The commoditization of technology has reached its pinnacle with the advent of the recent paradigm of Cloud Computing. Infosys Cloud Computing blog is a platform to exchange thoughts, ideas and opinions with Infosys experts on Cloud Computing

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August 27, 2015

Software is the New Hardware

The "Humanics", "Mechanics" and "Economics" of the new enterprise world

 

The enterprise world seems to be poised at an interesting inflection point today. There no longer seems to be anything called as a "known competitor" or an "industry adjacency" in enterprise business anymore.

 

A Google can come from nowhere and reimagine, redefine and rewrite the rules of the entire advertisement industry. An Apple can come from nowhere and reimagine, redefine and rewrite the rules of the entire entertainment industry. A Facebook and Twitter can create absolutely new spaces that did not exist a few years ago. An Amazon and/or Alibaba can come from nowhere and reimagine, redefine and rewrite the rules of the way commerce is done around the world. And then there are Uber, Tesla and others.

 

In each of these examples, three elements seem to combine to perfection: 

  • Humanics: This is about using the power of imagination to discover new possibilities and create new experiences. All the companies mentioned above have done this par excellence in their respective contexts.
  • Mechanics: The new possibilities powered by imagination have to be converted into reality and, more often than not, in today's world, all of this is being driven by software. All the examples mentioned above, have leveraged the power of software in reimagining, redefining and rewriting the rules of their respective games. 
  • Economics: And finally, of course, there is the economics - the right business model for the right context. Businesses and business plans need to find the right balance between "Humanics", "Mechanics" "Economics" to scale new horizons and convert possibilities into realities - leveraging the power of software!

GAFTA vs G2K

At a biomedicine conference last year, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla famously declared that healthcare would be better off with fewer doctors. And then he delivered the same advice to IT at a tech conference the following month. Needless provocation? Far-fetched fantasy? Datacenter utopia, actually. Because that's exactly what most of the traditional and large G2K companies would dearly love to achieve.

Not too long ago, the Director of Data Center Operations at Facebook said each of their administrators managed at least 20,000 servers. Contrast that with the 1:500 or 1:1,000 (admin to server) ratio that a typical G2K company manages. At best. A couple of years earlier - as if to prove a point - Facebook had launched the Open Compute project to make their highly efficient hardware design "open source" for everyone's benefit.

The reason for this lopsided infrastructural evolution is mainly historical. Most G2K companies have been around long enough to accumulate a legacy of disparate, non-interoperating, generations of technologies that seem to be operating in silos. These enterprises are forced to dedicate the technology budget, not to mention large human resources, to simply keep the lights on. On the other hand, the GAFTA (Google-Apple-Facebook-Twitter-Amazon) group - with a scant 97 years between them - found a way to abstract and codify this complexity using the power of software to build highly scalable and highly automated solutions to the same problem.

The stark difference in productivity means that many G2K enterprises struggle with most of their resources being stuck with "keeping the lights on." This also means that very limited resources are allocated to reimagining, redefining and rewriting possibilities and converting these into newer realities for business.

Now, what if, somehow magically, this could be completely turned upside down. The possibilities would be immense. The probability of converting these possibilities into realities would be immense.

The key question is, how can G2K organizations do a GAFTA? Especially in the world of infrastructure management.

Software is the new hardware

The basis to the hypothesis of G2K doing a GAFTA, especially in the field of infrastructure management, seems to be encapsulated in a mere 5 words: "software is the new hardware". 

G2K companies must find a way to emulate their GAFTA counterparts to leverage the power of software to reimagine, redefine and rewrite the way the current infrastructure is managed and convert possibilities into realities.

They must find a way to run their operations noiselessly leveraging the power of software. To achieve this, they must find a way to abstract the complexities and heterogeneity of their environments through the power of software and drive extreme standardization and extreme automation to achieve extreme productivity - by an order of magnitude, not incrementally. This will help them take costs out - and large chunks of it.

