Cloud Crunch
Cloud Crunch

Episode · 3 weeks ago

S4E3: Modern Cloud Operations – Managing a Cloud Native Environment

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Welcome back to Cloud Crunch. Today’s topic, “Modern Cloud Operations – Managing a Cloud Native Environment.” Learn how managing the cloud has evolved, and what leadership needs to do now to adjust for the change. This conversation is led by our lead host and Director of Marketing, Michael Elliott. We are also joined by our honored guest Jeff McInnish – VP, Managed Cloud Services for 2nd Watch.

Involve, Solve Evolve. Welcome to cloud Crunch, the podcast for any large enterprise planning on moving to or is in the midst of moving to the cloud. Hosted by the cloud computing experts from second Watch. Michael Elliott, Executive director of Marketing and Fred Bliss, CTO of all Things Data at second Watch and now here are your hosts of cloud Crunch. Welcome back to a new season of cloud Crunch. In this season, we're going to focus on AWS Reinvent, one of the biggest cloud conference is probably the biggest cloud conference in the world, kicking off in the Ubery now. Our intent is to enable you, the viewer, the opportunity to immerse yourself and how cloud has evolved since last year on topics like preparing and building a center of excellence, extracting data insights, managing a cloud dative environment, and data center evacuation. Joining me today is Jeff mckinnish, Vice President Managed Cloud Services at second Watch. Welcome to cloud Crunch, Jeff, Thank you. Michael. All right, so you and I have gone back a few years in the data center industry. Both have a little bit experience around that, but that world has evolved and not only that the world has evolved, not only managing in a cloud environment, but how we start to look at that cloud environment from a cloud native perspective. I would like to kind of just have a conversation a little bit to start off with, what have you seen as really changed in managing a cloud environment. The change in paradig I'm from from typical service management framework...

...to um true cloud native deployments means that things like change management, release management all fundamentally shift from an I T LAD exercise to a business led exercise, and resources are no longer static, They're ephemeral. So you've heard the term pets versus cattle, I mean typical enterprise workloads. They're the crown jewels of the enterprise and you protect them for for obvious reasons. But when you have a problem with a truly cloud native app, the paradigm is to redeploy in its entirety. So that that's a fundamental shift not only in the software management framework, but also if you're if you're truly deploying resources on demand in the actual infrastructure deployment, well that that that brings up I mean you talk about the DevOps, does that shift, Who's managing that environment from I T to more of a hybrid role I T and developers. It does because it's a consumer lead enterprise, right the the app owners and and the folks controlling the DevOps pipeline are the ones who are fundamentally spinning up and spinning down infrastructure. So you get in and you you raise a good point. Configuration management also becomes a much less static exercise. So when you when you spin up X number of instances for you know, a given workload, sometimes by the hour, you're no longer dealing with static instances that are that are you know, your I P map stays the same, et cetera, and everything goes to a host that you know and and go to every day. Hosts are ephemeral. Resources are ephemeral. That's the nature of cloud. If you truly want to want to recognize the you know, the power of the cloud. In...

...terms of budget control, and with that is a double edged sword. If you don't set budgets, if you don't have the proper controls in place, your spend can go wildly out of control without you realize. Again, so it's a different management paradigm in total, which is not static. By its nature. Where do you think the industry is on this change and and starting to think this way? Are we are we still early stages or adoption started to really occur. I I think that the SAS vendors and the people who adopted cloud in the beginning, which is really the developer community, is well on its way. The enterprise is really breaking into this space. And and part of the reason for that is most of the of the common enterprise apps from the big software vendors are not, by the very nature cloud native. So if you go when you look at any of the e RP packages that have been out for eons, they really don't have container based deployments. They don't lend themselves in the way that they're deployed to this ephemeral you know, resources on demand paradigm. And so that shift will occur over time, and it's very likely will come in the form of things like bring your own cloud for SASS, so you're essentially running as SASS package inside of your own cloud. That that would probably be the place that I would see that happen first. Where are we going to be around skill set to actually manage these types of environment? I mean we we hear about how hard hiring is and even for our industry trying to find the right people to bring in. Do you know traditional enterprises, where are they at and trying to find the skill set to be able to manage this type of environment. Trudal enterprises are still focused.

I mean coming out of the data center, they still have that skill set um in house. So they'll have operating system people typically, they'll have network people that are familiar with physical devices. You know, they may have some of their own cloud people if they've if they started to adopt cloud, when they start to deploy, develop and deploy truly cloud native apps, that brings in a whole new dimension of skill sets, specifically around things like DevOps uh, specifically around things like you know, how do you manage containers? How do you manage pipelines? But people that have been in the industry, like ourselves, they're not going to evolve into this this new norm that's becoming. So where are we finding the talent? Are they coming out of college with that talent or not even college, are coming out of high school learning? There's that what's your thoughts around that? I actually think that many of the people in the enterprise do want to evolve in the direction and the place that that they need help is specific skills and augmentation in and around their model in order to complete it. So the cost of acquisition of those skills is fairly high if you just go buy everything off the street, particularly when you multiply it out by the number of of shifts in a week that you need to cover it for. So what what I've seen in my experience as enterprises that do have good developers, and they have you know, they've brought in you know, sec ops and dove ops type people, but they find themselves very quickly in the position where they have to make decisions between managing all of that complexity and focusing on their core business right. And and that's where you see the new evolution of services coming in where you know a lot of customers say, you know what, I don't want to manage the in production version. I don't want to manage the pipelines and and all of the Kubernetes clusters.

