Cloud deep-dive0212


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Cloud deep-dive0212

  1. 1. SPECIAL REPORT FEBRUARY 2012CloudComputing Deep Divei Deep Dive Articles 9 must-knows before developing . . . . . . . . . . 10 n idebar: What cloud providers should learn S፛፛ STATE OF THE CLOUD from Amazon Web Services . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Shaking up the data center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2n Sidebar: 5 key trends in cloud computing’s ፛፛ CLOUD STANDARDS future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 . . No. 2 Rackspace tries harder. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14n Sidebar: The case for public-first cloud com- puting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 ፛፛ LAST WORD THEIT jobs: Winners and losers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 The cloud makes users of us all. . . . . . . . . . . . 19፛፛ CLOUD DEVELOPMENTHow the cloud influences app dev . . . . . . . . . 9 . . Copyright © 2011 InfoWorld Media Group. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2011 InfoWorld Media Group. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Special i Cloud Computing Report 2i ntroduct i onShaking up the data center2011: A year of surging private clouds and public cloud build-outs i By Eric Knorr thanks to Verizon, managed routing services enable “directIf I had to sum up in one word the most exciting thing that access to the backbones of the world’s leading carriers” tohappened to cloud computing in 2011, I’d have to say it’s ensure high quality of service.OpenStack. This open source project, launched by Rack- Recent high levels of customer demand led Bailey tospace and NASA in late 2010, is assembling a private cloud predict that IDC’s estimate of cloud growth — to $148“operating system” for the data center that promises vast billion worldwide by 2014 — may be missing the mark byincreases in operational efficiency. The momentum behind several multiples. “Try $600 billion or even $750 billion,”it is phenomenal; at last count, 144 companies back the says Bailey.project, including Cisco, Citrix, Dell, HP, and Intel. Such aggressive numbers may be self-serving, but the But at the same time, the public cloud is surging — and ranks of public cloud boosters are growing. I recently spokenot just Amazon and Salesforce, though those two remain to Joe Coyle, CTO of Capgemini, who believes “the telcosthe largest public cloud service providers. The telcos (nota- are going to be huge” players in public cloud services. More-bly Verizon) are gearing up to deliver IaaS (infrastructure over, he says, in some engagements he is “hard-pressedas a service) at a larger scale than ever before. Microsoft, to come up with a reason to be in your own data centerHP, and others are also building out huge public cloud anymore.”capacities. In economic times like these, up-front cost is clearly a On the one hand, with OpenStack, we have a vibrant, factor. Conventional wisdom says that sunk cost in infra-fast-growing open source project for creating private clouds, structure will prevent enterprises from migrating to theflanked by VMware, which offers a proprietary portfolio cloud. Who would simply abandon all that stuff? But thatof private cloud software. On the other hand, we have formulation changes when rack upon rack of servers reachan increasing number of businesses seriously asking, “Do the end of their useful lives. You can gear up for anotherI really want to run my own data center?” For those that major capital investment in hardware — or turn to a publicdon’t, the public cloud is getting more attractive all the time. cloud service provider instead. The same dynamic applies to SaaS vs. conventional on-Going public premise software — paying as you go can be a lot more During a recent visit to InfoWorld, Kerry Bailey, presi- palatable than paying for servers and licensing fees updent of Terremark (now chief marketing officer for Verizon front, especially when it’s dirt cheap. To take one example,Enterprise Solutions), was exceptionally bullish in his pre- Google Enterprise vice president Amit Singh recently tolddictions for public cloud growth. Acquired earlier this year me that 5,000 businesses per day are signing up for Googleby Verizon, Terremark operates a public cloud IaaS play apps, as opposed to 3,000 per day one year ago.that’s 100-percent VMware — the enterprise virtualizationvendor of choice. Marshaling the private cloud Bailey says Terremark has seen 178 percent growth in its It’s worth noting that even if Bailey’s wildest predictionscloud business from 2010 to 2011, with current revenues turn out to be correct, spending on the public cloud wouldin the hundreds of millions. He also says that the No. 1 still amount to little more than 20 percent of global ITobjection to the public cloud, security, has been replaced spending by 2014. The rest will be spent on customers’by performance — which Terremark has addressed with own IT infrastructure and personnel. In large IT operations,proximity. According to Bailey, Terremark now has a physi- the private cloud — born of technologies and techniquescal presence “in all the NFL cities” in the United States. And pioneered by public cloud providers — will provide the pathINFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  3. 3. Special i Cloud Computing Report 3to new levels of efficiency and agility. management framework designed to automate almost any So-called private cloud software addresses that need with repeatable task in the data center. Puppet can create freshmany moving parts, including virtualization management, installs and monitor existing nodes; push out system images,metering and chargeback systems, automated configuration, as well as update and reconfigure them; and restart youridentity management, self-service provisioning, application services — all, and more. If you’re willing to pay the licensing fees, you can even Though far from complete, the OpenStack private cloud build an all-VMware private cloud. Virtualization is thesolution is compelling in part because it follows a Linux- underpinning of the private cloud — and VMware still offerslike open source model. Today, under an Apache license, the most advanced virtualization management tools.the OpenStack “kernel” has three components: Compute In October 2011, VMware announced three new suites(for managing large networks of virtual machines), Object to “simplify and automate IT management,” including vCen-Storage (for massive storage clusters), and Image Service ter Operations Management Suite (an update of vCenter(for managing virtual disk images). Around that kernel — as Operations for monitoring infrastructure and managingwith Linux distros — vendors add value. configuration), vFabric Application Management Suite Between its debut in October 2010 and today, Open- (mainly devops tools), and IT Business Management SuiteStack has already undergone four revisions. The fifth, code- (to report on operating expenses, services levels, and so on).named Essex and scheduled for release in spring 2012,will include two new components: Identity, for authentica- The cloud panaceation and authorization, and Dashboard, a UI for managing Yet for some reason, all these efforts to automate every-OpenStack services. thing simply remind me how complex the data center really But OpenStack is hardly the only game in town. Its best- is. In a recent presentation by VMware vice president ofknown competitor is Eucalyptus, a private cloud imple- products Ramin Sayar, I was struck by how ambitiousmentation of Amazon Web Services that enables you to VMware’s plans seemed — how many different types ofmove workloads back and forth between Amazon EC2 managers and administrators all that software needed toand Eucalyptus (which also comes in an open source ver- serve — and how much cost and effort might be incurred insion). Then there’s Puppet, a wildly popular configuration wrapping it all the way around the data center. The road to ፛፛5 key trends in cloud computing’s future First, the buzzwords “cloud computing” are enmeshed in computing. I’m not sure I ever liked the term, though I’ve built my career around it for the last 10 years. The concept predated the rise of the phrase, and the concept will outlive the buzzwords. “Cloud computing” will become just “computing” at some point, but it will still be around as an approach to computing. Second, we’re beginning to focus on fit and function, and not the hype. However, I still see many square cloud pegs going into round enterprise holes. Why? The hype drives the movement to cloud computing, but there is little thought as to the actual fit of the technology. Thus, there is diminished business value and even a failed project or two. We’ll find the right fit for this stuff in a few years. We just need to learn from our failures and become better at using clouds. Third, security will move to “centralized trust.” This means we’ll learn to manage identities within enterprises — and within clouds. From there we’ll create places on the Internet where we’ll be able to validate identities, like the DMV validates your license. There will be so many clouds that we’ll have to deal with the need for a single sign-on, and identity-based security will become a requirement. Fourth, centralized data will become a key strategic advantage. We’ll get good at creating huge databases in the sky that aggre- gate valuable information that anybody can use through a publicly accessible API, such as stock market behavior over decades or clinical outcome data to provide better patient care. These databases will use big data technology such as Hadoop, and they will reach sizes once unheard of. Fifth, mobile devices will become more powerful and thinner. That’s a no-brainer. With the continued rise of mobile computing and the reliance on clouds to support mobile applications, mobile devices will have more capabilities, but the data will live in the cloud. Apple’s iCloud is just one example. That’s the top five. Give them at least three years to play out. — David LinthicumINFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  4. 