right metrics. Clouds are the IT of abundance, and they fundamentally change how we measure applications. Let’s figure out how.

 
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Each year at Cloud Connect, we try to look ahead to what the next twelve months hold. To many of us, the future was really the removal of the word “cloud.” Just as “web applications” are now just “applications”, so technologies like “cloud storage” are just “storage.” Similarly, cloud computing will soon just be “computing.”

Does that mean the future of something like Cloud Connect is simply “connect”? Sort of. New technologies are seldom interesting in their own right. Rather, they’re interesting for what they make possible.

Y-Combinator founder Paul Graham describes a startup as an organization designed for rapid growth—and he means rapid. He wants to see a 5-10% increase in users or revenues every week for companies within his accelerator. While he says that startups aren’t necessarily technology, it’s very likely that they are. That’s because technology does two things:

  • It disrupts a market. There’s not much new about Uber driving people around. We’ve had taxis for centuries. But the ubiquity of mobile applications with location awareness is new, and that’s disrupting a big market quickly. So technology can trigger a rapid change in an existing market. Growth.
  • It makes a new market. The online search industry didn’t exist twenty years ago. Today, it’s worth billions. Technology creates entirely new businesses even as it leaves old ones crumbling. 3D printing might usher in an era of manufacturing at the edge, even as it destroys traditional just-in-time logistics.

And this is why clouds are interesting. Not in their own right—they’re rapidly becoming another tool in the IT toolbox, albeit an extremely flexible one. Clouds are interesting because they make computing frictionless. They allow organizations of any size to achieve the kinds of scale and growth Graham demands of the companies he helps launch.

A couple of years ago, we joked that “big data gives clouds something to do.” There’s a lot of truth to this. Big Data itself isn’t new—and it isn’t mounting the peak of a hype curve, despite what Gartner says. Big Data has been around for ages, as anyone from a company like Teradata, IBM, Oracle, or Microsoft will tell you. What’s new about big data is the democratization of analysis. Anyone who runs a Facebook Graph Search today has more power, and more access, than any three-letter-agency in Washington dared dream of a decade ago.

And powerful, democratized analysis is a game-changer for society. It’ll alter how we work and play; how we learn and love; and how we make decisions. All because of cloud computing, which provides the elastic, on-demand undercarriage for vast analysis.

In the Futures and Disruptions track at Cloud Connect this spring, Cascade Insights’ Sean Campbell will lay out four possible futures for cloud computing in the next few years, encouraging IT professionals to hedge their bets. Allan Leinwand, whose career spans executive technology roles at Cisco, Digital Island, Zynga, and Servicenow, predicts where cloud platforms are headed. And serial entrepreneur Margaret Dawson joins Savvis’ Ed Saipetch to speculate on the future of data—and whether it’s headed for anarchy or trust.

It promises to be a fascinating look at where technology is headed, even as clouds themselves quietly blend into the fabric of everyday computing.

 
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A post by Eric Hanselman, WAN and Cloud Networking Track Track Chair.

With all of the enthusiasm for the compute and storage aspects of cloud capabilities, it’s easy to take the networks that bind them together for granted.  Networks haven’t been a very visible part of early cloud computing deployments, but they’re critical to effectively leveraging cloud’s advantages and ensuring success in implementations. Networks take on new forms and characteristics in cloudy deployments, too. There’s increased flexibility, but also a dependence on the cloud provider’s network designs. That dependence can make a transition from typical enterprise network architectures a challenge.  Understanding the differences can help smooth the way to being able to take advantage of the many benefits of cloudy worlds. Continue Reading »

 
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Steve Wylie

Our editors at Network Computing recently published an interesting Comparison of Infrastructure-as-a-Service Providers. This extremely helpful buyer’s guide includes information on 17 of the top IaaS vendors in the market and includes a features matrix of more than 60 decision points to help you make the right decision for your business.

