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This Week In Cloud March 31, 2017

Ryan Quackenbush

By Ryan Quackenbush3.31.17

Welcome to This Week in Cloud! This is a curated list of the top stories that were published during the past week pertaining to cloud computing, containers, the IoT, acquisitions, product releases, industry studies, and more.
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Report: 95% of Businesses Have Migrated Critical Applications to the Cloud

By Conner Forrest, March 29th edition of TechRepublic
“The SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization, released Wednesday, highlights IT’s continual move to the cloud, especially for key workloads. According to the report, 95% of IT professionals surveyed said they had “migrated critical applications and IT infrastructure to the cloud over the past year.” However, despite the growth of cloud deployments for key applications, IT budgets aren’t necessarily shifting to reflect this change. In the report, 69% of respondents said that less than 40% of their yearly IT budget is spent on cloud technologies. But 59% did note that they were receiving the expected benefits from a cloud implementation (e.g. scalability, availability). The report also said that many organizations (45%) are still dedicating some 70% or more of their yearly budget to traditional, on-premises applications. This proves that there is still a strong demand for hybrid infrastructure, with businesses utilizing public cloud platforms and local data centers.”

Big Companies Want to Move to the Cloud But Still Have No Idea How

By Barb Darrow, March 24th edition of Fortune
“Given the rampant chatter in Silicon Valley about companies moving software and data from their data centers to a shared public cloud, you might expect they considered what that would mean for their critical business software applications. But you would be wrong, according to one expert who helps corporations and government agencies make this journey. “When companies move to the cloud, they’re often not doing a basic engineering task which is to look at all their applications and figure out what happens if they fail,” Vishwas Lele, chief technology Officer at consulting firm Applied Information Sciences, tells Fortune.”

What the Enterprise Cloud Really Means

By Eric Knorr, March 27th edition of InfoWorld
“For years people like me have carped that not only is the public cloud a small slice of IT spending, but the big public clouds are also much more likely to attract startups or other digital natives as customers instead of conventional enterprises. That begs an important question: What then exactly is the “enterprise cloud”? Recently I interviewed Bob Weiler, executive vice president of global business units at Oracle, to drill into that topic. As head of Oracle Industries, it’s his job to marshal Oracle’s full portfolio of technologies to serve seven key verticals — and Oracle’s cloud is a big part of that push.”

Public Cloud Could Become a Utility Like Electricity, Lifting AWS, Azure and Others, Morgan Stanley Says

By Todd Bishop, March 27th edition of GeekWire
“The public cloud has the potential to become a global utility, analogous to electricity — driving higher valuations for cloud providers and more widespread adoption by business customers than many currently expect, according to Morgan Stanley. Analysts for the financial services firm present that scenario as a realistic “bull case” in a report that takes a fresh look at the potential valuations of cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and IBM. “As a foundational technology for a broadening set of work, Public Cloud is driving much broader implementation of existing application workloads and is enabling the creation of new types of applications,” write Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty and colleagues in the March 15 report.”

Public Cloud Services Sneak In Through IT’s Back Door

By Larry Lang, March 23rd edition of Network World
“Well, maybe those aren’t the exact lyrics sung by Jim Morrison (or Howlin’ Wolf). Yet much of the information technology used by enterprises is first snuck in the back door by users rather than invited in the front door by the CIO. The personal computer was a prime example of back door technology. Back in the 1980s, while the IT department ran their mainframes and minicomputers, department managers were stuck tracking budgets and forecasts with adding machines and pads of paper. But a PC with spreadsheet software made those tasks much simpler and quicker. (By the way, you can still download and run original VisiCalc. Only 27,520 bytes!) A departmental budget could absorb the cost of several thousand dollars, and getting started was simple enough. Soon PCs were showing up everywhere.”

Cloud Computing Pushes Into the Classroom, But Not Without Challenges

By Ron Miller, March 27th edition of ARS Technica
“When you think about a traditional school workflow, it’s not unlike that of a business: paper is generated and moved in a systematic way between the children and the teacher. Just as cloud computing has transformed workflows in business to make them more collaborative and mobile, that same type of change has been coming to schools. Children and teachers use the power of the cloud to collaborate while accessing, storing, and sharing content. As with business, this change is ongoing, uneven, and by no means complete. But if schools are at least partly about preparing children for the next generation of work, then the cloud needs to be a part of that preparation. Just as some businesses have struggled to transition to the cloud, schools face similar challenges. But because schools involve a specific demographic—children from a variety of abilities and socioeconomic and linguistic backgrounds—their challenges can be even more complicated.”

Can No-Cloud Policies Survive?

By Manek Dubash, March 29th edition of ZDNet
“Time was – before the consumerisation of IT – when corporate IT departments managed technology for the business as a whole, and business units were compelled to pass all their IT needs through the IT department. Then we saw the emergence of shadow IT, in other words, the deployment of cloud-based applications at departmental level. Research shows that this was and is being driven by business unit managers who just want to get things done quickly, while going through official channels was too slow. In other words, adopting cloud services allowed the business to be more agile. So what impact has the emergence of shadow IT had on the enterprise’s cloud posture – especially those enterprises with a no-cloud policy?”

