Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Red Hat Open Hybrid Cloud: My ASEAN presentation and text

This presentation on Open Hybrid Clouds is a version of the one I gave at Red Hat Forum in Asia in October 2013. So let's get started.

You want to scale like Google, you want to manage data like Facebook, and you want to have the agility of and Amazon Web Services. Or maybe you're thinking "Well, no, because those big Internet giants are really unique. They're nothing like my enterprise, or my organization."

One of the things I want to convince you of is that while those companies certainly are unique, and certainly are not typical, they also in many ways shine a spotlight on where IT is going, and therefore where the IT in your organization is will be going.

 Let's first talk about scale. However you define computing scale in your own organization, is probably increasing and this isn't just about the number of servers. It's about the exposed of mobile, which is one of the "third platform technologies," that market researchers IDC talk about.

IT is also getting more and more central to businesses of more and more firms. It touches more customers, more processes, and more data and his in just in the traditional IT centric industries, like financial services. We also see the role of IT increasing in mining, in agriculture, in heavy manufacturing, indeed, just about everywhere.

Now, we move on to talk about managing data. Here's a quote from McKinsey and Company, the management consultants, a couple years ago, saying, The use of big data will become a key basis of competition and growth for individual firms and that all companies, therefore, need to take big data seriously." I could argue that we've maybe done ourselves something of a disservice, as an industry with this big data term, because it tends to focus the attention on the volume of data or maybe the real-timeness of data, or the variety of data.

While that's certainly a trend, I'd argue that perhaps the bigger trend is just the pervasive use of data in many forms. MIT's Andrew McAfee told an interesting anecdote at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium earlier this year when he talked about how the publishing industry was increasingly moving from a culture of lunches which is to say that people got together over lunch and discussed their hunches about what books were going to sell well and which weren't, and instead is being replaced by a culture where there is more systematic use of data and of course that's driven by and the other Internet businesses.

The third characteristic is agility, flexibility, and this takes a number of different forms. What I've shown here is really the developer-centric view of that where developer needs to be able to very quickly code and deploy and have their users and have their businesses reap the benefits of that code.
The resources devoted to given application need to be very rapidly scale up and down. And the applications themselves need to be developed more quickly given that they are both more familiar and are also being more directly connected to revenue than ever before. So agility, flexibility, ability to spin up and down resources for promotions or whatever the business needs are becoming more important than ever.

And what that all comes together to say is that the old way doesn't get you there any longer.
There is business demand for these different innovations. There are business demands for these new ways of doing business. And traditional IT infrastructure doesn't get you there. What you are left with is what you can call an IT services gap or an IT innovation gap; it doesn't really matter that much what you call it. But the bottom line is, you can't just keep doing things in your traditional way and hope to meet up with these new business demands for innovation.

The way the public cloud providers and Internet giants have done it is with open source, open standards and with the open innovation model that's made possible by and is driven by open source. If you look at the big public clouds, they are all running Linux. They are all making extensive use of other types of open source software to greater or lesser degrees. They are making contributions back into a variety of open source projects that touch in areas that are of particular interest to them.

But even if we look at what's running on those public clouds at Amazon Web Services for example, there is far more Linux than there is Windows. And this just reflects that the open source way is where a lot of the new innovation is happening out there. It's not happening in proprietary software world as much as it is happening in the open source world.

Let's talk OpenStack as an example of how this open innovation is happening. A huge number of companies is contributing to it, and in fact I'd argue that one of the main reasons why OpenStack is such an interesting project is not because of some specific interesting technologies within OpenStack today (although those are certainly there), but rather because such a community of developers and partners and others have gathered around OpenStack and that massive participation is what's made OpenStack so interesting.

But it's not just about what's happening at the Internet giants and with Web 2.0 companies. This is some research the IDC conducted last year of a range of organizations, about what their feelings about having an open cloud were, or open cloud technologies, and 72 percent said it was either an absolute requirement or at the very least a key factor. This importance of openness and clouds is not unique to just one space. It spreads across the entire industry.
 I am also going to argue that transformed IT requires a hybrid approach. Now by hybrid here I don't mean the narrow cloud-bursting "move workloads from public clouds to private clouds minute to minute" as was sometimes talked about when that term was first introduced.

Rather I mean hybrid as this combination of different technology platforms, some of which are on premise, some of which are in various types of public cloud providers and you have a choice of which of those different technology platforms and which of those different types of ownership and payment models you want to choose on an individual project basis.

And then IT really manages this entire portfolio that is running in different places. So let's bring this all together. IT is becoming more strategic, because they have to, to deliver these services and capabilities that the business needs. They are hybrid so they are going to be managing services that are being deployed in many different places, and they are achieving that with open source, open standards-based technologies. Now I've been using IT as a single term.

Now I am going to discuss breaking that apart a little bit and talk about developers, IT Operations, and the business. These different constituencies are in fact working more closely together, I'd argue, than they have historically but I think it's still useful to look at the kind of different requirements and mandates for each of those parts of the overall business.

So let's first of all talk about the developer. The developer's role has arguably changed more than anyone's in recent years. My former analyst colleague Stephen O'Grady came out with a book last year called The New Kingmakers in which he made the argument that developers were increasingly driving decision making within an IT organization.