Our own Cloud Connect and Everest Group Research shows that companies are increasingly looking at public IaaS options with 31% of our survey respondents indicating they already use public IaaS and an additional 49% indicating near and long-term plans for adoption.  So what’s driving the move to public IaaS?

Network Computing writes:

The IaaS product category has taken off because moving computing capacity to the cloud allows companies to focus on their core competencies rather than worry about buying, deploying and maintaining hardware. IaaS is why Instagram sold at a $1 billion valuation with only 13 employees, and why Pinterest served nearly 12 million monthly unique visitors with only 16 employees. For many companies, IaaS — and public cloud services overall — can yield significant benefits, but with an ever-growing number of providers, it can be difficult to know which will be the best choice. This comparison will help IT professionals make a more informed decision about which IaaS vendor to select. –Joe Masters Emison

This is also a topic we’ll explore in-depth at the upcoming Cloud Connect Conference in Silicon Valley including this newly added workshop on Amazon Web Services:

Amazon Web Services Training: Jumpstart Your Cloud Computing Knowledge Base

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the pioneer of cloud computing and its unstoppable growth dominates the industry. If you want – or are under pressure — to begin using AWS, this workshop is for you. Both fundamental and advanced AWS services are discussed during the workshop, ensuring that you gain a complete overview of the AWS service. The instructor will provide a live demonstration of the AWS system and management console during the workshop to allow you to see the power of AWS. The workshop is presented in a highly interactive fashion to address any questions you have about AWS.

Be sure to download the guide and we’ll see you at Cloud Connect Silicon Valley!

 
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Steve Wylie

Cloud Connect Silicon Valley is coming up fast and includes two new Private Cloud Workshops for attendees to choose from:

The Foundation for Private Cloud – Virtualization Management

Advanced Private Cloud – Automation, Self-Service and Cloud Management

Both of these courses will be taught by Barb Goldworm, President and Chief Analyst at FOCUS.  Barb is a phenomenal instructor and has published and spoken extensively on Private Clouds and Virtualization.  If you are planning or already implementing a private cloud, these are two must attend courses.

Here are Barb’s top 10 reasons to attend:

By Barb Goldworm, Cloud Connect Track Chair, Private and Hybrid Clouds

10. Get the BIG PICTURE view of the road from virtualization to cloud including recent trends

9. Assess where you are on this continuum and what steps you still have to take to successfully build your private cloud

8. Talk with others at the same stage, and those ahead of you, about how to solve the challenges you face now and in your next steps

7. Learn how to leverage all the work you’ve done in virtualization so far, to help you get to cloud

6. Learn where hypervisors should fit, and whether/how to live in a multi-hypervisor world

5. Learn where the potholes are on the road to cloud, and how to navigate around them

4. Hear a rapid fire perspective comparing the major cloud stacks to help figure out what’s right for you

3.  Cut through the hype of hundreds of virtualization and cloud management tools to see what’s real and what’s not

2. Learn about the relationship between cloud stacks, self-service portals, and cloud management tools

1. Learn what you need to take home a plan to get from the virtual infrastructure you have TODAY to the private cloud you want to have THIS YEAR!

 
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Steve Wylie

Cloud Connect Silicon Valley is just a few weeks away and I’m happy to write that most of our agenda now in place!  We have a lot of new programs lined up this year which I’ll highlight in the coming weeks.

In depth workshops form the backbone of any quality conference program, so here’s an update on some of the new workshops we have lined up for this year’s conference.  Our workshop programs are designed to provide practical guidance and training to prepare businesses to take full advantage of cloud computing.  Our agenda reflects the key trends, best practices and offers deep-dive instructional sessions.

In the area of Private Clouds we’ve gone deep.  Our own Enterprise Cloud Adoption Survey showed that for enterprise cloud buyers, 89% of respondents had either current or future plans for Private Cloud deployments in their business.  With this in mind we’ve introduced two new Private Cloud workshops in addition to our Private & Hybrid Clouds Track.

