Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Jeev Trika, Ed Featherston, Roger Strukhoff

Blog Feed Post

5 Signs You’ve Chosen the Wrong Cloud Services Provider

According to Microsoft, the number of small businesses entering the cloud business will triple in the next few years. So if you’ve already become a part of that statistic, you’ve made a wise choice. Unless, of course, you’ve picked the wrong provider to be your partner.

Picking the right partner is easier said than done. And when it comes to the cloud, it’s hard to tell one provider from the next. So if you can’t even tell them apart, how are you supposed to pick one that will help you grow during the next phase of your evolution?

Only you know what will be the right fit for your customers. But here are the five things you must understand about your vendors to make the right choice:

Type of cloud. There are significant differences between public, private, hybrid, and virtual private offerings. They all meet very specific business needs, but consumer interest and service-provider commoditization have caused businesses to misuse each offering. For example, Amazon (largely credited with the invention of the public cloud) targets the Web application development, testing and research communities. Although the terms and conditions specifically state what data should be placed in that cloud, it hasn’t stopped customers and their partners from moving mission-critical and other sensitive data there. It also hasn’t prevented service providers from building their own offerings on top of Amazon’s public infrastructure. It’s important to make sure that the abilities of the cloud you’ve chosen will be able to fulfill your customer’s business objectives. While the public cloud might be an inexpensive option, it doesn’t meet most standard business requirements for privacy and security. If you don’t know what kind of cloud you’re proposing to your customer, find out.

The “also” cloud. The Microsoft survey mentioned above also found an important fact that surprised the industry: Businesses that are looking to move more services to the cloud want to do so with the same vendor. Unfortunately, most pure-play cloud providers focus on doing one thing and doing it well (email, HPBX, desktop, etc). But now, based on customer demand, many of these providers (as well as traditional carriers) have decided to quickly cobble together additional cloud products or start reselling other clouds to look like all-in-one commercial offerings. Channel partners must ask the tough questions to understand if their provider is actually delivering that cloud or someone else’s “also” cloud.

Cloud infrastructure. IP lowers the barrier of entry for service providers as much as it does for customers. This means that it doesn’t take a lot of expense to start up a few servers and get in the game. The issue is that it takes a ton of money to do it right, and it’s the channel partner’s job to make sure its customers understand what they are getting into. Platform and software manufacturers, open-source or supported, dedicated or high-availability, speed and type of storage, geographic diversity, security and third-party auditing, and compliance on systems and process — these factors and more have to be considered, understood and dealt with by a channel partner. That’s not a trivial task that an organization can get involved with quickly and take lightly. Remember, just because a billion-dollar carrier is offering a cloud service doesn’t mean it has invested billions of dollars in its new cloud offering.

Oversimplifying and over promising. I often have potential customers tell me that our competition promised to help the customer move everything to the cloud and support its end-users, both for no additional fee. This is simply misleading. Despite what many cloud service providers tell you, moving to the cloud requires the customer’s IT staff, who know the business, to take part in the migration. There is no magic wand that makes everything appear in the cloud. These promises seem attractive to the channel partner because they can offer an on-ramp to the cloud without effort and expense. But when the service provider says “no,” your customer will be blaming you for your poor recommendation.

Misunderstanding continuity. It’s true that the cloud provides disaster recovery that customers generally can’t afford by themselves. A well-designed offering is built on the right equipment, in a proper enterprise-class data center, with high availability built in. However, moving something to the cloud does not mean that it’s served from all over the world automatically. Generally, cloud providers don’t move your customer’s critical apps and content, free of charge, to the West Coast if the East Coast experiences an outage, and vice versa. The customer will still have to buy resources elsewhere to make this happen. And while many cloud providers offer services to support this level of continuity, failures in the cloud are not unheard of. The bottom line: Setting the wrong expectations in the beginning will lead to a real problem when disaster strikes.

Channel partners have an unprecedented opportunity in front of them, because more and more customers are understanding the cloud and choosing to move more services to it. But they also have a tendency to want to lean on a single vendor to do so. Before you select an all-in-one cloud vendor, be sure to understand where your provider stands on these five critical questions.

Scott Kinka is chief technology o fficer for Evolve IP, The Cloud Services Company , and blogger at Cloud IQ. V isit http://blog.evolveip.net for more information.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Scott Kinka

Scott Kinka is Chief Technology Officer for Evolve IP. He has spent almost his entire career devising new and simpler ways for companies to acquire and integrate technology. While all of the tech talk these days is about the cloud, he was doing this when it was called ASP (application service provider) or on-demand. Before Scott joined Evolve IP as Chief Technology Officer, he served as Vice President of Network Services for Broadview Networks and ATX Communications. He has been involved in application development, hosting, messaging, networking, unified communications, contact centers, and security. His mission (and specialty) is acting as a translator between technology and business needs.

@ThingsExpo Stories
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, discussed the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filterin...
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
Early adopters of IoT viewed it mainly as a different term for machine-to-machine connectivity or M2M. This is understandable since a prerequisite for any IoT solution is the ability to collect and aggregate device data, which is most often presented in a dashboard. The problem is that viewing data in a dashboard requires a human to interpret the results and take manual action, which doesn’t scale to the needs of IoT.
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, provided tips on how to be successful in large scale machine learning...
What does it look like when you have access to cloud infrastructure and platform under the same roof? Let’s talk about the different layers of Technology as a Service: who cares, what runs where, and how does it all fit together. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, an IBM company, spoke about the picture being painted by IBM Cloud and how the tools being crafted can help fill the gaps in your IT infrastructure.
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"C2M is our digital transformation and IoT platform. We've had C2M on the market for almost three years now and it has a comprehensive set of functionalities that it brings to the market," explained Mahesh Ramu, Vice President, IoT Strategy and Operations at Plasma, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Traditional IT, great for stable systems of record, is struggling to cope with newer, agile systems of engagement requirements coming straight from the business. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, William Morrish, General Manager of Product Sales at Interoute, outlined ways of exploiting new architectures to enable both systems and building them to support your existing platforms, with an eye for the future. Technologies such as Docker and the hyper-convergence of computing, networking and sto...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
It’s 2016: buildings are smart, connected and the IoT is fundamentally altering how control and operating systems work and speak to each other. Platforms across the enterprise are networked via inexpensive sensors to collect massive amounts of data for analytics, information management, and insights that can be used to continuously improve operations. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Chemel, Co-Founder and CTO of Digital Lumens, will explore: The benefits sensor-networked systems bring to ...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
Much of IT terminology is often misused and misapplied. Modernization and transformation are two such terms. They are often used interchangeably even though they mean different things and have very different connotations. Indeed, it is somewhat safe to assume that in IT any transformative effort is likely to also have a modernizing effect, and thus, we can see these as levels of improvement efforts. However, many businesses are being led to believe if they don’t transform now they risk becoming ...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...