4. Special i Cloud Computing Report 4simplicity seems paved with even more complexity. apps over there, and a local data center that — through Her- The irony is if you choose to relocate your data center culean efforts to overcome complexity — will be somewhatto the public cloud, that complexity will not magically dis- easier to manage thanks to private cloud software.appear. IaaS is still infrastructure. You won’t need to pay All that will need to be integrated together. Gaurav Dhil-for hardware up front, and you won’t need to employ lon, CEO of cloud integration startup SnapLogic, wants topeople to stand up boxes or reroute cables, but your own supply that connective tissue between cloud services andIT people will still need to watch the meters and turn the on-premise applications — as do several other public clouddials remotely. Very likely, they’ll need cloud-specific skills integration services, including Boomi, acquired by Dell aon top of the usual skills required to run a data center. little over a year ago. Ultimately, IT’s mission is to deliver applications — either Dhillon recently told me “2012 is the year the enterprisebought or built for the business. In the long run, the cloud cloud ... the first time enterprises use the public cloud inthat really simplifies IT will largely be composed of SaaS a big way.” Maybe so, although it will still be a small sliceand PaaS (platform as a service). Slowly, haltingly, Micro- of the enterprise IT spend. I have little doubt the cloudsoft is moving in that direction with Office 365 and Azure. will triumph in the end — the economies of scale are justSalesforce lives there and its newly acquired PaaS play Her- too compelling. But we’re at the beginning of a very longoku now goes beyond Ruby to support Node.js, Java, and ascent skyward, with many convoluted twists and turnsPython. And of course, there’s Google Apps and Google along the way.App Engine. Eric Knorr is the editor in chief of InfoWorld Those are just a few big names amid hundreds of SaaSand PaaS players. But it’s still too early for any but the small-est startup to consider going without local infrastructure atall. Instead, we’re entering a long hybrid cloud period, witha chunk of public cloud infrastructure over here, some SaaS ፛፛The case for public-first cloud computing Private clouds are very much like traditional computing: You have to purchase your own hardware and software, configure all elements, and pay employees to watch over it as they would a data center or any other IT infrastructure. Thus, the core benefit of cloud computing — shared resources — can be lost when creating and maintaining a private cloud. Considering the relative costs and benefits of a private cloud, many enterprises start with public clouds instead. The reasons are obvious: You can be up and running in a short amount of time, you pay for only the resources you consume, and you don’t have to push yet another server into the data center. Good initial uses of the public cloud include prototyping noncritical applications on a PaaS cloud or providing simple storage via IaaS. A significant benefit is that you get real cloud computing experience, not more data center exercises under a new name. From there, you can take the lessons learned to get better usage of more public clouds, to deploy a private cloud that leverages cloud principles, and/or to take strong advantage of a mix of public and private clouds (a hybrid cloud). Ironically, starting with the public cloud removes much of the risk of moving to the cloud; you’re not making the large capital and labor investments and nervously awaiting the expected benefit. The costs of using the public cloud are low, and the payoff (especially the learning aspect) is high. Of course, many Global 2000 enterprises are still wary about using public clouds. Negative perceptions regarding cloud secu- rity, performance, and reliability can be daunting obstacles, but those fears are quickly overcome when you take into account the real costs and the real value private clouds versus public clouds. The latter wins every time — as long as you’re willing to share. — David LinthicumINFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  5. 5. Special i Cloud Computing Report 5S tate of the cloudIT jobs: Winners losersThe cloud’s effects on nine classes of IT jobs vary from positive to negative i By Kevin Fogarty tions with your company.There’s a simple reason so many people say cloud comput- “It’s not a matter of throwing out all the job descrip-ing will change everything about the IT universe: The cloud tions and organization and starting something new,” saysdemocratizes technology to a degree even more profound Sean Hackett, an analyst at the research firm 451 Group.than when the PC first gave nontechnical people the ability “There are a lot of commonalities, but the experience willto create unmanageably large spreadsheets they could play change. Ultimately the bulk of IT could look more like awith instead of work. projects office than the way it looks now, when most of the It’s probably not as profound as the Internet revolution, hands-on work is done inside. It probably won’t be a totalwhich allowed ordinary people to rely on Google rather transformation, but moving into cloud, there will be morethan an eidetic memory and rich classical education, but it’s of that and less DIY.”not far off, says Dan Olds, founder of consultancy Gabriel Where are the changes actually going to happen? Here’s aConsulting Group. Cloud computing gives nontechnical breakdown by role of who wins, who loses, and who mustpeople quick, affordable access to the most sophisticated change in the cloud, storage, and data — access they’re using to try todo their jobs better, with or without the involvement of Biggest winners: EnterpriseIT, he says. architects CIOs used to have to deal with the occasional rogue The biggest change, analysts and IT vendors agree, willIT project; now they have to deal with business managers be the rise to prominence of a job often considered toowho hire the equivalent of several IT departments using abstruse for many companies and too narrowly focused toa credit card and their normal operational budgets, says be practical for others, says consultant Cramm. That job:Susan Cramm, founder of executive career-development enterprise architect.and strategy consultancy Valudance, as well as former CIO Enterprise architects have often been their own worstof Taco Bell and CFO of a smaller PepsiCo restaurant chain. enemies, says Mark Egan, CIO of EMC VMware, the com-In fact, 65 percent maintain an IT budget of their own — pany most responsible for the spread of virtualization in ITcarved from their normal operational budget — for SaaS environments. “It takes really top technical skills to be ableor cloud services they can buy directly, rather than going to master the technical aspects, but you find a lot of peoplethrough IT. with that level of technical understanding don’t want to talk What does this mean to IT jobs? Some IDC stats give to anyone,” Egan says. “They might just want to sit and drawan indication: out systems on paper and not know how to get anyone to * By 2014, one-third of all IT organizations will be want to work with them.”providing cloud services to business partners rather than But in an organization whose IT infrastructure is heavilyproviding IT internally, says a poll of attendees at IDC’s virtualized, abstracted, and split among internal and exter-Cloud Leadership Forum in June. nally housed cloud platforms, the most important IT staff * By 2015, spending on public cloud services (including job — hands down — is the enterprise architect, Egan says.SaaS) will make up 46 percent of all new IT spending, says Architects — system, database, network, or otherwiseIDC’s June 20 forecast of Worldwide IT Cloud Services. — are typically systems designers whose jobs are highlySaaS will make up three-quarters of that spending, giving conceptual, but also very concrete, says Chris Wolf, a virtu-SaaS and cloud providers the leading role in vendor rela- alization and cloud analyst at Gartner. “Underneath all theINFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  6. 