Posts Tagged ‘Cloud Security’

Monday’s Musings: NSA PRISM Scandal Hurts US Cloud Companies And Hastens The Return Of On-Premises Software

Non-US Based Organizations And Even Some US Organizations Will Not Tolerate Snooping In A Post PRISM World

Since the Edward Snowden PRISM revelations, Constellation has received a steady stream of inquiries on cloud strategy.   In fact, nervousness runs high among many non-US based companies using services from US based cloud companies across the cloud stack.  In early August 2013, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation put out its report “How Much Will PRISM Cost the U.S. Cloud Computing Industry” Assuming that 20% of current clients switch to a non US based provider,  the report estimates a loss of $22 to 35B by 2016.

Constellation agrees.  All signs point to an anti-US stance until the security issues is addressed.  The odds on the US government moving fast on this issue are as good as Major League Baseball players or Tour de France Cyclists honoring a performance enhancement drug use ban.  In fact, Constellation is aware of at least 50+ contracts that have been put on hold or cancelled in the past 30 days.  With the EU’s Nellie Kroes already sounding the alarm bells in a way she only can, cloud buyers have taken notice.

The Bottom Line: Clients Should Consider Alternatives To Pure Cloud Models And Encryption Technology

Interesting enough, fifteen years into the cloud revolution, talk has rekindled about building on-premises software in light of this scandal. Unfortunately, the last major on-premises software company to receive funding squandered it all in 2005 and retooled to the cloud. Furthermore, a few entrepreneurs are looking at VC funding to take some key systems back on-premises.

However customers do not have time to wait for new software to arrive in the on-premises deployment option.  In the meantime, a few near term strategies have emerged:

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News Analysis: Oracle’s Cloud Strategy – Revisionist History or Cloud Genius?

This is a joint post with my colleague Holger Mueller who looks at IaaS/PaaS and Future of Work technologies for Constellation Research.

At a press conference on June 24th, 2013 with Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer ,and Oracle’s President Mark Hurd announced a cloud partnership where Azure customers will be able to run Oracle Database (no version mentioned, but Constellation expects this to be 12c), Oracle Weblogic, and Java.

Oracle also announced availability of Oracle Linux for Azure customers. Constellation believes that the deployments of the Oracle 12c, Weblogic and Java stack pieces will be deployed on Oracle’s Linux.  Should this be true, the approach makes sense, as this is a tested and proven hardware and software combination. Further, Microsoft has already begun to run parts of Azure on Linux.

The partnership alliance poses significant implications for both vendors and more importantly customers moving to the cloud for three reasons:

  • Java comes to Azure, a sign of pax in the .NET vs Java wars. For Applications to run on Azure, they needed to be built in C# or compatible languages. Now, with the licensing of Java by Microsoft as part of this partnership, Java applications will run on Azure. This opens doors for Java applications on the Azure cloud, as well as general more portability for Java applications. And Azure becomes a friendly cloud for the 9 million+ Java developers out there. .

    Point Of View:
    Microsoft and Oracle strike a win-win here.  Microsoft gains more language derived potential for expanding Azure and Oracle adds a marquee cloud stack to support Java.  Given the substantial overlap of enterprise customers on both Microsoft and Oracle, customers will benefit from more cross cloud compatibility for Java while supporting Azure for IaaS.
  • Azure will run Oracle Weblogic and the Oracle Database. Microsoft will support Oracle Linux in Azure as the foundation to run the middleware and the database stack.  Though the press release and the press conference did not specify which Oracle database, Constellation speculates this is for Oracle Database 12c. In addition, Oracle announced license mobility for customers who want to run software on Azure and bring Oracle Linux to Azure..