Thinking Beyond the Cloud with Digital Applications

By Steve Crawford, March 21st edition of Gartner
“Digital applications create the software foundation on which enterprise organizations’ digital business models are being built. In the report, “Market Insight: Thinking Beyond the Cloud — Defining Digital Applications,” Gartner defines a Reference Model for Digital Application Offerings. This research was led by Bianca Granetto. Digital transformation encompasses expanding your application footprint online, on mobile devices and increasingly in things, and with other players of your digital realm. To do so, companies need enabling technologies and a large degree of reinvention, re-engineering, ideation and creative thinking.”

Kubernetes 1.6: Multi-user, Multi-workloads at Scale

By Aparna Sinha, March 28th edition of the Kubernetes Blog
“Today we’re announcing the release of Kubernetes 1.6. In this release the community’s focus is on scale and automation, to help you deploy multiple workloads to multiple users on a cluster. We are announcing that 5,000 node clusters are supported. We moved dynamic storage provisioning to stable. Role-based access control (RBAC), kubefed, kubeadm, and several scheduling features are moving to beta. We have also added intelligent defaults throughout to enable greater automation out of the box.”

Containerization Leaders Explore Possible Standardized Data Storage Interface

By Scott M Fulton III, March 23rd edition of The New Stack
“A group of engineers from every leading container orchestrator maker have gathered together, virtually, around an initiative to explore a common lexicon for container-based data storage. Unofficially led by Docker Inc. core runtime and platform architect Mike Goelzer, the Container Storage Interface initiative — which, for now, is essentially a GitHub document — is exploring the issue of whether the community at large, and their users, would benefit from a standardized API for addressing and managing storage volumes. “The goal of this standard is to have a single, cluster-level volumes plugin API that is shared by all orchestrators,” Goelzer writes in the group’s preamble. “So, for example, conformant storage plugins written for Docker would run unmodified in Kubernetes (and vice-versa).” Goelzer went on to explain the origins of the initiative — which, for the meantime, continues to bear the unfortunate abbreviation “CSI”: “A group of about eight of us from Docker, Kubernetes, Mesosphere and Cloud Foundry basically just sat down in a room and drew up this proposal. Now we are seeking feedback from our respective open source communities to improve the proposal..”

Cloud Native Computing Foundation Grows with New Projects and Members

By Frederic Lardinois, March 29th edition of TechCrunch
“The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), the open source home of the increasingly popular Kubernetes container orchestration service and related projects, is hosting its annual developer conference today and the group used the event to announce that it has accepted projects from Docker (containerd) and CoreOS (rkt) into its fold. Docker’s containerd is the company’s container runtime and a core part of Docker’s portfolio of container management and orchestration services that was born out of Docker’s need to move many of the standard container life-cycle management features out of the Docker Engine (think container execution and supervision, local storage, etc.). Through Docker, containerd is already being widely used by a large number of companies today. As Docker’s Patrick Chanezon noted during his CloudNativeCon keynote in Berlin today, the company decided to donate the project to the CNCF because it was looking for a neutral organization that could provide the right kind of stewardship for it.”

How IBM Has Become A Serious Contender In The Enterprise Cloud Services Market

By Janakiram MSV, March 26th edition of Forbes
“When it comes to public cloud, Amazon and Microsoft enjoy the mindshare of enterprise decision makers. While Amazon’s AWS is considered the category leader, Microsoft has not left any stone unturned to become a cloud-first company. Given the breadth and depth of the portfolio, industry veterans agree that AWS and Azure are the top public cloud platforms for enterprises. These two companies have been making steady progress to consolidate their position in the market. Microsoft is inching closer to Amazon, which is widening the gap between the second and third slots. Google, IBM, and Oracle are battling it out to become the third best enterprise cloud. What is IBM’s strategy to become the top enterprise cloud platform leaving the competition behind?”

Cisco Expands the Reach of Spark, in the Cloud and On Premise

By Stephanie Condon, March 27th edition of ZDNet
“Cisco on Tuesday is rolling out an expansion of the Spark platform, including new security options, new hardware, and new capabilities and services The expansion of Spark demonstrates how Cisco plans to evolve into a subscriptions-based business. It also shows Cisco’s confidence in its unified communications business at a time when fast-growing companies like Slack and internet giants like Google are changing the dynamics of the collaboration and communications space. The new offerings also all underscore how Cisco plans to bring its existing customers to its subscriptions-based business.”

Ryan Quackenbush
Ryan Quackenbush

Ryan Quackenbush is a corporate communications specialist at Apprenda whose roles include elements of writing, sales, marketing and research. His cooking is renowned, his record collection and library are extensive and, when not at Apprenda, he can usually be found rooting for the Mets or playing live music. You can follow him on Twitter at @RSQuackenbush.

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