6. Special i Cloud Computing Report 6abstraction there is just as much of a need to manage the Winners: System administratorsdetails of resource management and performance as with Other than architects, the jobs undergoing the greatestphysical servers,” he says. “Instead of only having to deal change as cloud encompasses the data center are thosewith the number of variables you might involving hands-on system adminis-have within one server farm or data cen- SUBSCRIBE TODAY tration.ter or smaller set of servers, in a cloud- Keep up to date on the Architects may design and tunebased infrastructure you can allocate latest mobile news with cloud infrastructures, but systemresources like memory or CPU cycles or administrators do the detailed workbandwidth or I/O across the whole orga- the InfoWorld Cloud of spreading workloads across serv-nization. That’s a far more complicated Computing newsletter. ers, virtual servers, and data centers,picture.” assigning CPU cycles, memory, stor- Delivered straight to Within a cloud infrastructure, the rela- age, and other resources as neededtionships among applications, networks, your inbox each week. to keep performance high.and servers are far more complex than “If you don’t change job descrip- Don’t miss a beat,traditional infrastructures because there tions so sys admins aren’t restrictedare so many additional connections, says wherever you happen to one silo — because the applica-Rachel Dines, an infrastructure and opera- to be. Sign up now! tions and VMs in an internal cloudtions analyst at Forrester Research. That aren’t restricted, either — you’re let-means architects are essential. ting the potential gain in efficiency Despite the abstract notions that people typically associ- for IT people go to waste,” says Forrester analyst Dines.ate to architects, the reality is that much of the job focuses “You can’t get the most out of a cloud infrastructure if youron the critical details than enable everything to work well. admins are still suck in older ways of doing things.”For example, “people tend not to think of performance At VMware, for example, Egan thought it made moretuning in cloud or virtualized systems,” says Patrick Kuo, an sense to distribute IT staffers to individual business unitsindependent consultant who has helped build Web and vir- according to the amount of IT resources used by that unit.tual-server infrastructures at Dow Jones, the U.S. Supreme Rather than working in the data center and being respon-Court, and the Defense Information Services Agency. sible for supporting a business unit, they’re located in and He advises that you start with the right servers and pro- responsible to IT managers within that business unit — feel-cessors — make sure each has enough power, memory, and ing and being treated as a part of the business-unit teamcache, and that network connections are reliable and fast rather than as support from outside the department, Egan— then split major functions and distribute each across the says.infrastructure to help avoid bottlenecks from weak links in But cutting the absolute connection between systemthe computing chain, or concentrations of too many work- administration and physical hardware doesn’t eliminateloads in one place, Kuo says. the need to maintain the hardware, consultant Olds notes. “We’ve been able to get better performance in many case “You have to have people handling the hardware itself orwith a four-tier architecture instead of your typical three- the networks, but a lot of the things we used to do havetier, putting a layer of caching in the front, then the apps gone away,” Olds says. “You don’t usually have someoneservers holding most of the logic, then the Web servers and sitting and rebuilding a server for hours or days. If a servera replicated database backing them up. It’s all n-tier applica- goes bad, you pull the card out of the chassis, throw it awaytion design, but it has to be done differently in virtualized and slot in another. Or you close out the VM and provisionenvironments like cloud services or you get bottlenecks in another. Then you go on to the next thing. It’s a far higherplaces you wouldn’t think would cause problems,” Kuo level of efficiency.”says. Winners: Front-line IT managers Lower-level IT supervisors and managers will also haveINFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  7. 7. Special i Cloud Computing Report 7to make major changes to their responsibilities and daily Changed roles: Contract androutines under cloud infrastructures — and for the same service managersreasons that apply to sys admins, consultant Cramm says: Dealing with service-level guarantees, searching for andIf all the system administrators are responsible for processes choosing the best provider for a particular IT service —running in portions of the cloud distributed throughout the whether that be a SaaS company, external cloud provider,company, it makes no sense to have their direct supervisors or internal IT — is too much for many IT people to handlelocked in the old silos. given their hands-on workloads, says consultant Cramm. IT gains from loosening organizational structures so that “Typically you’re talking about a couple of dozen SaaS pro-people are assigned to support specific business functions viders and platform providers you have to be able to talk toor business units, rather than to a specific server, says James and integrate technology with,” Egan says, “and managingStaten, a cloud computing and infrastructure analyst at those contracts becomes a skill set in itself.”Forrester Research. Most companies moving into cloud or Cramm warns, “There are a lot of technical issues tovirtual computing for the first time don’t appreciate how integrate with an outside provider, because cloud soundsrestrictive organizational silos can be in slowing or stopping so fantastic, but as we found out with Amazon, if you don’ta migration, even if the only problem is the need to con- do your due diligence and don’t have the contracts laidtinually make ad hoc decisions about who is responsible out right, you’re not going to get what you need and you’llfor which workloads or Web services, he adds. spend the whole [term of the contract] wishing you did it The result of the cloud for IT supervisors is a role similar differently.”to the one they have today but in a far larger environment Managing external vendors and contracts is second— one that could encompass the whole enterprise rather nature to large populations of specialists within IT, mostlythan just one facility. those at companies that have outsourced most or all of their IT, Olds says. People in such organizations will moreChanged roles: CIO and senior IT easily adapt to the external management challenges thatmanagers come with the cloud. Like lower-level IT supervisors, senior-level IT manag-ers are having their responsibilities expanded and barriers Changed roles: Enterpriseamong them broken down — or should be — to accom- developersmodate more flexible infrastructures that include applica- It’s not that large companies will be using less softwaretions or islands of computing power housed with external than they used to, it’s just that they won’t be writing or cus-service providers. tomizing nearly as much of it themselves, says Forrester’s “A significant amount of the computing power and appli- Staten.cations the typical enterprise uses is coming from Salesforce. Companies can get either the bulk or a large chunk ofcom or or Google or other service providers,” the software they use from or other SaaSStaten says. “If you’re going to rely on that connection and providers, which means they don’t have to build the coreintegrate it with the rest of your infrastructure, you need functions of those applications themselves.someone who can identify standard interfaces, enforce ser- They do need to maintain the data and databases, as wellvice levels, make informed decisions about which service as implement a certain amount of customization to makeproviders to choose.” generic SaaS apps fit their workflow and data — but much In the past, the CIO or IT executive responsible for out- less so than in the past, he says. “You’re not really custom-sourcing deals was the only one involved with those kinds izing Salesforce to meet your needs,” Staten says. “You’reof extracurricular connections, Forrester’s Dines says. With making some adjustments, using APIs and documenta-cloud and SaaS, many of the senior IT managers will find tion and simple tools they supply. Mainly you’re adjustingthemselves doing it. your internal workflow to match what the SaaS providersINFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  8. 8. Special i Cloud Computing Report 8you choose can supply. In some ways that’s actually better seeing is that companies are willing to hire those [special-because you learn more about standardizing on efficient ized] skills from outside on a temporary basis. So you endprocesses rather than customizing everything.” up with IT being populated much more by IT generalists, Consultant Cramm expects the demand for developers but they’re generalists with a lot higher level of skills thanto remain strong in a cloud-oriented enterprise — it’s just before. That’s good internally because you’re hiring expe-that less of the development will be done internally and rienced people, but it makes getting that first job or twomore by outsiders. “If you can get what you need exter- harder for people right out of school or who are very earlynally, in terms of enterprise applications, why build it your- in their careers. There’s a higher barrier of skills to climb.”self?” she asks. “Someone still has to do that programming;it’s just not you.” Uncertain implications: IT support and help deskLosers: IT middle managers Predicting the demise of the help desk and direct IT sup- If there is one class within IT that will suffer from wider port role is risky because users always need more help thanadoption of cloud and virtualized systems, it is those IT can afford to give, analysts agree.between the hands-on supervisors and the managers who As enterprise applications become more intuitive andwork directly with the CIO. “Think about it,” says Gart- Web-oriented, and as corporate applications become avail-ner’s Wolf. “If you have sys admins doing networking and able in an app store that users can browse to find the appli-applications and storage and there’s a lot of reaching across cations or resources they need, the need for hordes ofamong silos, why do you need a separate manager for support people living on the phone or walking into businesseach silo?” units to repair someone’s laptop decreases. He adds, “There’s an overall flattening of management “If you can put all your apps in a Web interface, so theywithin IT as a lot of those silos become obsolete, and so it live in the cloud, and the desktops are either remote-man-becomes more important to be a generalist who can do a aged or provisioned via VDI [virtual desktop infrastructure],lot of things than to remain a specialist at any one thing.” it’s more possible to fix a problem by closing out the VM and relaunching a virtual desktop for that user, or to log inLosers: Technical