Tag Archives: Infrastructure

APIs in the Wild

The rapidly developing API Economy is made up of many parts that are infrequently examined. APIs provide access to software services on a network, and they have existed since the early days of computing. Now they are garnering new attention as Mobility and Cloud make them more important and more accessible. Releasing APIs has become an important marketing strategy for many companies, and their usage is encouraging integration of innumerable services through mashups on the Web. Yet we seldom look at specifics of what is being released. As APIs become more important, they signal directions that development is likely to take, and herald new opportunities from bringing together previously unavailable services. They also demonstrate the increasing importance of Mobility in driving software development. Continue reading

Mobility and IT Evolution

Mobility is having a large and diverse impact upon the growth of Digital Business. In a previous Perspective we looked at the Mobile/Cloud impact on Innovation (Enabling Innovation with Cloud Mobility, 1455STR, 10Oct2014). But the impact goes farther than that. Mobility is changing the way we think about IT and immediately enabling a wide variety of new possibilities – including entirely new concepts based on mobile sensors and their deployment. In the fast-moving environment of app development, evolution occurs swiftly in a continuous battle for survival of the fittest. Device desktop space is limited, and there are hundreds of apps performing similar functions; apps are quickly developed and deployed, and they can include powerful integration with Cloud-based services. And they are easily repurposed and moved to a new arena. Continue reading

Estimating Cloud Resource Requirement

Attraction of Cloud IT offerings remains mostly based on the perceived potential of reduced infrastructure costs. However, the trade press and IT analysts provide minimal guidance on sizing Cloud resource for a workload. Saugatuck’s ongoing conversations with users have shown that Cloud IT cost estimates are typically based on gross and erroneous approximations rather than on measurements of performance.

Saugatuck recently published a Strategic Perspective which focuses on factors which heavily influence performance of a Cloud IT infrastructure and, thus, the ongoing costs of running a workload on the Cloud infrastructure: Continue reading

Beyond the Glitter: Serious Business

During the week of 29 April through 3 May IBM hosted its annual Impact 2013 (subtitled “Business. In Motion”) conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Befitting the location, Impact is a huge business conference (with 8,500 attendees this year) and has a definite Las Vegas flavor (the keynote opened with a car driven on stage and dubbed a “rolling data center”).

IBM’s market positioning and messaging continues to be a bellwether for large-enterprise IT trends overall. This year’s Impact emphasis on the combination of Cloud, Mobility, Social, and Analytics – plus the importance of native integrative capabilities – underscores the emergence and reality of the loosely-coupled, “elemental” IT and business architectures that are increasingly prevalent, that enable a variety of Boundary-free Enterprise™ configurations, and which are reshaping providers’ go-to-market positioning.

Note: Ongoing Saugatuck subscription clients can access this premium research piece (1216MKT) by clicking here, and inputting your ID and password. Non-clients can purchase and download this premium research piece by clicking here.

Managing TCO Changes for Cloud IT Infrastructure

Heads up to our research subscription clients: Saugatuck has just published a Strategic Perspective that complements and extends the research and guidance presented in our recent (1187SSR, Understanding Cloud Infrastructure Costs: Navigating for Savings, 07Mar2013).

The fundamental motivation for this latest Strategic Perspective stems from an elementary business precept which holds that the best surprise is no surprise. Our objective is to provide sufficient insights and guidance regarding TCO models for Cloud versus traditional IT, so as to avoid surprises such as unplanned costs or inappropriate tradeoff between optional functionality and additional cost. Continue reading

Re-engineering Application Development

Saugatuck has gone on record that the phenomenon of Cloud IT is forcing vast changes in the responsibilities and roles of the traditional enterprise IT organization. In published research for our CRS clients this week, we took a look at how these changes affect enterprise IT from an applications development point of view. Figure 1 summarizes the key characteristics of Cloud IT that impact enterprise AppDev, as follows:

Figure 1: Summary Changes – Cloud IT and Enterprise Application Development
1169STR Figure 1
Source: Saugatuck Technology Inc.

How to address and overcome these changes and challenges is a story that requires further reading and examination, beyond our abilities in this simple blog post. To net it down: The role(s) of in-house application development resources will change, no disappear, due to widespread use of Cloud IT (whether IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS). AppDev costs should decline on a per-instance basis while the range and scope of AppDev resources escalates – just in time to help in-house developers find and learn new skills and technologies needed to manage proliferating solutions, interfaces, providers, and data formats.