The Foundation for Private Cloud – Virtualization Management

Geared towards IT managers and staff who are looking to fulfill the full promise of virtualization and cloud and transform their environments into a private cloud, this workshop covers the challenges that come with the move to private cloud computing, and how to prioritize, evaluate and implement the necessary solutions for virtualization.  And building on the Foundations for Private Cloud course, advanced practitioners can continue with a course on Automation, Self Service and Management for Private Clouds.

Advanced Private Cloud – Automation, Self-Service and Cloud Management

This workshop is ideal for IT managers and staff who are looking to transform their environments into a private cloud, especially around improving operational efficiencies, optimization, automation, and IT agility – delivering IT as a service through private cloud, while reducing costs. This workshop covers the challenges that come with the move to private cloud computing, and how to prioritize, evaluate and implement the necessary solutions for virtualization and cloud management, optimization, automation and delivery as a private cloud.

Our research suggests that while Enterprises are planning for Private Clouds, Public Clouds are also being widely adopted.  This mix of new Private and Public Cloud uses, combined with existing systems and applications infrastructure creates new management challenges for IT to deal with.  We have introduced a new workshop to go deep on the challenge of managing these increasingly heterogeneous environments:

New Tools and Techniques for Managing Hybrid Cloud Environments

Attendees of this workshop will leave with a solid understanding of the new tools and techniques that are available to manage a hybrid Cloud environment, and how these technologies and ideas can be applied to enable you to gain control over your operations. The workshop will address these key topics:

•How Cloud management differs from traditional data center management
•What are the real costs of unplanned Cloud service adoption?
•Where to find new tools and techniques to address your hybrid Cloud requirements
•How to measure your success in a hybrid Cloud environment

The industry has now broadly accepted that utility-based, on demand computing makes sense. But for as far as we have come, it is not surprising that security continues to rank highest in barriers to cloud adoption.  With this in mind, we are introducing a new workshop to help cloud practitioners make informed decisions on how to move applications to the cloud without sacrificing security:

Identifying, Navigating, and Managing the Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Risks Associated with Cloud Computing

This workshop will introduce the concept of threat and vulnerability management and how it can be applied to cloud solutions.  Topics will include a discussion of threat and vulnerability analysis, applying threat and vulnerability analysis to cloud environments and solutions, vulnerability management for the cloud, and approaches to working with cloud providers to ensure risk and security requirements and expectations are properly met.

Many businesses are preparing for cloud-based development environments or Platform as a Service (PaaS).  Our own research suggests that 38% of enterprises already have PaaS plans underway while another 52% have near or long term plans.  These numbers are very strong and represent a profound shift in our thinking around how applications will be built and deployed in the future.  But as companies set their PaaS strategy, they need deep analysis and guidance to set their business on the right path for success.

Cloud Application Development Strategies

As cloud computing continues to pervade all aspects of information technology, from the data center through application offerings, the function and capabilities of various cloud offerings begin to blur. Eventually, all clouds will house applications or data, which means that IaaS is merely a stepping stone to the ultimate goal of simplifying the operations and management of the application platform or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Like the transition from virtualization to IaaS, the transition from IaaS to PaaS can be equally challenging. One of the more difficult aspects of choosing PaaS is the approach and architecture.

These are just a few of the new programs we have in store for Cloud Connect Silicon Valley.  Be sure to check out the full program and sign up to attend!

 
Published by

David Linthicum

Most failed cloud computing projects can be traced back to bad or missing architecture and design practices.  This was the trend in 2012, and it is continuing into 2013.  The reason: Lack of architecture and design methods and approaches, as well as the lack of a general understanding of the processes required to deploy solid cloud computing technology and solutions.

The complexities around multitenancy, resource sharing and management, security, and even version control lead cloud computing startups — and enterprises that build private and public clouds — down some rough roads before they start to learn from their mistakes. Or, perhaps they just have to kill the project altogether as they discover all that investment is unsalvageable. Continue Reading »

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