They must find a way to: 

  • Drive extreme visibility and control across not only the "horizontal elements" spanning various businesses, geographies, applications, partners, and functions but also "vertical elements" across all infrastructural elements to applications to business processes. And all of this in a "single pane".
  • Modernize their infrastructure by possibilities that software offers - hyper-converged infrastructure, software defined everything, Open Compute, and a good mix of public, private and hybrid clouds so that agility increases by leaps and bounds and costs decrease by an order of magnitude.
  • Modernize and move their existing workloads to take advantage of the new software-powered underlying infrastructure.
  • Reimagine their processes to make DevOps an integral part of the new ways of working.
  • Reimagine their security with "hazy perimeters", collaborative work models to counter ever-increasing vulnerabilities and risks - all this through the power of software.
  • Reskill and reorganize talent. In the world where software is the new hardware, there will be need for a massive change in skills and structure.
  • Change the organizational culture.

While the existing and mature businesses within the enterprise will demand relentless excellence in efficiency, control, certainty, and variance reduction, the foundational cultural constructs of the "newer" lines of business of the enterprise will be based on exploration, discovery, autonomy, and innovation. Building an ambidextrous organization and driving a culture of purpose, creativity and learning would be paramount.

All said and done, this journey is best undertaken with partners who are able and aligned - not alone. G2K companies must find a way to leverage partners who have firmly based their strategies and their businesses on the fact that "software is the new hardware". Not just by talking about it but actually making it a way of life of using software to help their clients "run" operations, "build" next-gen infrastructure, "modernize/migrate" workloads, and "secure" them against the new threats. 

The last word

The approach to technology infrastructure at G2K and GAFTA companies belong to different eras. There exists a clear blueprint for G2K enterprises to leverage the benefits of the GAFTA world in terms of agility, and freed-up man and money resources that can be promptly plowed back into re-imagination, innovation and new business models. 

GAFTA has shown the way on how new business models can be "Powered by imagination. Driven by software".  

Software is indeed the new hardware!

Continue reading "Software is the New Hardware" »

October 11, 2013

Take your business where your digital consumers are - on the cloud! Part2

In my previous blog, I spoke about how digitization is taking place these days in all realms with cloud. Enterprises have started embracing the new phenomenon of "consumerization of enterprises" for business. In this blog, I will share some thoughts on how- cloud and big data can be two pillars for an organizational strategy.

 

My essential tenet is that Cloud and Big Data are interdependent on each other - as more and more information resides on Cloud, it will become easier to access and analyse information, providing valuable business intelligence for companies. In fact, Gartner predicts that 35% of customer content will reside on the Cloud by 2016, up from 11% in 2011 (1).

 

Customers are leveraging this easy and instant access to rich data to make smarter decisions. Many in-store shoppers tend to use their mobile devices to compare product prices on online channels such as Amazon or eBay. Retailers who have the capacity to track this action can immediately offer customers a better package/ deal, thereby delighting the customer and closing the sale instantly.

 

To achieve such pervasive intelligence and instant actionable insights, one should be able to sift through large amounts of data pertaining to each customer in quick time. Businesses will need to verify whether the information they gather about their customers is accurate. Coupled with all this, there are large scale technology related changes, and costs, that need to be considered. And this elasticity of compute at an affordable cost is quite possible when you leverage the cloud effectively.

 

Information that resides across multiple locations can be collated, accessed, analysed, and verified for accuracy at much lower costs on the Cloud. Further, through Cloud-based media, brands can track consumer opinion as well as follow critical consumer behaviour actions/ changes. Take for example the manufacturing industry. Cloud can drive shorter product lifecycles and faster time-to-market as well as enhance their product design, development and marketing campaigns (3).

 

In my next blog, I will talk about how consumer responsiveness can be accelerated by cloud.

October 4, 2013

Building Tomorrow's Digital Enterprise on Cloud - Part 2

In my last blog on Building Tomorrow's Digital Enterprise on Cloud we looked at enterprise cloud adoption trends and how the Digital transformation is influencing Cloud adoption models like PaaS. In this blog, we will look at how enterprises can leverage Cloud to reinvent themselves into a Digital enterprise.

We see enterprises that want to take on this Digital transformation challenge are evaluating and on-boarding new technology and business solutions leveraging Cloud, Mobility and social media. However, enterprises should be careful to avoid merely repackaging old capabilities in new technology solutions. Merely moving applications and not services (lack of service-orientation); Merely moving applications and not business capabilities that can be offered as a Service; Merely moving applications and not exposing API's that allows 3rd parties and partners to build innovative services to enhance consumer experience is like offering "Old wine in a new bottle" that no longer appeals to tomorrow's Gen-Y digital consumers.