    (POV):
    Interesting enough when Larry Ellison spilled the news for this announcement during the Q4 Oracle earnings call, this was not about the Oracle Database, but very specifically about Oracle 12c. It’s not clear why 12c is not specifically referenced in the press release – but with the ORacle 12c general availability slotted for June 25h, 2013, this moment may not have been the time to steal the thunder.  Of note, it is not only the database, but also the Weblogic application server which will be deployed on Azure. This comes as a surprise at first, but given the work Oracle has done to integrate the former BEA flagship product with 12c and Java – it was a question of taking whole technology building and avoiding too many interfaces. Why run Java apps through Biztalk to an Oracle database?  Constellation views this as a smart move by both companies, as it allows Azure customers to utilize more of the Oracle products, that are more and more entwined due to the Fusion and Exaxxx products.
  • The hypervisor is where Microsoft and Oracle draw a line in the sand. Oracle will support Microsoft’s hypervisor Hyper-V to be the demarcation line between higher level application code and the Oracle products that now run in Azure.  The combined offering will be running on Hyper-V, which creates some headaches for Oracle on the hypervisor level as Constellation predicted, and will be supported by Oracle support as running on Windows Azure. .

    (POV):
    This poses some engineering work for the Oracle hypervisor teams, but nothing impossible to achieve. And the benefits are tangible, Hyper-V built applications will now be able to run on the Oracle Database (12c, and on Oracle Linux). This will give a lot of performance critical (think Dynamics) applications that were limited by SQL Server scalability before, new breathing room.  Microsoft was able to protect higher level applications of its technology stack with this agreement and at the same time Oracle benefits from a whole ecosystem of Hyper-V compatible applications. The cost of supporting Hyper-V for Oracle, which is tangible, is however dwarfed by this additional market potential. And it gives Mircosoft an important leg up against VMware’s vSphere.  Constellation believes this has significant implications in the cloud stack wars among Amazon, Google, HP, IBM, and VMware.  In unusual candidness for these  Oracle listed the current and future deliverables for the alliance in an blog post here.

Why did this happen?

As previously mentioned, this would have been a very good April Fool’s headline – even back on April 1st 2013. So this alliance comes as a surprise pretty much to all industry observers, at least we have not seen anyone claiming to see this one coming.

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Research Report: Constellation’s Research Outlook For 2011

Organizations Seek Measurable Results In Disruptive Tech, Next Gen Business, And Legacy Optimization Projects For 2011

Credits: Hugh MacLeod

Enterprise leaders seek pragmatic, creative, and disruptive solutions that achieve both profitability and market differentiation.  Cutting through the hype and buzz of the latest consumer tech innovations and disruptive technologies, Constellation Research expects business value to reemerge as the common operating principle that resonates among leading marketing, technology, operations, human resource, and finance executives.  As a result, Constellation expects organizations to face three main challenges: (see Figure 1.):

  • Navigating disruptive technologies. Innovative leaders must quickly assess which disruptive technologies show promise for their organizations.  The link back to business strategy will drive what to adopt, when to adopt, why to adopt, and how to adopt.  Expect leading organizations to reinvest in research budgets and internal processes that inform, disseminate, and prepare their organizations for an increasing pace in technology adoption.
  • Designing next generation business models. Disruptive technologies on their own will not provide the market leading advantages required for success. Leaders must identify where these technologies can create differentiation through new business models, grow new profit pools via new experiences, and deliver market efficiencies that save money and time.  Organizations will also have to learn how to fail fast, and move on to the next set of emerging ideas.
  • Funding innovation through legacy optimization. Leaders can expect budgets to remain from flat to incremental growth in 2011. As a result, much of the disruptive technology and next generation business models must be funded through optimizing existing investments. Leaders not only must reduce the cost of existing investments, but also, leverage existing infrastructure to achieve the greatest amount of business value.

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Research Report: 2011 Cloud Computing Predictions For Vendors And Solution Providers

This blog was jointly posted by @Chirag_Mehta (Independent Blogger On Cloud Computing) and @rwang0 (Principal Analyst and CEO, Constellation Research, Inc.)

