Skip to content
Advertisements

Posts tagged ‘Amazon Web Services’

The Marketing of Cloud Multitenancy: How Early Adopters Are Killing The Hype

It’s impressive how quickly the teams evaluating CRM cloud-based applications are learning how to deflate the hype surrounding multitenancy.

One gets the impression that hype-hunting has now become a sport in these teams.  In engineering-centric companies it’s a badge of honor to find out just how multitenant a cloud-based application or platform is.  Multitenancy isn’t the only area they are looking at, but given the massive amount of hype surrounding this issue on the part of vendors, it generates more attention because evaluation teams are skeptical.

Teams evaluating CRM applications aren’t satisfied with an easily customized and used graphical interface or series of workflows, they are getting more interested in the architecture itself .  In some cases they’ve been burned by claims of an application being SaaS-based when in fact the architecture is a glorified series of Citrix-like sessions running in the background or worse.  I have seen a healthy amount of skepticism in the evaluations going on right now and recently completed of SaaS applications and entire cloud platforms.  Gartner’s inquiry calls from corporate accounts must be accelerating as their clients look for guidance on how to sort out the multitenancy hype.

CRM, Multitenancy and the Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing

Gartner’s search analytics show that cloud computing and related terms had 29,998 searches in the last twelve months with cloud computing alone generating 10,062 searches.  SaaS and related terms had a search volume of 19,000.  These terms are among the most popular across all Gartner search terms for the last twelve months.  In comparison, CRM had over 42,000 searches in the same period.

It’s in this area of CRM applications where multitenancy has gone into hype overdrive. Looking for differentiators, some CRM vendors are claiming not just multitenancy – but their specific brand of it.  This confuses their prospects, which immediately energizes evaluation teams to do a more thorough job than they have ever done before.  By claiming their own type of multitenancy, CRM vendors are ironically not just slowing down their own sales cycles, they are making the entire industry slow down.  No wonder Gartner places multitenancy along the Peak of Inflated Expectations in the latest Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing which is shown below.

Making Sense of Elasticity and Multitenancy

It’s paradoxical that enterprise software vendors, especially those selling SaaS-based CRM applications,  are attempting to turn multitenancy into a differentiator.  What is needed is a greater focus on usability, flexibility in aligning workflows to specific needs, and better enterprise integration technologies.  Sell the value not the product features.

Given the confusion differentiating on multitenancy is creating and the calls Gartner is getting on this issue, they published Gartner Reference Model for Elasticity and Multitenancy.  It includes what Gartner believes a cloud services provider must implement in terms of a multitenant service in addition to what SaaS-based applications need to provide.  Here are their checklists for each area:

Multitenancy Service Requirements for Cloud Services Providers

  • Isolation of tenant data
  • Isolation of the tenant workspace (memory)
  • Isolation of tenant execution characteristics (performance and availability)
  • Tenant-aware security, monitoring, management, reporting and self-service administration
  • Isolation of tenant customizations and extensions to business logic
  • Continuous, tenant-aware version control
  • Tenant-aware error tracking and recovery
  • Tracking and recording of resources use per tenant
  • The ability to allocate resources to tenants dynamically, as needed and based on policy Horizontal scalability to support real-time addition/removal of tenant resources, tenants or users without interruptions to the running environment

Multitenancy in Cloud Application Services (Software as a Service) Applications

  • Be available 24/7, because of the potential global user base
  • Adopt new versions without disrupting the continuous operations of tenants, and preserve user customizations
  • Scale up or down on demand
  • Allow individual rollback and restore for each tenant
  • Not allow a “noisy neighbor” tenant to affect the performance of other tenants, or increase their costs
  • Be accessible from various locations, devices and software architectures to meet potentially global demand
  • Offer tenant-aware self-service

Gartner also released their Reference Architecture for Multitenancy, which is shown below.  One of the key assumptions of this model is that multitenancy is a mode of operation where multiple, independent and secured instances of applications run in a shared environment.  The model includes the seven different models of multitenancy Gartner has seen in their research.  These seven models, listed across the top of the model beginning with Shared Nothing and progressing to Custom Multitenancy are across the top of the model.

The majority of enterprises I’ve worked with are looking to the Shared Hardware approach in an attempt to create backward compatibility to their legacy applications via Virtual Machines. Another area of interest is the Shared Container approach which relies on a separate logical or physical instance of a DBMS, and often isolates its own business logic.  This is ideal for distributed order management systems and SaaS-based ERP systems for example.  Yet the legacy application support in this type of multitenancy can get expensive fast.

