Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Stackify Blog, Yeshim Deniz, SmartBear Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

How Are You Building Your Cloud?

Mixing general purpose and purposeful solutions for the cloud

"What are the use cases you want to pursue with your enterprise cloud project?" The question seems innocuous enough, but I can tell you from first-hand experience that it is anything but. If you asked five people from different teams within the same company to each give you three use cases, you would end up with 15 different scenarios. Such is the case in the current enterprise landscape where points of view on cloud vary about as much as you can imagine. Each organizational fiefdom has its own set of pain points, challenges, and initiatives to tackle, and each one of those teams have an idea on how the cloud can help.

Being on the service provider side, listening to users roll off a burgeoning list of usage scenarios is equal parts exciting and disconcerting. I find myself caught somewhere between, ‘Wow, that sounds cool and fun!', and ‘How am I going to show that in an easy, yet valuable manner?' It is not an easy task. Lest you think I am out looking for pity, I sympathize even more so with the company. I especially feel for the person on the consumer side who gets the task of leading the ‘enterprise cloud initiative.' Talk about a thankless, exhausting, and challenging role. On a given day, the only team that is rallying behind you is the one who thinks you are about to implement the product they are championing!

Being a part of many of these endeavors, I like to think that I have picked up a lesson or two applicable to most cloud implementation projects. From the service consumer side, I feel compelled to warn about what seems to be transforming into an anti-pattern among cloud adoption. While it is fine, and in fact advisable, to have an enterprise cloud strategy, it is not usually so wise to attempt to fulfill that strategy with a single tool. This comes back to a question I have posed before: Do users need a single tool or a single pane of glass? Well, judging from the projects I have seen so far, users need a single pane of glass far more than they need a single tool.

The problem with adopting a single tool that purports to deliver on every one of the use cases for an organization's cloud strategy is that implies quite a bit of work on the user's part. It should be pretty obvious that as a tool's flexibility increases, its complexity usually does as well. From a cloud provisioning and management standpoint, this usually means that you will be doing a lot of scripting for installation, configuration, integration, orchestration, and management. It's not that these tools do not have their place, but my main caution to potential users is to carefully consider just how many use cases they can realistically address with this approach given their timeline. I have seen a few projects go way over their target dates due to severe underestimation of the effort required for this kind of work. Oh, and don't forget all those scripting, orchestration, and managmenet assets require care and feeding over time, so it's not just the initial effort to consider.

Given the potential pitfalls of a single tool approach, I usually advise users I work with to consider a careful balance of general purpose and purposeful solutions as a way to fulfill their enterprise cloud strategy. While purposeful solutions do not deliver the flexibility of its general purpose brethren, they typically provide much more out-of-the-box value. The design and implementation of these solutions focuses on handling a subset of use cases really well, thus severely reducing the time and cost of addressing those particular needs. Many of the assets users would otherwise build and maintain themselves, come embedded in the solution.

There is on big caveat to a blended approach. The integration between all of the different solutions must be easy enough so that the wiring work does not require as much effort as the single tool approach would. This is mainly a challenge to the service provider side of the house. I believe providers, especially those like my employer and others that address multiple different layers of the cloud, are starting to recognize this need. It is one thing to be able to answer an enterprise's cloud use cases with a set of products. It is quite another to enable an enterprise cloud with a single, well-integrated, consumable solution!

More Stories By Dustin Amrhein

Dustin Amrhein joined IBM as a member of the development team for WebSphere Application Server. While in that position, he worked on the development of Web services infrastructure and Web services programming models. In his current role, Dustin is a technical specialist for cloud, mobile, and data grid technology in IBM's WebSphere portfolio. He blogs at http://dustinamrhein.ulitzer.com. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/damrhein.

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.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to great conferences, helping you discover new conferences and increase your return on investment.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Silicon India has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Published in Silicon Valley, Silicon India magazine is the premiere platform for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions and allows IT vendors to learn about new solutions that can help grow their business.
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
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.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "IoT Now" was named media sponsor of CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York, which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...