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IT Strategy Authors: Anders Wallgren, Peter Silva, Ashish Nanjiani, Liz McMillan, Robin Miller

Related Topics: Cloud Computing, Microservices Journal, DevOps Journal

Blog Post

The Needs and Visions of a Cloud Ecosystem | @CloudExpo @FalconStor #Cloud

Exclusive Q&A with Steve Ahlgrim, Business Development Manager at FalconStor

"Our customers see PaaS and IaaS as cost-saving models to be applied based on specific project needs," noted Steve Ahlgrim, Business Development Manager at FalconStor, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff. "Depending on their level of IT expertise and staffing, PaaS can be the most cost effective solution."

Cloud Computing Journal: It seems we're now in the era of hybrid cloud and multi-cloud. To what degree does this hold true for your customers?

Steve Ahlgrim: Our customers are constantly striving to get the most out of their storage environments, the most performance, the most flexibility, and in the most cost-efficient manner possible. The cloud brings them a whole new level of flexibility and options to the management of their storage environments. Integrating the cloud seamlessly into their environment is exactly what Software Defined Storage (SDS) is meant to do.

Just as in the past there were different tiers of storage ranging from tape to high-speed disk, today's storage options expand these tiers to now include hybrid clouds and multi clouds. Our customers require the flexibility to manage seamlessly their existing local storage systems and migrate intelligently the data that can be more efficiently stored in the cloud. With our intelligent SDS platform FreeStor, they can easily do it all from a single pane of glass interface.

Cloud Computing Journal: What role do you see PaaS playing for your customers and to what degree is PaaS being integrated into IaaS?

Ahlgrim: Our customers see PaaS and IaaS as cost-saving models to be applied based on specific project needs. Depending on their level of IT expertise and staffing, PaaS can be the most cost effective solution. But as more services are required, or more hand-holding is needed, the PaaS model morphs into an IaaS model quite easily. The key drawback is that sometimes there is a loss of control by the company as they hand off more and more responsibility to the "hosters" to manage their systems. It is a cost/benefit and span of control/governance equation each company must evaluate for themselves, as there is no single right answer. "It depends" is still the ultimate IT response to questions.

MSPs can mitigate these drawbacks by offering client-accessible multi-tenant applications. Where with controlled access MSPs can let clients manage their own systems, building, dismantling and expanding their environment as they need to. This adds to the agility of their projects and can save them money as they can avoid engaging the MSP for mundane tasks like increasing capacity.

There are currently many MSPs who are FreeStor customers that let clients manage their hosted storage infrastructure through the FreeStor console. This provides clients with secure, isolated access to their PaaS or IaaS environments to manage their storage environments and even handle the migration of data back and forth from the MSP and their local data center. Again, it is self-service that is saving the client money and delivering the flexibility they want.

Cloud Computing Journal: How important are containers and microservices to your company and to your customers?

Ahlgrim: The goal of any business is to be agile in their methods to deliver new products and services. With container tools such as Docker this now opens up to DevOps a new expressway for development.

While the application of "containers" is not new, its value has increased as IT resources are dwindling. Especially with the availability of good DevOps people, they are getting harder to find. This underscores the importance of being flexible to new processes and architectures in order to maintain a competitive edge. The main challenge we see is the security has still not been addressed thoroughly enough for enterprise environments and true-multi-tenancy environments. Until that happens, adoption will be slow.

Cloud Computing Journal: To what degree does an entire cloud ecosystem play a role in your customer needs and visions?

Ahlgrim: A cloud ecosystem is an integral part of 100% of our customer's visions. What we see as a challenge for our customers are the "needs" versus the vision. What do they "need" to put into the cloud?

They know there are benefits for them in the cloud but what to move there and how are still mysteries. Their native systems lack the intelligence to help them with this decision. Plus, companies see that they will have a combined solution for quite a while still, both local data center infrastructure and cloud infrastructure. How does that get managed without adding more complexity and work on their already stretched IT staff?

This is where the key roles of PaaS, IaaS and SaaS have to adapt and seamlessly work with a customer's existing, local data center infrastructure. For instance, our SDS platform FreeStor manages storage across different vendors and with various cloud solutions as well as offering a single point for IT staff to manage the data regardless of where it resides. Plus, FreeStor provides the intelligent predictive analytics across the storage ecosystem to help customers make smart decisions about what should be stored in the cloud. Finally, FreeStor even handles the actual migration of the data into the cloud.