Shared Everything Multitenancy is ideal for quickly on-ramping and off-ramping applications, tenants and individual system users and is what nearly all enterprise vendors claim to do.  In reality only a handful do this well.  This approach to multitenancy is based on the Shared Container approach including support for shared DBMS sessions.  Salesforce.com’s Force.com platform, VMWare WaveMaker and Zoho Creator are all examples of companies who have successfully delivered Shared Everything multitenancy.

With so much to gain by positioning an application or solution suite in the 6th and 7th models, vendors are rushing to define their own versions of Shared Everything and Custom Multitenancy.  The land grab is on in this area of the multitenancy market right now.  IBM, Microsoft and Oracle are all expected to endorse and eventually have many of their cloud-based applications in the Shared Everything model.  Each of these companies and many others will have a multi-model based approach to selling multitenancy as well.

Gartner Reference Model for Elasticity and Multitenancy

Source:  Gartner Reference Model for Elasticity and Multitenancy

Bottom line: Enterprise software vendors can accelerate evaluation cycles and sell more by differentiating on the user experience and value delivered instead of trying to create fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) by creating their own definition of multitenancy.

Advertisements

Gartner Search Analytics Shows Spike in Hadoop Inquiries in 2012 – Good News For CRM

Hadoop was one of the most-searched terms on Gartner’s website in 2011 through 2012, spiking to 601.8% over the last twelve months alone.  Additional insights from the Search Analytics on Hadoop include the following:

  • 27% of all inquiries are from banking, finance and insurance industries, followed by manufacturing (14%), government (13%), services (10%) and healthcare (8%).
  • North America (75.9%) and EMEA (13.5%) are the two most dominant geographies in terms of query volume.
  • Here is the trend line from Gartner Search Analytics:

What’s driving Hadoop’s meteoric rise in searches is a combination of industry hype about big data, CIOs getting serious about using Hadoop distributions that minimize time and risk yet deliver value, and the dominant role Amazon is playing in bringing Hadoop into the cloud.  Today Amazon offers Elastic MapReduce as a Web Service that relies on a hosted Hadoop framework running the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) in conjunction with Amazon Simple Storage Service (S2).

Microsoft also scored a major hiring win this week announcing that Raghu Ramakrishnan, former chief scientist for three divisions of Yahoo is now with Microsoft. Raghu is now a technical fellow working in the Server and Tools Business (STB).  He’ll focus on big data and integration to STB platforms.  Big Data on Azure will accelerate now with him on-board.

Hadoop’s Potentially Galvanizing Effect on CRM and Social CRM Analytics

The quickening pace of Hadoop adoption in the enterprise is good news for CRM and especially social CRM. Analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) are the “glue” that unify CRM and keep it in context. One of Hadoop’s greatest potential contributions is the analysis, categorization and use of unstructured content.  Marketing and sales won’t have to run three or four systems to gain insights into customer data, they can run a single analytics platform that fuels the entire selling cycle and lifetime customer value chain of their businesses.  Hadoop has the potential to make unstructured content more meaningful while also reporting the impact of customer insights on financial performance, profitability and lifetime customer value.

Translating terabytes of customer, sales, services and partner data into meaningful analytics and business intelligence (BI) is emerging as a priority for CIOs, who are sharing responsibility for driving top-line revenue growth.   Hadoop shows potential to be the “glue” or galvanizing technology base that unifies all CRM and Social CRM strategies.

To get a perspective on how fast Hadoop is being evaluated and adopted it’s useful to look at the Hype Cycle for Data Management, the latest edition published July, 2011.   This is another indicator of how quickly Hadoop and big data are gaining in terms of CIO mindshare.  Big Data and extreme information management are on the technology Trigger area of the hype cycle.  The Hype Cycle for Data Management is shown below:

Bottom line:  CRM and Social CRM will benefit more than any other area of an enterprise as Hadoop’s adoption continues to accelerate.  CIOs are increasingly called upon to be strategists, and with the ability to translate terabytes of data into strategies that deliver dollars, look for Hadoop’s contributions to drive top-line revenue growth.

Roundup of Cloud Computing Forecasts and Market Estimates, 2012

The latest round of cloud computing forecasts released by Cisco, Deloitte, IDC, Forrester, Gartner, The 451 Group and others show how rapidly cloud computing’s adoption in enterprises is happening.  The better forecasts quantify just how and where adoption is and isn’t occurring and why.

