ESG's Mark Bowker and Doug Cahill discuss upcoming ESG research on Distributed Cloud.
Doug: Hi, this is Doug Cahill here with Mark Bowker sharing some information insights on upcoming research on cloud computing. Mark is our lead analyst on cloud computing. And, you know, Mark, one of the topics we've been chatting about over a number of months now is really reframing the conversation from hybrid multi-clouds to really distributed clouds. And hey, let's start there.
You know, what is ESG's point of view on really what is distributed clouds?
Mark: Yeah, no, Doug, thanks. It is fascinating, right? I mean, at the end of the day, distributed cloud is ultimately a connected ecosystem of cloud services, developer-ready infrastructure, legacy IT, and it all provides consistent operations for modern applications.
It's not just in the data center, cloud-native doesn't just have to be in a hyperscaler, It's really the interconnection of all these things and consistency from both a developer perspective and an IT operations perspective. And while it looks good I'll say on a PowerPoint slide, I can tell you it is definitely a challenge inside the IT organizations.
Doug: Absolute... Wow. There's a lot to unpack there and that's why your research calendar is a series. So, three research topics. What are those?
Mark: One is all about center of gravity. Where is the center of gravity with new applications? Is the center of gravity in a data center? Is the center of gravity in a hyperscaler? Is the center of gravity in a edge type of environment? And it's all about determining, hey, based on a modern application life cycle, where is the center of gravity and how is that impacting your infrastructure decision? The other body of research is all about observability and really automation and monitoring across that environment because things aren't predictable, they are all inside the walls of a data center.
And due to that, it's a question of, are people using individual tools, or how are they getting that full perspective. And that's full perspective from operations perspective as well as kind of from that ThinOps perspective. So, the third one's all about, what's the role of the telco, of a managed service provider, of the edge? So, when I'm thinking about these new applications, how are those different locations playing into that modern application kind of strategy and architecture?
Doug: Yeah. And a lot of that is, like, infrastructure being abstracted, right? It's really a service level. It's API-driven. So, from a developer, you just want to be making API calls if you're the Ops team, it's really about best fit, right? So, you want to sort of have the right tier of the application in the right environment. So, we're really sort of upleveling how we think about infrastructure really as a service model, right?
We're saying having a private cloud, so I imagine that would be in scope for this research as well.
Mark: Absolutely. I think to say what you just said just a slightly different way, it's all the kind of what's the kind of unit of measurement or what's the unit that IT uses? And in the past, it was about, you know, unboxing racks of servers, racks of storage, networking and putting it together. Then it became, okay, virtual machine, that's the new unit of measurement. Then it became containers, but containers really isn't the unit of measurement to me, to me it's really this data center.
And this data center, as a unit of services, that can reside in multiple places. So, I think that's the fascinating thing to watch is, just how are they putting those pieces together to ultimately kind of support the really kind of innovation that's happening in the cloud with the reality of what's happening inside the data center?
Doug: So, the connective tissue across the three different research studies really is the face of the modern data center. I got to imagine you're going to be looking at sort of stages of maturity by different types of organizations, you know, company age and industry. What about persona? So, if I'm a vendor and I'm selling you to the space, I got to be thinking that, you know, my stakeholders are changing, and so persona development is probably top of mind.
Mark: It is. So, the persona has to be, you know, who's in charge of creating those new applications. So, I think that's an important persona. So, IT decision-maker inside of IT operations is critically important as well because they ultimately are getting the handoff of these new applications and saying, "Okay, I've got to be able to manage that."
And then I think the other persona, Doug, that's important as well, is really this kind of IT executive. And this plays different roles, it may go into a cloud center of excellence, it may go into more of a user experience, or more modern app development type of role, but somebody that's really looking across the business and say, "Okay, what is the future way that we're going to architect, plan, and ultimately deliver applications?"
Doug: I mean, the context of every company is now a technology company. The lines of business have to getting more and more involved in what we used to call IT. So, where are we with research? Are we in call for sponsors for all three studies? Is one coming out of the gate first?
Mark: So, we're going to have it in three waves. First wave is going to be about center of gravity. How are those applications changing modern infrastructure decision? Next wave come kind of, I'll say, mid-summertime. And that will be about observability and how people are really looking to monitor and automate across those environments. And then falltime, we'll do more of the, what's the impact of the telco, the MSP, kind of the edge environment, and really be able to pull all those pieces together.
Doug: Next step for prospective sponsors, they should contact?
Mark: Get in touch with us, right? Because it really does impact all of us at the end of the day, whether it is kind of IT operations, developer, security, business continuity. It really has a impact to all of us. So, all of the analysts here are really aware of it. So, feel free to reach out to any of us.