specialists remotely, fix things, and log out,” Olds says. Specialized skills — in networking, security, storage, or “The key to being able to scale to support very large cloudany other IT discipline — has been the best guarantor of a infrastructures is automation — the ability to automate solu-job or chance for advancement in many IT organizations, tions to common end-user problems, password reassign-says 451 Group’s Hackett. Not any more. ments, reconfigurations, provisioning new resources, and IT people working with applications based in the cloud so on,” Olds says.need to know about networking, storage, security, user Of course, such automation can reduce the need forinterfaces, and all the other parts of the infrastructure that support staff, Olds notes. But “usually you find the com-application touches. “IT doesn’t require skilled resources pany has taken those people and moved them to differentat the lower levels to maintain a data center. It requires a responsibilities, or given them time to do the things theyguy who can go over to a rack, pull out a bad board, put were supposed to do — the things they couldn’t do becauseanother one in, and slap it back in the rack,” Hackett says. they were always running around putting out fires.” That means IT needs more people able to do a lot of Kevin Fogarty is a freelance writer covering virtualization, cloud computing,things and not as many who can do a very few things very, security, and IT innovation. He blogs daily at Reach him at kfog- or on Twitter at @kevinfogarty.very well, consultant Olds says. “Increasingly what we’reINFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  9. 9. Special i Cloud Computing Report 9cloud developmentHow the cloud influences devSome technologies are on the rise in small business, enterprise development i By Paul Krill cent), although services firms are also aggressive adopters atMobile and cloud computing are beginning to change the 19 percent. Developers at health care companies seldom useway that developers work at enterprise-level and smaller the cloud today, with less than 5 percent developing, testing,businesses, according to a report released this week by or deploying cloud applications.Forrester Research. Clouds of choice among developers include Amazon Elas- The report, entitled “The State of Application Develop- tic Compute Cloud, which is favored by 27 percent of Eclipsement in Enterprises and SMBs,” also found that the use of developers; Google App Engine, preferred by 18 percent ofdevelopment technologies such as HTML5 is becoming Eclipse developers; and Microsoft Windows Azure, which ismore prominent, although Java and .Net still dominate. used by 6 in 10 Visual Studio developers. “Mobile development exploded in 2010 and will con- Among cloud platforms, .Net and Java are the most widelytinue to expand in importance in 2011,” said the report, used; 48 percent of enterprises and 21 percent of SMBs usewhich was authored by analyst Jeffrey Hammond with both platforms. But interest in “open Web” technologies isassistance from analysts Mike Gilpin and Adam Knoll. “But growing.the types of mobile applications that developers are build- “HTML5 is certainly one of these, with 60 percent of devel-ing are evolving.” opers either already using it or planning to within the next According to the report, customer-facing applications two years. But the open Web is not just about HTML5. Thereconstitute the most frequently developed mobile applica- are others, including lightweight Web frameworks based ontions, with 51 percent of decision makers building or plan- the LAMP stack or other frameworks like Ruby on Rails,ning these. Thirty-nine percent of development shops are which one in five shops is now using,” Forrester said.mobilizing employee intranets, and 29 percent are readying The report also found that developers like working withmobile collaboration software. Fifty-one percent of respon- open source. “It’s simple for three out of four developers —dents are most interested in using mobile applications or open source helps them deliver projects faster. Seven in 10mobile-optimized websites to reach customers. also cited a reduction in software costs when working with Most mobile developers plan to target iOS devices like open source software.the iPhone and iPad — roughly 56 percent and 36 percent, The transparency of open source code is also important torespectively — while Google Android was targeted by 50 63 percent of development professionals, while 51 percentpercent of mobile developers. Windows Mobile and RIM use open source as a hedge against vendor lock-in,” Forresterremained popular, but Symbian development was chosen by analysts said. But only 22 percent of developers actually haveonly 8 percent of respondents, the analysts said. contributed to open source projects. Overall, in-house developers anchor most mobile appli- In the area of project spending, Forrester found that ITcation development efforts, with nearly 80 percent of shops organizations “struggle to fund new software developmentplanning to use their own people. initiatives, but they have made steady progress in increasing In the cloud space, one in eight development organizations the proportion of the software budget spent on new initiativeshas deployed applications in the cloud, according to the For- and projects from 33 percent in 2007 to 50 percent in 2011.”rester report. High-tech manufacturers, such as computer Paul Krill is an editor at large at InfoWorld, focusing on coverage of applicationhardware manufacturers and consumer electronics firms, development (desktop and mobile) and core Web technologies such as HTML5, Java, and Flash.are most likely to deploy applications to the cloud (24 per-INFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  10. 10. Special i Cloud Computing Report 10cloud development9 must-knows before developingHere’s what to do when making, testing or deploying applications in the cloud i By Bob Violino cloud service, Knipp says: “That means there might be aApplication development and testing in the cloud are gain- lot more stuff that developers have to stub out to get a testing popularity, as more businesses launch public and private app up and running.”cloud computing initiatives. Cloud development typically Service virtualization technology can help, Knipp says,includes integrated development environments, application and developers can take advantage of market offerings thatlifecycle management components (such as test and quality enable multiple/parallel branch development. Take the casemanagement, source code and configuration management, of iTKO, which offers a software suite called Lisa that helpscontinuous delivery tools), and application security testing companies move enterprise applications into the cloud.components. Developers accustomed to noncloud development might Although technology executives and developers with also encounter surprises when it comes to building Webexperience in cloud-based development say there are clear applications in the cloud. For instance, Greg Taylor, whobenefits to developing in these environments — such as built an online registration application for the Ohio Musiccosts savings and increased speed to market — they also Education Association, wasn’t expecting that he’d needcaution that there are challenges and surprises to look out such a thorough understanding of database structure andfor. how users would interact with it when he created the appli- Just how common development in the cloud is likely become isn’t clear. But industry analysis shows it’s on The app, which handles the registration of school musicthe rise. In a February 2011 research note, Gartner said cli- performers in statewide music contents, uses a MySQLents that attended the firm’s symposia in 2010 expressed database as the back end and Alpha Five 10.5 from Alpha“sharply increased interest” in cloud computing to enhance Software for the front end. “I am coming from a FileMakerthe development and maintenance of existing custom Web Pro background [and] that product is extremely forgivingapplications. with regards to database structure,” Taylor says. “A poor “I see it the most in prototyping and parallel branch design can still be used with a reasonable amount of suc-development, but there’s also huge growth in the load- cess.”and performance-testing space,” says Eric Knipp, a principal But developing with MySQL forced Taylor to beresearch analyst at Gartner. extremely organized so that the Web app would have the If you’re looking to venture into cloud development for best performance possible. Going back to the table struc-the first time, here are nine types of hurdles you might ture to add more fields is time-consuming, as it involvesencounter and suggestions on how to address them from rotating between different development tools, Navicat fordevelopers who’ve actually done the work. MySQL and Alpha Five for the actual Web page design, he says. The first tool creates the database structure, whileCloud development gotcha 1: The the second one creates the pages the user interacts with incloud doesn’t always work like the order to enter and edit information in the database.“real world” “This may not be an issue for developers leveraging a Developers might find that the configuration they use database that has already been created,” Taylor says. “Theyin production is hard to replicate on cloud services. For would simply use Alpha Five to develop the Web pagesexample, with an application you develop in the cloud that a user would access. In my case, I was simultaneouslybefore bringing back to run locally, you might need to test developing both the database and the Web pages, whichagainst a legacy system that you can’t simply copy onto a would have required me to switch between the develop-INFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  11. 