|By John Treadway||
|July 13, 2009 11:45 PM EDT||
Following Unisys’ recent announcement regarding their cloud computing strategy (Unisys Moves to Break Through Barriers to Adoption of Cloud Computing) I had the opportunity to speak with Rich Marcello, president of Unisys Systems & Technology, and Sam Gross, VP of Unisys Global IT Outsourcing Solutions. What struck me was the coherence and clarity of their cloud computing vision as compared to HP or IBM.
Unisys’ strategy bridges public, private and hybrid cloud models, and includes well-differentiated infrastructure, platform and software as a service offerings (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS). Further, they wrap this all in a set of comprehensive service offerings that they can deliver globally. It’s a big vision, and if they can pull it off it should make them one of the more interesting providers out there. One of their key differentiators is Unisys Stealth (described below).
The Big Picture
As you see here, Unisys is providing a pretty comprehensive vision.
- Private Cloud – Unisys will turn your existing data center assets into a private internal cloud with all of the things you’d expect – virtualization, automated provisioning, etc.
- External Cloud – through a network of five data centers owned an operated by Unisys, they will provide companies with external cloud computing environments. This is not really a public cloud in that people can’t just come in and sign up. It’s part of their managed services portfolio and is tightly aligned with their private cloud solutions.
- Cloud-in-a-Box – due later this year, Cloud-in-a-Box will be a pre-configured cloud infrastructure delivered either as software or with a software+hardware model. This is like Joyent or Enomaly.
- Hybrid – early next year Unisys plans to provide a hybrid cloud model where your applications can run on both internal and external cloud resources. This is a virtual data center model.
XaaS – X as a Service
To my knowledge, Unisys is the first to publicly support having a complete set of offerings for XaaS. Amazon is really IaaS, and Google is more of a PaaS play. Salesforce is a combined PaaS/SaaS offering (PaaS for force.com and SaaS for their SFA/CRM applications). Even within these offerings, Unisys has some interesting differentiation.
- IaaS – most public clouds are built on a “scale out” model with many smaller machines. In addition to “scale out,” Unisys also includes “scale up” capabilities to allow you to use large, enterprise-class hardware in your cloud (for running databases, for example). What’s important about this is that Unisys allows you to provision servers that match the software licenses you already own. If you have an Oracle database license for an 8-way Solaris server with 8GB of RAM, you can’t use that on Amazon’s EC2.
- PaaS: Java and .NET – Unlike Salesforce which requires you to program to their model, Unisys provides a container model to allow your Java and .NET applications to run in the cloud. You write the application and deploy into these containers – you don’t have to install or manage the core components (e.g. WebSphere and DB2 or Windows and Oracle), you just deploy your applications. This should appeal to IT.
- SaaS – while the offering is a bit limited at this point, Unisys is offering a set of end user business applications in their cloud (email, SharePoint, virtual desktops).
- My Secure Application as a Service: AaaS – this is where an existing application you have deployed can be moved into the cloud and managed from a provisioning and security perspective.
Unisys claims to have an 800-person services organization that can provide a complete range of assessment, advisory and implementation services to their customers. This is in contrast to what they termed “do-it-yourself” clouds from the other guys.
Unisys Stealth – A Secret Weapon
As has been reported in many quarters, security is the #1 deterrent to more enterprise cloud adoption. While Unisys uses standard enterprise-grade security technologies you’d expect to find in a large IT shop, they also have a unique solution called Unisys Stealth (link goes to a paper describing Stealth that is specifically targeting the Defense industry). Announced last November, Stealth is a network appliance that makes data and even hardware (desktops and servers) invisible to network sniffers and other similar technologies.
Stealth works at the link layer (layer 2) of the TCP/IP stack, which means that every packet on the network is cloaked unless you have the right key.
“The result is a cloaked network that secures data-in-motion
and hides servers and PCs in plain sight. Devices that do
not have the same workgroup key remain cloaked from
unauthorized eyes. Without the correct key, users cannot ask
for the data from the server or send data to the server or
workstation. They can’t even ping the server or workstation.”
So now you can run any application in the cloud and only authorized users (controlled by your network administrators) can access the information. Stealth even applies to your storage infrastructure — your SAN becomes invisible and therefore inaccessible to hackers. All of this is accomplished without any changes to your application. You add the appliance to your network, Unisys deploys it in the cloud, and voila – instant cloaking.
Unisys has articulated a comprehensive and cohesive cloud computing vision, while simultaneously addressing security in a new and very powerful way. If they deliver all that they are claiming, Unisys should be well-positioned for success in the great cloud migration.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Dec. 7, 2016 08:15 PM EST Reads: 2,194
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
Dec. 7, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 260
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Dec. 7, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 926
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Dec. 7, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,748
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
Dec. 7, 2016 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,675
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal...
Dec. 7, 2016 04:15 PM EST Reads: 362
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Dec. 7, 2016 03:45 PM EST Reads: 2,262
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Dec. 7, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 1,778
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Dec. 7, 2016 02:30 PM EST Reads: 941
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 02:30 PM EST Reads: 4,318
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Dec. 7, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 2,200
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Dec. 7, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 3,388
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Dec. 7, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 1,119
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 01:45 PM EST Reads: 1,121
"At ROHA we develop an app called Catcha. It was developed after we spent a year meeting with, talking to, interacting with senior citizens watching them use their smartphones and talking to them about how they use their smartphones so we could get to know their smartphone behavior," explained Dave Woods, Chief Innovation Officer at ROHA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 648
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2017 New York. The 20th Cloud Expo and 7th @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Internet to enable us all to im...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 747
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 848
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,126
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 11:30 AM EST Reads: 697
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Dec. 7, 2016 11:15 AM EST Reads: 2,304