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Cloudy skies ahead

Concluding the cloud computing tour: Lessons learned & tools galore

JAX Editorial Team
cloud
© Shutterstock / ktsdesign

Our cloud computing interview series may be over, but we learned a lot from the experts! Take a look at the recap and find out what you might have missed about the present and future of cloud computing.

Put away the tanning lotion and sunglasses because our skies are looking cloudy. Cloud-related technologies are growing at a rapid pace and therefore, we are trying to keep up.

According to the bi-annual CNCF survey, the “use of cloud-native technologies in production has grown over 200%”. Because of its popularity, here at JAXenter, we recently concluded our tour of cloud computing interview series. 13 experts weighed in on the present and future of this technology.

We want to say thank you to all of our interview guests and also take another look at the lessons learned and advice given. Here’s what you may have missed!

Tools of the trade

We asked the experts what their favorite tools, services, and platforms are. Be sure to act accordingly add these to your toolkit!

Abby Kearns: Obviously, Cloud Foundry is my favorite Platform as a Service (PaaS). Honestly, it would be my favorite even if I did not lead the Cloud Foundry Foundation, its open source software home. It continues to offer organizations the opportunity to automate as much of the application deployment and management process as possible, making it easy for developers to get their code into production as quickly as possible, while also making it simple for operators to manage and scale the platform and applications.

Abby Kearns is the Executive Director of Cloud Foundry Foundation.

Oleg Chunikhin: AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud – each has its own strengths and weaknesses. We tend to favor tools that allow us and our customers to mix and match, combine, develop and migrate application across clouds.

Oleg Chunikhin is the CTO of Kublr.

Ross Kukulinski: I’ve recently fallen in love with Visual Studio Code Live Share which allows my team to share a Visual Code session.  Everyone can collaborate on the same project and run commands in a shared terminal, all in real time.

Ross Kukulinski is Senior Project Manager at Heptio.

Carlos Sanchez: In particular, the Google Kubernetes Engine makes application deployment much easier and far less complex compared to more traditional tools as it abstracts infrastructure elements.

Carlos Sanchez is the Principal Software Engineer at CloudBees.

Shiven Ramji: Personally, my favorite cloud tools at the moment are services that make hosting website front-ends very easy. Netlify and Zeit have built some neat tools for specific developers and use cases, and I also like VS Code because it has powerful features with little configuration.

Shiven Ramji is VP of Product at DigitalOcean.

Vince Arneja: IFTTT – If you loved geometry like myself, that’s why I love IFTTT (if this then that), which uses conditional statements to sync your favorite online accounts.

Vince Arneja is Chief Product Officer at 5nine.

The good, the bad, the cloud

On one hand, we know there are a lot of benefits of cloud-based infrastructures. Despite this, are there any drawbacks? The experts weighed both sides. Given these points, you can make your own informed choice.

Terry Shea: Benefits are speed of deployment, scalability, and operational as opposed to capital expenses. Drawbacks are the decentralization of spend decisions, cloud-vendor lock-in, and high scaling can equal high cost.

Terry Shea is a member of the senior management team at Kublr.

Shiven Ramji: Cloud infrastructure is often cheaper than legacy data centers, enables more agile development and also offers performance benefits when actually running applications…For enterprises, migrating to the cloud is often a very challenging prospect, which involves a lot of moving parts.

Abby Kearns: A cloud-based infrastructure enables businesses to take advantage of all the benefits the cloud can bring  – which means allowing applications to be more agile, scale quickly, be resilient, and be available to customers and employees wherever there is internet. The only drawback is that in order for applications to take advantage of all of this automation, they need to be written in a cloud-native way – meaning they should be written in a way that does not require stateful connections to specific infrastructure.

Brian Johnson: Many developers have adopted a Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) method that involves frequent releases. In this new method to development, it is imperative that continuous security validation is an element of the overall process before code is released.

Brian Johnson is the CEO and co-founder of DivvyCloud.

Evolution into serverless

Serverless is shaping up into much more than just a marketing buzzword! What do these experts love about it? (Additionally, don’t forget to check out the newest edition of JAX Magazine: Serverless Vs Containers!)

Brian Johnson: It is an evolution of the cloud and should be an important part of every company’s portfolio, but it isn’t the right approach for every application and workload. Companies need to be pragmatic in their approach to cloud adoption.

Jeff KeyesI love serverless. It is the natural evolution of microservices. Being able to pay for exactly what is used is a game changer, and I think many organisations will get a ‘top-down’ push to move architectures in that direction.

Jeff Keyes is the Director of Product Marketing at Plutora.

Patrick O’Keeffe: With serverless, you can deploy an individual function within that application separately. This gives you enormous flexibility and agility.

Patrick O’Keeffe is Vice President of Software Engineering at Quest.

Kubernetes & Cloud: BFFs

When it comes to operating in the cloud, Kubernetes is one of the most highly recommended tools. What makes it so perfect? Don’t take just our word for it. In this case, listen to what the experts had to say about this perfect partnership.

Ben Newton: Kubernetes is absolutely central to cloud adoption, and taking it one step further, is crucial for widespread multi-cloud adoption. AWS, Azure and GCP have all adopted Kubernetes on their platforms, which means the confusing and clashing standards for running server-style applications on those platforms are now less of an issue

Ben Newton is the director of product marketing at Sumo Logic.

Peter Meulbroek: One of the common use cases that Kubernetes is great at is the one we discussed earlier: lower environments in the Cloud, production on premises. This is frequently one of the best ways to start the Cloud journey. It also provides the only really interesting option for cloud-agnostic deployments that we have seen.

Peter Meulbroek is the Global Head of DevOps Solutions at Risk Focus.

John Mathon: Kubernetes definitely seems like it has become the de facto standard, and we think that’s remarkable. It has become amazingly prevalent in that all cloud services offer hosted Kubernetes environments, and everybody is talking about Kubernetes as a way to host an environment. I would be 100% behind this approach.

John Mathon is the CEO of Agile Stacks.

Vamsi Chemitiganti: The reasons why it [Kubernetes] became so essential as a cloud enabler are rooted in its mature container management model built in with the pod structure, and the services that are fronting these pods, like distributed labels and the ability to manage a given set of pods as a single entity.

Vamsi Chemitiganti is Chief Strategist at Platform9.

Read the interview series in full!

  • Abby Kearns: “It’s very important for technology to be cloud-compatible, if not cloud-native”
  • Oleg Chunikhin & Terry Shea“Serverless is another step towards improving productivity, especially in DevOps and operations”
  • Peter Meulbroek“Cloud-neutral adds a large amount of complexity and risk to a migration, without really solving the issue”
  • Ross Kukulinski“Observability is an essential component when successfully operating software in the cloud”
  • Carlos Sanchez“A seamless multi-cloud experience is currently practically impossible”
  • Ben Newton“Kubernetes is crucial for widespread multi-cloud adoption”
  • Shiven Ramji“The next step is to make integrations between cloud services as easy as possible”
  • Brian Johnson“Cloud-based infrastructure by itself doesn’t deliver huge benefits”
  • Vince Arneja“The Fn project is one technology to watch out for as it has great potential”
  • Jeff Keyes“Serverless is the natural evolution of microservices”
  • John Mathon“The cloud gives us a lot of tools for producing better security”
  • Vamsi Chemitiganti“Every enterprise should run on hybrid cloud” 
  • Patrick O’Keeffe“Don’t take the cloud provider’s word for it”