IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Experts discuss industry response to multicloud

By Contributor
Thu 23 Jan 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by NetEvents editor Lionel Snell

When everyone first started talking about the cloud, it looked as if the pendulum might be swinging back towards a client/server situation, with “the” cloud being the server to a worldwide population of relatively thin clients.

Big cloud providers encouraged that model: “give us your data and we will sell you access to our services”.

But that one cloud has evolved from being a single entity to a broad concept, one that included private as well as public clouds, and then the inevitable “hybrid” clouds incorporating both public and private clouds.

Now we have multicloud – is this just a new name for a hybrid cloud?

As I understood it, the difference should be that a hybrid cloud means an interconnected combination of public and private clouds, so that they become one integrated whole, whereas a multicloud means relying on several cloud services from several vendors for business purposes.

But the two are not distinct: for example, Dell EMC cloud solutions offer to transform IT by “leveraging a multicloud approach spanning a variety of public, private and hybrid resources”.

And IBM’s multicloud solutions page says: “Multicloud is a cloud adoption strategy that embraces a mix of cloud models — public, dedicated, private, managed — to best meet unique business, application and workload requirements”.

Wikibon chief research officer and general manager Peter Burris says: “The fundamental business objective is to use data as an asset... digital business is about how we are going to put data to work differently.”

In particular, data is being used to further the current trend for transforming products into services: and that is just what cloud is already doing in the IT industry – an important point because it means that the way the cloud is developing now could be a pattern for the way future businesses will develop.

Instead of repeating the usual cliché about data being the “new oil”, he pointed out what a lousy analogy that was: “Data is easily copied. It's easily shared. It's easily corrupted. It does not follow the laws of scarcity and that has enormous implications, certainly for all the vendors on the panel and virtually every enterprise on the planet.”

Seeing cloud development as a roadmap for broader, longer-term tech-industry trends does make this a vital topic, and it emphasises the point that the cloud is not about centralising computing on a massive scale, but about creating simpler, more powerful distributed computing. 

Rather than pass our data up into some provider’s cloud, we rather keep the data in place: where it is gathered, where it is most secure, where intellectual property is easiest to protect, and where the actual business takes place.

“This is not about moving data into the cloud. This is about moving the cloud and cloud services to the data. Within 10 years the cloud is going to reflect a natural organisation of data, whether it's at the edge, whether it's in the core or whether it's in public cloud attributes”.  

Cisco cloud platforms and solutions group product management VP Jean-Luc Valente points out that it was one thing to upload a terabyte of data to a cloud, but as the surge in data and applications rises towards exabytes, he says it would cost $30 million to upload just one of those to a public cloud.

This explosion of data at the edge is very serious from a networking and security angle.

Over the decades, networking has evolved from being a means to connect devices, to connecting sites, and connecting pages and individuals on social media – so is it moving towards primarily connecting data and services?

According to NetFoundry CEO Galeal Zino, “Now that the application is the new edge, and data is everywhere, we actually need to reinvent networking and the ecosystems around networking to match that new reality”.

NetScout strategic alliances area VP Michael Segal referenced recent discussions about AI and machine learning – using data to train automatic processes.

A lot of this would require analysing data in real-time, so “edge computing becomes very important. The data needs to be close to where it's being analysed and where it provides insight in real-time.”

Burris emphasises the increasingly critical role of the network: the actual training algorithms they use date way back before 2000, it was just that until recently there wasn’t the parallel computing capability to put them to work effectively.

Apstra CEO & founder Mansour Karam is another advocate for this “exciting time to be in networking”.

He says: “Managing networks like before no longer works. You can't manage networks manually by configuring devices by hand. It has to be done through software. It has to be done through powerful automation. You have to have the ability to abstract out all of those network services across all of those domains and you have to have the ability to operate these networks, enforce those policies, set these configurations and verify them remotely in every location where data resides.”

So the importance of the multicloud is not where the data lies, but how it is managed in an agile manner by leveraging service mesh technology, applying containers, DevOps, or DevSecOps – and “once we can manage the edge with that same level of agility and automation, all of a sudden the data and the applications will exist wherever they are best put.”

