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The New Age of the Internet | @CloudExpo #IoT #AWS #DevOps

How the cloud is changing the app delivery and consumption model

The New Age of the Internet
By Ameer Abbas

Enterprises and service providers are moving to cloud.  Cloud providers are expanding their infrastructure, reach and ease of adoption.  Users are becoming mobile, they access their information and services on their personal mobile devices first.  We have seen game changers like Netflix and AirBnB become vastly successful by using the power of public cloud as their infrastructure of choice.  Service providers like Microsoft, Adobe and Oracle are quickly moving their services to cloud, offering them as a SaaS subscription.  So why are we seeing this new "app store" model of development, delivery and consumption gain so much popularity now than ever? and what does it mean for the internet? Is the internet infrastructure equipped to handle this additional load? Lets first look at it from the three main constituents cloud effects: Enterprises or app providers, public cloud vendors and, of course, the consumers of these services.

Enterprises value their Time to Market over managing Infrastructure

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Figure 1: 2016 Rightscale survey results for Enterprise cloud adoption

About 9 out of 10 large enterprises today have a cloud strategy in mind.  They are either using it in some form for their IT solution or are planning to use it within the year.  Primary reason for this adoption is attributed to the importance enterprises have on time to market and time to value.  Enterprises would rather focus on the development and delivery of their services than worry about setting up and managing monolithic infrastructure.  Cost and depreciation of infrastructure technology is a huge reason to not go through purchasing and refreshing on-premise infrastructure every few years.  Another big reason for this move is the agility cloud platforms provide.  Many enterprises are adopting the new agile method of app delivery and deployment resulting in much faster time to market.  DevOps culture has risen faster this year than ever before due to its speedy app development and delivery model.  DevOps requires infrastructure to be nimble, self-serviced and not be admin dependent, everything the cloud model offers and is absent in the rigid on-premise infrastructure.  One of the most interesting thing I found on a 2016 survey by Rightscale was that in the past,  the biggest concern around public cloud adoption was around security and compliance (or lack thereof), that has now been eclipsed by lack of cloud resources and expertise as the main challenge for enterprises today.  Yet again confirming the fact that this move is happening faster than ever before.

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Figure 2: Enterprises adopting DevOps in 2016

Public Cloud providers are taking advantage of economies of scale
Since Amazon Web Services became publicly available in 2006, it has had 51 price cuts (as of January 2016).  This "race to zero" phenomenon continues to develop as the major public cloud giants fight for the lowest price point.  Google, Amazon, Microsoft all drop prices almost every 6 months trying to reach a new low (no pun intended).  Price of 1GB of disk in 1993 was about $9000, in 2013, the same was around 4 cents.  In addition to the massive drop in infrastructure pricing, public cloud behemoths also benefit from economies of scale.  Cloud infrastructure is a giant (for the lack of a better term) "shared resource" meaning better overall resource utilization than on-premise drastically under-utilized data centers of today.  Due to this, cloud providers can chop down prices as more and more enterprises utilize their services.  A win-win for both the cloud providers and enterprises.

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Figure 3: AWS Pricing History from 2009 to 2014

Users are always connected, mobile and expect everything to be "always on"
As users, we are spoiled by the consumer and social media apps that want us feeling the need to be always connected.  Naturally we expect the same from our enterprise offerings.  iPhone is being used more and more as an enterprise tool than how Apple markets it (i.e. as a consumer, creative device for the artist).  Google, Facebook, and the likes have raised our expectations as consumers of enterprise services.  For example, we want the same experience from our file servers that we get from our personal Google Drive app.  So much so that many enterprises are moving their unstructured data to Box, Dropbox and other cloud based file shares.  We also consume most of these services on mobile devices on the go, wanting instant access without the hassles of VPN or remote access to on-premise infrastructure.  And lastly, we want a consistent experience no matter what device or where we are, something cloud infrastructure with its replication and various points of presence is well equipped to handle.

Is the Internet ready for the "everything cloud" age?
What does all this mean?  In short, we are seeing and will continue to see a lot more traffic on the public internet.  Not only static content but also dynamic services will continue to grow over the next few months and years.  While many are focused on building infrastructure around compute, storage and platforms of service delivery, few are thinking about the paths that connect them all.  Some public cloud vendors are certainly investing in dedicated links, for instance AWS Direct Connect or Google Fiber offerings, but it's only within the bounds of that particular single cloud provider.  Both of these are static, dedicated paths to their own consumers.

Teridion is looking at this problem globally and is anticipating this issue to be bigger than individual cloud providers.  At Teridion, we know that when we access our services in the public cloud, rarely do we go through a single provider.  Going from east to west coast of the united states, you may go through 30-40 different hops on multiple underlying ISPs (Internet Service Providers).  Teridion utilizes the power of multiple public cloud providers to enable a better data path specifically suited for individual applications.  Its routing decisions are based on whether an application requires faster delivery (i.e. API calls or short control messages for example) or larger throughput (i.e. large volumes of file data or high definition video streaming for example).  Each application over the internet has unique requirements and Teridion recognizes and directs each service to the path best suited for it.

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