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Why I Joined CliQr

Last week, Gartner lead cloud analyst Lydia Leong proclaimed that we’ve reached the end of the beginning of cloud computing, and I completely agree with her. Since AWS launched, we’ve seen steady cloud growth as companies have embraced a different way of thinking that cloud enables.

Well, not all companies.

In July, Gartner predicted that worldwide global IT spending in 2013 would reach $3.7 trillion.  What percentage of that is on IaaS spending?  According to another Gartner report last February 2013, IaaS spending was predicted to be around $131 billion.  In fairness, that prediction was for public cloud only, but even if you double that $131 billion number you still get a world in which 7% of 2013’s global IT spending was on cloud.

Who’s not spending and what are they waiting for?

CliQr: Poised to Launch the Next Chapter of Cloud Adoption for Enterprise

I spent 17 years in IT at HP as a heads-down developer, technical lead, and chief architect, and I’ve spent a good portion of the last three years in enterprise sales in a sales engineering role.  There are two things I’ve learned in all that time that are most relevant to how cloud adoption will play out the next few years:

  1. The bulk of the global IT spend that hasn’t moved to cloud yet is in enterprise budgets.
  2. Enterprise needs help not just to move to a public or private cloud, but in the long-term management of applications once they get there, all while avoiding vendor lock-in.

This is exactly why I joined CliQr.

No other company is poised to provide enterprise IT departments with a toolset that doesn’t require an army of developers to utilize effectively, gives you crucial benchmarking and price-performance data to base cloud selection decisions on, and provides the portability to change your mind later when your circumstances change or when cloud provider features and pricing change (and we all know they will).

How the Next Chapter Will Be Different

In the first wave of cloud adoption, we saw a core group of insanely talented developers lead the way and find creative means to use on-demand capacity.  While I feel a kinship with those folks (having grown up writing programs and getting made fun at various times during my adolescence, only to unfathomably make a living at it), that model doesn’t scale.  As an industry, we face a similar problem with the number of data scientists available to do interesting things with Hadoop results.  There simply aren’t enough talented DevOps engineers to write these scripts, and they are too expensive for cost-sensitive corporate IT departments to hire.

A different scaling approach is required not only to ease initial migrations to cloud for the enterprise, but also for the ongoing management of applications in hybrid deployments whose cloud providers constantly change.

CloudCenter Orchestrator + CliQr Application Profiles = Awesome

CliQr solves this problem in a very unique way by bending the will of each cloud to the needs of the application—not the other way around.  There are two keys to making this work.  First is the patent-pending CloudCenter Orchestrator, which is a stack that runs on each cloud provider with internal knowledge that maps the features of a specific cloud into a meta cloud description.  Next, applications are profiled through the CloudCenter Manager front-end UI by their multi-layer needs.

When it is time for deployment of the application, the profile describes what the applications requirements and the CloudCenter Orchestrator translates them into whatever the cloud of choice is capable of providing, making substitutions as necessary.

For example, suppose we have a multi-tier Java application and Cloud A has a load balancing service and a database service, but Cloud B only offers vanilla VMs.  The application profile dictates that it needs load balancers feeding web servers, which then connect to another set of load balancers sending traffic to app servers, concluding with a master-slave set of database servers at the bottom of the application stack.

When fed this profile, the CloudCenter Orchestrator is smart enough to engage the load balancing and database services on Cloud A while installing something like HAProxy and MySQL should the application get deployed on Cloud B.

You only profile your application once, but you can reuse it for deployment on any of the 10 cloud providers CliQr supports, public or private.  You can use this mechanism to benchmark your application on multiple clouds to see where it runs best before you decide on a final production deployment, or you can utilize the benchmarking feature to determine the best instance size on a particular cloud.

CliQr is the Toolset Enterprise IT Has Been Waiting For

There is undoubtedly more money to be spent on cloud, by several orders of magnitude.  In particular, enterprise IT is at the doorstep of cloud adoption and is waiting for a toolset that enables them to not simply migrate but manage hybrid cloud environments for the long haul via an affordable staffing model that eliminates concerns cloud vendor lock-in.

I joined CliQr because I believe CloudCenter provides all of these things, which will lead the next wave of cloud adoption for the enterprise.

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