The role of single, intelligent, and heterogeneous SDS solution combining local and cloud storage systems is vital to companies as they grow to meet the needs and visions of a cloud ecosystem.

Steve Ahlgrim is Business Development Manager at FalconStor. He joined FalconStor in 2011 as a Senior Systems Architect to design and consult with clients on building mission-critical storage solutions. In July 2015, he was asked to be the Business Development Manager for the Midwest territory. With over 20 years of experience as a Systems Engineer he offers a unique blend of industry technical knowledge combined with business acumen.

Mr. Ahlgrim has worked for companies such as Cray Research, Tandem/HP where he focused on the Non-Stop platforms and the StorageWorks division. He earned a bachelor's degree in computer science from Bradley University and holds an MBA from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

FalconStor will be exhibiting at Cloud Expo New York, June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center.

@ThingsExpo - The World's Largest 'Internet of Things' Event, June 7-9 2016 at New York City's Javits Center!

Secrets of Sponsors and ExhibitorsHere
Secrets of Cloud Expo SpeakersHere

All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2016 New York
(June 7-9, 2016, Javits Center, Manhattan)

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley
(November 1-3, 2016, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be.

Register for @CloudExpo/@ThingsExpo 'FREE' Before Friday! Here

Delegates to @ThingsExpo will be able to attend 14 simultaneous, information-packed education tracks.

There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content.

Join @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 7-9, 2016 in New York City, for three days of intense 'Internet of Things' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indespensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) IoT's use in Vertical Markets.

Your conference registration includes all 14 @CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo Tracks:

01 @CloudExpo: Enterprise Cloud Adoption
02 @CloudExpo: DevOps, Continuous Delivery and APIs
03 @CloudExpo: Mobility & Security
04 @CloudExpo: Containers & Microservices

05 @ThingsExpo: Big Data's Use in IoT & Analytics
06 @ThingsExpo: Smart Grids & Industrial 'Internet of Things'
07 @ThingsExpo: Show Me the Money! - IoT Developer Track
08 @ThingsExpo: Wearables & Consumer IoT

Hot Topics - Day 1:
09 @ThingsExpo: Vertical 'Internet of Things' Markets
10
@ThingsExpo: Identity in IoT, RTC & WebRTC

Hot Topics - Day 2:
11 @CloudExpo: Modern Data Centers
12 @ThingsExpo: Node.js & Event-Driven Architecture

Hot Topics - Day 3:
13 @CloudExpo: Cognitive Computing / Machine Learning
14
@ThingsExpo: Maker Movement & the IoT

Register FREE Before Friday! Here


A General Session, November 3-5, 2015 in Silicon Valley

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2016 New York
(June 7-9, 2016, Javits Center, Manhattan)

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley
(November 1-3, 2016, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

Speaking Proposals Open
Fourth International @ThingsExpo, co-located with 18th International @CloudExpo - being held June 7-9, 2016 at the Javits Center in New York City, announces that its Call for Papers for speaking opportunities is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.

Submit your speaking proposal today! ▸ Here

Sponsorship Opportunities Open
@ThingsExpo, June 7-9, 2016 at the Javits Center in New York City, is co-located with 18th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

Sponsor and Exhibit at @ThingsExpoHere
Download Show ProspectusHere

Secrets of Sponsors and ExhibitorsHere
Secrets of Cloud Expo SpeakersHere

Show Me The Money!
How We Built and Scaled an IoT Platform and Business

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).

Download Chris Matthieu Keynote Slide Deck: ▸ Here

@ThingsExpo Named the World's Most Influential IoT Media Brand

@ThingsExpo has been named the Top Most Influential Internet of Things'Media Brand' by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.'

Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation.

