Report: How to define the right multi-cloud strategy for your enterprise the first time

Our library of 1700 research reports is available only to our subscribers. We occasionally release ones for our larger audience to benefit from. This is one such report. If you would like access to our entire library, please subscribe here. Subscribers will have access to our 2017 editorial calendar, archived reports and video coverage from our 2016 and 2017 events.
cloud screen
How to define the right multi-cloud strategy for your enterprise the first time by David S. Linthicum:
The days of the single cloud are gone. Driven by the breadth of technology options, potential cost savings, and the need for business agility, more than 74 percent of businesses are already moving to a multi-cloud strategy. However, enterprises making the move face critical choices, and a failure to consider common risks can diminish or even eliminate the benefits of multi-cloud.
This report will help CIOs, application architects, and IT decision-makers identify common patterns of implementation failures and successes and provide a framework for evaluating multi-cloud environments.
To read the full report click here.

Report: Determining when PaaS is appropriate

Our library of 1700 research reports is available only to our subscribers. We occasionally release ones for our larger audience to benefit from. This is one such report. If you would like access to our entire library, please subscribe here. Subscribers will have access to our 2017 editorial calendar, archived reports and video coverage from our 2016 and 2017 events.
PaaS pic
Determining when PaaS is appropriate by Rich Morrow:
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions are increasingly popular and can speed time to market while cutting costs, but they are not for all organizations and they are not all the same. Before a business can ask whether PaaS makes sense, it must first understand its own needs and the differences among the wide variety of PaaS offerings. Then it must consider the realities of its existing infrastructure and staff and how to best integrate those resources with service-based offerings.
This report defines PaaS, investigates the available options, and then supplies concrete recommendations for what to use where and when.
To read the full report click here.

Report: A checklist for stacking up IaaS providers

Our library of 1700 research reports is available only to our subscribers. We occasionally release ones for our larger audience to benefit from. This is one such report. If you would like access to our entire library, please subscribe here. Subscribers will have access to our 2017 editorial calendar, archived reports and video coverage from our 2016 and 2017 events.
IaaS pic #2
A checklist for stacking up IaaS providers by Janakiram MSV:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the fastest growing segment of the cloud services market. According to Gigaom Research, the current worldwide cloud market is growing by 126.5 percent year over year, driven by 119 percent growth in SaaS and 122 percent growth in IaaS.
Irrespective of the workload type, the key building blocks of infrastructure are compute, storage, networking, and database. This report focuses on identifying a set of common features for each of the building blocks and comparing them with the equivalent services offered by key players of the IaaS industry. The scope of this report is limited to public clouds and it doesn’t compare private cloud providers offering IaaS.
This report doesn’t attempt to compare the price and performance of the cloud service providers. The IaaS players are dropping their prices so frequently that the captured snapshot would be obsolete by the time this report is published. Since each workload, use case, and scenario differs from customer to customer, providing the technical benchmarking information is not practical. It’s best to pilot your app on several clouds and see what actual performance you get.
To read the full report click here.

Report: Apache Hadoop: Is one cluster enough?

Our library of 1700 research reports is available only to our subscribers. We occasionally release ones for our larger audience to benefit from. This is one such report. If you would like access to our entire library, please subscribe here. Subscribers will have access to our 2017 editorial calendar, archived reports and video coverage from our 2016 and 2017 events.
apache logo
Apache Hadoop: Is one cluster enough? by Paul Miller:
The open-source Apache Hadoop project continues its rapid evolution now and is capable of far more than its traditional use case of running a single MapReduce job on a single large volume of data. Projects like Apache YARN expand the types of workloads for which Hadoop is a viable and compelling solution, leading practitioners to think more creatively about the ways data is stored, processed, and made available for analysis.
Enthusiasm is growing in some quarters for the concept of a “data lake” — a single repository of data stored in the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) and accessed by a number of applications for different purposes. Most of the prominent Hadoop vendors provide persuasive examples of this model at work but, unsurprisingly, the complexities of real-world deployment do not always neatly fit the idealized model of a single (huge) cluster working with a single (huge) data lake.
In this report we discuss some of the circumstances in which more complex requirements may exist, and explore a set of solutions emerging to address them.
To read the full report, click here.