Overall, this year’s forecasts have taken into account enterprise constraints more realistically  than prior years, yielding a more reasonable set of market estimates.  There still is much hype surrounding cloud computing forecasts as can be seen from some of the huge growth rates and market size estimates.  With the direction of forecasting by vertical market and process area however, constraints are making the market estimates more realistic.

I’ve summarized the links below for your reference:

  • According to IDC, by 2015, about 24% of all new business software purchases will be of service-enabled software with SaaS delivery being 13.1% of worldwide software spending.  IDC further predicts that 14.4% of applications spending will be SaaS-based in the same time period. Source: http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=232239
  • The cloud computing marketplace will reach $16.7B in revenue by 2013, according to a new report from the 451 Market Monitor, a market-sizing and forecasting service from The 451 Group. Including the large and well-established software-as-a-service (SaaS) category, cloud computing will grow from revenue of $8.7B 2010 to $16.7B in 2013, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24%. https://451research.com/
  • Forrester forecasts that the global market for cloud computing will grow from $40.7 billion in 2011 to more than $241 billion in 2020. The total size of the public cloud market will grow from $25.5 billion in 2011 to $159.3 billion in 2020. Link to report excerpt is here.
  • Deloitte is predicting cloud-based applications will replace 2.34% of enterprise IT spending in 2014 rising 14.49% in 2020.  The  slide below  is from an excellent presentation by Deloitte titled Cloud Computing Forecast Change downloadable from this link.

  • Gartner predicts Small & Medium Business (SMB) in the insurance industry will have a higher rate of cloud adoption (34%) compared to their enterprise counterparts (27%).  Gartner cites that insurance industry’s opportunity to significant improve core process areas through the use of technology.  The following figure from the report, 2011 SMB Versus Enterprise Software Budget Allocation to Annual Subscriptions indicates the differences in software budget allocation for annual subscriptions by vertical market from the report:

2011 SMB Versus Enterprise Software Budget Allocation to Annual Subscriptions

  • Gartner is predicting that the cloud system infrastructure (cloud IaaS) market to grow by 47.8% through 2015. The research firm advises outsourcers not moving in that direction that consolidation and cannibalization will occur in the 2013 – 2014 timeframe  The providers named most often by respondents were Amazon (34%), SunGard (30%) and Verizon Business (30%). Of the global top 10 IT outsourcing market leaders, only CSC appears on the list. Source: User Survey Analysis: Infrastructure as a Service, the 2011 Uptake  Claudio Da Rold,  Allie Young.

External Service Providers Being Considered for IaaS (or Cloud IaaS)

Rethinking Cloud ROI from a Customer’s Perspective

Seeing the proliferation of cloud ROI, TCO and cost calculators brings to mind my economics professors who strove with a passion to reduce complex consumer decisions into simple, very powerful formulas.  Like these calculators pervading the market, my economics professors showed a passion for accuracy, precision and measured perfection.

The only trouble is that people, companies and markets defy and will deliberately not conform to an equation, cause-and-effect strategy or series of artificial incentives to get them to change.  If there is one single, loudly reverberating fact in this economy, it is that marketing and selling strategies based on economic theory alone are failing.  The business benefits of cloud computing need to be more integrated into these ROI and TCO calculators to make them relevant.  They need to reflect more of the customers’ needs to be useful.

It’s Time To Bring The Customer and Their Strategies Into The Equation

Of the many white papers, e-books and websites all claiming to translate cloud computing server usage and capacity planning metrics into business benefits, the Open Groups’ white paper published in 2010 delivers useful insights.  The research and analysis was produced by Cloud Business Artifacts (CBA) project of The Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group.  You can find the entire document here.

The following table is from the section on building ROI for Cloud Computing using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Metrics.  While this table is a start, what’s  missing  are more metrics related to the Web customer experience.  There needs to be more measures of whether customer experiences were successful or not by application, and if and how SaaS-based applications contributed to customers’ expectations being exceeded or not.

One of the biggest benefits all ROI and TCO calculators attempt to quantify is speed of cost reduction and time reduction, but what about speed of strategy execution? For many of these online tools, prospects using them would have no idea how their investment will accelerate their goals.  All they see are costs related to the technology.  Not much if any analysis is provided how the technology relates to their strategies being attained more quickly, completely and profitably.

And what about enabling channels to sell more effectively?  Launching products on time, synchronized across online and offline channels and having consistency of messaging, pricing, services – in short the entire user experience– is rarely if ever mentioned.  Ironically the greater the focus on ROI and TCO calculators, the greater the lack of focus on creating a truly exceptional customer experience while attaining complex selling strategies.