Part 1 was featured on Forbes: 2011 Cloud Computing Predictions For CIO’s And Business Technology Leaders

As Cloud Leaders Widen The Gap, Legacy Vendors Attempt A Fast Follow
Cloud computing leaders have innovated with rapid development cycles, true elasticity, pay as you go pricing models, try before buy marketing, and growing developer ecosystems.  Once dismissed as a minor blip and nuisance to the legacy incumbents, those vendors who scoffed cloud leaders now must quickly catch up across each of the four layers of cloud computing (i.e. consumption, creation, orchestration, and infrastructure) or face peril in both revenues and mindshare (see Figure 1).  2010 saw an about face from most vendors dipping their toe into the inevitable.    As vendors lay on the full marketing push behind cloud in 2011, customers can expect that:

Figure 1. The Four Layers Of Cloud Computing

General Trends

  • Leading cloud incumbents will diversify into adjacencies. The incumbents, mainly through acquisitions, will diversify into adjacencies as part of an effort to expand their cloud portfolio. This will result into blurry boundaries between the cloud, storage virtualization, data centers, and network virtualization.  Cloud vendors will seek tighter partnerships across the 4 layers of cloud computing as a benefit to customers.  One side benefit – partnerships serve as a pre-cursor to mergers and as a defensive position against legacy on-premises mega vendors playing catch up.
  • Cloud vendors will focus on the global cloud. The cloud vendors who initially started with the North America and followed the European market, will now likely to expand in Asia and Latin America.  Some regions such as Brazil, Poland, China, Japan, and India will spawn regional cloud providers. The result – accelerated cloud adoption in those countries, who resisted to use a non-local cloud provider.  Cloud will prove to be popular in countries where software piracy has proven to be an issue.
  • Legacy vendors without true Cloud architectures will continue to cloud wash with marketing FUD. Vendors who lack the key elements of cloud computing will continue to confuse the market with co-opted messages on private cloud, multi-instance, virtualization, and point to point integration until they have acquired or built the optimal cloud technologies.  Expect more old wine (and vinegar, not balsamic but the real sour kind, in some cases) in new bottles: The legacy vendors will re-define what cloud means based on what they can package based on their existing efforts without re-thinking the end-to-end architecture and product portfolio from grounds-up.
  • Tech vendors will make the shift to Information Brokers. SaaS and Cloud deployments provide companies with hidden value and software companies with new revenues streams.  Data will become more valuable than the software code. Three future profit pools willl include benchmarking, trending, and prediction.  The market impact – new service based sub-categories such as data-as-service and analysis-as-a-service will drive information brokering and future BPO models.

SaaS (Consumption Layer)

  • Everyone will take the SaaS offensive. Every hardware and system integrator seeking higher profit margins will join the Cloud party for the higher margins.  Software is the key to future revenue growth and a cloud offense ensures the highest degree of success and lowest risk factors.  Hardware vendors will continue to acquire key integration, storage, and management assets.  System integrators will begin by betting on a few platforms, eventually realizing they need to own their own stack or face a replay of the past stack wars.
  • On-premise enterprise ISVs will push for a private cloud. The on-premise enterprise ISVs are struggling to keep up with the on-premise license revenue and are not yet ready to move to SaaS because of margin cannibalization fears,lack of   scalable platforms, and a dirth of experience to run a SaaS business from a sales and operation perspectives. These on-premise enterprise software vendors will make a final push for an on-premise cloud that would mimic the behavior of a private cloud. Unfortunately, this will essentially be a packaging exercise to sell more on-premise software.  This flavor of cloud will promise the cloud benefits delivered to a customer’s door such as pre-configured settings, improved lifecycle, and black-box appliance. These are not cloud applications but will be sold and marketed as such.
  • Money and margin will come from verticalized cloud apps. Last mile solutions continue to be a key area of focus.  Those providers with business process expertise gain new channels to monetize vertical knowledge.  Expect an explosion of vertical apps by end of 2011.  More importantly, as the buying power shifts away from the IT towards the lines of businesses, highly verticalized solutions solving specific niche problems will have the greatest opportunities for market success.
  • Many legacy vendors might not make the transition to cloud and will be left behind. Few vendors, especially the legacy public ones, lack the financial where with all and investor stomachs to weather declining profit margins and lower average sales prices.  In addition, most vendors will not have the credibility to to shift and migrate existing users to newer platforms.  Legacy customers will most likely not migrate to new SaaS offerings due to lack of parity in functionality and inability to migrate existing customizations.
  • Social cloud emerges as a key component platform. The mature SaaS vendors that have optimized their “cloud before the cloud” platform, will likely add the social domain on top of their existing solutions to leverage the existing customer base and network effects.  Expect to see some shake-out in the social CRM category. A few existing SCRM vendors will deliver more and more solutions from the cloud and will further invest into their platforms to make it scalable, multi-tenant, and economically viable.  Vendors can expect to see some more VC investment, a possible IPO, and consolidation across all the sales channels.

