Welcome!

Mobile IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Paul Simmons, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud and Virtualization | @CloudExpo @SHD_9 #PaaS #SaaS #AI #SDN #SDS

As cloud adoption continues to grow, so will its evolution from cost-saving tactic to business enablement strategy

Cloud and Virtualization - A Case of Déjà Vu

As today's businesses increasingly turn to the cloud to run their operations, seasoned enterprise technology professionals may recognize a familiar pattern. Years ago, virtualization emerged as a transformational technology with a similar pattern of business drivers; initially the promise of significant cost savings justified deployments. Just as virtualization evolved from a tactical cost-saving technology into a corporate strategy enabling enterprises to be responsive to changing business demands, cloud computing is following a similar path.

I talk frequently with IT professionals about their interest in and usage of cloud technologies, and I'm frequently struck by a strong sense of déjà vu from the time when virtualization was starting to take off and gain traction within enterprises across the globe. Virtualization was the seed that sparked the cloud revolution, although cloud has now taken its concepts significantly further. From the business drivers that drove adoption to usage patterns and issues around managing sprawl, there have been some remarkable similarities between cloud computing and virtualization.

The initial driver for virtualization - and the reason it gained traction quickly - was the ability to run multiple workloads on the same server, while isolated from each other, so organizations could safely utilize excess capacity on underutilized servers. IT was now able to run the same workloads on fewer servers - that means fewer servers to buy, fewer servers to power and fewer servers to maintain and very easy to justify purchasing. Over time, the hypervisor evolved and became more sophisticated, adding capabilities such as workload mobility features across clusters of servers and becoming robust enough for mission-critical workloads. This allowed for the optimization of resources across workloads and the beginning of software-controlled infrastructure.

As the cost effectiveness made virtualization ubiquitous, increasingly organizations got used to these time, flexibility and efficiency savings. The curse of cost optimization is that it doesn't take long to go from innovative disruptor to table stakes. As a result, the virtualization cost savings were increasingly taken for granted and the operational benefits drove the spread of virtualization. Organizations saw the benefits of business agility under software control through rapid provisioning and automation, high availability, resource aggregation and management, scale-out clustering, disaster recovery as a service and live migration, eliminating the need for planned downtime. And with that, virtualization became indispensable in the data center.

Agility and the removal of friction from once-laborious tasks is a powerful proposition. Virtualization's ability to dramatically enhance business agility, along with software control and management, became the fundamental driver of virtualization adoption. As with any new technology, however, this increase in adoption created challenges, including VM sprawl. Servicing and provisioning new virtual servers became incredibly simple - so simple that enterprises often lost track of them. This can lead to enormous waste, with resources consumed when they are not needed.

Virtualization continued to expand into what is now known as the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). The idea here was to take all data center infrastructure resources including network, storage, and security, and virtualize and aggregate them so they can be dynamically apportioned out to workloads. This is all accomplished under software control without any manual intervention or hardware modification. Hyper-converged infrastructure is one variant of the SDDC, where customers purchase a self-contained "building block" appliance that contains server, storage and network components in an integrated bundle. Virtual machines presented as programmable, software-controlled infrastructure is what ultimately enabled the cloud revolution. With public cloud, you purchase virtual machines for a specified interval and you no longer need to own, manage or maintain any of the hardware resources to run them on.

Cloud Computing: A Similar Path
Now that we have a sense of how virtualization evolved and took off, what does that have to do with the cloud revolution? The cloud, just like virtualization before it, first gained popularity because of the most basic business driver there is: cost savings. Why treat hardware like a fixed capex cost that you have to amortize over lengthy periods of time when you can treat it as an on-demand operational cost? The ability to only pay for what you use allows for enormous cost and resource savings. But, much like virtualization, even huge cost savings eventually get taken for granted because they evolve into expected table stakes - the baseline for moving forward.

Public cloud cost savings are now a given with a level playing field between providers. That leaves us with the operational and agility benefits of cloud computing as being the real driver of adoption. The cloud presents all the agility of the SDDC, but additionally allows organizations to offload all hardware purchase, configuration and maintenance to the cloud providers. Under some circumstances, software maintenance for operating systems, services and applications can be offloaded as well. This is one of the benefits of higher levels of abstraction such as Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). When utilizing PaaS services, developers and IT are no longer responsible for the middleware services such as databases that they use in their applications. With SaaS, none of the implementation technologies and their operational maintenance are the responsibility of the end user.

With cloud-based services, the value is in the fact that IT is no longer running the application or service. They're not hosting it, managing it or updating it either. It's a simple transaction - paying for a service and using it to help run their business. That's the value proposition that's led to widespread SaaS adoption, which is on the verge of becoming the dominant model for businesses services and applications that don't provide a competitive differentiation.

As we look at the differences between the Software-Defined Data Center and public or hybrid clouds, elasticity - the ability to grow and shift workloads to rapidly supply resources on demand to cost-effectively handle peaks and lulls - emerges as a big one. While the SDDC can enable elasticity, it falls short when it comes to usage-based pricing. With an SDDC, organizations still must own enough hardware to handle simultaneous peak workload demands. When leveraging a public or hybrid cloud, organizations have the ability to handle burst capacity when they need it - and only when they need it. It eliminates the need to pay for resources not being used as a "just in case" expense.

The similarities between the paths of virtualization and cloud computing adoption are not all positive. We see a lot of the same problems being repeated - in particular the issue of sprawl. As we discussed earlier, VM sprawl became an issue because new machines became so easy to provision that it was easy to lose track. The same issues impact cloud services, with the big difference being that lost, misplaced or unused cloud services will cost organizations real money, not just waste previously purchased hardware. Both cloud-specific and comprehensive cross-cloud management solutions that prevent VM sprawl, provide resource visibility and rightsizing, and cost optimizations are increasingly in demand by today's cloud consumers.

Like virtualization a decade or so before it, cloud adoption began as a tool for cost savings - certainly a powerful lead-in that can grab attention and market share. But as cost savings become an inherent part of baseline budgets and projections, it's the ability to enable business agility that fueled virtualization to its ubiquitous adoption. As cloud adoption continues to grow, so will its evolution from cost-saving tactic to business enablement strategy.

More Stories By Scott Davis

Embotics CTO Scott Davis is a well-known technology executive. He was formerly VMware’s End User Computing Business Unit CTO and Chief Datacenter/Storage Architect; he was also founder of Virtual Iron Software acquired for Orcale’s OracleVM. He is a recognized expert in virtualization, clustering, operating systems, storage and end-user computing.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...