Interview: Novell India MD Sreehari S on Cloud Trends

Novell delivers software that makes the workplace more productive, secure and manageable. Focusing on the latest trends such as social, cloud, mobile and multi-channel communications, Novell helps organizations meet the demand for anytime anywhere access of information.

In an interaction with Infotech Lead, Sreehari S, managing director, India Development Center, Novell, shared his views on the challenges and opportunities cloud technologies bring to the market. Our interaction follows:

Sreehari S, managing director, India Development Center, NovellWhat are your tips and solutions to enterprise CIOs to improve RoI from cloud deployments?

IT has been the watchdog and provider of the services in a typical enterprise.  Moving to cloud shouldn’t be just relocating their services to an alternate location, be it private or public cloud, but it’s transforming the function to provider role completely.  To understand the advantages of this role, associate cost with each services (compute resources or applications), identify risk associated with these services if deployed in a private or public cloud in terms of security and availability and then take a decision to role out in a phased manner.  This approach will reduce the disruption both for their users and administrators.  Not just the private cloud solutions, but many private cloud infrastructure software provide features to measure resource usage, throttle them to a predefined limit and associate a cost.  This will help departments to understand and optimize their compute usage.  A chargeback model will help to optimize this even further.

How does Cloud contribute to security issues?

A variety of security issues have been identified in the cloud computing domains –  Data leakage, VM escape, Denial of service, data center access controls, jurisdiction of datacenter  etc. are a few. Infrastructure providers like Amazon and Rackspace address them in a number of ways and it’s important to understand the SLAs and estimate risk.  Three basic areas that both providers and organizations jointly responsible are data at rest, data in motion and processes. Organizations should understand their risk factors for each of them and ensures that infrastructure providers cover this sufficiently.  VM Escape, VM Hopping etc are problems for private cloud as well.

Which are the main industry verticals that are deploying cloud?

Salesforce has been very successful in providing CRM as a service which is needed across industry verticals.  We are seeing increasing adoption of Office365. Likewise we will see rapid increase of SaaS deployments. Other areas like analytics, team collaboration, archival and disaster recovery and social marketing are also catching up.  We see the increased cloud adoption in the education, hospitality, travel and retail sectors.  Financial and healthcare sectors are taking a wait and watch approach due to local regulations and compliance issues.

What are the latest cloud trends?

Cloud computing has gone past the hype to becoming the mainstream as more and more enterprises are adopting a mix of public & private clouds. The cloud is also helping small and emerging businesses in becoming operational quickly.

Big data analytics is well suited for “as a service” offering.  Organizations have been relying on multiple cloud providers to meet their business needs.  Emphasis on green computing and adherence to environmental compliance as per the local government regulations forced many to move to a virtualized data centre.

Cloud trends are also pushing the mobility in the workplace and enterprises started adopting BYOD, BYOI and BYOA (Bring your own applications such as Dropbox, box.net, Google Hangout, Whatsapp etc.).

Another interesting trend that we started seeing is the pricing war between cloud vendors, probably one area that CFOs will take interest in.

What are the pricing related concerns on cloud deployments from CIOs?

While the upfront cost of moving to cloud is well understood, the long term cost is still uncertain. However, cloud providers have been reducing prices which will work for organization’s benefit if planned well.  Organizations may also have to take into account the improvements in employee productivity while computing the RoI in moving to cloud based solutions.

What are your new cloud offerings?

Being an Infrastructure software company Attachmate Group is focused on helping our customers leverage latest technologies securely and efficiently.  We have been looking at this from three different angles. 1. To the cloud, 2. From the cloud and 3. In the cloud.  We need to address the security concerns our customers have and make sure that they understand they are still in control of their IT.

Our products like NetIQ Cloud Access and NetIQ Social Access help them achieve this and give back control of access and account provisioning while the application is hosted on public or private cloud.  NetIQ Cloud Manager and NetIQ Cloud Security Services deliver a complete infrastructure as a service experience for both IT Consumers and IT Providers. These products also enable enterprise applications to be delivered as a service model.

SUSE Cloud which support the latest evolution of OpenStack project provides businesses a comprehensive platform to configure and manage private cloud. With support for a wide range of virtualization platforms and storage and networking solutions from our partners, SUSE Cloud further enables businesses to flexibly configure private cloud based on their unique infrastructure requirements.

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