Transforming enterprises through cloud infrastructure

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AWS provided the Enterprise Summit audience with a real treat. Lydia Leong, Gartner VP and Distinguished Analyst, shared her views of the cloud infrastructure market and implications to enterprise IT. Her valuable insights are solidly backed with 15 years at Gartner and 22 years of industry experience.

Two messages in her presentation resonated with me in particular. Her first main theme was the concept of a bi-modal strategy for enterprises’ approach to cloud infrastructure as a service. The second message was how the IaaS market is likely to develop.

A Bi-Modal Strategy

The foundation of the bi-modal strategy is that enterprise IT has two very different drivers.

  • Mode 1 or Traditional:  Focuses on costs, efficiency, security and reliability in IT operations.
  • Mode 2 or Agile: Typically business line funded and focuses on taking calculated risks in developing new applications and new business rapidly.

Each mode reflects different expectations and perceptions of the cloud. The recommendation for enterprises is to establish a strategy that embraces both Modes, rather than trying to find “The One Solution” that really fits no-one.

For enterprises there needs to be a transformation process. Small cloud islands – meaning new applications or separate businesses – are used to gain insights and experience on what the required organisational structures, processes and tools are. An enterprise would then create a Cloud Center of Excellence, acting as a broker to the rest of the organisation, providing cross-functional leadership and clear policies, whilst also advising on best practises and vendor management.

Small cloud islands should be grown to new areas through replacement and extension. The target of the transformation is to eventually establish a new IT core based on agile methods. This will support the organisation and processes as well as cloud native platforms and tools. Ms. Leong stressed that the process is truly a transformation, not a gimmick – “You can’t sprinkle a bit of agile to Mode 1 to get Mode 2.”

The Power of Scale in IaaS

But what about the IaaS market itself? There is a very rapid evolution of the major cloud providers. Leading cloud IaaS providers are innovating like there is no tomorrow, delivering new functionalities, services and management capabilities. The distinction between IaaS and PaaS is becoming increasingly blurred. The leading cloud IaaS providers are also driving public cloud price erosion at an estimated 20% year-on-year, even if the massive price cuts have not been in the headlines. The cost reductions are delivered in a similar fashion to car or computer manufacturers, and even if the spend remains largely the same, the buyer gets so much more for their money.

“He who dares, wins” seems to apply also to the cloud IaaS market. Ms. Leong reflected on the Gartner Cloud IaaS Magic Quadrant participants and their positioning. She estimated that 95% of the public and private cloud infrastructure market is currently captured by AWS and Microsoft Azure. Apologies, I have to repeat that – 95%! More than 50% of the companies on the Quadrant are planning to get out of the business. The market is just too competitive for the runners-up.

The leaders are reaping economies of scale in three ways:

  1. They squeeze more efficiency from infrastructure operations.
  2. They are able to invest more in software development.
  3. They are able to build a wider and deeper ecosystem around themselves.

Ms. Leong expects niche cloud IaaS providers to remain, but largely to serve the needs driven by data sovereignty or other legislative and regulative requirements.

There is also the possibility of any given enterprise developing, maintaining and operating their own Do-it-Yourself cloud IaaS. From what I understood, Lydia Leong would not place her bets on that alternative as a viable and sensible option. I have to say I agree with her.

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Nordcloud Deutschland Gewinnt “Think Big Award” 2015

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Anlässlich der diesjährigen Partnerkonferenz von Amazon Web Services vom 17. bis 18. November in München, wurde Nordcloud mit dem „Think Big Award“ ausgezeichnet.

Peter Prahl, verantwortlich für das Partnergeschäft von Amazon Web Services in Deutschland, und seine Mitarbeiter verliehen im Beisein von Tim Wise, AWS Senior Vice President Partner & Alliances, Niko Mykkänen, AWS Director, Partner & Alliances EMEA, Martin Geier, Geschäftsführer AWS in Deutschland der deutschen Nordcloud diese besondere Auszeichnung.

Eine Auszeichnung, die vor allen Dingen, die Umfänglichkeit der angebotenen Leistungen, die Professionalität und das besondere Engagement in Europa würdigt.

Dr. Robert Klimke, Nordcloud Deutschland, sagte dazu im Anschluss, dass es für die deutsche Nordcloud eine besondere Ehre ist, bedenkt man, mit welchem Erfolg und in der besonderen Geschwindigkeit sich Nordcloud Deutschland entwickelt hat.

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Nordcloud is an award winner at Trend Micro’s 2015 global partner summit

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Nordcloud has been selected as the winner of Trend Micro’s Technology Leadership Award for Microsoft. The announcement was made at Trend Micro’s 2015 Global Partner Summit in Palos Verdes, California on November 3rd.