Report: Cloud cost control: expense management and auditing for SaaS and beyond

Our library of 1700 research reports is available only to our subscribers. We occasionally release ones for our larger audience to benefit from. This is one such report. If you would like access to our entire library, please subscribe here. Subscribers will have access to our 2017 editorial calendar, archived reports and video coverage from our 2016 and 2017 events.
SaaS
Cloud cost control: expense management and auditing for SaaS and beyond by David S. Linthicum:
Today’s Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings enable near-instant productivity and capacity. Businesses, however, have little visibility into or control over their cloud solutions’ true cost.
Cloud computing allows lines of business to self-provision tools, often without IT’s knowledge. The result is an increase in localized productivity. But provisioned systems are often redundant, contracts are poorly optimized, and businesses are unable to manage or audit the lifecycle and usage of these services. They also lack the data and clout to negotiate more favorable terms.
Cloud computing may put unprecedented power into the hands of business users, but the processes for centralizing management and auditing distributed resources are not new. The challenges that businesses face today are similar to those telecom expense management faced 10 years ago. Considering telecom’s best practices and tool sets can help us develop methods and techniques that maximize the benefits of the emerging cloud computing space.
To read the full report, click here.

Report: Hybrid application design: balancing cloud-based and edge-based mobile data

Our library of 1700 research reports is available only to our subscribers. We occasionally release ones for our larger audience to benefit from. This is one such report. If you would like access to our entire library, please subscribe here. Subscribers will have access to our 2017 editorial calendar, archived reports and video coverage from our 2016 and 2017 events.
Data - generic
Hybrid application design: balancing cloud-based and edge-based mobile data by Rich Morrow:
We’re now seeing an explosion in the number and types of devices, the number of mobile users, and the number of mobile applications, but the most impactful long-term changes in the mobile space will occur in mobile data as users increasingly interact with larger volumes and varieties of data on their devices. More powerful devices, better data-sync capabilities, and peer-to-peer device communications are dramatically impacting what users expect from their apps and which technologies developers will need to utilize to meet those expectations.
As this report will demonstrate, the rules are changing quickly, but the good news is that, because of more cross-platform tools like Xamarin and database-sync capabilities, the game is getting easier to play.
To read the full report, click here.

Report: All clouds are not equal: differentiating an enterprise cloud

Our library of 1700 research reports is available only to our subscribers. We occasionally release ones for our larger audience to benefit from. This is one such report. If you would like access to our entire library, please subscribe here. Subscribers will have access to our 2017 editorial calendar, archived reports and video coverage from our 2016 and 2017 events.
cloud screen
All clouds are not equal: differentiating an enterprise cloud by Janakiram MSV:
Until recently startups and small to medium businesses drove cloud adoption. Now, with cloud service providers maturing, many businesses are considering migrating applications to the cloud. In particular, the IT industry has witnessed a rapid adoption of the public cloud. This research report examines the current state of the cloud, barriers to enterprise cloud adoption, and the key factors to consider when choosing an enterprise cloud platform.
To read the full report, click here.

Report: How to resolve cloud migration challenges in physical and virtual applications

Our library of 1700 research reports is available only to our subscribers. We occasionally release ones for our larger audience to benefit from. This is one such report. If you would like access to our entire library, please subscribe here. Subscribers will have access to our 2017 editorial calendar, archived reports and video coverage from our 2016 and 2017 events.
Cloud computing
How to resolve cloud migration challenges in physical and virtual applications by Paul Miller:
Enterprise IT infrastructure largely predates the emergence of cloud computing as a viable choice for hosting mission-critical applications. Although large organizations are now showing real signs of adopting cloud computing as part of their IT estate, most cloud-based deployments still tend to be either for new and self-contained projects or to meet the needs of traditional development and testing functions.
Compatibility, interoperability, and performance concerns have kept IT administrators from being completely comfortable with the idea of moving their complex core applications to the cloud. And without a seamless application migration blueprint, the project can seem more of a headache – and risk – than it’s worth. This report will highlight for systems administrators, IT directors, cloud architects, and decision-makers at Software as a Service (SaaS) companies and Cloud Service providers, the different approaches they can take in moving existing applications to the cloud.
To read the full report, click here.

