DBM Cloud Systems

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Cloud Neutrality – Dream or Reality?

Written by: Al Basseri SVP of Field Engineering at DBM Cloud Systems

In traditional IT, a multi-vendor strategy is critical for a number of reasons which include mitigation of risk, cost minimization, improved account support, access to more services and leverage during contract negotiations.

In today’s hybrid and public Cloud ecosystems, this is a challenge. Once you select your Cloud provider, can you effectively move? The idea of migrating or dynamically Cloud hopping from one Cloud provider to another can be extremely challenging. Frankly, we have spoken to CIO’s that believed this is not practically feasible or too costly.

In Cloud economics, Cloud vendor lock-in, makes a customer dependent on a Cloud vendor for products and services and restricts the use of an alternative Cloud vendor with substantial switching costs and risk to business. We call this the Cloud Lock in Effect. You see this manifested in Cloud pricing where the cost of transferring data out of the Cloud (egress fees) can be painful.

In traditional IT, while CIO’s have the leverage to make choices based on what is best for their business, normally this is 12-48 month cycle because of CAPEX investment and OPEX spend commitments. In the Elastic Age of Cloud, prices and services change frequently and constantly changing prices and SLA’s means that today’s choice of the “best” Cloud provider may not be tomorrow’s best choice. This is particularly true as your compute resource requirements change.

What are the challenges of Cloud hopping?
  • Data migration from one Cloud provider to another costs time and money.
  • Running applications in different Clouds often creates configuration issues due to different Cloud ecosystems.
  • Security policy and rules differ with each Cloud provider.
  • Software licensing and support may vary by Cloud provider.

How do you address such issues and have the flexibility to dynamically move to your ever-changing Cloud of Choice?
  • Deploy an open software platform that delivers Cloud Neutrality.
  • Deploy a software platform that enables selective bi-directional replication to dynamically move unique workloads to your private or public Cloud of choice.
  • Deploy a software platform that captures object metadata and creates a Cloud Index that provides intelligence into your Cloud deployment including what you are storing in the Cloud, who in your organization is consuming Cloud resources and who is driving Cloud spend.
  • Deploy a software platform that provides the ability to define cross-cloud policy based on Data Geo-Sovereignty in compliance with governmental regulation.
  • Deploy a software platform that provides a simplified virtual user interface with visibility across multiple Cloud vendors.
  • Deploy a software platform that delivers predictive cost analytics so that you can assess the economic benefits of moving to alternative Clouds based on pricing that can change daily

The deployment of a software platform that provides the ability to make real-time decisions based on a multi-Cloud approach will empower your company to have the same leverage and control as you have had in traditional IT.

Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon once suggested that a better way to think of a Cloud ecosystem is to think of everything as a service. DBM agrees but cautions against Cloud vendor lock-in.

Cloud Neutrality is a critical service to reduce business risk and costs, however, the idea of Cloud Neutrality being offered as a service from any single Cloud provider is not a reality. Cloud Neutrality-as-a-Service is now available through the deployment of DBM Cloud Systems’ open software platform. Now you have true Cloud Neutrality and the ability to optimize your Cloud strategy.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

What is Data Geo-Sovereignty?

Written by: Al Basseri SVP of Field Engineering at DBM Cloud Systems

A growing trend in cloud adoption is customers deploying in more than one public cloud and in hybrid cloud deployments with some of their data running on premise. Increasingly customers want flexibility and choice and the ability to ensure that their data never leaves their sovereign borders. For example, an international company may only want a subset or all of its data to reside on their local national cloud provider. What if there was a way to deploy an open software system that ensured this and allowed customers cloud neutrality.

Today a new trend for customers and government entities is having their data exposed to cloud providers that cross many regions and borders. The idea of Data Geo-Sovereignty is increasing an important issue to consider. First, let us revisit Sovereignty, it is a type of political power, and it is exercised through some form of government control.

If indeed your data can be accessed or stored in many Sovereign nations and regions through a cloud provider than your exposure and access to your data may fall under laws and rules of multiple sovereign nations with different governing rules. This may have a larger effect on your own customers and departments within a company. Your risk and costs may be much higher.

It is one of those terms that might be tossed around without much thought. But it is increasing an important word within an elastic age of IT that involves a multi-cloud strategy. Whether you are using a US-based cloud provider or utilizing a non-US based cloud provider in other sovereign nations other than US, you have to recognize that Geo-Data Sovereignty draws from legal, political and business rules and laws that go across many borders. At times you might not be aware where your data actually resides in a multi-cloud deployment. To blindly trust a single cloud provider might not always be the wisest move, besides even each cloud provider might have different standards. Regardless, the practical approach for any multi-cloud customer is to have the ability to trust but verify.

Having a single virtual view that has visibility across multiple cloud providers and can guide you in enforcing policy and more importantly alert you in regards to your exposure across other sovereign nations and regions is critical. Having the ability to set up policy based on regions, departments and other requirements are critical.

At DBM Cloud Systems, we are excited to offer an open cloud software platform that can assist existing public and hybrid cloud customers with Data Geo-Sovereignty and control. It is one of many new features we are building with our Open Cloud Platform designed to give a multi-cloud customer choice and control.

Amazon, Microsoft and Apple back Google in overseas data storage dispute