11. Special i Cloud Computing Report 11ment tools if I had not planned carefully.” from to build a custom application that To avoid that ongoing round-tripping, Taylor had to allows outsourced reps to enter sales data into 20/20’schange his database development approach: “By devel- order-to-invoice-to-payroll tool.oping a clear ERD [entity relationship diagram] with all “The thing that was probably most unexpected was howneeded fields first, my Web app is efficient and my overall well the entire [cloud development] project was receiveddevelopment time is greatly reduced.” by the management and sales teams and everyone who In some cases, cloud development tools do work like uses the system, [and] how poorly it was received by thethe real world — at least, of yesterday’s version of the real IT organization and in particular developers,” says Markworld. Jeff Hensley, HRIS senior analyst at DaVita, a health Warren, chief architect at 20/ firm specializing in kidney dialysis, was surprised that The IT people were accustomed to working with Micro-developers working in the cloud needed to use command- soft .Net, SQL Server, Java, and other traditional devel-line tools, XML, and SQL, “which reminded me of the old opment platforms, Warren says, and was aDOS days.” He expects that old-school approach to change completely different model. “If you know SQL and Java,over time as adoption increases. that’s your toolbox, and you’re not going to want to go to DaVita is using both cloud-based application delivery this completely alien platform that’s coming in,” Warrenplatforms and hosted servers to develop and deliver human says.resources data warehouse and business intelligence appli- As a result, the sales application was developed primar-cations. ily by business staff, not by IT developers. That brought its own set of challenges, Warren says, the biggest of which wasCloud development gotcha 2: Some a lack of understanding among the businesspeople aboutapps aren’t ideal for development change management and IT governance. “IT has a levelin the cloud of discipline that businesspeople are not used to having The more hard-to-access or hard-to-replicate systems an enforced on them,” Warren says. “We had to bring themapplication integrates with, the more difficult it is to develop up to speed on change management issues.”and test it on cloud computing resources, Knipp says. As for addressing the reluctance of technology people to For example, Dan Stueck, vice president of IT for Faith develop in a cloud environment, there are programs IT canEducational Ministries, avoids developing high-end applica- implement to help adopt cloud computing internally, War-tions in the cloud that have extreme data security or regu- ren says. “Training is certainly a good method to facilitate,”latory restrictions, or rely on legacy coding projects, such he says. “However, unless the culture of IT is open to newas those in Cobol. “Those two are probably best kept in methods and technologies, organizational change [gettinghouse,” he says, “the first due to the obvious security con- new developers] may be the only option.”cerns, and the second because of the ‘dead’ language issue.” Where Stueck has used the cloud is to run a develop- Cloud development gotcha 4: Lackment server on’s public cloud service and of documentation hinders cloudto build a student information system, student transcript developersarchive, and home schoolbook selling application in the DaVita’s Jensley was surprised by the lack of documenta-cloud. tion to help developers understand the cloud and the tools and resources that can be used to build applications in thatCloud development gotcha 3: environment.Developers often dislike the “I would definitely expect that to change as the demandunfamiliar cloud territory increases and more and more companies begin adapting Cloud computing is still relatively new to a lot of orga- the cloud concept,” Hensley says. “We were able to combatnizations, and it can be a disruptive technology, including that by partnering with a consulting firm.”in the development arena. 20/20 Cos., a provider of out-sourced sales services, used the cloud platformINFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  12. 12. Special i Cloud Computing Report 12Cloud development gotcha 5: virtual machines at our development centers.” AutomatedNetwork issues can bedevil private and manual tests are done on the resulting build to verifycloud environments the status, and emails go out to other team members after Developing in the cloud sometimes means developing this process is completed. “All of this happens continuouslyin your own private cloud, which may not have the mul- during a project’s development lifetime,” he says.titenancy and load-movement capabilities that keep yourapplications available 24/7. In a private cloud environment, Cloud development gotcha 6:“one of the challenges is to design for and anticipate sched- It’s easy to let the meter runuled and unscheduled maintenance of the servers, and how unnecessarily on the cloudto fail over gracefully,” says David Intersimone, vice presi- Another potential problem is wasting money on clouddent of developer relations at Embarcadero Technologies, fees. Developers can easily forget or neglect to turn offa provider of database management tools. virtual machines they aren’t using. “I’ve heard from some Embarcadero is using its virtualized data center for appli- clients that let developers go wild with virtual machinecation building and testing. “For internal private clouds, we resources that sometimes the developers would just leavehave a couple of options: choosing the scheduled date/ stuff up and running, say over a weekend,” Gartner’s Knipptime, and staging which servers are done in a certain order,” says. “When it was on an in-house, capitalized server, thisIntersimone says. “There are automated build and auto- was no big deal. But when it is on usage-metered, leasedmated smoke test processes that are running all the time in resources as with public cloud computing, this is a wasteour main private cloud and also in regional development of money.”offices.” Knipp says he expects this to become a new challenge for To get a more available environment, Intersimone says enterprises as they roll out private cloud initiatives.he’s looking into a cloud container and virtual private net- While there’s little risk in getting a big, unexpected billwork offering from CohesiveFT that can be installed in for developer virtual machine usage in a private cloud, “inpublic and private clouds to provide on-demand scaling, a self-service, private IaaS environment, a developer canfailover, disaster recovery, and disaster readiness. spin up VMs and never turn them off,” Knipp says. “These Other issues that can affect development and testing will effectively eat up resources from machines that are notinvolve network delays and latency and the size of network being effectively utilized and could result in the organiza-pipes, especially in certain parts of the world. Embarcadero tion buying too much capacity as planning gets skewed.”has research and development centers in Scotts Valley,Calif., Monterey, Calif., Toronto, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Iasi, Cloud development gotcha 7: CloudRomania, plus a sprinkling of smaller teams and individuals licenses can contain surprisingthroughout the world. deployment restrictions Embarcadero’s geographically diverse development envi- Among the nontechnical issues with the cloud that canronment “makes it harder to synchronize check-ins, builds, have an impact on development are licensing restrictions.and automated testing,” Intersimone says. To solve some of Two years ago Kelly Services, a national temp agency,this, developers do local builds and regional builds, as well decided to use cloud-based development for many of itsas on the code check-in, on the virtual servers available to homegrown applications, with’s Force.comall. Developers also do local builds on their own machines. platform acting as the delivery vehicle.Embarcadero ensures these don’t fall out of sync with the Cloud development has brought benefits such as fastermaster versions on the private cloud by using Subversion, turnaround time on app development and lower costs, saysan open source tool for source code control. Joe Drouin, CIO at Kelly Services. But the company also “When a build occurs, an automated test is run to validate encountered some unexpected issues with licensing, spe-the build,” Intersimone says. “Then notifications go to all cifically regarding what types of user seats it had and whatdevelopment teams and the build is automatically pulled limitations they carried. For example, a seat might have a setover a Chinese wall to a large number of automated test number of objects a user could access. As a result, “at someINFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  13. 