Continue reading "Building Tomorrow's Digital Enterprise on Cloud - Part 2" »

Take your business where your digital consumers are - on the cloud! Part 1

The CTO of a leading automaker recently asked me how he could access personal information such as birthdays, anniversary dates, or other significant events in their customers' lives to be able to serve them better. More particularly, he was interested in getting this information in real-time on occasions such as when they approach a POS terminal or an associate in a dealership or merchandise store. He was looking for ways to drive a more personalized customer engagement: mechanisms that could extract relevant and useful insights from multiple sources of customer data to empower the sales team and make highly customized and compelling offers to the customer.

 

Essentially, his question represents an on-going paradigm shift in the mindset of CXOs in today's enterprises - from traditional ways of doing business to leveraging the power of digital channels. And the main reason for this is the rise of the digital consumer fuelled by the big bang of Cloud. In this three series blog, I would like to discuss about how cloud is driving "consumerization of enterprises".

 

High-speed connectivity and information transparency of online and mobile channels has spawned a new breed of Gen Y customers that are well-connected through multiple devices, expressive and ready to engage with an attitude. This changing customer demographic means that enterprises have to find new ways of getting their attention - and winning their trust.

 

Today's customers are sharing and accessing tremendous amounts of data, a bulk of which resides on the Cloud, through social media sites and various other interactive channels. In 2012 alone, consumer-generated content accounted for 68% of information available through various devices (TV, mobiles, tablets, etc.) and channels (social media, videos, texts, etc.). Much of this information is extremely valuable if we can access and analyze it. In fact, by 2020, 33% of the information that resides in this digital universe will have critical analytical value, compared to today's where one-fourth of the information has critical analytical value. This is will be an increase of 7% in 8 years on a total data volume that is growing at 40% year on year (2).

 

In my next blog I would be talking about how cloud and Big Data are driving actionable business insights for enterprises for digital transformation.

September 27, 2013

Building Tomorrow's Digital Enterprise on Cloud - Part 1

IDC in its 2013 Predictions "Competing on the 3rd Platform" predicts that the Next Generation of Platform opportunities would be in the intersection of Cloud, Mobile, Social and Big Data.

My discussions with Client IT executives across industries over the last few months has clearly shown a growing interest for building such a platform to address their digital transformation needs. They realize the importance to look at this strategically from a Digital Consumer engagement perspective and the need to align their internal projects and initiatives focusing on Mobility, Cloud and Social Integration to maximize business value. Consumers today demand seamless access across devices/channels and the ability to integrate into the context of their digital experience. Next generation of platforms need to address this transforming consumer engagement model.

Foundations of such a platform I believe would leverage Cloud-based applications enhanced with API Management at its core to address the needs of Integrating the Enterprise with their Digital Ecosystem and consumers on Mobile Apps & devices, Social Media by leveraging Cloud Services for elastic scaling and Analytics on API usage trends to generate business insights.

In this blog series we will talk about Cloud adoption trends that we are seeing in the marketplace and how this Digital convergence is influencing cloud adoption models and the evolving need for Enterprise API Management on Cloud for value realization.

Continue reading "Building Tomorrow's Digital Enterprise on Cloud - Part 1" »

August 27, 2013

You can't compete with the clouds, but you can embrace and succeed!

 

I take my inspiration for my blog title from Forrester's James Staten who recently wrote about "You can learn from the clouds but you can't compete". James Staten talks about how data center operations can help achieve levels of excellence and success and prescribes that standardization, simplification, workload consistency, automation and maniacal focus on power and cooling can help one setup and run the best data center operations.

 

However, I think there is more to these large cloud providers than just learning some best practices. I was talking to an important client of Infosys earlier with whom we are currently enabling an cloud enabled IT transformation and she mentioned something that clarified to me what the real value of these cloud providers means. She said her aspiration is to set up and run a trust cloud ecosystem for her enterprise with a single point of accountability.  In spite of the sheer scale and magnitude of their investments, the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Windows Azure, these giant behemoths of industrial scale infrastructure with their infinitesimal compute power, derive respect from the sheer agility and speed with which they are able to respond to their customer needs.

