From the Blogosphere
Seven Modeling Tools to Help Assess Cloud ROI
The potential savings and agility gains offered by cloud services are too important to IT
By: John Cowan
Jan. 11, 2013 11:00 AM
Network computing posted a good article on tool for assessing cloud ROI. Check it out below.
Gone are the days when the cloud meant simply a hosted virtual instance or resource on some provider's network. We're seeing all sorts of new variants and twists emerge. I'm not just referring to the use of storage or compute resources or those that allow for elastic computing, such as Amazon's Reserved Instances.
We're likely to see industry-specific community clouds emerge. These clouds are built to address the security and compliance needs within specific industries. Examples of community clouds may well be Verizon's Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) cloud service, which targets the healthcare community; and Metal Lynx, a cloud community targeting buyers and sellers of precious metals.
Other options include private clouds that are managed by a third party off premises, according to Chris Morris, associate VP for Asia/Pacific cloud services and computing at IDC. Morris's prediction is detailed by writer Joe McKendrik in a Fortune Magazine post, "7 Predictions for Cloud Computing in 2013 That Make Perfect Sense."
These variants can sound like just the ticket for certain verticals, but do they make financial sense? That can be harder to judge. And before IT can adopt and/or take responsibility for these cloud services, the same sort of rational, fiscal arguments that have been made for any service or equipment will have to be made with cloud services.
This requirement marks another stage of cloud development, as IT can't simply assume that "going to the cloud" equates to savings. This is a point made by James Staten, Forrester Research's principal analyst serving infrastructure and operations professionals, in a blog post where he notes that many applications are more expensive to run in the cloud.
This is particularly the case when evaluating the use of Reserved Instances, where determining break-even points can be so difficult. There are so many factors to consider-usage patterns, costs, preferences around utilization level, commitment term, and more. The good news: Seven vendors are already offering cloud modeling and costing tools for determining the true cost of cloud services and how best to use on-demand resources.
6Fusion allows IT to benchmark existing cloud operations against public services. Its Workload Allocation Cube (WAC) measures the critical compute resources required to operate an x86-based software application. 6Fusion introduced the Cloud Resource Meter for VMware vSphere during the summer. The company also meters resources running on Linux and Windows environments.
Apptio expanded its line of IT monitoring and costing tools in December with Cloud Express, a free, cloud-costing tool. Cloud Express lets you enter your costing information and receive recommendations for managing your reserved instances across any cloud platform today.
Cloudyn added a tool in the fall that that lets an organization calculate the number, type and duration of Reserved Instances a company should purchase to meet its operational requirements. Cloudyn says it has seen the number of companies using Reserved Instances jump from 29% to 48% in nine months. Supported services are Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) and Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS).
Cloud Cruiser is offering tools for chargeback in enterprises and, more recently, service providers. Dashboards let individuals monitor their personal cloud usage. Products are provided for the enterprise (Cloud Cruiser Enterprise Edition) and the Service Provider (Cloud Service Provider Edition), which was announced in December. Cloud Cruiser collects information from Amazon, Microsoft Windows Azure and leading hypervisors.
Cloudability lets you track a wide range of key performance indicators (KPIs) and lets you see whether you're saving money with Reserved Instances. Cloudability works across a wide variety of cloud platforms, including AWS, Google Apps and HP Cloud.
Newvem baselines and tracks the assets, costs and risks of using a cloud service. The platform is available for Amazon EC2 and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) services, and in November the company announced 30 new partnerships with Amazon Partnership Network members. Newvem's Cloud Smart Meter for AWS is a native iPad and iPhone application that lets IT track AWS costs and assets.
Rightscale simulates a cloud deployment to identify costs. You model the deployment and then identify the cost of elasticity and three-year costing. You can also run what-if scenarios. Platforms supported include AWS, Google Compute Engine, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace, and SoftLayer.
The cloud as a term may not be here forever (see point seven of the Forbes article), but whatever you call them, cloud services will not disappear anytime soon and are increasingly viable. The potential savings and agility gains offered by cloud services are too important to IT, but only if IT can get buy-in from management. Demonstrating the real fiscal value-not just the promise-of going to the cloud is best way to secure that purchase order for more cloud services.
David Greenfield is a long-time technology analyst. He currently works in product marketing for Silver Peak.
Top Stories for Cloud Expo 2012 East
In this Big Data Power Panel at the 10th International Cloud Expo, moderated by Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan, Govind Rangasamy, Director of Product Management at Eucalyptus Systems; Kevin Brown; CEO of Coraid, Inc.; Christos Tryfonas, CTO and Co-Founder of Cetas; and Max Riggsbee, CMO and VP of Products for WhipTail, discussed such topics as: Big Data has existed since the early days of computing; why, then, do you think there is such an industry buzz around it right now? How is Big Data impacting storage and networking architecture in data centers? How about the intersection of Big Data Analytics and Cloud Computing - how big a sector is that and why? What's the difference between Big Data and Fast Data? ... (more)
Best Recent Articles on Cloud Computing & Big Data Topics
As we enter a new year, it is time to look back over the past year and resolve to improve upon it. In 2014, we will see more service providers resolve to add more personalization in enterprise technology. Below are seven predictions about what will drive this trend toward personalization.
