Posted by: Greg Ness | November 14, 2014

Amazon Declares War on VMware

I returned from re:Invent last night after three days of what was probably one of the most memorable and impactful trade shows I’ve ever attended. Period.

More than 1500 attendee applicants were refused.  The show was packed. This time with more enterprise IT leaders than one might imagine, with most fully committed to getting on Amazon AWS.

The attendee drumbeat at our booth was relentless: “We want to move to AWS.”

Kitty Hawk

My comment to press and analysts at each briefing: It is clear that re:Invent 2014 is more than a typical trade show; it will be remembered as the point at which Amazon declared war (explicitly or implicitly- it doesn’t matter) on VMware.

Hybrid cloud has become assimilated (finally) as an Amazon go to market strategy/offering.  They might call it hybrid IT, but everyone knows what they mean.  AWS wants to become the trusted partner for the next generation of enterprise cloud.  See my cloud predictions for some context.

We’re obviously still early. Even at $10B per year in IaaS cloud spending (out of perhaps $1T – $2T in enterprise IT spending) AWS is still one of many stars in the sky.  Yet the momentum I felt in the hallways and aisles reminded me of the early growth years of VMware, with hordes of enthusiasts eager to take their workloads to new levels of agility and efficiency.

What VMware has in its favor today is the sheer cost of migrating that $1T+ in IT to AWS.  There are simply not enough cloud experts in the world today (as well as available cash) to accomplish that in one’s lifetime.  As long as AWS is dependent upon manual cloud migration processes and partners growth will be slower and more painful than when VMware abstracted workloads on x86 machines.

The missing link is automated cloud migration.  Not server migration or image conversion, but the automated migration of an app workload, networking services, configs, patches and IP addresses into AWS. The greater the level of cloud migration automation the faster the growth for any cloud provider.

Take VMware as an example.  VMotion was an even simpler challenge than intercloud agility.  You might remember this topic from 2009, before the infrastructure 2.0 working group disbanded. Yet it set the stage for ever higher levels of efficiency and agility and the meteoric rise of VMware.

Whomever automates cloud on-boarding to the fullest extent will become the next Microsoft, VMware, etc. for a new era of computing. Stay tuned.

Recommended Reading

Three Years of Cloud Predictions – my take on the evolution of cloud, since 2012.

Our Cloud DR Story – InformationWeek on emerging best practices in the cloud

Who Will Win the Cloud War – Tea Garden interview at VMworld.

The overall theme in a recent series of cloud predictions is the importance of cloud migration software and automation to the great cloud race of 2015.

The degree of cloud migration automation will have a material impact on the rate of adoption of cloud services as service providers compete for traditional physical and virtual enterprise workloads.  There is no turning back.

We are already seeing a shift -from image conversion and server migration tools to workload migration platforms- in the partner ecosystem.  As partners ramp up the walls will come down and cloud adoption will accelerate in the enterprise.

For more information check out my blog on the 3 critical questions to ask your cloud migration vendor or partner.

hope1

re:Invent 2014: A Defining Moment

Hybrid cloud automation will become table stakes for all cloud service providers. This makes re:Invent 2014 an especially interesting place to be, as the cloud upshifts into the lucrative world of enterprise apps.  Expect Amazon to pay more tribute to the enterprise hybrid cloud model.

Recommended Reading

Our Cloud DR Story – InformationWeek on emerging best practices in the cloud

Wheels Up – 30 day free cloud bundle supported by automated workload migration

Cloud DR on AWS: Best Practices 24 page guide with key terms, glossary, checklist

Posted by: Greg Ness | November 5, 2014

Enter to Win a Drone Aircraft at re:Invent – Booth 1242

I don’t do this very often, but let’s face it drones are screaming hot and perfect metaphors for automated cloud migration.  So check us out at booth 1242 and check out this IRIS drone by 3D Robotics!

Wheels Up!

Posted by: Greg Ness | November 4, 2014

Three Years of Cloud Predictions

I just published a series of 2015 cloud predictions, as have many fellow bloggers.  So to complement these predictions let me offer my 2013 and 2014 predictions, along with 2015.  I’ll let you decide which ones I got right and which ones I missed as we look to 2015:

clouddisconnectimageblog

Dec 2012: Top Five Cloud Predictions for 2013

Hybrid cloud will enter the hype cycle; AWS will publicly acknowledge the hybrid cloud; traditional premise-bound colocation leaders will lose market share to cloud-enabled colo players; public versus private cloud debates will be rendered meaningless; new hybrid cloud startups and “makeovers” will enter the market.