13. Special i Cloud Computing Report 13points we were surprised by what we could or couldn’t do” form from its part owner Microsoft, along with Microsoftwith development, Drouin says. development tools, to develop and test both internal and client work.Cloud development gotcha 8: The familiarity of the development tools and the speed ofIntegration can be harder to the development and test environments have been plusestroubleshoot for the firm, says Graham Astor, director of global solu- Integrating new applications with existing ones can be a tions at Avanade. But “being on a quickly evolving cloudkey part of the development process, and the cloud brings development platform means it’s necessary to update besteven more challenges from an integration perspective, practices frequently,” he says.Drouin says: “With cloud computing, companies typically Azure is on a two-month release cycle of performancedon’t have open access into their cloud providers’ infra- and feature improvements, so Avanade meets monthly withstructure, applications, and integration platforms.” members of the Microsoft product teams to get a heads-up Kelly has experienced performance issues between on what’s coming. Would others get that kind of access? “Icloud-based applications and its on-premise systems as well have no idea,” Knipp says, “but it is in Microsoft’s interestas among multiple applications in the cloud. It’s difficult to to get as many consulting firms as possible on board withtroubleshoot these issues because the company often can Azure, in order to drive adoption.”only track transactions in its own infrastructure, Drouin says. Despite the learning curve, cloud development is appeal- To minimize integration issues, Kelly developers try to inguse cloud providers’ APIs whenever possible; that’s been Despite the potential challenges, for many organizationsfairly easy to do because many cloud providers expose their application development in the cloud rather than stickingAPIs, Drouin says. with traditional methods makes sense, for the same reasons that cloud computing in general makes sense: elasticity ofCloud development gotcha 9: The resources and cost, and reduced operational complexity,cloud’s fast pace of change can be both of which lead to shorter completion time.hard to keep up with Bob Violino is a freelance writer who covers a variety of technology and busi- IT services provider Avanade uses the Azure cloud plat- ness topics. He can be reached at ፛፛What cloud providers should learn from Amazon Web Services Who would’ve thunk 10 years ago that would have the best cloud plays since has succeeded despite some very well-publicized AWS outages that hurt smaller companies. We appear to have short memories around those events: AWS sales did not seem to miss a beat. It’s clear that AWS quickly rises to the top in its selections for a few good technical reasons, including well-thought-out and fine- grained APIs and services, ease of on-boarding, and best third-party support.The APIs are how applications access the infrastructure services that AWS provides, such as processor, storage, and database. The AWS API sets have a better design than those of their counterparts, providing the best access to primitives, meaning the ability to get pretty close to the metal. The decision to use fine- grained services for access to AWS cloud services clearly pandered to developers who like control. Moving onto AWS is a fairly seamless process, and the less friction when you move to a cloud provider, the more business that provider gets. I hope others figure that out, because in many instances, on-boarding clients onto their cloud offerings is a huge pain. Finally, there is third-party support — lots of it. Everyone loves and supports AWS, including many new companies that provide IaaS cloud management services that not only support AWS, but run in AWS. You can’t get a better validation than that, and I suspect that much of the billion dollars in AWS sales this year will come from partners. AWS is doing many things right, and it continues to be the 800-pound gorilla of IaaS. Perhaps the emerging cloud computing space needs one of those right now. — David LinthicumINFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  14. 14. Special i Cloud Computing Report 14cloud standardsNo. 2 Rackspace tries harderThe U.S.’s second largest provider of IaaS talks about how they differ from Amazon i ByEric Knorr whole different kind of approach than Amazon has.Rackspace is the second largest provider of IaaS (infra- InfoWorld: You wouldn’t say there is any significantstructure as a service) after Amazon Web Services. On track difference in technology support?to make $100 million in revenue this fiscal year, Rackspace’s Moorman: I think there is. We really want to build ourIaaS business is roughly one-tenth of Amazon’s, a number cloud products to look and feel and act like traditional infra-that does not count the revenue Rackspace accrues from structure. So we have persistent storage, we have static IPs,its more traditional hosting business — where the company we are going to use VHDs, not a proprietary standard ofbegan and from which it derives its differentiation in the disk format. So we are committed to having things look andcloud space. feel and run very much like traditional infrastructure, which InfoWorld: What it’s like to be No. 2? How would you makes it very easy for people to use our cloud products.differentiate the services that you offer from Amazon’s? I think that Amazon has had just a different approach. It’s Moorman: I think Amazon has been a catalyst to this not better or worse, it’s just different.industry and has been a great pioneer in this space. But I InfoWorld: So in a nutshell, high availability and disas-think that we have a very different approach than Ama- ter recovery is cheaper under your model?zon has. Moorman: No, I wouldn’t agree with that. First of all, we are a hosting company, and we think our InfoWorld: It’s more familiar?hosting roots are actually very powerful. It’s going to be very Moorman: It’s simpler. It’s more familiar — there aren’tdifficult to tell the difference between hosting and cloud new concepts to learn to use our cloud. We want to elimi-because I think every big customer is going to have some nate this need to re-architect for the cloud as much asof each over time. So that portfolio [of hosting services] possible, and we want things to work like you’re used toreally matters. them working. Also, we are very committed to open standards. I’m InfoWorld:Could you give me a breakdown of applica-actually here this week for the OpenStack Design Confer- tions on your cloud?ence down in Santa Clara, Calif. There are 500 folks down Moorman: I can give you a general sense. We have athere working on OpenStack, and we just couldn’t be more lot of our enterprise customers who are using our cloud forpleased with how that’s going. The idea is that you can run dev and test, and so it’s a great option for that. But I woulda Rackspace cloud through our public cloud. You can run say the predominant is public, bursty websites. So if youit privately in our hosting environment, or you can run it look at big media companies ... any company ...on premise. And in the future you’re going to be able to InfoWorld: E-commerce?run it with our competitors. Moorman: ... yeah, e-commerce, running promotional And the last part, of course, is service. I think that when websites, public websites, the cloud is just such a better fitmost people hear the name Rackspace, they think “service” for it. Because many times you run promotions or run newand “customer support,” and I think that the cloud needs initiatives and you have no idea how big they’re going to as much as the physical world did. In some cases, So the ability to be able to sort of fine-tune that over time ismore so, because there’s this explosion of applications that something that really makes a big difference for customers.IT departments can’t keep up with. They need some help InfoWorld: So you spoke about having your roots inkeeping these applications up and running, responding to hosting. To me, the lines between hosting and enterprise-monitoring alerts, doing those kinds of things. So the idea class IaaS have never been crystal clear. You offer both.that we log in to boxes and help you fix things is just a Talk to me about where you see the real points of differ-INFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  15. 15. Special i Cloud Computing Report 15entiation. They’re using the best of both worlds. Moorman:We draw a distinction around our cloud InfoWorld: It’s interesting listening to you talk aboutproducts, which are really software-powered infrastructure. these very well-defined commercial cloud services. I thinkAnd because of that, they’re highly productized. With our CIOs are still thinking: private cloud, private cloud, privatecloud servers, you can get small, medium, large — we have cloud. The public cloud is either too risky or they’re goingeight sizes — but the components of what is in that server to have to cede too much power, like control over availabil-are identical across the board and you cannot change it. So ity. These kinds of showstoppers still seem to be in place inthe way the disk is configured, the way the network works, larger companies. Are you seeing some movement there?these are all productized options. Same with our storage Moorman: I think if you look at the small and mediumofferings, our load-balancing options. You can do some con- business world, they are moving to cloud rapidly becausefiguration, but it’s within a tight range of things, because it’s they’re not going to run data centers anyway. But if yousoftware-powered. It’s not something that’s done through look at the Fortune 500, where they’re running data cen-operations; you have to consume the products as they exist. ters, I think that actually CIOs believe the cloud is real, but With physical hosting and our traditional hosting, we it’s just not for everything.can custom-configure servers any way you want them. We They’re going to have their own assets and their owncan build out a network any way you want it. We can set data centers, and they want to make them more agile andup storage any way you want it. There’s a lot more ability more effective and more efficient. And so they want toto customize and tailor; it makes it easier to get security. build cloud-like capabilities inside the firewall, but they’reI think the cloud is extremely secure, but you have to go very interested in having their internal systems talk to theirthrough more hoops and you have to do more to use this external systems.productized service set to get it as secure as you’re used to We’re getting just incredible interest around