Intel and Cisco have been named the world's most influential IoT brands, followed by SYS-CON Media's global IoT event, @ThingsExpo as the world's most influential IoT media brand. [continued]

New York and Silicon Valley Sponsors and Exhibitors
During our last New York and Silicon Valley events, over 12,000 (audited) delegates registered and participated at @ThingsExpo, in the world's largest 'Internet of Things' event, colocated with @CloudExpo. Our conference delegates met with over 160 of the world's leading technology pioneers that were among the sponsors and exhibitors, including:


Our Demo Theater on the Expo Floor attracts more delegates than the entire conference of other events

Acision, Actifio, ActiveState, AgilePoint, AIC , Akana, AlertLogic, Ambernet, Amplidata, Apacer Memory America Inc., Appcore, AppDynamics, AppZero, Aria Systems, Arista Networks, Automic, Avere Systems, Axis Communications, B2CLOUD, Basic6, Bestwebdesignagencies.com, Bitium, Blue Box , BMC, BroadSoft, Brother , Bsquare, BUMI, CA, Inc., Calm.io, CenturyLink, Ciqada, CiRBA, Cisco, Cloudant, an IBM Company, Cloudian, CoalFire, CodeFutures, COLUMN Technologies, CommVault, connect2.me, Connected Data, CrashPlan/Code42, Creative Business Solutions , Cynny Italia S.r.l, Dasher, dcVAST, DEAC, Dell, DevOps.com, Distrix , DragonGlass, Dyn, Edgecast , ElasticBox, Emcien, Endstream Communications/Open Data Centers, EnterpriseDB, e-SignLive, by Silanis, Esri, Evident.io, FierceDevOps, FireHost, Genband, Gigamon, GoodData, Gridstore, Harbinger Group , IAPP, IBM, IDenticard Access Control, Imperva, IndependenceIT, Infor, InMage, Innodisk, Intelligent Systems, Isomorhpic , ITinvolve, iwNetworks, Ixia, iXsystems , Jelastic, Kintone, KOTRA , Liaison, Litmus Automation, MangoApps, Matrix.org, MediaTek Labs, MetraTech (now part of Ericsson), Microsoft, Navisite, Net Access , Nimble Storage, NuoDB, Inc., Objectivity, OMG, Open Data Centers, OpenCrowd, Optimal Design, Oracle, OutSystems, Parasoft, Peak10, Peer 1 Hosting, PluralSight, Plutora, ProfitBricks, PubNub, Quality Technology Services , Quantum, Qubell, RackWare , Rancher Labs, Red Hat, r-evolutionapp , RingStor, Robomq.io, SafeLogic, SAP, ScaleMP, Seagate, Secure Infrastructure & Services, Sematext , SendGrid , Serena Software, Sherweb, SimpleECM, Site 24x7, Smartvue Corporation, SOASTA, SoftLayer, an IBM Company, SoftwareAG, Soha, Solgenia, SPAN Systems, Spirent, StackIQ, Stateless Networks, Storpool, Stratogent, Stratoscale, Supermicro, SUSE, Tau Institute, Telecity, Telehouse, Telestax, The New York Times , The Vision Times, TierPoint, TMCnet, Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium, Tufin, Ulunsoft, Utimaco, VASCO Data Security, Veeam, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, Vicom Computer Services, VictorOps, Virtustream, VITRIA Technology, Vormetric, WHOA.com, Will Jaya, Windstream, WSM - Website Movers International, Zentera Systems, Zerto.


New York City June 2015 Expo Floor


Silicon Valley November 2015 Expo Floor

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo Has Been a Must-Attend Event for Ericsson
This week, the team assembled in NYC for @Cloud Expo 2015 and @ThingsExpo 2015. For the past four years, this has been a must-attend event for MetraTech. We were happy to once again join industry visionaries, colleagues, customers and even competitors to share and explore the ways in which the Internet of Things (IoT) will impact our industry. Over the course of the show, we discussed the types of challenges we will collectively need to solve to capitalize on the opportunity IoT presents. [continued]

About SYS-CON Media & Events
SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com) has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events. The company's internationally recognized brands include among others Cloud Expo® (@CloudExpo), Big Data Expo® (@BigDataExpo), DevOps Summit (@DevOpsSummit), @ThingsExpo® (@ThingsExpo), Containers Expo (@ContainersExpo) and Microservices Expo (@MicroservicesE).

Cloud Expo®, Big Data Expo® and @ThingsExpo® are registered trademarks of Cloud Expo, Inc., a SYS-CON Events company.

More Stories By Elizabeth White

News Desk compiles and publishes breaking news stories, press releases and latest news articles as they happen.

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