Dec 2013: AWS will Enter Hybrid Cloud Market in 2014

The title speaks for itself, but it also predicts the rise of reInvent as AWS shifts to a more enterprise-friendly product and message.

Oct 2014: 2015: A Cloud Odyssey

Three predictions about what will take shape in 2015, including a massive drop in cloud migration expenses.

Additional Reading

Who Will win the Cloud War: My Tea Garden Talks interview at VMWORLD 2014

Wheels Up: 30 day free cloud bundle supported by automated migration

The Trend-setting City of Asheville, NC: Amazon AWS City on a Cloud (best practices) Grand Prize Winner

AWS Webinar on Advanced Disaster Recovery Practices: Amazon DR Architect Abdul Sait with Asheville CIO Jonathan Feldman

Posted by: Greg Ness | October 24, 2014

2015 – A Cloud Odyssey

This is the third in a series of cloud predictions for 2015, starting with When the Walls Come Down, which predicted that workload migration (into the cloud) costs would drop by more than 50% in 2015; then continuing with The Cloud Startup Ecosystem Explosion, which predicted the impact that cloud market share gains in 2015 would have on the evolution of a more robust and powerful cloud ecosystem. That ecosystem would ignite a revolution in IT best practices, akin to the rise of the personal computer and network, inside the hallowed halls of IT.

If you thought the enterprise web was amazing, get ready for the enterprise cloud movement.

The enterprise cloud takes me to the subject of this 3rd  “predictions for 2015″ blog, namely the rise of “white box” cultures that shift the buying paradigm from hardware to software and services. It’s all about agility and efficiency.

  • Growth will slow to a crawl for the specialty hardware-bound, and will escalate for the emerging white box ecosystem players. Enter the game changing rise of increasingly powerful, multifunctional, rack-able, scalable white boxes designed for on premise, cloud-scale IT.
  • White box will be the necessary and appropriate response of premise-bound IT to the increased agility and efficiency offered by the cloud providers.
The Sun is Starting to Set on the Cloud Slackers

The Sun is Starting to Set on the Cloud Slackers

Hardware becomes commodity, and software and services becomes strategic.

2015 will be a wakeup call for all tech vendors still living in the hardware-centric world. It won’t be the end of specialty hardware, but simply the beginning of the end. In a few years IT pros will look back upon specialty infrastructure hardware as today they look back at rotary phones and punch cards. At some point even virtualization platforms will start to feel like traps instead of productivity pivots.  It will get underway next year, in 2015.

That will likely mean some very adventurous years for the cloud slackers, starting with the vendors who sell to them. Hence the title: 2015 – A Cloud Odyssey.

Recommended Reading

Our Cloud DR Story – InformationWeek on emerging best practices in the cloud

Wheels Up – 30 day free cloud bundle supported by automated workload migration

Cloud DR on AWS: Best Practices 24 page guide with key terms, glossary, checklist

Golden Age or Golden Fleece – 2012 prediction of hard times for networking hardware players

Posted by: Greg Ness | October 23, 2014

The Cloud in 2015: Startup Ecosystem Explosion

This is a follow-up blog that is part of a series of 2015 cloud predictions. The first one, entitled When the Walls Come Down, had the following as the central thesis: In 2015 the perceived costs of cloud migration for existing production apps will drop by more than 50%; it will trigger a massive (and fast) market share battle unleashed by unprecedented automation.

CloudVelox Offices are Here

Enterprises Will Reach for the Clouds in 2015 – Like Never Before

That takes me to prediction number two:

  • The development of a new generation of software and service-centric startups will leverage software and robust API integration to offer next generation IT capabilities well beyond the walls of traditional IT, including:
  • enhanced cloud disaster recovery, security and compliance, over and above the capabilities of most firms;
  • new PaaS offerings, including specialized big data platforms for underserviced verticals, including genetic research and specialty ecommerce;
  • more sophisticated internet of things (IoT) management and security capabilities; and
  • bold new IT operating models that will increase agility while reducing costs.

Today, there are already 3-4 “sub-50 person startups” being heralded by cloud execs as strategic to the new (enterprise) cloud age. Expect that list to grow to 15-20 by the end of 2015. Even the tragically hip cloud management space will come of age in 2015, enabled by accelerating deployments.