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Trends: 2011 Cloud Computing Predictions For CIO’s And Business Technology Leaders

This blog was jointly posted by Chirag Mehta (Independent Blogger On Cloud Computing) and R “Ray” Wang (Principal Analyst and CEO, Constellation Research, Inc.)

Cloud Adopters Embrace Cloud For Both Innovation and Legacy Optimization

Once thought to be the answer to deployment options for just the SMB market, early cloud adopters proved otherwise.  Stereotypes about industry, size of company, geographies, and roles no longer hold back adoption.  Cloud adoption at all 4 layers of the cloud passed the tipping points in 2010 as a key business and technology strategy (see Figure 1).  For 2011, we can expect users to:

Figure 1. The Four Layers Of Cloud Computing

General Trends Reflect Natural Maturation Of The Cloud Market

  • Replace most new procurement with cloud strategies.  Preference in deployment options and lack of availability of innovative solutions in on-premises options will result in a huge shift for 2011.  Add capex swap out for opex, and most CFO’s will be singing the praises of Cloud along with the business and IT leaders.
  • Start with private clouds as a stepping stone to public clouds.  Conservative CIO’s looking to dip their toes into cloud computing will invest into private cloud while evaluating the public cloud at the same time.
  • Get real about security. Customers will move from “the cloud is not secured” to “how can security be achieved in the cloud?”.  They will start asking real questions about security.  The result — cloud vendors must further showcase various industry-specific compliance approaches.
  • Move to private clouds as a back up to public clouds.  Forecasts in cloud security breaches will call for partly cloudy cloud adoption.  Despite the woes in on-premises security and the march to the cloud, cyber attacks will force companies to mov e from public clouds to private clouds in 2011.  Concern about cyber gangs hacking into commercial and military systems leads to a worldwide trend that temporarily reduces public cloud adoption.  Hybrid models for apps in the public cloud and data in the private cloud emerge as users migrate from on-premises models.  Data integration and security rise to key competencies for 2011.  The bottom line – improved data security reliability will drive overall cloud adoption in the latter half of 2011.  Organizations will keep private clouds for both security and back up.

SaaS (Consumption Layer) Emerges As The Primary Access To Innovation

  • Begin the transition from best of breed purpose built solutions to cloud mega stacks. Customers will still need stacks to be augmented by best of breed purpose built solutions.  As with the early days of ERP and CRM, expect su ite consolidation to occur for SaaS apps vendors.   However, the vendors with both the best PaaS platform and ecosystem will win.  Mature cloud customers will bet on several emerging platforms and apps as well as content driven cloud platforms complemented by strong integration solutions.  Access to deep industry vertical solutions will play a key role in this migration.  The need to quickly innovate will hasten SaaS adoption.
  • Superior user experience and scale won’t be mutually exclusive. The customers, especially the line of businesses (LOBs) will demand superior user experience as well as the scale in the SaaS applications and the tools that they will use. Ease of use will be on top of the list while evaluating a SaaS application and will help the SaaS vendors win a deal against on-premise incumbents whose products may have more features but poor user experience.

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