ESG Blog: 2018 Predictions for Cloud Platforms and Services (Video)

As 2018 rolls in, we're here to make predictions for cloud platforms. Unfortunately, I'm not here to come up with a present of a crystal ball that predicts all the exciting news to come, so I'm a bad Santa.

However, I do want to discuss some major trends that are underway, and how they may become important in 2018.

  1. Multi-Cloud. Do you want to use multiple clouds based on each one being a best of breed, or perhaps as a specific way for hedging your bets? What are the costs when you realize each has a different set of APIs? Do you redo your work N times over?
Topics: Cloud Computing Cloud Platforms & Services

RCS and Universal Communications - This Time, It May Work

An annoying fact of modern inter-personal messaging is that there are many methods. A glance at any smartphone may show many apps for messaging, video conferencing or teleconferencing such as Allo, Duo & Meet (from Google), Messenger & WhatsApp (from Facebook), Signal, Cisco WebEx, built-in Dialer & SMS text messaging, Zoom, Skype, LinkedIn, LINE, Twitter, Facetime, Messages & Facetime (from Apple), GoToMeeting, WeChat (prominent in China), and Plus, there are many many more.

Extending to the desktop, we might find SIP softphones such as Bria, RingCentral  and cousins of the above apps that allow for multi-endpoint logins. These apps provide voice, screen sharing, and text messaging but in this blog, we're talking about the need for universal messaging.

Thus, if you want to send a quick note to someone, it’s hard to figure out what to use. Many young people don’t use voice calls anymore, so they resort to messaging. Phones do a reasonable job of associating contacts with different platforms, but you never know if they are properly logged-in to a particular system. So, messages will fail to get delivered, or auto-converted to emails that get delivered later.

Topics: Cloud Computing Networking Cloud Platforms & Services RCS

Box is a Platform, Not a Storage Provider

One of the quandaries of a company so well associated with one solution is that it obscures all the innovation they are working on to evolve. At Box’s BoxWorks, they continue to add to the platform with capabilities that take them away from being identified as a storage provider. It’s now fundamentally an enterprise content management and governance system. They are also a cloud platform, but not in the sense that AWS, Google Cloud, or Microsoft are. They are a cloud platform for aggregating the resources from other providers and providing structure to the content.

Topics: Cloud Computing Cloud Platforms & Services

Top Three VDI Challenges (Video)

VDI is alive and well as it helps businesses transition to Windows 10, simplify patching and updating, and deliver secure workspaces. However, when I speak with IT pros, they share common challenges that still need to be addressed by the IT vendors. While these VDI challenges have been consistent, IT vendors have an opportunity to provide further clarity for their customers. The IT vendors can also take the opportunity to help IT pros cross organizational boundaries with metrics and educational tools that help arm the IT pros with language, value propositions, and benefit analysis that tones down the IT speak and amplifies the value to the business. 

Topics: VDI Cloud Platforms & Services virtual desktop infrastructure

Public Cloud Trends - 2017 research study shows steady cloud growth

ESG recently released a new research report: 2017 Public Cloud Trends by 

Bill Lundell, Director of Syndicated Research, and me. (Subscription login is required to read the report.)


I won’t spoil the fun by repeating everything in the report in this blog, but some observations show that public cloud computing growth continues unabated.

Over a third of the respondents state they have a cloud-first policy—where a new app is deployed using public cloud services unless someone makes a compelling case to deploy it using on-premises resources. A cloud-first policy is most prevalent in younger companies (age of org, not employees).

Topics: Cloud Computing Cloud Platforms & Services

Barriers to Hybrid Cloud Onboarding: A Large Enterprise View

I moderated a panel at the Open Networking User Group meeting held at UCSF Mission Bay San Francisco on April 26th, 2017, where the topic was Enterprise Workload Onboarding Challenges in Hybrid Cloud Environments. The panelists were Nivesh Gopathi of The Gap, Inc, Carlos Matos of Bank of America, Bruce Pinsky of Intuit, and Shafeeq Shaikh of GE Digital and Harmen Van der Linde of Citi.


The purpose of the panel was to distill the findings of a Hybrid Cloud Working Group, which discussed the various barriers to adopting a hybrid cloud, which is comprised of traditional on-premises resources along with one or more public cloud service providers. This group includes the members who work at the panelists’ firms as well as those from other industries such as finance, health care, industrial goods, logistics and delivery, pharmaceuticals, and retail.

Topics: Cloud Computing Cloud Platforms & Services

Multi-cloud or Not?


Much disagreement may arise in discussing whether IT organizations ought to use one public cloud service provider (CSP), or choose to work with 2 or more public cloud providers. The rationale on both sides seem rational. I’m not talking about what IT organizations are doing, but I’m trying to be prescriptive on what they ought to do. So what is the right strategy for cloud computing deployment when choosing the right number of CSPs?



Topics: Cloud Computing Cloud Platforms & Services

Google Cloud Next Wrap Up - Opportunities and Challenges

Google finished its Cloud Next Conference last week, and my colleagues have written several blogs and we have shot an On-Location video for this cloud computing conference.


My take is that Google has come a long way in adding new capabilities including partnerships, product features, pricing, tools, devices, and reference customers. As Google’s offerings expand, it faces new challenges to create a coherent and comprehensive offering for its many customer types including enterprise, ISVs, and end-users.


Topics: Cloud Computing Cloud Platforms & Services

Google Cloud Next - The Key Thing to Security is a New Mindset

Google Cloud Next is now in its third day. 

Mind set change is often required to adopt new solutions.  For example, a horse and buggy driver will have a hard time figuring out how to harness the 200 “horse power” under the hood until he realizes that you don’t need to handle 200 reins, and you just have a steering wheel, one gas pedal, one brake, and maybe a clutch. What about security for cloud computing and apps?

Take the issue of ensuring two factor authentication to login to a system based on what you know (the password) and what you have (some special key). The classic method from the old days was to use something like a token (a hardware or software key) that generates a one time code. That worked fine, but it required looking after the key very carefully so it wouldn’t get lost. Furthermore, if you log into multiple systems, you may get issued multiple keys, each with a different expiration date, and it starts to get unwieldy.

Google announced support for Security Key Enforcement for GCP and G Suite apps via two-factor authentication (2FA). The use of security keys (provided by FIDO UFA compatible keys, such as those from Yubico) is not new, as it was supported for several years. What matters for the enterprise is the model for using 2FA in Google’s world. You don’t need to take care of each key like it’s precious. You can pick them up from a cookie jar by the handful and stash them away anywhere. You can even attach one to your laptop’s USB port and have it there all the time. This is similar to the pets (a special companion that you care for) vs. cattle (just an animal in a herd) analogy in scalable cloud architectures.

Topics: Cloud Computing Cloud Platforms & Services

Google Cloud Next - Enterprise Legacy Migration

Google Cloud Next is now in its second day. Google Cloud emphasizes the new innovative capabilities of its platform, but given that many enterprise workloads are still traditional legacy workloads, such as those written in Java, or off-the-shelf ones purchased and deployed many years ago, Google Cloud either possesses, or recently announced, elements that assist customers in the journey.

There are virtual machine migration tools as well as App Engine Flexible that supports language runtimes. Better VPCs and VPNs enable creation of hybrid clouds or shared projects with a common network. These are just a few of their offerings that fill in “holes” in their offerings before. These are areas that people often overlook when looking at Google Cloud.

Topics: Cloud Computing Cloud Platforms & Services