OpenStack,in the physical world. in terms of big Fortune 500 companies wanting to trans- InfoWorld: What about encryption? form their internal data centers and have all their predict- Moorman: Encryption is not a problem. I mean, you able workloads run in-house on their own cloud, but havecan encrypt across any of these technologies pretty easily. all the unpredictable (and in many cases new) applicationsIt’s more about, how do you deal with a big flat open net- run in cloud environments like in the cloud and how do you secure around where So I think you’re going to see legacy infrastructure inyou don’t have to do that? In the physical world we set up data centers — they’re going to continue to be in-housea private network for you with VLANing capabilities, and for some time. But I think that many new applications andso you literally are in an out-of-the-box, very secure envi- much of the unpredictable workloads are going to go inronment that is very easy to get set up. In the productized, public clouds. And I think the CIOs are more open to itscalable world, you just have to do other things. It can be than everyone’s letting on. I would bet the vast majority ofextremely secure, there’s just more work that has to be Fortune 500 companies are using either us or Amazon indone because it’s in this highly productized model. some sense. It might be very small, but they are experiment- So that’s really the distinction we draw. And our gen- ing with it, they’re dabbling with it, they’re running someeral belief is that everyone should be using the cloud — applications. They’re doing some test dev, and they’re see-they just shouldn’t run everything on it, and they should ing the power of it.figure out where it’s a better fit. And so many, many of InfoWorld: And how much is that going through linesour customers will run databases. There are I/O issues in of business and how much does the CIO know about?the cloud because of the hypervisor layer, and they don’t Moorman: Well, I think you’re right. There is a lot of ...want those performance hits. So they run their database so-called rogue IT that is happening out there. But this is atier in the physical world and then they run their applica- fact of life for CIOs.tion in a Web tier cloud in this combination. And we have InfoWorld: But lines of business didn’t have this par-ways to securely tie this together so it’s all on one network ticular option before.and works seamlessly. This is a very, very common model. Moorman: They did not. But there’s no stopping that,INFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  16. 16. Special i Cloud Computing Report 16and the long tail of applications that exist in a business are provider?going to explode. And IT departments are really built to Moorman: I would say the more likely scenario is thatrun five core applications that run a company. There are those core applications start to get disassembled. So insteadgoing to be hundreds of applications in businesses that run of having a monolithic ERP system with ten modules, com-those companies, and IT departments are going to have to panies are moving more to service-oriented architecturerespond to that. And there’s no question in my mind that and are saying, look, we might use Salesforce for CRM, wepublic services are going to be part of it. might use Service-Now for ticketing. These big monolithic InfoWorld: What are you hearing from CIOs in how stacks are getting disassembled and piece by piece they’rethey manage “rogue IT” with this cloud option? And do going to move to the have any recommendation for CIOs InfoWorld: Talk to me aboutin how they should look at that? SUBSCRIBE TODAY OpenStack. The Holy Grail is the Moorman: I actually think CIOs are Keep up to date on the idea that when you need to youjust now getting on top of it. A lot of them latest mobile news with can burst and you can manageknow what’s happening and they’re trying that external resource as if it wereto get their arms around it, but they’re not the InfoWorld Daily of a piece with internal resources.succeeding. I think they need to get pro- newsletter. Would you say OpenStack is part ofactive. They need to realize that it’s real that journey?and it’s happening and they need to view Delivered straight to Moorman: We launched Open-themselves as enablers to allow the com- your inbox mornings Stack about nine months ago, andpany to get that extra productivity that’s and afternoons, six days I truly believe it’s one of the fast-coming from all these applications that are a week. est, most successful open sourcegetting built. projects in history. The amount of InfoWorld: What sort of controls can Don’t miss a beat, interest, the amount of corporatea CIO put in place to make sure no one is wherever you happen sponsorship, the amount of enter-duplicating effort or creating security prob- prise interest is just unbelievable. to be. Sign up now!lems, that sort of thing? The idea of an open source proj- Moorman: I think what they need to ect that allows them to increase thefigure out is — how do we handle all the agility of their own internal infra-requests around the most sensitive data so structure, but then also have theno one is compelled to put that on cloud service? But oth- promise of a cloud that looks and acts and feels and canerwise, let people run. A public promotional website cre- be federated in Rackspace, in Internap, in Korea Telecom,ates no corporate risk. If you’re going to run a Super Bowl you know, this is a very exciting prospect for companies —ad and want to put a complementary website up, there’s the ability to go find capacity around the world. It’s earlyreally no corporate risk in doing something like that, and days. The code is in good shape, but it’s got a long way tothey should let business units go get that done and not go to be out-of-the-box turnkey for people and really simplewait in a big long queue with the IT department to make to get going, but it’s getting there.that happen. InfoWorld: Give me a quick sort of technical overview, But what they should say is — if you want to do some- high-level technical overview of OpenStack.thing with critical data, we will be very responsive to you Moorman: OpenStack has really three core compo-and we will help you get that done in a way that makes nents out of the gate. It has a compute orchestration layer,sense. So people aren’t compelled to do it with the most so the ability to sort of provision virtual machines, turn themcritical data. So they’ve got to start thinking about being a off and on, move them, back them up, all those kinds ofservice provider. things. It has an object storage system similar to our cloud InfoWorld: What about applications that may be more files. And then it has an image service called “Glance,”core to the business, but they want to use a public cloud which allows you to manage your images and use them toINFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  17. 17. Special i Cloud Computing Report 17sort of control workloads. that we believe in. I think the integrated platforms, like So those are the three core components, which form the Heroku and others have a place, and we love those guyscore of any cloud: the workload management, the com- and we hope they build on top of us.pute, and the storage. Lots of new projects are emerging InfoWorld: By a “place,” you mean they’re for experi-around it, including our load balancing service that we’ve menting and you’re for the real deal?donated. We have a block storage effort that’s ongoing. We Moorman: Well, here’s the difficulty. I think the “magichave a database service that we’re sort of working on. So a platform” is what’s very appealing to people. But theselot of these things will start to show up in the code as well, integrated platforms constrict you to using their stack inbut the core elements are there to really run a cloud. the end. And I think what ends up happening is we have And today we run the object storage and we are in the a number of customers who have started on Heroku andprocess of moving to the compute. The compute is really have sort of moved over to a model where they can tweakthe next generation of our cloud, and we collaborated with it, adjust things, and get exactly the version of Rails theyNASA on that code. So we are in the process of moving want and sort of add these modules. So the magic comesto that code because it’s a whole new code base. We were at a cost, which is it’s a very prescribed stack, end to end,going to re-factor our core code base anyway — and now and I think that ends up causing issues. Whereas if youwe’re doing it in the open and we have an active project. have an orchestration system, where you rope in this newWe really believe that this year will be completely on the technology, rope in that new technology, and make it allOpenStack code. work seamlessly, that ends up providing a lot of flexibility. InfoWorld: And doesn’t this require close collaboration And I think that’s a model that is very appealing.with virtualization software providers? But let me tell you something: I think Heroku and PHP Moorman: OpenStack supports — gosh, I don’t know, Fog and some of these guys have done some really brilliantwe’re up to five hypervisors — five or six, so Hyper-V, Xen, things and I think it’s something to keep an eye on, andKVM, ESX, VMware, Oracle’s virtualization. So you can run something that we’re certainly watching closely. We wantmultiple virtualizations. We are a Xen server shop in terms them to partner with us and build on top of us.of running our cloud, and for the time being we’re pretty InfoWorld:What other development environmentscommitted to that. But the truth of the matter is it is meant might you host?to be hypervisor-agnostic, platform-agnostic. Moorman: We’re going to keep our options open. We So over time, if it makes sense for