Segal compares this spread to the architecture of the modern data center, where: “A lot of server farms and a lot of east, west traffic and containers and virtualised environments in the data center itself.

“Then you extend it, not necessarily immediately to the public cloud - in some cases to private clouds such as Equinix.

Then you can have several different public cloud providers - Oracle, AWS, Microsoft Azure - and think about the complexities associated with connecting everything, many of them are edge computing environments.”

Another point Burris made is that there has been a lot of emphasis on the “data explosion”, but what about the attendant software explosion as we move into a realm where these distributed services are accessed as both applications and data? Automation and abstraction require software, entities will be defined and policies enforced in software.

“There's going to be an enormous explosion in the amount of software that's being generated over the next few years”.

But is that the real business issue?

Oracle Vice President Jon Mittelhauser works mostly with Fortune 1000 companies and government departments where “a lot of our value add is the fast connection between customer data centers. The data can live in either place but I agree that it's the key asset.

“For most companies, their data is their asset, not the software. Here in Silicon Valley, the software is highly valued, but outside of Silicon Valley it's the data, or what they do with the data, which software helps you with”.

Mansour Karam sees a transition from the days when one began by partnering with hardware vendors.

Once the hardware was agreed, then one decided what software to use. 

“But in a software-first world, you would be limited to those software offerings that that particular hardware vendor supports. In this new world, they start by partnering strategically with software vendors to define this layer of software first, this service layer.  Once they've done that, they can go on and shop for hardware that specifically meets their needs.”

To sum up, Peter Burris emphasises three key points:

  1. We must think about the cloud as a way of distributing work, and not centralising it.
  2. The distribution of data resources will shape the evolution over time with the network being the centrepiece of the process.
  3. There’s going to be a torrent of software, and the ways that software and associated services will be distributed and offered for commercial and other uses will be defining the scope and complexity of the multicloud future.
Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
Hard numbers: Why ambiguity in cybersecurity no longer adds up
As cybersecurity costs and risks continue to escalate, CEOs continue to struggle with what their investment in cyber protection buys. Getting rid of ambiguity becomes necessary.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Managed service providers: effective scoping to avoid costly vendor pitfalls
Managed security services are outsourced services focusing on the security and resilience of business networks.
Story image
Remote Working
How zero trust and SD-WANs can support productive remote working
The way people connect with applications and data has changed, users are remotely accessing resources that could be stored anywhere from a corporate data center to the cloud.
Story image
Cybersecurity
The 'A-B-C' of effective application security
Software applications have been a key tool for businesses for decades, but the way they are designed and operated has changed during the past few years.
Story image
SaaS
Cloudflare launches instant serverless database for dev teams
"Today we’re announcing our first serverless database which we expect will quickly become one of the largest databases in the world."
Story image
Power / Energy
SmartCIC report reveals top five 5G carriers in the world
The Global Cellular Performance Survey also found that 5G networks are delivering high download speeds but lagging in upload speeds.
Story image
PaaS
New digital traffic light system to tackle construction defects
Smarter Defects Management launches its PaaS digital system and says it will revolutionise managing defects in the construction industry.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS unveils AI experience to improve kids' batting abilities
SAS has created The Batting Lab, an interactive experience using AI, computer vision and IoT analytics to help kids improve their baseball and softball swings.
Story image
Excel
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
Digital Transformation
Why enterprise records management should be part of any digital transformation strategy
Modern organisations create and rely upon an enormous volume of content, and digital records make up a significant proportion of that content.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Updates from Google Workspace set to ease hybrid working troubles
Google Workspace has announced a variety of new features which will utilise Google AI capabilities to help make hybrid working situations more efficient and effective.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom welcomes new marketing codes for the telecom industry
The Commerce Commission is welcoming the creation of new marketing codes for the telecommunications industry.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
ANU and Seeing Machines to use AI to improve driver safety
The Australian National University and Seeing Machines have won a grant to develop AI systems monitor human behaviour while driving.
Story image
Ransomware
Ingram Micro Cloud adds Bitdefender solutions to marketplace
Ingram Micro Cloud has announced the expanded availability of Bitdefender solutions on the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace.
Story image
Talend
Talend introduces new data health solutions for businesses
Talend has announced its latest version of Talend Data Fabric, with the release of Talend Trust Score enabling data teams to establish a foundation for data health.
Story image
Hawaiki Cable
BW Digital completes acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable
BW Digital has completed its full acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable, with all applicable regulatory filings and approvals now received.
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft unveils adaptive accessories for disability access
Microsoft is introducing an expansive Inclusive Tech Lab to give people with disabilities greater access to technology through new software features and adaptive accessories.
Story image
SAS
New SAS service overcomes subscription fatigue for media companies
SAS has launched SAS 360 Match which helps media companies move towards a AVOD model to generate revenue as subscribers cancel.
Softiron
For every 10PB of storage run on HyperDrive vs. comparable alternatives, an estimated 6,656 tonnes of CO₂ are saved by reduced energy consumption alone over its lifespan. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
Link image
Story image
Remote Working
IT teams deploy powerful technologies to enable remote work
"We found that IT teams mastered the challenges of remote work last year in large part by employing powerful yet easy-to-use technologies."
Story image
Mobility
Hands-on review: STM laptop bags
The advent of hybrid working has meant we need laptop bags. We got our hands on two of the most popular laptop bags from STM.
Story image
Adyen
Adyen expands partnership with Afterpay as BNPL payments increase
Adyen has expanded its partnership with AfterPay allowing more of Adyen’s merchants in more countries worldwide to use the BNPL provider.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft backing Māori and Pacific wāhine in tech industry
A new initiative focused on getting Māori and Pacific wāhine into the tech industry and backed by Microsoft, NZTech and the government is calling for tech companies to get involved.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Fortinet
Fortinet's Security Fabric hits new record for integrations
The Fortinet Security Fabric has surpassed 500 technology integrations with more than 300 Fabric-Ready Technology Alliance Partners.
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Kodari Securities (KOSEC)
NFT trends and opportunities: expert reveals all
The NFT market is growing at an exponential rate, with unprecedented liquidity. Here we explore how businesses can profit.
Story image
SaaS
Absolute Software expands Secure Access product offering
Absolute Software is enhancing its Secure Access product portfolio, enabling minimised risk exposure and optimised user experiences in the hybrid working environment.
Story image
Wireless
SmartCIC, BICS partner to expand wireless service options
SmarCIC has partnered with BICS to increase choice for organisations using fixed wireless services, expanding existing carrier relationships for its CELLSMART division.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Physical security systems guide the hybrid workplace to new heights
Organisations are reviewing how data gathered from their physical security systems can optimise, protect and enhance their business operations in unique ways.
Story image
Veryfi
Veryfi announces Mobile Receipt Capture for D2C marketing apps
Veryfi has announced a new enhancement to its portfolio, with Mobile Receipt Capture for direct-to-consumer marketing apps.
Story image
BeyondTrust
BeyondTrust integrates Password Safe solution with SailPoint
BeyondTrust has announced the integration of BeyondTrust Password Safe with SailPoint identity security offerings.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Sustainability
Power at the edge: the role of data centers in sustainability
The Singaporean moratorium on new data center projects was recently lifted, with one of the conditions being an increased focus on power efficiency and sustainability.
Story image
IT budget
$20m boost for digital technologies announced
The government is spending an extra $20m over four years on its plan to transform the digital technologies industry.
Story image
Phishing
Google reveals new safety and security measures for users
Google's new measures include automatic two step verification, virtual cards and making it easier to remove contact information on Google Search results.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Clear Dynamics closes $35M funding round, invests in global growth
The funding is a major milestone and speaks to Clear Dynamics’ vision for AI-enabled ‘composable’ enterprise software, the company states.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Sustainability
Grasping the opportunity to rethink the metrics of a sustainable data centre
A data centre traditionally has two distinct operations teams: the Facility Operations team, and the IT Operations team. Collaboration between them is the key to defining, measuring, and delivering long-term efficiency and sustainability improvements.
Story image
Ivanti
Ivanti and Lookout bring zero trust security to hybrid work
Ivanti and Lookout have joined forces to help organisations accelerate cloud adoption and mature their zero trust security posture in the everywhere workplace.