Additional Reading

Who Will win the Cloud War: My Tea Garden Talks interview at VMWORLD 2014

Wheels Up: 30 day free cloud bundle supported by automated migration

The Trend-setting City of Asheville, NC: Amazon AWS City on a Cloud (best practices) Grand Prize Winner

AWS Webinar on Advanced Disaster Recovery Practices: Amazon DR Architect Abdul Sait with Asheville CIO Jonathan Feldman

Posted by: Greg Ness | October 22, 2014

2015 and the Cloud: When the Walls Come Down

Cloud Migration Automation

The CloudVelox cloud migration gears

Before we see a rush of 2015 predictions let me offer up an unspoken 900 pound gorilla:

  • In 2015 the perceived costs of cloud migration for existing production apps will drop by more than 50%; it will trigger a massive (and fast) market share battle unleashed by unprecedented automation

Why this will happen:

  • A new generation of cloud integrators will establish leadership with automated cloud migration software, augmented by their specialized services;
  • The entry of Azure and the rise of OpenStack will force cloud providers to reduce onboarding costs as a matter of necessity;
  • Cloud providers and integrators who continue to rely exclusively on manual scripts, image conversion tools and hourly-billed projects will quickly become out of favor; and
  • Cloud DR will emerge as a game-changing use case for traditional apps running pilot light DR operating models on disruptive cloud providers.

Key Assumptions:

  • Cloud migration represents a material expense for most existing apps looking to be deployed in the cloud and it will become even more obvious as cloud adoption intensifies;
  • Cloud providers and leading integrators will go to market with solutions and messages directly targeting those who have either experimented with early migration tools (and failed or gave up) or have been convinced by “body shops” that the old way is the best way.

In 2015, the silos of traditional IT will no longer be protected by erroneous assumptions tied to cloud security, management and compliance. New truths will emerge, including the notion that cloud security is really a code word for career insecurity. The walls separating best practices in the cloud from traditional IT will start to come down… in 2015.

Additional Reading

Our Cloud DR Story: InformationWeek

Wheels Up: 30 day free cloud bundle supported by automated migration

Cloud DR on AWS: Best Practices guide

Posted by: Greg Ness | September 8, 2014

Who will Win IaaS War: VMworld Video Interview

It was great catching up with Brian at VMworld, even if it was in the Tea Garden.  We go back a ways.  This 6 minute video clip discusses who will win the cloud wars and how CloudVelox differentiates from a dozen or so early cloud migration and DR tools.

 Tea Garden Talk on Cloud DR

Posted by: Greg Ness | September 4, 2014

Cloud DR on AWS – Pocket Guide Now Available by Download

Guide Now Available – Cloud DR on AWS: Best Practices

We just finished our first pocket guide on Cloud DR, entitled Cloud DR on AWS: Best Practices.  If you are tracking Cloud DR and the various drivers, key terms, etc. you might want to check it out.  You can get it here without having to register. You can also view the Cloud DR Infographic for a brief overview.

Next week I’ll be at Disaster Recovery Journal Fall World in San Diego.  Feel free to stop by the CloudVelox booth.

Posted by: Greg Ness | August 5, 2014

City on a Cloud Win Puts Traditional DR on Notice

The City of Asheville’s City on a Cloud Best Practices win spells trouble for traditional DR.  Deep trouble.  It marks the first time that Cloud DR has been independently and irrefutably acknowledged for both cost reduction and increased agility.  It was more than an acknowledgement that Cloud DR could work.  Asheville won a Grand Prize in a global best practices competition.

Their use of AWS as a secondary data center for DR was validation that cloud DR was a powerful enough use case to stand out against stiff international competition across a multitude of cities, according to a panel of independent judges:

Scott Case of Startup America; St. Paul, Minn., Mayor Christopher Coleman, president of the National League of Cities; Bob Sofman, co-executive director of Code for America; and thought leaders from The Aspen Institute, White House Office of Social Innovation, and Civic Participation, plus others.

You can read more about it here: A Cloud Disaster Recovery Story (InformationWeek).

Implications

A multi-billion industry of third part data centers and DR facility and management providers should take notice.  Before Asheville leveraging the public cloud for disaster recovery was seen as being  similar to traditional DR, yet more complex to set up.  That has changed. Asheville CIO Jonathan Feldman summarized the payoff well (InformationWeek):

Ultimately, we probably will still move our current alternative datacenter to another location to back up things like VoIP and public safety radio. But I can tell you this: That new datacenter will cost far less, and it will be far smaller, than the one we initially planned to build. And we won’t waste money buying duplicate gear either. Another important outcome is that, because of the cost reduction (about a tenth of the cost for capital, according to our infrastructure manager), we have moved to also protect systems that are “important, but not urgent,” systems that were too expensive to protect in the past.

Notes

You can also listen to Jonathan discuss Cloud DR “do’s and don’ts” and “lessons learned” here at: Advanced Strategies for Leveraging AWS for Disaster Recovery (YouTube).

Or you can download the webinar slides for easy reference.

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