 

Of course, this happens because of a phenomenal level of simplification, standardization, automation and orchestration they run their operations with. Now imagine, how it would be if these principles of IT governance and operations management were extended to an enterprise. Vishnu Bhat , VP and Global head of Cloud at Infosys keeps saying "It is not about the Cloud. It is about the enterprise" and towards this if an enterprise were to simply focus on learning from these cloud leaders and work towards establishing an ecosystem of cloud providers, a hybrid setup, where their current IT is conveniently and easily connected to their private cloud, and public cloud setups. And this hybrid cloud environment is managed with the same level of agility and speed as an AWS is, that is when the possibility of true success and value from cloud starts to emerge.

 

Imagine a hybrid cloud within the realms of your enterprise that functions with the same speed, agility and alacrity of an AWS. Imagine exceptionally efficient levels of optimization of costs on a continuous basis by bringing in levels of automated provisioning of enterprise workloads, integrated federation and brokerage with on-premise core IT systems, extensibility with public clouds available for spikes, constant optimization through contestability and optimization, control and governance through single enterprise view, metering, billing and charge backs to business, clear points of accountability with easy governance of SLAs and liabilities, secure management of the cloud and compliance de-risking in keeping with the laws of the land. And all this from one ecosystem integrator with one point of responsibility, accountability. That's cloud nirvana at work!  I am eager to keeping telling clients on how to get to this state, how to learn from the cloud providers and contextualize these to an enterprise.

 

In my next blog, I will talk about an important aspect of cloud success - contestability, but before that, I would urge you to read my colleague Soma Pamidi's blog "Getting cloud management and sustenance right - Part 1". Till then, may the clouds keep you productive!

November 26, 2012

Harnessing the Hybrid Cloud

A recent IDC study claims that "private cloud is [the] current flavor but hybrid cloud is fast becoming a reality." This makes sense, because it is the hybrid model that exploits cloud potential to the fullest. It's the golden mean between private, public and on-premise, enabling enterprises to fulfill all their ambitions--from plain-vanilla aspirations like cost efficiency, scalability, productivity and "on demand" to strategic business priorities like innovation, market expansion and business model reinvention. Of course, there's a catch. Read More

July 12, 2012

Big Data and the God particle (Higgs Boson)

The July 4th 2012 announcement from CERN on the possible evidence of the existence of the God particle or the Higgs Boson has sent ripples through the physics community. This is not just fundamental to explain the existence of gravity but a validation of the Standard Model of particle physics. It holds the possibility of opening up new frontiers in physics and a new understanding of the world we live in.

While we marvel at these discoveries, our physicist brother-in grapple with trying to understand if this discovery is truly a Higgs Boson or an imposter?  It is however very interesting to look at the magnitude of the data analysis and the distributed computing framework that was required to wade through the massive amounts of data produced by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

The Big Data problem that the scientists at CERN and across the world had to contend with was sifting through over 800 Trillion (you heard that right ...) proton to proton collisions looking for this elusive Higgs Boson.  Additionally this particle has a large mass but is extremely unstable and lasts for less than a billionth of a second.  It cannot be detected directly and is identified through its footprint or the particles that it splits into. This results in over 200 Petabytes of data that needs to be analyzed.

 Right from the beginning CERN had set this up as a distributed cloud based tiered data processing solution. There were three tiers identified T0 being the tier that collects the data directly from LDH, there were 11 T1 nodes across the world getting the data from CERN and a number of T2 nodes (for e.g. there are 8 in the US) based on the areas of the data that particular groups of physicists were interested in analyzing.  From the T2 nodes people could download the data to their personal T3 nodes for analysis. This resulted in a massive highly distributed data processing framework that collects data spewed out by the LHC detectors at a phenomenal rate of 1.25GB/sec. The overall network can rely on a computation capability of over 100,000 processors spread over 130 organization in 34 countries.

From a technology perspective it is interesting that people have used some of the open source technologies that we use for big data processing in enterprises for e.g. the file system with the Hadoop echo system, HDFS (Hadoop Distirbuted File System) was the candidate for storing these massive amounts of data, ROOT another open source tool which is also used by financial institutions as well is used to analyze this data.

It is amazing that the analysis tools used to find the God particle is commonly available to be used by the enterprise to solve smaller Big Data problems.

To paraphrase Galelio "All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them and Big Data can help"

July 4, 2012

Can IT now can fully enable business? With Cloud?

