Welcome!

Open Source Authors: Victoria Livschitz, Nikita Ivanov, Jim Kaskade, Amy Lindberg, Carmen Gonzalez

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
There's Big Data, then there's really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, discussed how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.