Welcome!

Server Monitoring Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Ken Schwaber, JP Morgenthal, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Cloud Needs Context-Aware Provisioning

The Need for More Awareness of Context During the Provisioning

confused-route The awareness of the importance of context in application delivery and especially in the “new network” is increasing, and that’s a good thing. It’s a necessary evolution in networking as both users and applications become increasingly mobile. But what might not be evident is the need for more awareness of context during the provisioning, i.e. deployment, process.

A desire to shift the burden of management of infrastructure does not mean a desire for ignorance of that infrastructure, nor does it imply acquiescence to a complete lack of control. But today that’s partially what one can expect from cloud computing . While the fear of applications being deployed on “any old piece of hardware anywhere in the known universe” is not entirely a reality, the possibility of having no control over where an application instance might be launched – and thus where corporate data might reside - is one that may prevent some industries and individual organizations from choosing to leverage public cloud computing.

This is another one of those “risks” that tips the scales of risk versus benefit to the “too risky” side primarily because there are legal implications to doing so that make organizations nervous.

The legal ramifications of deploying applications – and their data – in random geographic locations around the world differ based on what entity has jurisdiction over the application owner. Or does it? That’s one of the questions that remains to be answered to the satisfaction of many and which, in many cases, has led to a decision to stay away from cloud computing.

quote-left According to the DPA, clouds located outside the European Union are per se unlawful, even if the EU Commission has issued an adequacy decision in favor of the foreign country in question (for example, Switzerland, Canada or Argentina).

-- German DPA Issues Legal Opinion on Cloud Computing

Back in January, Paul Miller published a piece on jurisdiction and cloud computing, exploring some of the similar legal juggernauts that exist with cloud computing:

quote-left While cloud advocates tend to present 'the cloud' as global, seamless and ubiquitous, the true picture is richer and complicated by laws and notions of territoriality developed long before the birth of today's global network. What issues are raised by today's legislative realities, and what are cloud providers — and their customers — doing in order to adapt?


CONTEXT-AWARE PROVISIONING

To date there are two primary uses for GeoLocation technology. The first is focused on performance, and uses the client location as the basis for determining which data center location is closest and thus, presumably, will provide the best performance. This is most often used as the basis for content delivery networks like Akamai and Amazon’s CloudFront. The second is to control access to applications imageor data based on the location from which a request comes. This is used, for example, to comply with U.S. export laws by preventing access to applications containing certain types of cryptography from being delivered to those specifically prohibited by law from obtaining such software.

There are additional uses, of course, but these are the primary ones today. A third use should be for purposes of constraining application provisioning based on specified parameters.

While James Urquhart twitterbird touches on location as part of the criteria for automated acquisition of cloud computing services what isn’t delved into is the enforcement of location-based restrictions during provisioning. The question is presented more as “do you support deployment in X location” rather than “can you restrict deployment to X location”. It is the latter piece of this equation that needs further exploration and experimentation specifically in the realm of devops and automated provisioning because it is this part of the deployment equation that will cause some industries to eschew the use of cloud computing.

Location should be incorporated into every aspect of the provisioning and deployment process. Not only should a piece of hardware – server or network infrastructure – be capable of describing itself in terms of resource capabilities (CPU, RAM, bandwidth) it should also be able to provide its physical location. Provisioning services should further be capable of not only including location restrictions as part of the policies governing the automated provisioning of applications, but enforcing them as well.


STANDARDS NEED LOCATION-AWARENESS

Current standards efforts today such as the OCCI specification pdf-icon (intended as a means to query cloud computing implementations and its components for information) do not make easily available the ability to query a resource for location at run-time. It does, however, allow the ability to select all resources residing in a specific location – assuming you know what that location is, which nearly ends up in a circular reference loop. The whole problem revolves around the fact that standards and specifications and APIs have been developed with the belief that location wasn’t important – you shouldn’t have to know – without enough consideration for regulatory compliance and the problems of mixing data, laws, and location. It would be very useful, given the state of cloud computing and its “Wizard of Cloud” attitude toward infrastructure transparency, to provide location as an attribute of every resource – dynamically - and further offer the means by which location can easily be one of the constraints.

Having available some standardized method of retrieving the physical location of a device or system would allow the provisioning systems to restrict its pool of available resources based on a match between any existing location restrictions required by the customer and the location of available resources. The reason for making location an attribute of every “kind” of resource is that restrictions on application or data location may extend to data traversal paths. Some industries have very specific requirements regarding not only the storage of data and access by applications, but over the transmission of data, as well. These types of requirements may include the location of network devices which have access to, for processing purposes, that data. What seems to many of us to be trivial becomes highly important to courts and lawyers and thus it behooves network devices and components to also be able to provide location from which eventually automated application-specific routing tables could be derived, thus protecting the interests of organizations highly sensitive to location at all times of its data.

This also implies, of course, that the infrastructure itself is capable of enforcing such policies, which means it must be location-aware and able to collaborate with the infrastructure ecosystem to ensure not just at-rest location complies with application restrictions but traversal-location as well, if applicable. That’s going to require a new kind of network, one based on Infrastructure 2.0 principles of collaboration, connectivity, integration and intelligence.

The inclusion of physical location as part of the attributes of a component, made available to automated provisioning and orchestration systems, could enable these types of policies to be constructed and enforced. It may be that a new attribute descriptor is necessary, something that better describes the intent of the meta-data, such as restriction. A broad restriction descriptor could, in addition to location, contain other desired provisioning-based attributes such as minimum RAM and CPU, network speed, or even – given the rising concerns regarding the depletion of IPv4 addresses – the core network protocol supported, i.e. IPv6, IPv4, or “any”.

If not OCCI, then some other standard – de facto or agreed upon – needs to exist because one thing is certain: something needs to make that information available and some other thing needs to be able to enforce those policies. And that governance over deployment location must occur during the provisioning process, before an application is inadvertently deployed in a location not suited to the organization or application.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DivvyCloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DivvyCloud software enables organizations to achieve their cloud computing goals by simplifying and automating security, compliance and cost optimization of public and private cloud infrastructure. Using DivvyCloud, customers can leverage programmatic Bots to identify and remediate common cloud problems in rea...
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, will motivate why realizing the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insigh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri, Inc, a leading provider of enterprise cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Tintri offers an enterprise cloud platform built with public cloud-like web services and RESTful APIs. Organizations use Tintri all-flash storage with scale-out and automation as a foundation for their own clouds – to build agile development environments...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tappest will exhibit MooseFS at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MooseFS is a breakthrough concept in the storage industry. It allows you to secure stored data with either duplication or erasure coding using any server. The newest – 4.0 version of the software enables users to maintain the redundancy level with even 50% less hard drive space required. The software func...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "We are a software house, so we perfectly understand challenges that other software houses face in their projects. We can augment a team, that will work with the same standards and processes as our partners' internal teams. Our teams will deliver the same quality within the required time and budget just as our partn...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software in the hope of capturing value in IoT. Although IoT is relatively new in the market, it has already gone through many promotional terms such as IoE, IoX, SDX, Edge/Fog, Mist Compute, etc. Ultimately, irrespective of the name, it is about deriving value from independent software assets participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution.
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
SYS-CON Events announced today that A&I Solutions has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 1999, A&I Solutions is a leading information technology (IT) software and services provider focusing on best-in-class enterprise solutions. By partnering with industry leaders in technology, A&I assures customers high performance levels across all IT environments including: mai...
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs ofte...