In the last twenty years in this industry, I have seen quite a few faces of IT operations in many organizations. From being considered as a back room operation to leading change and business integration. But the truth is, most IT organizations in enterprises are struggling to stay in the front line and constantly battling to find ways of quantifying the "value of IT". This has not been easy to say the least. 

 

In my view, the two big issues that are contributing to the woes of most IT organizations. They are ..

1.       Time to Market

2.       Innovation

 

There is no doubt that IT has transformed to be the backbone of all enterprises. Most organizations IT capabilities have evolved and we have done a 'good job' in bringing  the engineering discipline, process, methodologies and more importantly,predictability, in this industry. Now, where has that left IT in any organization. It is considered more often than not a bottleneck in bringing new ideas to the market. Let's look at it from a business leaders standpoint. How many times have we heard " we do not have an environment to start the work, develop and test", " this cannot go into this release cycle", " it is too time consuming to try things out"," We need to have all requirement and design ready" etc. Truth of the matter is that it takes too long to get a business idea from a concept to production. More often than not , IT is the bottleneck. 

 

It is true that 85 percent of IT budgets world over are to keep the lights on. So where is the room for innovation? Most investments are engaged in keeping lights on and the other 15 to 20 percent is used up in delivering "strategic programs". There is generally no room available to try new ideas or engage in any sort of R&D activity. This has resulted in formation of shadow IT groups outside of then IT depts with limited success and most certainly resulting in a "mess" to be cleaned up. 

 

I am very excited about the opportunity the Cloud offers. I am also very confident that this can be as big a disruption or an opportunity to IT as the Internet was, or a phenomenon close to heart, the Global Delivery Model. The Cloud offers a bright future for the industry, one in which IT can ensure greater agility, simplicity, scalability, efficiency, innovation, and cost-effectiveness for businesses.  Boy, does it provide enough room! And lots of it. It has the power to address the issue of time to market as well as bring in significant opportunities and construct for innovation.

 

As I sign off, I would like to leave you all with one thought: The sky is the limit on the Cloud. So What would limit CIOs in leveraging it to it's potential ? More on that in my next blog..

 

 

June 27, 2012

Microsoft can extend its Windows run on the Cloud.

While I am preparing my trip for Microsoft World Wide Partner Conference (WWPC) 2012 happening in Toronto during second week of July, I was referring to the notes which I captured during the previous events.  What really caught my eyes were some key messages delivered during 2010 WWPC which happened at Washington DC. Steve Ballmer in his key note mentioned that Microsoft is transforming itself into a cloud services company and 70 percent of Microsoft developers are working on cloud services. This was followed by the message to partners to "Lead with cloud, Build, Tell, Sell and Support".  Microsoft's big bets on cloud were clearly evident throughout the partner conference in 2010 where 70% and more of the sessions were around Microsoft cloud products be it Public or Private Cloud and SaaS or PaaS offerings. It was the first wave of Microsoft message to partners to gear up to support its Windows run on cloud.  

If you look back, this strategy from Microsoft didn't happen overnight. The preparations started way back in 2005 when Ray Ozzie released an exciting internal memo to Microsoft employees outlining the competitive landscape, the opportunities and future steps for Microsoft's strategy to deliver on a portfolio of seamless software + services. I recollect majority of us during that timeframe ignored it and continued implementing Windows XP's, Windows Server 2003, Office 2003 and kept exploring the power of .NET applications and XML web services on premises.

Later during 2008 Ray further advanced his software + services strategy and highlighted the power of choice for business while embracing cloud, which set the beginning for the enhanced set of products and services from Microsoft extending its powerful in premise story to cloud. This was followed with an announcement of Windows Live and Microsoft business productivity online services. This was the beginning of cloud being one of the mainstream focus. 

The 2011 WWPC which happened in Los Angeles highlighted Microsoft's huge investments on building data centers across the world and the product line enhancements to entice adoption. Today I believe Microsoft has become one of the largest and most influential players in the cloud for enterprise, SMB and consumer space.   Windows Azure today is mature and extensive, unlike the competitors provides both IaaS and PaaS capability. Microsoft has turned its most influential Windows based business productivity application "Microsoft office" as a cloud app. Along with this Microsoft also offers its most popular collaboration and messaging suite comprising of Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync  as a SaaS solution branded as O365.  To add to this is its recently unveiled SaaS offering "Microsoft Dynamics" CRM online. They also have the right synergy across public and private cloud for Identity, virtualization, management and application development.  Earlier this week Microsoft announced its acquisition of Yammer a social networking company to extend its cloud services with best-in-class enterprise social networking.  What more do we need to believe that Microsoft will extend its run on Cloud ?