IT organizations face a growing demand for faster innovation and new applications to support emerging opportunities in social, mobile, growth markets, Big Data analytics, mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships, and more. This is great news because it shows that IT continues to be a key stakeholder in delivering business service innovation. However, it also means that IT must deliver new innovation despite flat budgets, while maintaining existing services that grow more complex every day.
Cloud computing is transforming the way businesses think about and leverage technology. As a result, the general understanding of cloud computing has come a long way in a short time. However, there are still many misconceptions about what cloud computing is and what it can do for businesses that adopt this game-changing computing model. In this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan, Rex Wang, Vice President of Product Marketing at Oracle, discusses and dispels some of the common myths about cloud computing that still exist today.
Despite the economy, cloud computing is doing well. Gartner estimates the cloud market will double by 2016 to $206 billion. The time for dabbling in the cloud is over! The 14th International Cloud Expo, co-located with 5th International Big Data Expo and 3rd International SDN Expo, to be held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, N.Y. announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of providing or using massively scalable IT-related capabilities as a service using Internet technologies (see suggested topics below). Cloud computing helps IT cut infrastructure costs while adding new features and services to grow core businesses. Clouds can help grow margins as costs are cut back but service offerings are expanded. Help plant your flag in the fast-expanding business opportunity that is The Cloud, Big Data and Software-Defined Networking: submit your speaking proposal today!
What do you get when you combine Big Data technologies….like Pig and Hive? A flying pig? No, you get a “Logical Data Warehouse.” In 2012, Infochimps (now CSC) leveraged its early use of stream processing, NoSQLs, and Hadoop to create a design pattern which combined real-time, ad-hoc, and batch analytics. This concept of combining the best-in-breed Big Data technologies will continue to advance across the industry until the entire legacy (and proprietary) data infrastructure stack will be replaced with a new (and open) one.
While unprecedented technological advances have been made in healthcare in areas such as genomics, digital imaging and Health Information Systems, access to this information has been not been easy for both the healthcare provider and the patient themselves. Regulatory compliance and controls, information lock-in in proprietary Electronic Health Record systems and security concerns have made it difficult to share data across health care providers.
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Vanessa Alvarez has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo® 2014. 14th International Cloud Expo will take place on June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and 15th International Cloud Expo® will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
12th International Cloud Expo, held on June 10–13, 2013 at the Javits Center in New York City, featured four content-packed days with a rich array of sessions about the business and technical value of cloud computing led by exceptional speakers from every sector of the cloud computing ecosystem. The Cloud Expo series is the fastest-growing Enterprise IT event in the past 10 years, devoted to every aspect of delivering massively scalable enterprise IT as a service.
Ulitzer.com announced "the World's 30 most influential Cloud bloggers," who collectively generated more than 24 million Ulitzer page views. Ulitzer's annual "most influential Cloud bloggers" list was announced at Cloud Expo, which drew more delegates than all other Cloud-related events put together worldwide. "The world's 50 most influential Cloud bloggers 2010" list will be announced at the Cloud Expo 2010 East, which will take place April 19-21, 2010, at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center, in New York City, with more than 5,000 expected to attend.
It's a simple fact that the better sales reps understand their prospects' intentions, preferences and pain points during calls, the more business they'll close. Each day, as your prospects interact with websites and social media platforms, their behavioral data profile is expanding. It's now possible to gain unprecedented insight into prospects' content preferences, product needs and budget. We hear a lot about how valuable Big Data is to sales and marketing teams. But data itself is only valuable when it's part of a bigger story, made visible in the right context.
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Larry Carvalho has been named Tech Chair of Cloud Expo® 2014. 14th International Cloud Expo will take place on June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and 15th International Cloud Expo® will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Everyone talks about a cloud-first or mobile-first strategy. It's the trend du jour, and for good reason as these innovative technologies have revolutionized an industry and made savvy companies a lot of money. But consider for a minute what's emerging with the Age of Context and the Internet of Things. Devices, interfaces, everyday objects are becoming endowed with computing smarts. This is creating an unprecedented focus on the Application Programming Interface (API) as developers seek to connect these devices and interfaces to create new supporting services and hybrids. I call this trend the move toward an API-first business model and strategy.
We live in a world that requires us to compete on our differential use of time and information, yet only a fraction of information workers today have access to the analytical capabilities they need to make better decisions. Now, with the advent of a new generation of embedded business intelligence (BI) platforms, cloud developers are disrupting the world of analytics. They are using these new BI platforms to inject more intelligence into the applications business people use every day. As a result, data-driven decision-making is finally on track to become the rule, not the exception.
Digital Transformation Blogs