“Nordcloud is at the forefront of helping customers meet their shared security responsibility by integrating Trend Micro Deep Security with Microsoft Azure as part of their service offering,” said Partha Panda, Vice President of Global Channels and Alliances at Trend Micro. “We’re extremely proud to be partnering with Nordcloud and look forward to continuing to work with them as they enable customers to more quickly and fully take advantage of Azure cloud infrastructure.”

Executives from over 300 of Trend Micro’s most successful worldwide channel partners, including cloud service providers, distributors, resellers, and systems integrators from over 45 countries, along with its top alliance partners – AWS, Microsoft, HP, IBM and VMware – attended the invitation-only summit. The event, which featured distinguished author, speaker, and advisor Geoffrey Moore, emphasised the company’s strategy and solutions, and gave partners additional insight on Trend Micro’s recent acquisition of HP TippingPoint.

Nordcloud Partners Director, Jaakko Kontiainen, was in California for the Global Partner Summit and upon collecting the award he said, “Trend Micro is a world leader in providing security in the cloud. We find that Trend Micro’s Deep Security suite provides exactly the flexibility, scalability and level of automation today’s cloud security requires.  We are proud and delighted to have Trend Micro as a key enabler in securing our customers’ journey to the cloud.”

If you’d like to talk with Nordcloud to learn more about our integrated cloud solutions, then contact us and we’ll arrange a meeting for you with one of our cloud experts.

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The Gartner DBMS Magic Quadrant

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The Gartner Magic Quadrant is a report published by Gartner, a US-based research and advisory firm, the aim being to provide an unbiased analysis into a market and its direction, maturity and participants. These analyses are focused on the technology industry and are updated every 1-2 years in order to reflect the current landscape. The Magic Quadrant is aimed at CIOs, CTOs, infrastructure managers, database and application architects, database administrators and IT purchasing managers across organisations of all sizes.

On 12th October 2015 Gartner published an updated Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems (DBMS). The DBMS world – which has been stagnant for years with the big players having the lion’s share of the market – is now enjoying a dynamic resurgence, in part due to the innovations being made in Cloud computing that is seeing these established leaders being seriously challenged for the first time by new entrants into the market. For the purposes of this Magic Quadrant, Gartner has defined a DBMS as, “a complete system used to define, create, manage, update and query a database”. Relational (RDBMS) and non-relational (NoSQL) databases are included and there is no stipulation that the DBMS must be a closed-source product. Additionally, all vendor’s products are treated as a set, in the case of Oracle they are included once in the Magic Quadrant and the rating is based on their entire product set – Oracle Database, Oracle TimesTen, Oracle Berkeley DB, Oracle NoSQL Database and MySQL.

What is most interesting about the October 2015 Magic Quadrant is the inclusion of Amazon Web Services (AWS) straight into the Leaders quadrant. The fact that AWS was not included in the 2013 DBMS Magic Quadrant makes this all the more impressive. Gartner rates vendors upon two criteria: completeness of vision and ability to execute. Leaders are said to score highly on both criteria. From this, we can confidently state that for running DBMS solutions, AWS is now recognised as a key player alongside such well-established industry giants as Oracle, Microsoft and IBM. Drilling deeper into the report, Gartner has assessed AWS on their Relational Database Service (RDS) and Amazon DynamoDB offerings. RDS is currently available for Amazon Aurora, MariaDB, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle and PostgreSQL databases. It should be noted that running a traditional, non-RDS database installation on an EC2 instance is not part of the assessment. The key AWS strengths identified are:

  • Diverse product capabilities: AWS provides a wide range of product capabilities, spanning relational and NoSQL technologies. It continues to release new products to meet or exceed the market’s demands.
  • Geographic availability: Based on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), AWS supports 30 availability zones spanning 19 countries and five continents. While all services are not available in all zones, AWS’s cloud infrastructure is one of the largest, most diverse and stable.
  • Ease of doing business: AWS scored high in the survey of reference customers for ease of doing business. Three-quarters of them plan to purchase additional services from AWS within the next 12 months.

Here at Nordcloud we are passionate about all things Cloud and the associated benefits that customers can gain from a well designed, highly available, secure, scalable infrastructure that can be provisioned and deployed quickly and easily. Our team of Cloud Architects includes database technologists who have worked extensively for years across all major DBMS platforms in a diverse range of industries such as finance, media, telecoms and education. We understand that data is the most critical part of any business and that any loss or breach can cause severe reputational damage and financial impact. We have the knowledge, skills and experience to migrate your data securely and successfully to the Cloud, and our work delivering this for customers over a range of successful projects is a testament to this. We are also able to assist you in migrating your data from older database platforms, many which have severely prohibitive licensing arrangements, to newer pay as you go RDS technologies such as AWS Aurora.

If you are interested in migrating your data to the Cloud, or simply understanding more about how your DBMS can run in AWS then please let us know, we would love to hear from you.

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