I want to focus on building the next revision of my applications to fundamentally enable my business. And that's really where the service services opportunity around management of cloud native comes in, So let's let's dive into that a little bit. So when and you're right, it's more about enterprises looking to focus their energy on things that are going to enable the business to be better, to solve business problems, to create revenue for the company, and not managing that environment. So when you start to look for outsourcing cloud management, what traditionally should people be thinking about. What should a c XO be thinking about As far as looking at that right managed service provider to hand the keys over to manage that, I think it's it's a matter of where do they have their own expertise and where do they need help scaling the typical areas where you see companies struggle or things like identity management, particularly whenever it's um split between multiple on prem and cloud environments, because hybrid cloud is a real thing. Microsoft seems to be in practically every shop we go to, as do one or more other major CSPs. Plus they typically have some sort of on site or endpoint identity management issue they have to weave into that. So they need to be looking for for vendors or for for partners who can help them with how do they do identity management and how do they maximize their usage of cloud and really recognize the benefits of of cost saving through their implementation, So that that really spans out into how do you effectively deploy and manage within the cloud and the control as as I mentioned previously, the control paradigm and the cloud is completely different because things can be spun up and spun down easily. It's not like...

...you have to go buy something and stick it in a rack like you used to. So when when a prospect comes to you to evaluate your capability, what are the three things that they're going to ask you around your capability that to differentiate you from anyone else out there? I think first and foremost they're they're they're going to ask about our expertise in the cloud, how we automate around the cloud, What what do we have in terms of pre built configurations in um automation to help them not only with deployment, but also observe ability and management of that cloud infrastructure. And that's that's really where we focus a lot of our time because everything in the cloud can be manipulated or or deployed or revoked with code. So infrastructure is code is a real thing. You can spin up entire cloud environments and destroy them in the span of an hour with the right terraform code. And so you really start to view configuration management and the deployment exercise as a coding and change management of code exercise. Those are the that's the holy grail of management within the cloud is really getting to the point where you don't have people in the cloud console manipulating all the time. And we're not there yet. Nobody nobody's acent there that doesn't have a single workload that they focus on. So the plethora of applications we typically deal with, not every one of them is going to be completely cloud enabled. And and the thing that you need in a partner is someone who can help you get from whatever state you're in and work towards the idealized state that you seek and help you define what that is, because it's strategy. Moving into the cloud is really a strad energy it's not a data center move it it's...

...it's no longer a you know, plock from point A to point B. And in fact, if it's coded correctly, if you if you make yourself portable, then that gives you the option later on to do arbitrage for cloud cost to cross clouds, which is the next evolution of the whole the whole concept of hybrid cloud. We see it in our largest enterprise customers because they're literally in the process of of resource arbitrage between the cloud vendors based on what their specific needs are for each Worklet so let's let's kind of wrap up one thing that I recall, as you know, being in the industry as long as I've been, is people were afraid of the cloud for a number of reasons, one of which was security. Another one of which is that lock in component. So let's talk a little bit about security and how security has evolved in managing that cloud environment. And then secondly around are you locked in? So when you turn over the keys, do you allow someone to manage that environment? It could be a multi cloud environment as well. Is there a risk for lock in that once you hand over those keys, you'll never get those keys back. I think that a lot of that depends on your portability strategy. So as you as you build things in the cloud, and if you're if you're simply using VMS or Kubernetes clusters, those are not cloud specific. I mean, there's there's idiosyncrasies of each one, but realistically those things are portable. And that's that's a far cry from if you go and you implement on some specific pass service that has its own language, you know, some specific flavor of a database. So what you see customers doing who are truly seeking portability is using things like UM industry standard open source platforms like...

...post GRUSS for database, UM keeping their technology UM platform independent. That's that also plays over into things like the technologies they use to deploy. Because terror form, although the providers, the specific syntax reach provider might be slightly different, you can port from one to the other rather easily, versus something like a cloud formation template which is specific to AWS. I want to thank Jeff for joining us today to discuss modern cloud operations managing a cloud native environment. That one final word in this conversation, Jeff, that you kind of brought up you talk about how cloud is obeying More's law. I'd love you to love for you to kind of kind of kind where does that come from? Because you know, everyone's familiar with Moore's law as far as ability of compute power to double. But where where do you where do you see that in cloud as far as Cloud obeying More's law. If if you were to look at where Cloud was ten years ago or even five years a go, the service catalog, so so the number of independent services. Just take AWS for instance, or Google or any of the others, but I'll pick on AWS. Their service catalog every year just burgeons. There's more and more things that can be taken advantage of in order to enable the customer. And that's a good thing. But I think that's where again, it's not static. The universe of possibilities changes every day, and that's where a valued, entrusted cloud partner can help a customer, a client really get the most out of their spend. And that's what it's really it's it's not just about spend, but that's a big part of it. Enterprises ten fifteen years ago went from a capital expenditure model to an operating expenditure model. That was the nature of cloud. They didn't want data centers, it wasn't their core business. They didn't want capital expenditure us wrapped up in it. So they went to an operating...

...expense model. Cloud grew and now you see that there are there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of services underneath the covers. It's not just VMS and block storage and objects storage. It's multiple flavors of databases, you know, functions, services that can be taken advantage of to do specific things in your environment. So the deployed application really becomes a composite across you know, code that's written and running on vms or containers, past services, sas services, functions. It literally becomes a very complex ecosystem. And that complexity, that level of capability, really is following similar to Moore's law. It's it's it's doubling every time we turn around. Awesome. Well, no, absolutely, and I appreciate that. Jeff and I want to thank our audience for tuning into our show. This podcast is intended to add value to any large enterprise that is planning on moving to or is currently focusing on leveraging the value of the cloud. Send your comments or suggestions to cloud Crunch at second watch dot com. I'm Michael Elliott. Thank you. You've been listening to cloud Crunch with Michael Elliott and Fred Bliss. For more information, check out the blog second watch dot com, forward Slash cloud dash blog, or reach out to second watch on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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