I am sure the 2012 WWPC will have more exciting announcements re iterating their strategy as a cloud services company. 

June 26, 2012

My road trip for the Windows Azure Spring Release

I am just back from a roadtrip to Chennai, the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. Chennai is one of the IT hubs in India, that houses thousands of  IT professionals. Initially, I was reluctant to leave the cool and comfortable mediteranean climate of Bangalore to go to Chennai for a day, a city that is famous for its sweltering heat and humidity. I went there because of two primary reasons - I got to speak to over 1000 Microsoft technology enthusiasts, something I always enjoy. The second reason, but more important one was that it was the occasion of the the Windows Azure Camp,  The event that happened on June 21st was the official announcement from Microsoft of their much awaited enhancement around Windows Azure (Spring Release). Microsoft has been unveiling this spring release the world over and it is an important event for developers and IT professionals and technology decision makers to discover and familiarize new services and capabilities of the Windows Azure platform. Beyond this it gave them a platform to interact with Cloud experts who work and enable these technologies across multiple use cases to address the real world scenarios.

 

I was invited because Infosys is one of the top System Integrators across the world for Windows Azure. That I was the only Cloud Technology expert from any SI to have been invited and be part of this launch keynote made it more special. I just decided to share my experiences and success stories with clients on Windows Azure. I shared our views on how the enhanced platform can address broader client scenarios. With the spring release Windows Azure has become equally exciting for both developers and Infrastructure experts. Windows Azure will no longer be just a platform as a service (PaaS) which was a developers panorama, will have a new capability that will function as Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) that will run Windows and Linux instances and their related applications. There has been some major enhancements to the existing services as well new service addition. With this Windows Azure can be a preferred platform for Dev / Test environment as well as lifting and shifting Windows and Linux VM's.

 

The earlier PaaS capability is now known as Azure cloud service, new IaaS capability is called Azure Virtual Machine and there is one more capability for hosting websites which is known as Azure websites. Beyond this there are few new network caging capabilities like Azure connect and Azure virtual network to enable cross premise connectivity scenarios. It was an excited and packed crowd of around 1000 who turned up at the Chennai Trade Center for the event, dominated by the developer community along with infrastructure experts. The folks with whom I interacted were keen to know how enterprise clients are adopting the public platform and how the platform addresses their security and other compliance requirements. Few of them expressed that application mobility in a hybrid scenario with VM's moving across on premise and cloud will be really exciting in addressing most of the scenarios they come across with their clients. Few of them were keen to know the e commerce possibilities. The dev and test scenarios especially SharePoint and SQL servers were also highlighted.

 

As I left the city in the evening, the heat and the humidity of Chennai were forgotten, what remain in my memory was the promise of this new cloud offering from Microsoft, enriching experience of interacting with over a 1000 enthusiastic cloud technologists  and how excited everybody is about what the Cloud can do for enterprises worldwide.

 

The Cloud is real and underway and it is not going away, let's embrace it with both hands and enjoy the benefits.

March 20, 2012

Along with data in on-premise database, can we also expose stored procedure using Azure building blocks to internet?

While working in some project we might have come across the requirement:

·         Migrate an existing web- application from on-premise to cloud for some of the obvious reasons. And I believe by now we know what are the different driving factors for migrating an/a application/service to cloud

·         But keep the back-end database on-premise. Quite a few reasons for this, say for instance the data is of very "high business impact" type and can't be put outside the corporate network.

We must have explored quite a few options like being in Windows Azure domain, options are:

·         Make use of Azure connect and create some kind of local area network comprising of the database server and the virtual machines having Azure roles (having the application).

·         Make use of Azure appfabric service bus (my favorite option) to expose database over http as OData interface and also support the CRUD operations.

But now how to expose the SQL Stored Procedures and functions defined in the back-end database.

Continue reading "Along with data in on-premise database, can we also expose stored procedure using Azure building blocks to internet?" »

January 9, 2012

Enterprise Cloud Adoption Strategic Roadmap

Adoption of Cloud in an enterprise is more of a strategic decision than an operational or tactical. Cloud adoption needs to be seen more from enterprise architecture strategy perspective rather than an isolated application architecture specific strategy for the simple reason that it has several short and long term implications on enterprise strategy which may be beyond the specific application's business or technology footprint.