It’s time for the industry’s vendors to wake up and realize that they are selling for the most part to nonconformists not robots.  ROI and TCO calculators that don’t reflect what customers really want to accomplish and stay centered on technology alone are missing huge opportunities to sell on value.

Bottom line: The comfort that comes from attempting to take the chaos of a market and crystalize it into an equation is an illusion – the real test of a vendor’s value is being able to navigate customers to their goals using technology when necessary, not as a crutch.

Cloud ROI and TCO Calculators

Amazon Web Services Economics Center  http://aws.amazon.com/economics/

Amazon Web Services Simple Monthly Calculator http://calculator.s3.amazonaws.com/calc5.html

Astadia Cloud Computing ROI Calculator http://www.astadia.com/products-and-services/IT-cloud-transformation/roi/

Azure ROI Calculator (written in Silverlight)  http://azureroi.cloudapp.net/

Commentary: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en/windowsazure/thread/c4155f48-d51f-4c14-b79c-3f8248ac9646

Azure TCO calculator http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/offers/

Cloud Business Review – Cloud Migration ROI Calculatohttp://www.cloudbusinessreview.com/cloud-migration-roi-calculator.html

EMC ROI Analyst (requires opt-inhttps://roianalyst.alinean.com/emc/Welcome.do

GetApp Cloud Computing Calculator http://www.getapp.com/cloud-computing-roi-calculator

Google Cloud Calculator http://www.gonegoogle.com/#/company-name

Rackspace Load Balancer Calculator http://www.rackspace.com/cloud/cloud_hosting_products/loadbalancers/pricing/

Salesforce.com Force.com Business Case Calculator (ROI) http://www.salesforce.com/platform/tco/calculator.jsp?d=70130000000EfON&internal=true

Stelligent ROI Calculator http://stelligent-roi.appspot.com/

VMWare ThinApp Calculator http://roitco.vmware.com/ThinApp/

Sources:

Open Group Publishes Guidelines on Cloud Computing ROI http://cloudcomputing.sys-con.com/node/1376952

Private cloud discredited, part 1 http://www.zdnet.com/blog/saas/private-cloud-discredited-part-1/1204?tag=mantle_skin;content

Gartner Search Analytics Shows Spike in Platform as a Service (PaaS) Inquiries in 2011

Trends of search terms from user accounts and topics of their inquiries form the catalyst of research agendas in many IT advisory firms.  At Gartner these two factors and others like them are commonly regarded as leading indicators of future IT spending.

Gartner has been delivering short analyses of these subject areas to clients in the form of reports, with the latest being Search Analytics Trends: Platform as a Service published on June 9, 2011.  This report covers user search activity from April, 2009 to March, 2011. For purposes of the report, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is defined as cloud application infrastructure services delivered as a service.  Gartner makes the point that PaaS includes no traditional software license and is expensed on a metered or utility basis.  Presented below is the time series of searches by month from the report.

A few key take-aways emerge from the report, and they are presented below:

  • Cloud Middleware Services including Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) are still unknown to many Gartner IT user clients.  As a result this area is seen with skepticism by many of their clients.  In studies of PaaS adoption from other analysts at Gartner and Forrester, it is evident that internal software development will make or break the credibility of PaaS initiatives for the long-term.
  • When Gartner IT users search for PaaS on the website and throughout online research, the four most common secondary terms are IaaS and SaaS (7.05%), Magic Quadrant (6.12%) and cloud (5.72%).  Clearly Gartner IT user clients are looking to define their own technology stack in this area and looking for a framework of reference of where PaaS fits into their own IT plans and architectures.  The competitive intensity across the analyst community will most likely go up as a result of the uncertainty many IT buyers have over PaaS.
  • The top three vendors that Gartner IT users search for are Microsoft (18%), Amazon (13%) and Tata (11%).  Additional vendors include IBM (11%), Salesforce.com (11%), SAP (7%), Google and Oracle (4%).

Bottom line: The key to PaaS adoption in larger enterprises, many of which are IT user clients of Gartner, is how successfully Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) clarify their value proposition and how their apps add value to the platform layer.

Performance Architecture for Cloud

[tweetmeme source=@LouisColumbus only_single=false]

Adrian Cockcroft, Director, Cloud Architecture at Netflix posted the following presentation, Performance Architecture for Cloud on Slideshare yesterday.  In this presentation, he shares the concerns Netflix has with AWS Load Balancer limitations, and how SimpleDB needs a memcached front end in addition to several other limitations Netflix has found.  He makes additional recommendations through the presentation deck that are worth checking out given the extent of the AWS outage over the last four days.  His brief but insightful coverage of Performance Tools Architecture and assertion that AWS is challenged by data center tools and metrics is prescient given the outage that occurred.

