Not All Clouds Are Created Equal

Looking at the world today, more and more applications are being published and pushed to clouds. The rate of growth for cloud native applications is in the double digits.  Unfortunately, there are still misperceptions about cloud computing.

The most significant one is that all clouds are created equal.  People also seem to think that they save money by being in the public cloud – a painful experience if you have to move your data and discover that the public cloud infrastructure and services have locked you in. Another illusion is that their data is automatically safe and they don’t have to worry about backup or retention policies because “when I put it there, it’s always going to be there.”

I see a future where EMC and our customers can deploy and manage all IT applications and services on any Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) stack easily and consistently with confidence that it meets all our business objectives.

I even have a wish list for how we might get there.

First, there is a paradox: elastic cloud infrastructure wants to be ephemeral, but the information that lives on that infrastructure needs to be persistent. What if we allowed persistent data stores to be deployed on ephemeral infrastructure and provided value-added data (micro) services on top? What if we also deployed these data services as software? I think cloud customers would sleep better at night.

Also, what if we had one open industry marketplace for platform-as-a-service (PaaS) microservices and software? Today, marketplaces and service registries are fragmented and isolated. When I go to the grocery store, I like to see the chocolate next to the peanut butter. But if I also see marshmallows and graham crackers, I could do a lot more with all those ingredients. Having an option where any independent software vendor can publish into a shared marketplace would have exponential benefit for everyone. And what if that marketplace included not just PaaS, but IaaS too?

Possibly the most important item on my wish list is: what if the Cloud Foundry and OpenStack communities worked better together?  These open-source software communities are the industry heavy weights – OpenStack at the IaaS level and Cloud Foundry at the PaaS level. What if we worked together to provide a service catalog that does a better job of application workload placement?  In other words, get the right application to the right cloud at the right time.

These are just few of the questions the industry needs to tackle.  If done successfully, I fundamentally believe we can change the world of IT.

To help, EMC is opening a Cloud Foundry Dojo in Cambridge, Massachusetts during the summer of 2015 to train developers in paired programming and test-driven development.

Answering these questions isn’t going to be easy, but it is an exciting time for our industry and we just might be able to make wishes come true.

About the Author: Brian Gallagher