Note: Ongoing Saugatuck subscription clients can access this premium research piece (1169STR) by clicking here, and inputting your ID and password. Non-clients can purchase and download this premium research piece by clicking here.

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IT Organizations are Ending; Long Live IT Organizations.

Volumes have been written about the ways in which Client-Server architecture caused and/or enabled sweeping changes across the IT landscape. Those changes ranged from how IT solutions were acquired, through how solutions were implemented, to how the solutions and their underlying infrastructures were managed. In 2007 Saugatuck began publishing insights into how Cloud IT would also cause and/or enable major changes in IT organizations. Saugatuck has just published Strategic Perspective projecting that Cloud IT is becoming the third near-universally adopted IT infrastructure and will catalyze a total re-invention of the traditional IT organization.

Note: Ongoing Saugatuck subscription clients can access this premium research piece (1160MKT) by clicking here, and inputting your ID and password. Non-clients can purchase and download this premium research piece by clicking here.

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Cloud Business Summit Panel Agrees: Cloud IT May, or May Not, Reduce Costs

The use of Cloud-based solutions is infiltrating all aspects of business IT – expanding both across enterprises and across user departments within enterprises. Similar to other technological advances, the risks and the rewards of Cloud IT vary for individual situations. A clear understanding of the popular perceptions about Cloud IT is the crucial first step toward objective evaluation and planning – and, away from project failure and management disappointment.

Note: Ongoing Saugatuck subscription clients can access this premium research piece (1149STR) by clicking here, and inputting your ID and password.

Microsoft Azure Update: Ten Things You Need to Know

In 2010, Microsoft launched the Windows Azure platform. Since then, Saugatuck has been actively tracking Windows Azure through regular Microsoft briefings, interviews with ISVs and with SIs that have migrated their solutions or workloads to Windows Azure or that have built natively on Windows Azure.

ISVs migrating to the Cloud and enterprise developers should understand the evolution and maturity of the Windows Azure platform, and the solutions and workloads it was designed for. Not all work well on Windows Azure. In a recently published premium Saugatuck research deliverable (1016MKT, 10 Things to Know about Windows Azure Two Years after Release, 29Jan2012) we provide an update and overview of the platform, and its suitability for Cloud solutions. In this Lens360 blog post, we highlight some of the takeaways from this 6-page Strategic Perspective.

Overall, significant progress has already been made, and it is important to note several important advances on the horizon for Windows Azure platform:

SQL Azure:
  • 2012 will see SQL Server 2012 and SQL Azure move closer to parity, as the once-significant functionality gap continues to close.
  • 2012 will see SQL Server 2012 and SQL Azure share development tools.
  • New federated partitioning for SQL Azure provides the means to handle issues related to managing customers separately.
Windows Azure:
  • System Center 2012 makes management of Azure solutions part of the overall systems management capability.
Regulatory Certifications:
  • Microsoft is currently in the process of completing the SSAE 16 audit.
  • Work is also under way to Deliver on HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA).
  • PCI certification, not in place today, is next on the roadmap.

At the same time, however, Windows Azure presents significant challenges to enterprise developers or to ISVs with enterprise customers migrating to the Cloud because of persistent design constraints. While we don’t have the room in this blog post to flesh these issues out in full, we discuss these in some detail in the Strategic Perspective, and what to do about it.

One area we do want to highlight is that despite considerable recent attention to achieving certifications, Windows Azure still lacks FISMA, GLBI, HIPAA, PCI, and SSAE16 – a key constraint if an enterprise or an ISV needed to store medical information or consumer credit card data, for example. While we believe many of the key certifications are on the roadmap, it takes time to fully address all of the certification issues. Stay tuned.

Complicating things further, Windows Azure is a rapidly moving target of functionality. The progress Microsoft has made in enhancing the platform continues at a fairly rapid pace. Therefore, it is important to understand the technical direction that the Windows Azure platform will take and continue to take as it evolves further. 2012 holds several very promising new additions to the Windows Azure platform, including development and testing capability.

Fortunately for migrating ISVs and enterprise developers, leading SIs such as Accenture, Avanade, Cognizant and Wipro, for example, have partnered with Microsoft to enable Windows Azure ISV workloads and solutions, and in doing so have amassed deep knowledge of the platform, its architecture and its future directions. These SIs have also developed solutions that fill in some of the gaps in the platform today.

Note: Ongoing Saugatuck subscription clients can access this premium research piece (1016MKT) by clicking here, and inputting your ID and password. Non-clients can purchase and download this premium research piece by clicking here.