DCN July 2017 - Page 23

virtualisation & cloud computing A tale of two clouds As cloud develops and continues to mature, the industry is split into two camps. Some continue to focus on IaaS and the larger megalithic products. On the other side there is the more API-driven, DevOps approach to cloud, with vendors on either side quick to pronounce the decline of the other. Lawrence Jones MBE, CEO at UKFast, discusses why he thinks there is a place for both. T he demand for always- on applications that simply can’t fail is driving developments on both sides of the cloud market. On the infrastructure side this is delivered through features like metro storage clustering – a VMware technology for guaranteeing uptime. On the DevOps side it’s coming from increased utilisation of availability zones and making sure your load balancing is multi-site, meaning that a site can go down and the user experiences no impact on their solution. A lot of the most exciting developments we see in our work in the industry are extensions of the DevOps way of operating. The more cloud-native applications, which are designed to be elastically scalable and sit on outsourced hardware, are becoming a lot more responsive and granular. These applications are spun up, destroyed and moved around as needed. Because of this development, we are seeing a shift towards containers, where people are spinning up instances for mere seconds for transactions and then destroying them, rather than having a database server that sits there forever, not being utilised. So the situation is a lot more stateless and rapid in development. DevOps is also becoming more granular and focused on as-a- service offering, like database aaS, Apache aaS and load balancing aaS. Some developers just want to piece together applications from these services. The other side of the coin On the other side we’re seeing a big growth in the private cloud market. Many industry doomsayers – including the hyperscalers – claim that private cloud is dead and encourage firms to move to public cloud. Well, they would wouldn’t they? The true picture in the industry is a shift back to private cloud for many enterprise users and SMEs, following the peak of public cloud’s hype cycle. People fully understand now what its drawbacks are and what its benefits are. There are some great examples of large enterprises – Netflix and Dropbox for example – who make public cloud work for them to incredible effect. They build their architectures from scratch and July 2017 | 23