Continue reading "Enterprise Cloud Adoption Strategic Roadmap" »

November 7, 2011

Enterprise Cloud trends - "Cloud First" strategy

While we were working on the Cloud strategy for Infosys a year back we had lengthy debates on how an enterprise of the future looks like with their cloud vision in the coming years. Most of our forecasts on this are coming factual. My recent interactions with clients and partners clearly reveal that the Cloud adoption by enterprises is faster than what was being perceived by a larger community.

 

"Cloud first" strategy is being adopted by some of our leading clients and few of them have a very clear approach for their Infrastructure and application stack. Hybrid is the most common trend and Private Cloud plans are in place for the new and old gears. IaaS consumption from Public Cloud seems to be a short term strategy and PaaS is becoming more prominent for application development even though there is still some fear of vendor lock-in. This to me is the right strategy as more innovations are to happen in the PaaS space and applications can leverage the power of Cloud in terms of scalability, global availability, design for failures etc. more with platform as a service. Application portability gaps across platforms and on-premise setup will gradually diminish with parity amongst on-premise server operating systems and Cloud platforms being addressed with every new version release. Those who consider that an application developed for windows server is a platform "lock-in" may not agree with me on this view.

 

One of our clients who has adopted O365 has outlined the future strategy for portals with first choice as SharePoint Online and anything on-premise will be an exception (feature parity, data privacy etc). This shows that "Cloud first" strategy is becoming the norm within enterprises with clear directions for non-standard applications and short living workloads. This works well across organizations and industries for especially self-contained application workloads which have least dependency on data residing on premise. Additionally, these organizations could have security and compliance concerns in their data being exposed to the Public Cloud.

 

Next wave is around mobility and analytics. Will discuss this in my next post. 

 

August 23, 2011

Practicing Agile Software Development on the Windows® Azure™ Platform

Over the years, several software development methodologies have evolved to help the IT industry cope with rapidly evolving business requirements. One such methodology is Agile... -an iterative approach to software development. Similarly rapid strides on the technology front are resulting in paradigm shifts towards software development and how IT delivers its services to business. Technologies in the form of virtualization and cloud are offering low entry barriers by making software and hardware infrastructure easily accessible and thus reduce the time to market. These are encouraging signs that help reduce the gap between business and IT. 

Continue reading "Practicing Agile Software Development on the Windows® Azure™ Platform" »

July 29, 2011

Step by step approach to expose on-premise database using Azure infrastructure - Part 2

In the last blog we understood the usage of Azure-connect to expose on-premise SQL database and accordingly the points of concern while doing that and also the benefit. In this blog we will understand another approach using Azure appfabric Service Bus.

Continue reading "Step by step approach to expose on-premise database using Azure infrastructure - Part 2" »

Big Data and Cloud Computing

It is well known that leveraging the Cloud for high computing work loads for a short span of time is a good business case.

Getting Business insights from Big Data is becoming main stream. Cloud is becoming an ideal choice for that.

Continue reading "Big Data and Cloud Computing" »

March 31, 2011

Is cloud computing same as putting things Online?

All those just boarding the cloud train, may have posed this question to themselves or to others who may have a know-how on cloud. Being a Cloud SME myself, I have faced this question several times. This post is an attempt to clear some of the confusion that exists around this specific topic.

Continue reading "Is cloud computing same as putting things Online? " »

January 17, 2011

Banking 3.0 : Organizational Drivers for Cloud Computing- Financial Institutions

To talk about the organizations that manage our money and assets, let us first classify them into the kind of work, they undertake. Then a careful study of the trends and a clear understanding of what cloud computing can offer, would provide us with the drivers for this sector to adopt cloud computing.

Bank services.jpgFor categorization, we can use a freshman's criteria of the nature of work. Hence we have

   ·         The banks

    o   Consumer Banks

    o   Govt Banks

    o  Industrial/Corporate/Specialized 

             Banks

   ·         The Insurance Companies

   ·        The Non-Banking Financial corporations

Continue reading "Banking 3.0 : Organizational Drivers for Cloud Computing- Financial Institutions" »