Of the hundreds of blog posts, videos and stories filed by industry and mainstream media on the AWS outage, the following are the three best I’ve seen.  Ray Wang’s post, Monday’s Musings: Lessons Learned From Amazon’s Cloud Outage is excellent along with George Reese’s thorough and excellent blog post  AWS Outage: The Cloud’s Shining Moment and Phil Wainewright’s Seven lessons to learn from Amazon’s outage.  All three posts are excellent for getting informed perspectives on the AWS outage and how companies need to plan and respond.

Building Powerful Web Applications in the AWS Cloud

[tweetmeme source=@LouisColumbus only_single=false]


Jinesh Varia, Technology Evangelist at Amazon.com created the following presentation to illustrate how Amazon EC2 instances are being used for creating high performance Web applications.   He relies heavily on the integration technologies that unify the AWS Cloud Stack, which is shown to the right.  To see a larger image of the stack, please click on it.

What is interesting about this slide deck is the detail it provides in explaining the more complex programming concepts of AWS.  He provides useful insights into how  Cloud Elasticity as an application platform component works through the use of detailed system-level diagrams.  For example slides 21 and 22 are examples that show how Cloud Elasticity can be achieved with AWS Scaling Zones.

There are system-level definitions of AWS workflows including security that rely on EC2 instances as well.  At 70 slides, this is an excellent overview of Web application development on AWS.

Building a High Performance Cluster with Amazon Web Services

[tweetmeme source=@LouisColumbus only_single=false]

Amazon Web Services has released the following video that provides a fascinating look at how straightforward it is to create, launch and monitor high performance cluster instances.

CPU utilization, disk I/O and network utilization are tracked as part of the metrics, and guidance on how to define hardware virtualization (HVM) is also defined.   Creating an 8-node, 64 core, ad hoc cluster is defined in the steps in this video with the intent of running a molecular dynamics simulation.

What is interesting about this video is how Amazon Web Services continues to show the practicality of its broad spectrum of server capacities on the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).   This is the first in a series of videos Amazon Web Services will be releasing on creating high performance clusters.  It’s worth checking out as the walk-through of steps shows how rapidly EC2 is maturing as an enterprise platform.

Implications for the Enterprise

EC2 has language-agnostic Web Services APIs that show potential for integrating legacy systems, databases, master data management (MDM), CRM and enterprise systems.  For enterprises that have data-centric operations and business models, EC2 could become the foundation of contextual search and role-based access of their legacy data.  Decades of data accessed via contextual search would provide insights that aren’t possible today using existing methods of data access, integration and analysis.

Bottom line: Creating high performance clusters in AWS EC2 shows potential to increase the accuracy and precision of business intelligence and analytics, and potentially solve the most complex data-driven challenges of social CRM.

Flickr attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vitroids/2586785504/

Web 2.0 Summit 2010 Point of Control: The Cloud

[tweetmeme source=@LouisColumbus only_single=false]

O’Reilly Media and UBM TechNet sponsored the Web 2.0 Summit 2010 held in San Francisco from November 15th to 19th.  This event has become one of the premier conferences globally due to the quality of the content and speakers it attracts, and the thought leadership of the concepts presented there.

The following panel discussion includes Marc Benioff, Founder and CEO of Salesforce.com; Andy Jassy, SVP of Amazon Web Services and Amazon Infrastructure; Paul Maritz, President and CEO of VMware and Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc.

The discussion is on the aspects of application independence in Cloud environments, the future direction of cloud integration technologies, and the emergence of Cloud-based operating system.

You can find the site by clicking on the Web 2.0 Summit Points of Control map below.

Google Cloud Technologies Overview

[tweetmeme source=@LouisColumbus only_single=false]

Google’s efforts at App Engine evangelism continue to accelerate with the announcement of new APIs and products from Google Labs.

The complete listing of Products in Labs and Graduates of Labs are listed on the Google Code Labs site.
Where Amazon Web Services (AWS) changes many different elements of their platform, pricing, and services often, Google is taking an incremental approach to rolling out new features based on innovation and extensive work in Google Labs.

The following slide deck authored by Chris Schalk is case in point.  Included in this presentation is an update on the Google Storage, Google Prediction API, and Google Big Query.  It’s an excellent overview of these APIs and services, explaining the evolving role of Google’s cloud technologies in the process.

%d bloggers like this: