To gather insights for DZone's Cloud Research Guide, scheduled for release in April, 2016, we spoke to 28 executives, from 23 companies, who develop and deploy application in the cloud for their own company or for their clients.
Here's who we talked to:
Neeraj Gupta, S.V.P. Product & Engineering, Apcera | Jad Naous, Product Lead, AppDynamics | Ez Natarajan, V.P. Head Cloud Services Business Unit, Beyondsoft | Alon Girmonsky, CEO and Founder, BlazeMeter | Kunal Bharati, Cloud Architect and Nishant Patel, CTO, Built.io | Sacha Labourey, CEO, Cloudbees | Deirdre Mahon, CMO and Fraser McKay, V.P. of Products, Cloud Cruiser | Flint Brenton, CEO, CollabNet | Ali Din, Senior V.P. and CMO and Walid Elemary, V.P. Product Development, dinCloud | Mike Masterson, Director of Strategic Business Development, Dynatrace | Gabe Monroy, CTO and Jasen Hansen, Chief Architect, Engine Yard | Fred Simon, Co-Founder and Chief Architect, JFrog | Jim Frey, V.P. of Products and Ian Pye, Co-Founder and Principal Engineer, Kentik | Johan den Haan, CTO, Mendix | Mounil Patel, V.P. Strategic Field Engagement, Mimecast | Faisal Memon, Product Manager, NGINX | Arvind Mehrotra, President and Global Business Head – Infrastructure Management Services, NIIT Technologies | Jens Eckels, Director, PaaS Business Group, Oracle | Pat Harper, SVP Operations, PGi | Joan Wrabetz, CTO, Quali | Partha Seetala, CTO, Robin Systems | Nick Kephart, Senior Director Product Marketing, ThousandEyes | Kiran Bondalapati, CTO and Co-Founder, ZeroStack.
When we asked these executives "What problems are being solved with the cloud-based applications you develop?" here's what they told us:
Scalability, redundancy, high availability, perform well under any circumstance (i.e. fantasy football with millions of users at the same time). The cloud allows you to accommodate these surges in use. You can simulate the exact behavior anytime you want to ensure your app, development, cloud, and marketing will succeed.
We don’t see the problems our customers have. Our containers solve the problems of moving data.
Web 2.0. 1) Customer-facing apps change from developer to customers very quickly as business requirements change. Rapid integration. Large development teams for enterprise developer self-services. 2) Customers want agility so they can experiment. How to get an idea white boarded out as working code? 3) Distributed systems with horizontal scalability and the platform decoupled from the application. 4) Extreme reliability – failure happens, need to ensure failures don’t impact the application via dynamic scaling and rebalancing.
Allowing companies to test their applications in a "real-world" sandbox without going into production.
The main thing is making it simple enough for the people to understand. Complex applications are integrating with each other. Orchestration makes everything work together on a common platform. If it’s not simple, you’ve failed. Deployment complexity – a lot of software requires knowledge and expertise – we’ve simplified so all you have to do is order and go. We’ve orchestrated the automation of the firewall, desktop, and storage. We’ve added hyper convergence unifying storage, networking, and hypervisor. How to deploy desktops in the cloud? How to prevent disaster with automation? We solve all of this.
Achieve optimal application performance by identifying and solving problems.
For enterprise cloud-based computing model it's economics – multiple users of a single app with instant security and service.
Global presence. A tech services manpower provider had build nationality-driven apps and could not agree on common elements. They wanted to streamline the business process and reduce total cost of ownership of the app. We rebuilt an integrated app with an integrated database to understand customers better and merge the databases with social media. Another case study, an insurance customer trying to deliver claim management in real time, within 24 hours, needed to integrate multiple claim processes.
In addition to Yelp and Box, NeuStar monitors cloud EDOS mitigation. Open DNS is a global DNS monitoring service watching open APIs and grabbing data on a customer by customer basis.
Ensure cloud apps can be trusted. Cost savings – policy framework run development and test workloads on the same machine to save money. Devs run on the same machines. Agility – speed to develop with a guardrail so nothing manual is needed. You can run on multiple clouds or on the same cloud. What’s your organizational strategy? Know what’s running where. Determine vulnerabilities in seconds versus days or weeks. Get full visibility and control into all applications. Communication with automated enforcement – micro services infrastructure will have the friction of communication.
Cloud providers are the car, we’re the steering wheel. Low-level cost and usage info via APIs to make optimized decisions. IT finance manages cost against budget by computing, storage, and IT operations personnel. Looking at performance to identify underused virtual machines, idle load balances to identify potential cost savings. Provide insights by identifying underutilized and over-utilized assets.
How to build apps that are more resilient and scalable is the concept of the cloud. Don’t scramble for more resources as you’re scaling. Deal with failures in a resilient way. Think about how data comes in, how it’s stored, analyzed, displayed – a continuous process of data coming in and out. With cloud-based apps any piece can crash and go away hence the need to build with failures in mind. We used to spend a lot of money to prevent failures, now we design for stateful and stateless. Different products talk to each other and handle failure across multiple platforms. In a cloud-based model the load balancer kicks in and moves the app to another platform. Ensure everything is replicated. Design for failure up front.
LoseIt! Is a mobile weight loss app that started with two people and iterated quickly scaling to millions of users. Choose Digital is a digital supply chain for music, movies, TV, eBooks, audiobooks, applications, and games which was able to scale with a small team. The cloud enables small companies to compete efficiently by establishing processes that allow them to move at warp speed.
Sport team uses the backend and monitors flow spikes during games with IaaS managing.
Data remodeling from RDBMS. In flow of data with different channels quadrupled and began using NoSQL. Structure data in the cloud in a non-traditional way. If you use the same old data in the cloud in the same way there are no benefits, you need to restructure with relational or NoSQL.
The ability to produce secure, resilient, scalable, high-performing, failsafe, responsive apps more quickly.
We had a client that just replace a competitive product and realized significant cost savings with our product as well as support at a reasonable price. In addition, there’s a robust open-source community.
Ability for sales reps to get online with clients and have content delivered in a way to track and follow-up. Collaboration experience around dispersed geographies. Ability to integrate a multi-function team with a superior audio and video experience.
Email management services: 1) email security against attacks, encryption protects against malware and provides spam management; 2) Archiving – storage management, reducing the size of mailboxes, e-discovery, archive as an independent cloud-based archive; and, 3) available even if distributed – in a distributed environment each location is encrypted with a unique key.
Monitors network and application performance to ensure the optimal CX providing alerts if anything needs to be addressed by network engineers.
What problems are you solving with cloud-based applications?