us to use VMware or want to make it easy to host all those applications. Anduse Hyper-V, we’ll have an option to do that. And certainly once we have this full complement of platform services,companies that want to run these technologies in-house can like database and load balancing, it’s going to make thesechoose their hypervisor. We’re getting great support from platforms easier to host. There are people who are gettingthose players, and Microsoft has contributed to the project, Cloud Foundry up and running on our cloud and making itCitrix is a major contributor to the project. These are open happen, so we’re going to learn a lot over the next coupleplatforms that have open APIs that you can interact with. months. We’re talking to Microsoft — they’re eager to getSo OpenStack is meant to work well with all of them. Azure running with their partners. InfoWorld: Do you think the distinction between IaaS InfoWorld: So maybe you could offer Microsoft’sand PaaS (platform as a service) is blurring? Right now it’s 1,000-server, private cloud Azure offering as a public cloud?kind of hard to argue that Amazon is just IaaS, since they’ve Moorman: Possibly. We’ll see. Azure has been an inter-incorporated so many extra services in there. esting development. But it seems to me that it has not Moorman: I think it’s absolutely blurring and I think captured the imagination in terms of the market. And Iit’s going to continue to blur. So our load balancing service think part of that is just the platform as a service is a hardis out, our database service is coming, so these raw com- concept for folks to sort of get their heads around. Peopleponents are going to be there in every major cloud. And are used to thinking in terms of servers and sort of tradi-then, when you put orchestration around it, you really have tional concepts.platform as a service on the fly. And I think that is a model InfoWorld:Well, you’re not going to consider AzureINFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  18. 18. Special i Cloud Computing Report 18unless you’re a .Net shop. Moorman: There’s not. The commission is really Moorman: To me, that’s the interesting part. I actually charged with coming up with three or four very concretethink Microsoft has a platform problem, not a cloud prob- recomendations to then go advocate legislatively.lem. They’ve invested heavily in the cloud side of it, but InfoWorld: One last question. In the old days, ASPswhat they really need to do is make .Net more relevant to [application service providers], which were the first waveeveryone building startups around here. The startup com- of cloud computing, had a problem — they tried to domunity is not using .Net, and that is the problem they’ve too much for too many different customers and couldn’tgot to solve — and I think by just having a cloud they’re scale. With all the different services you offer — particularlynot going to solve that problem. They need to make it a managed services — isn’t there a danger that may happenplatform that people are gravitating towards. to you? And I think that their bigger issue is .Net and the toolsets Moorman: In terms of scale, I think we’re at scale. Ama-that they have. And actually, in some ways, Azure is com- zon is a much bigger company than we are, but in termsplicated because they now have introduced SQL Azure, of running infrastructure, we’re a pretty big company. Iwhich is a whole new platform you have to get your arms think if you’re a $50 million hosting company, you’ve gotaround. Why is the world building on Rails and Python? scale issues.That is, I think, the problem that Microsoft has to solve. InfoWorld: I’m not talking about infrastructure. I’m InfoWorld: Well said. So talk to me a little about com- talking about your really broad range of services.pliance issues as they relate to the public cloud. There’s Moorman: To me cloud computing is hosting versiona sense that some of some compliance regulations are a 2. And it is very much within our wheelhouse. I actuallybarrier and need to be revisited, It’s even inhibiting [fed- think that you will see a lot of these offers get standard-eral CIO] Vivek Kundra’s cloud initiative for the federal ized. I don’t think there’s an infinite number of solutions.government. I mean, if you look at our managed hosting offering, it’s Moorman: Well, I am on the Cloud Commission Vivek been pretty stable for the last five years as it has matured.has started, and I have to say the government has done a I think cloud computing will hit a maturity curve — and itgreat job — Vivek in particular — leading on this with its doesn’t mean there won’t be innovations on the margins —Cloud-First policy for the government. I think they are mov- there absolutely will be. But there will be a set of standarding faster than corporate America today in many cases. And types of offerings. Once you have computing and storagethey have a strong interest in making America the leader in and networking, the rest of it is important, but that core iscloud computing and advancing very, very quickly. really at the heart of what we do, and our services on top But absolutely there are issues. The ones that I am most of it are pretty productized and consistent.interested in are data flows and natural sovereignty issues I also think that our commitment to open source is goingaround data. There is a lot of fear around the Patriot Act to allow us to have a velocity that does not depend on usand the ability of the government to get data if it’s hosted in doing everything alone. And the amount of code [being]America. These are things that I think do slow down cloud contributed from the rest of the world, and the standardscomputing in America. And I think the government is very that are going to exist because of that, is something thatopen to listening to it and understanding it. gives us an advantage that no one else will have — unless But for me, that is one of the bigger issues, making it very they decide to get on board with OpenStack — then every-clear that if you put your data in the cloud, what control are one will have it. What we want to do is get to a worldyou losing? Or if you put the data in America, what control where these things are standardized and the experience isare you losing over the access of that data by governmental what the difference is. And we think that we’re the best inauthorities? I think there’s probably more FUD than there delivering a great experience and a great support reality, but there are issues, and we’ve got to get clarity That’s what we’re trying to accelerate and I think that’son it. And the way we interact with government agencies actually happening.has got to become very standardized and clear. Eric Knorr is the editor in chief of InfoWorld. InfoWorld: So there’s no real pending legislation yet?INFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012
  19. 19. Special i Cloud Computing Report 19the last word on the cloudThe cloud makes users of us allAs we outsource more to cloud services, IT pros will learn how our users feel i By Paul Venezia The gulf between users and IT often leads to animos-Here’s yet a reason cloud computing is not a new idea: For ity. From the user’s perspective, if a problem — no matterusers, corporate computing has always been a cloud. Users how minute — is preventing them from completing a task,have applications they rely on to do their jobs; they load the immediate assumption is that IT is incompetent anddata to crunch on; they interact digitally with coworkers, someone should get fired. From an IT perspective, theclients, and partners — and all of it comes from this amor- user is being an idiot who can’t think clearly enough to tiephous blob known as IT. Without this stuff, most of them a pair of shoes.would have nothing to do. But as companies move more apps and services into the That obliviousness, for better or worse, defines the rela- cloud, those of us in IT are going to become exactly liketionship between users and IT: From their desks, users look our users. As we shift from providing such services as emaildown the hall toward IT and see ... nothing. Night-vision in-house to a cloud provider, we find that when things gogoggles can’t help, nor would a bridge allow them to cross wrong, not only do we have users at our throats, but wethe chasm and instantly discover what IT is about. don’t have any insight into the problem itself. We’re at the This distance from core technology extends to users’ mercy of the cloud provider, and all we can do is makepersonal lives. They’re using Gmail, streaming movies from angry phone calls and write angry forum posts and emails.Hulu or Netflix, and using sites like Flickr and Facebook to We’re destined to become squeezed in the middle betweenprovide them with all kinds of services — and they magi- users and cloud services, in many cases without the powercally work. They’re someone else’s problems, and when it to fix anything.breaks, users get very angry. Those of you moving into cloud services, be prepared to In IT, we know exactly how the sausage is made. We too feel less confident about certain aspects of your job, andrely on data, applications, and communications tools to do get used to the feeling of not having any part in problemour jobs, but we have the benefit of being able to see into solving and disaster prevention other than as a mineshaftthe magical forest of the back end. We’re also far likelier to canary. I suppose the upside is that we’ll have a betterfix technical problems on our own — or we should be. An understanding of how our users have felt all along.IT person would never be fazed by a dialog box that has Paul Venezia is senior contributing editor of the InfoWorld Test Center anda greyed-out Continue button and an empty check box. writes The Deep End blog.INFOWORLD.COM DEEP DIVE SERIES J A N U A R Y 2 012