The 451 Group Cloudscape report strikes chord misses harmony (DevOps, Hybrid Cloud, Orchestration)

It’s impossible to resist posting about this month’s  451 Group Cloudscape report when it calls me out by name as a leading cloud innovator:

… ProTier founders Dave McCrory and Rob Hirschfeld. ProTier [note: now part of Quest] was, indeed, the first VMware ecosystem vendor to be tracked by The 451 Group. In the face of a skeptical world, these entrepreneurs argued that virtualization needed automation in order to realize its full potential, and that the test lab was the low-hanging fruit. Subsequent events have more than vindicated their view (pg. 33).

It’s even better when the report is worth reading and offers insights into forces shaping the industry.  It’s nice to be “more than vindicated” on an amazing journey we started over 10 years ago!

Rather than recite 451’s points (hybrid cloud = automation + orchestration + devops + pixie dust), I’d rather look at the problem different way as a counterpoint.

The problem is “how do we deal with applications that are scattered over multiple data centers?”

I do not think orchestration is the complete answer.  Current orchestration is too focused on moving around virtual machines (aka workloads).

Ultimately, the solution lies in application architecture; however, I feel that is also a misdirection because cloud is redefining what an “application architecture” means.

Applications are a dynamic mix of compute, storage, and connectivity.

We’re entering an age when all of these ingredients will be delivered as elastic services that will be managed by the applications themselves.  The concept of self management is an extension of DevOps principles that fuse application function and deployment. There are missing pieces, but I’m seeing the innovation moving to fill those gaps.

If you want to see the future of cloud applications then look at the network and storage services that are emerging.  They will tell you more about the future than orchestration.


Shaken or stirred? Cloud Cocktail leads to insights

Part of my perfessional & personal mission is to kick over mental ant hills.  In the cloud space, I believe that people are trying way too hard to define cloud into neat little buckets.  That leads me to try and reorient around new visualizations.  The purpose of doing this is to strip away historical thought patterns that limit our ability to envision future patterns (meaning: attitude adjustment).

The Cloud Cocktail

With that overly erudite preamble, here’s a tasty potion that I mixed up for you to enjoy on your way to real libations at ACL.

The technologies underlying cloud are complex; however, the core components for cloud are simple: applications, networked services and virtualized infrastructure.  These three components in varying proportions garnished with management APIs form the basis for all cloud solutions. 

This cocktail napkin sketch of a cloud may appear sparse, but it provides the key insights that drive a vision for how to adapt and respond to clouds’ rapid metamorphosis.  It would be ideal to point to a single set of technologies and declare that it is a Cloud; unfortunately, cloud is a transformation, not an end-state.