I think this argument can be overstated, but nonetheless it's an important dynamic as we move forward and as new applications and new services are important to more and more different types of businesses.

So what does the developer care about? Well, the developer has all the applications to write, so the developer wants to be productive and part of being productive is having access to the tools that they need to do their jobs. These include getting access to the new innovations that are happening in open source. There's very little in the way of language development these days that isn't open source, so they need access to all that. They also want access to all of their familiar tools as well. They also want to be able to focus on the details that matter.

A lot of the mechanics of getting a server and setting it up and deploying it are plumbing a developer needs to have done so they can develop applications, but it's not actually something that developers care about. They also need ways to integrate this new application development they're doing with existing software and processes within their business.
How do we do this? Platform as a Service is one important ingredient here. Here is a quote from Gartner: "The use of Platform as a Service technology will enable IT organizations to become more agile and more responsive to the business needs."

If we look at this slide, it breaks down the tasks needed to write and deploy an application or at least some of them. The point here is that there are a lot fewer of those steps with a PaaS then there is with a physical server. In fact, even a virtualized server doesn't necessarily help all that much; PaaS is really about getting the infrastructure out of the way of the developer.

 In terms of integrating with existing applications and processes, this is an interesting announcement that Red Hat made back in October, JBoss xPaaS for OpenShift.

What you see here is you've got the OpenShift PaaS on the bottom here. You have the JEE application server on top there; lots of people today are using OpenShift to develop Java applications. And then on top you have the integration PaaS, the BPM PaaS, and the mobile PaaS.

What we're doing here is using various elements of JBoss Middleware portfolio, such as messaging and business rules and so forth, and bringing them into the PaaS environment. What this does is it really enables applications developed with OpenShift to be integrate with existing business processes, with existing enterprise applications, and so forth. We really view Platform as a Service as not something that's just about developing certain styles of new applications but something that can be used as a fundamental part of enterprise application development.

 If we shift our focus to IT operations now, what are they trying to do? I could actually summarize almost every thing that's in the right hand side of this slide with one word and that would be automation.

If I had two words, I'd probably use something like relentless automation because if we talk about moving to cloud environments that is really one of the very key pieces, the need to delegate out to end users for self service but then automate that provisioning.

Automate things like scaling. Automate things like security remediation and so forth. Ultimately, this is all about creating standardization because standardization not only reduces the amount of work that's needed to keep environments up and running, but it also creates a much more consistent experience and experience that can be much more federated and while kept under a centralized policy control.

There is another interesting aspect with how infrastructures are evolving for the cloud. They're evolving to take into account what are largely new styles of workloads. If you look at the existing sometimes called "systems of record" workloads, you have individual instances, which are carefully maintained. They may potentially conflict with other services and you may need to keep them isolated in that respect.

This is typically a complex setup and once you have the thing up and running, you don't want to breathe on it too much, if you would. You tend to keep these production workloads around for a long time, whereas if you look at cloud style workloads, they're much smaller, they're much more modular, they tend to be replicated a lot. That's where that automation comes in and they're just overall much lighter weight. Bill Baker who used to be at Microsoft sometimes refers to traditional workloads as pets. If a pet gets sick, you take it to the vet and try to make it better. New-style workloads, on the other hand are cattle. If the cow gets sick, well, you get a new cow.

That is the model of these two workloads, the stateful and the stateless.

We even announced at Red Hat a particular product offering that explicitly recognizes these two different styles of workloads as well as the hybrid workloads that combine the two. So you your traditional enterprise virtualization for the traditional enterprise workloads. You've got Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization there.

Your cloud-style workloads are a great match for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.

Then, with Red Hat CloudForms, where you have a cloud management platform, you get common policy and that single pane of glass management on top of both those styles.

Finally, you have the business imperative.

Business basically cares about delivery of revenue producing services. The business is also in many cases interested in keeping some abstraction between underlying infrastructure and the application development on top of that. This matters in a number of different environments, but it's perhaps most obvious in a certain types of government procurement situations because often agencies want to run their own infrastructure and contract out to do application development for example and there are some real benefits from a procurement standpoint in keeping those two layers separate from each other and ultimately what we are moving towards here is having a set of services that the business users can consume wherever and whenever they need to.
 This is another analyst quote, this time from Forrester Research: "Management in the future of Cloud shifts to providing measuring and using portfolio services, focus and building enterprise libraries of reusable application images and workloads for public clouds and hybrid consumption." This really is a fundamentally new way of doing things that's perhaps one of the most radical changes that we have seen in how IT operates within an organization.
Much of this is being driven by open source. I talked about open source in the context of public clouds earlier but you look at say Red Hat's portfolio here, all of our products are open source. They're all driven by open source innovation, whether we are talking hybrid cloud management with CloudForms, Platform-as-a-Service with OpenShift, Infrastructure-as-a-Service with OpenStack, distributed storage with Red Hat Storage Server, enterprise virtualization with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, JBoss Middleware and of course Red Hat Enterprise Linux which forms the foundation for so much of this.
And that's Red Hat Open Hybrid Cloud. It's a rich portfolio of upstream communities as well as commercial products. It all ties in with each other so that, I know it's a cliche but the whole is really greater than the sum of the parts with Red Hat's Cloud Portfolio.

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