Tiger (er, Shark) of the Month: Digital Ocean Makes Getting to Cloud Easy

 
Digital Ocean Shark Whilst at Github Universe last month, on my way to learn more about the conference host’s new hardware two-factor security initiative for its developers, I was sidetracked by the sight of a group of developers crowded around a small kiosk, each holding a blue smiling toy shark. Curious, I stopped by to chat with the kiosk owners’, the crew of Digital Ocean, this month’s featured cloud computing “tiger.”
Why is this particular cloud provider a tiger/shark? Simply put, because they make getting onto the cloud easy for developers at a price point that won’t cause any nightmares as the customer company scales up. But it’s not as simple as calling Digital Ocean an “AWS lite” either because at the moment it’s a very different offering. And particularly for companies that were born pre-cloud, or for the largest unicorns like Uber, DO does not have all the features and support that you would need — at least not yet.
From 0 to 236 countries in Three Years
What Digital Ocean does offer to new companies and other cloud first entities is a facilitated and positive user experience. And developers love them — 700,000+ of them representing 8+ million cloud servers. From a 2012 $3.2 million seed round to a March 2014 $37.2 million Series A to its most recent Series B round in July 2015 for $83 million (Access Industries, Andreesson Horowitz, others), the company has found exponential success with a customer-first approach — delivering a streamlined UX with a straight-forward, transparent “no B.S.” or hard upsell approach.
DigitalOcean currently reaches 230 countries and territories. After their Series A the company added datacenters in Singapore, London and Frankfurt. Another facility was added in Toronto since its Series B, and the company expects to onboard India and South America in 2016.
Starter Web Services 
Digital Ocean has established itself in the web services arena primarily by capturing the entry market. If you look at the three aspects of being in the cloud — Computing, Networking and Storage — DO really only serves the first leg of the stool. Which means that the company can only handle small co or early stage company requirements — non-dynamic content web pages, etc. So a chunk of the developers currently using their services eventually outgrow them. *But* flush with cash and building momentum, the company launched its first networking service in late October — floating IPs that solve the problem of reassigning IPs to any droplet in the same datacenter — and may be able to offer a comprehensive cloud solution as early as next year.
The Hidden Barrier to Cloud is Actually HR
What set’s Digital Ocean’s products from the rest is that you don’t necessarily need a senior engineer to get your company’s web presence set up. So DO is not only cheaper and easier to use, but a platform to get you faster to launch. This provides the business with some breathing room as it develops, expanding the base of potential staff whom can handle the website. This has made DO’s Droplet a popular service for not just newcos, but also for discreet web projects and microsites like the launch of Beyonce’s secret album and Universe.com (owned by TicketMaster).
Customer Service Your Way (It’s All About the Love) 
DO’s UX goes far beyond the product UI. As strange as it sounds coming from a web infrastructure company, one of the company’s core values is “Love” and it is practiced throughout the company. I would characterize this love as a “passion for helping others” and a joie de vivre” that infuses the organization and is transferred to its customers. Duly noted that their mascot shark is a smiling happy one. 

How exactly does this Love manifest itself in the business? Zachary Bouzan-Kaloustian, Digital Ocean’s Director of Support describes its IaaS in this way: “Our entire platform is self-managed, which means that the customer is responsible for what runs on their Droplets. Our Platform Support Specialists provide free support if something’s not working with the infrastructure. One way that we demonstrate our core value of love is to ensure we reply quickly, and our 30-day average response time for 1,000+ tickets / day is under 30 minutes! Of course, our 24/7 team doesn’t stop there. We often do extensive troubleshooting with a customer to diagnose the issue, even if it involves parsing server logs. This involves extensive experience, and great relationship skills as we don’t have access to our customer’s Droplets for security reasons.”

