When we talk about transforming to the cloud, we often talk about hybrid cloud and what it will take to transition to it, leaving discussions about 100% cloud usage purely to the new startup (greenfield) organizations. What is needed to move 100% off-premises to a public cloud? What is sufficient, what is necessary, and what is the required last mile of this effort? I recently spoke to @AndiMann about concepts of what is necessary and sufficient. Andi brought up some great points I would like to share over a series of articles.
It is that time of year again, when we look to buying gifts online and offline for family, friends, and associates. When holiday cheer imbues us with brotherly love—well, at least most folks feel that way. There is, however, a group of folks waiting for mistakes to be made so they can capitalize on them. Mike Foley is a senior technical marketing manager at VMware, where he focuses on vSphere security. He and I recently discussed how you, as a consumer, can protect your family, money, and self from digital and other thieves.
I was recently at SC15, an international conference for high-performance computing, networking, storage, and analysis. SC15 has grown over the years and shows off some of the more interesting gear I have seen. High-performance computing (HPC) has taken off within the modern data center, whether via traditional HPC clusters, 150-teraflop machines, or even massive arrays of GPUs. HPC is here to stay. Keeping up with the processor is very hard for many storage subsystems, which is one reason caching is very important to the subsystems. At SC15, I was introduced to two types of storage, one based on specialized hardware and one based on common, off-the-shelf components. These two very different approaches, with very different results, are used for exactly the same purpose: to speed up HPC reads and writes.
The big question I keep asking myself is, “Is cloud a utility yet?” In other words, can I choose an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud based on utility pricing and expect the same thing I expect from a utility—as in, “it just works”—or is there more to it than that? In order to decide if the cloud is a utility yet, we need first to define the traits of a utility. There is a difference between electricity and gas, as well as between water and trash services. If cloud is a utility today, which type is it?
Steve Flanders (@smflanders) and I had a late-night Twitter conversation over the complexities inherent in cloud-native applications. My take was that we need to broaden our view and see the entire picture before we can delve into the weeds. Steve’s was that we need DevOps. I countered by saying we need better communication. In essence, we may have been saying the same thing, but we were on different planets, which led to a useful analogy. During the race to the moon, who were the systems engineers, the ones who saw the big picture of a program with well over 15 million moving parts, not to say people, involved?
Container technologies and developers work with applications. End users use applications. Yet, administrators think about the systems that make up the applications with tools that are not application-centric but rather system-, VM-, or container-focused. Because the tools are not focused on the application, the definition of the application is unknown by those who support the application. This is in serious need of changing. In fact, until this changes, a business cannot transform into the next generation of cloud-native applications. It just will not be ready. So, then, how do we get ready?