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Microservices Expo: Article

The Flexible Cloud

An exclusive Q&A with David Reoch, Senior Director of Cloud Solutions at Gigamon

"Without a doubt, cloud computing is making it more difficult to track data, which further complicates analyzing data," noted David Reoch, Senior Director of Cloud Solutions at Gigamon, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. "The enterprise is at a critical inflection point to settle on pervasive visibility solutions that ensure that data, no matter where it lives, can be analyzed and tracked by their existing and future tools."

Cloud Computing Journal: The move to cloud isn't about saving money, it is about saving time. - Agree or disagree?

David Reoch: Completely AGREE. Cost savings are prevalent when legacy X86 hardware can be shut down in the enterprise data center, but without automation, moving a workload to the cloud just adds complexity to IT management systems. This is especially true when those management systems lack visibility for tools that cannot monitor the workload as it gets migrated to virtual or cloud infrastructure.

Cloud Computing Journal: How should organizations tackle their regulatory and compliance concerns in the cloud? Who should they be asking / trusting for advice?

Reoch: There are opposing forces at work here. Tool vendors want the IT architects to put virtual tools on the hypervisor to monitor and maintain compliance or regulatory requirements. But adding tools to the Hypervisor simply results in defeating the economies of scale offered by cloud and virtualization. Tool and physical network monitoring solutions need to incorporate a single, agnostic attachment to both the physical and virtual networks, and that single solution can broker visibility to all tools involved in monitoring, analyzing and securing the workloads in the cloud.

Cloud Computing Journal: What does the emergence of Open Source clouds mean for the cloud ecosystem? How does the existence of OpenStack, CloudStack, OpenNebula, Eucalyptus and so on affect your own company?

Reoch: As a product generation company, the proliferation of Open Source solutions helps us to help our customers. Leveraging once again the network and tool agnostic nature of our Visibility Fabric solutions, we help our customers maintain visibility across commercial and Open Source infrastructures. Many enterprises, our customers included, are not looking at Open Source as the "be all and end all" replacement for off-the-shelf software. They almost always take a hybrid approach to adopting Open Source.

Cloud Computing Journal: With SMBs, the two primary challenges they face moving to the cloud are always stated as being cost and trust: where is the industry on satisfying SMBs on both points simultaneously - further along than in 2011-12, or...?

Reoch: The SMB is most often consuming Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud-based solutions to enhance their IT agility. Most of this market segment does not face the same compliance and regulatory reporting and requirements as a large enterprise. Once an SMB stakeholder reviews the data security SLAs offered in the SaaS market, they find more than adequate controls around data privacy and security measures included in the SaaS offering. Of course, buyer beware: each enterprise must perform extensive due diligence when analyzing the product being delivered in the cloud.

Cloud Computing Journal: 2013 seems to be turning into a breakthrough year for Big Data. How much does the success of cloud computing have to do with that?

Reoch: Year over year, the location of enterprise data becomes more and more dispersed. Is valuable data on the employee desktop? On a shared network drive? On public Storage as a Service platforms? Without a doubt, cloud computing is making it more difficult to track data, which further complicates analyzing data. The enterprise is at a critical inflection point to settle on pervasive visibility solutions that ensure that data, no matter where it lives, can be analyzed and tracked by their existing and future tools.

Cloud Computing Journal: What about the role of social: aside from the acronym itself SMAC (for Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) are you seeing and/or anticipating major traction in this area?

Reoch: End-user activity in social and mobile is now understood to equate to Business Value. Enterprises across the entire spectrum of market segments must adopt an approach to leverage social and mobile as it relates to awareness, brand, availability, and service of the product family. These platforms are being heavily leveraged by those first to market on adopting them as major, cost-effective marketing and analytic platforms.

Cloud Computing Journal: To finish, just as real estate is always said to be about "location, location, location," what one word, repeated three times, would you say Cloud Computing is all about? (Example: Scalability, Scalability, Scalability)

Reoch: Flexibility, flexibility, flexibility.

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