But is this love scalable? Maybe not, but certainly the desire for love amongst developers (and us all) is strong so no doubt there is no shortage of demand for DO’s particular brand of customer relations.

Building the Next Generation Infrastructure 
By getting in with developers early, Digital Ocean has set itself up to take advantage of the tipping point of the Internet of Everything — when not only all major services but customer adoption for them reaches critical mass worldwide — likely well within the next 5 years. While newcos are signing up with Digital Ocean today, the company is fortifying and expanding its technical and services staff — growing from 150 to 200 employees in the past quarter alone.
And the big fish are taking notice: Google, Microsoft and Amazon have sliced their prices 3x since Digital Ocean launched and prices continue to drop. So increasingly the companies will begin to compete on volume — of customers and services used.
Fast forward 5 years and DO will have all the pieces of the cloud stool well established as well as worldwide presence. If DO can maintain its vision of making web services simple to consume, and successfully build out its offerings so that it can scale with its customers, the company is well positioned to become the go-to web services company for the post-millennial generation. Considering that there are some 20-30 million potential developer customers out there — it wouldn’t surprise me to see Digital Ocean as the most distributed — if not the biggest — and certainly the most beloved fish in the sea by 2020.
**This post was updated at 1:38pm on November 11, 2015 to reflect factual corrections. Access Industries, not Accel Partners, is a lead investor in Digital Ocean. 

Of Mashery and Men: Tibco builds bridges to the cloud

After spending some time at Tibco’s customer event in London today, I thought I would jot down some thoughts while they were still fresh. Tibco has managed that rare thing in the IT industry — to hang on to a mid-market position without being swallowed by one of the tech giants or being overtaken by more agile startups. Few companies achieve this over the long term (NetApp, OpenText and, until recently, Citrix spring to mind).
Having maintained its place through acquisitions of its own, such as Spotfire and JasperSoft, one year ago Tibco followed others in removing itself from the stock market ostensibly to give itself some freedom to think beyond the quarterly report. “Tibco will have added flexibility to serve our customers and execute on our long-term strategy,” said then-CEO Vivek Ranadivé, a view echoed today by his replacement, Murray Rode.
In practical terms this strategy has meant moving away from the traditional market of software running inside the enterprise, and looking towards delivering visualisation, integration and analytics services that fit with, dare I use the term, the ‘digital’ world — working with cloud-based services, devops practices and non-IT customers. Far from being marketing bling, Tibco believes that this aligns with clear and present demand. “We are just responding to what customers are asking for,” says CTO Matt Quinn.
In a nutshell, this means delivering tools that work with both in-house and cloud-based software. To reinforce this point, the company today announced it was acquiring Mashery, an API management company, from Intel. Can Tibco deliver? There is no reason why not; the only open questions are how well it manages to integrate the older and newer elements of its portfolio together and broaden its customer base (therefore growing revenues), both of which remain a work in progress.
All the same and like AWS, the company is highly oriented to responding to customer needs, a pre-requisite of survival in these messy times which appear to favour the new over the old. Unlike AWS, Tibco sees genuine benefit in both in-house and cloud-based technology. If the future is hybrid (which it will be for the next decade or so), there is value to add helping companies bridge the gap.
While the immediate future of technology may be difficult to chart, this doesn’t phase the company. “We thrive on complexity and change,” says Matt. Indeed, more fragmentation of technology, an inevitable consequence of current trends, begets greater need for integration and simplification.
Whether or not the organisation will retain its independence in the long term remains to be seen. In the meantime, simply helping its customers respond to the dual pressures of delivering innovation while keeping existing systems going (and helping both work together) should be sufficient basis for Tibco’s continued success. “We are blessed with some wonderful customers,” says Murray. And it is by helping these that Tibco will itself ride the digital wave.