State of the Cloud 2017 – Part-II

 In Cloud


This blog is a continuation to State of the Cloud 2017 Part-1. Got a good response for the various topics covered. This blog outlines the state of few more key areas in Cloud Computing.

Cloud Security


The survey on Cloud Security indicates that the organizations are convinced that Cloud is no way less secure than hosted or on premise Data Centers. As the Cloud adoption increases, the concerns about security in Cloud are fading but the measures and efforts for securing the heterogeneous infrastructure is growing. Though we have seen unprecedented number of data breaches, hacking and other multitude of threats in the past year, these security threats are not necessarily limited to Cloud Infrastructure. The organizations are taking security very seriously and seeing that as a separate vertical whether it is Cloud or Non-Cloud Infrastructure. Security is becoming an in-built consideration in any new product release, not an afterthought.

The following are the trends for security measures

1.Transforming from Devops to Devsecops
2.Managing Security through Security Operations Center (SOC)
3.Adopting to SaaS based Security Services. The list of SaaS based security services are
covered in my other blog
4.Cloud strategy includes careful planning of Workload, Data, Application, Environment in Private Vs Public Cloud

The Cloud Service Providers such as AWS, Azure and Google Compute Engine are coming up with their own on demand Security Services. This may be a threat for the SaaS based Security service providers but their ability to provide security services across these multiple clouds augment well for them.

Cloud Migration


Cloud Migration may sound like a solved problem but it is not yet. Every customer defines their own approach for migration and not all migration is 100% automated and seamless yet. Typically the large migrations are done by Cloud SIs in partnership with any of the migration tool Vendors. The migration is mostly a combination of tool based and manual process, as there are lot of considerations based on modularity, scalability, performance involved during the planning phase. There are multiple forms of Migrations happening such as Physical to Cloud, Virtual to Cloud and Cloud to Cloud. Migration happens either through Virtual Image or Operating System. Appzero, Racemi are based on Operating System. Zerto, Doubletake are based on Virtual Images.

AWS has introduced a set of migration tools which covers migration of Application, Data, Database, Server into AWS but the reverse is not supported.

Microsoft introduced Azure App Service Migration Assistant for migrating apps from Windows or Linux to Azure App Service

The Cloud migration is not yet as seamless as it has to be. The hope is on the containers to provide the ease of migration that the organization look for.

Cloud PaaS Platforms


PaaS platform was predicted to be the future of the cloud but it did not live up to its expectation due to some of the changes during the evolution. When we analysed the PaaS market in 2012, we found there were 66 PaaS platforms under construction. Not all of them are surviving now. Out of the list, CloudFoundry and Openshift emerged as the leaders in the PaaS Platforms. There are multiple siblings that came out of Cloudfoundry such as Stackato, Appfog, Ironfoundry etc.

PaaS Platforms did not provide the transformational approach for customers to migrate their application and it did not provide the control and flexibility required to manage the complex environments.

Evolution of Cloud Orchestration and Containers side-lined the focus and growth of PaaS platforms as they provided most of the features provided by PaaS platforms with less constraints.

Openshift and Cloudfoundry started supporting Docker to take advantage of the container image mobility.

There have been multiple acquisitions of PaaS Platforms including Appfog by Centurylink, Stackato by HP, Cumulogic by CA technologies, Makara by Redhat.

We see that PaaS platforms are opted for new application development rather than migration of existing applications.

Cloud PaaS Service Providers


After all the emergence, convergence and divergence in PaaS area, the leading PaaS Service providers are, Salesforce, Google App Engine, Redhat Openshift, IBM Bluemix, Engine Yard and Heroku (acquired by Salesforce).

Not all PaaS Platform providers provide PaaS services. While Azure and Google started with PaaS and moved to IaaS, AWS started with IaaS and added PaaS as part of their ecosystem of services.

PaaS sometimes finds itself as one of the services in the Organization Cloud strategy instead of being the only strategy. PaaS services like AWS Beanstalk, Azure App Service offered within Cloud Service providers are slowly picking up.

Cloud Object Storage platforms


The object storage platform which powers the Object Storage as Service or Internet Storage manages data as Object instead of Blocks or files. Object storage is becoming an important building block for customers in their Cloud adoption. OpenStack Swift is an open source object storage platform which is widely used and gaining popularity. Some of the world’s largest storage clouds such as SwiftStack, Rackspace, Internap are built using Openstack Swift. The Hybrid Object Storage adoption is on the rise. Most of the Object Storage platforms provide API which are compatible with the leading Object Storage Service providers such as S3 or Azure Blob to Support Hybrid Storage. The other Object Storage platforms include Redhat Ceph, Cloudian, Scality and EMC ECS.

Cloud Object Storage Service providers


Every Cloud adoption by an Organization is associated with the adoption of Cloud Object Storage as well. The Object Storage is used for managing configuration files, backup, logs, files etc. Like many other aspects of cloud computing, AWS S3 is considered a market leader in cloud object storage. The other leading Object Storage Service providers are Azure Blob Storage, Swiftstack, Rackspace, Internap, Google Cloud Storage, Tiscali and Scality. The object storage adoption is on the rise. The current trend in object storage is to have a hybrid object storage that helps in bursting to Cloud from the Enterprise Object Storage based on certain policies. AWS Storage Gateway service is to accelerate hybrid storage. AWS also has a cheaper version of Object Storage called AWS Glacier which is used for managing archives and backup.

Cloud File Hosting Service Providers


The Cloud file hosting service is matured and there are multiple players having a market share. Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Onedrive, AWS Cloud Drive, Apple iCloud, Sugarsync and Mediafire are the leading Cloud File Storage Service Providers. The file storage is largely driven by Mobile and IoT devices. We see that Enterprise file servers are getting migrated to Cloud File hosting service providers. Enterprise Cloud file hosting requires lot of accelerators on Performance, Migration, Security and Availability which is driving innovation and acquisition of innovation

Will come up with State of the Cloud 2017 – Part- III in a short while.

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