and governance are the arbiters of success or failure when we look
across a cloud services ecosystem and the full lifecycle of those
applications. That's why governance is so important in the budding era of cloud computing.
cloud-delivered services become the coin of the productivity realm,
how those services are managed as they are developed, deployed, and
used—across a services lifecycle—increasingly determines their
And yet governance is still too often fractured, poorly extended across the development-and-deployment continuum, and often not able to satisfy the new complexity inherent in cloud models.
key bellwether for future service environments and for defining the
role and requirements for automated cloud governance is in applications development, which, due to the popularity of platform as a service (PaaS), is already largely a services ecosystem.
Here to help us explain why baked-in visibility across services creation and deployment is essential please join Jeff Papows, President and CEO of WebLayers and the author of Glitch: The Hidden Impact of Faulty Software, and John McDonald, CEO of CloudOne Corp. The discussion is moderated by BriefingsDirect's Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Here are some excerpts:
McDonald: Cloud, from a technology perspective, is more about some very sophisticated tools that are used to virtualize the workloads and the data and move them live from one bank of servers to another, and from one whole data center to another, without the user really being aware of it. But, fundamentally, cloud computing is about getting access to a data center that's my data center on-demand.
Fundamentally, the easiest way to remember it is that cloud is to hardware as software as a service (SaaS) is to software. Basically, for CloudOne, we're providing IBM Rational Development tools both through cloud computing and SaaS.
There's a myth that development is something that we ought to be
tooling up for, like providing power to a building or water service. In
reality, that’s not how it works at all.
There are people who come and go with different roles
throughout the development process. The front-end business analysts
play a big role in gathering requirements. Then, quite often, architects
take over and design the application software or whatever we are
building from those requirements. Then, the people doing the coding—developers—take over. That rolls into testing and that rolls into
deployment. And, as this lifecycle moves through, these roles wax and
But the traditional model of getting development tools doesn’t really work that way at all.
You usually buy all of the tools that you will ever need up front,
usually with a large purchase, put them on servers, and let them sit
there, until the people who are going to use them log in and use
them. But, while they are sitting there, taking up space and your
capital expense budget, and not being used, that’s waste.
cloud model allows you to spin up and spin down the appropriate amount
of software and hardware to support the realities of the software development lifecycle.
The money that you save by doing that is the reason you can open any
trade magazine and the first seven pages are all going to be about
It's allowing customers of CloudOne and IBM Rational to
use that money in new, creative, interesting ways to provide tools
they couldn't afford before, to start pilots of different, more
sophisticated technologies that they wouldn't have been able to gather
the resources to do before. So, it's not only a cost-savings
statement, it's also ease of use, ease of start-up, and an ability to
get more for your dollar from the development process. That's a pretty cool thing all the way around.
Papows: A lot of about what’s going on in cloud computing it’s not a particularly new thing. What we used to think of was hosting or outsourcing. What’s happening now is the world is becoming more mobile, as 20 percent of our IT capacity is focused on new application development.
have to get more creative and more distributed about the talent that
contributes to those critical application development and projects.
... Design time governance is the next logical thing in that
continuum, so that all of the inherent risk mitigation associated with
governance and then IT contacts can be applied to application
development in a hybrid model that’s both geographically and
When you try to add some linear
structure and predictability to those hybrid models, the constant that
can provide some order and some efficiency is not purely
technology-based. It's not just the virtualization, the added virtual machine capacity, or even the middleware to include companies like WebLayers or tools like Rational. It's the process that goes along with it. One of the really important things about design-time governance is the review process.
is a big part of the technology toolset that institutionalizes that
review process and adds that order to what otherwise can quickly become
a bit chaotic.
challenge of tools in the old days was that they were largely created
during a time where all the people and the development project were
sitting on the same floor with each other in a bunch of cubes in
As the challenges of development have caused companies to look at outsourcing and off-shoring,
but even more simplistically the merger of my bank and your bank.
Then we have groups of developers in two different cities, or we
bought a packaged application, and the best skill to help us integrate
it is actually from a third-party partner which is in a completely
different city or country. Those tools have shown their weaknesses,
even in just getting your hands on them.
How do I punch a hole
through the firewall to give you a way to check in your code problems?
The cloud allows us to create a dedicated new data center that sits
on the Internet and is accessible to all, wherever they are, and in
whatever time zone they are working, and whatever relationship they
have to my company.
That frees things up to be collaborative
across company boundaries. But with that freedom comes a great
challenge in unifying a process across all of those different people,
and getting a collaborative engine to work across all those people.
almost a requirement to keep the wheels on the bus and to have some
degree of ability to manage the process in the compliance with
regulations and the information about how decisions were made in such
distributed ways that they are traceable and reviewable. It’s really not possible to achieve such a distributed development environment without that governance guidance.
Papows: We're dealing with some challenges for the first time that require out-of-the-box thinking. I talk about this in "Glitch."
We have reached a point where there a trillion connected devices on
the Internet as the February of this year. There are a billion embedded
transistors for every human being on the planet.
You’ve read about or heard about or experienced first hand the disasters that can happen
in production environments, where you have some market-facing
application, where service is lost, where there is even brand damage or
... Everybody intellectually buys into
governance, but nobody individually wants to be governed. Unless you
automate it, unless you provide the right stack of tools and codify
the best practices and libraries that can be reusable, it simply won’t
happen. People are people, and without the automation to make it
natural, unnatural things get applied some percentage of the time, and
governance can’t work that way.
view themselves quite often as artists. They may not articulate it
that way, but they often see themselves as artists and their palette
As such, they immediately rankle at any notion that,
as artists, they should be governed. Yet, as we’ve already
established, that guidance for them around the processes, methods,
regulations, and so on is absolutely critical for success, really in any
size organization, but beyond the pale in a distributed development environment. So, how do you deal with that issue?
Well, you embed it into their entire environment from the very first stage.
In most companies, this is trying to decide what projects we should
undertake, which in a lot of companies is a mainly over-glorified email
has to be embedded at every step of that way, gently nudging, and
sometimes shuttling all these players back into the right line, when it
comes to ensuring that the result of their effort is compliant with
whatever it is that I needed to be compliant to.
In short, you’ve got to make it be a part of and embedded into every stage of the development process, so that it largely disappears,
and becomes something that becomes such a natural extension of the
tool so that you don’t have anyone along the way realizing that they
are being governed
was the very first partner that we reached out to say, "Can you go
down this journey with us together, as we begin developing these
workbenches, these integrated toolsets, and delivering them through the
cloud on-demand?" We already know and see that embedding governance
in every layer is something we have to be able to do out of the gate.
team at WebLayers was phenomenal in responding to that request and we
were able to take several based instances of various Rational tools,
embed into them WebLayers technology, and based on how the cloud
works, archive those, put them up in our library to be able to be
pulled down off-the-shelf, cloned, and made an instance of for the
various customers that we have coming to our pipeline who want to
experience this technology in what we are doing.
avoidance of things going badly is unfortunately very difficult to
measure. That is something that everyone who attempts to do a
cloud-delivered development environment and does the right thing by
embedding in it the right governance guidance should know coming out of
the gate. The best thing that’s going to happen is you are not going
to have a catastrophe.
That said, one of the neat things about
having a common workbench, and having the kinds of reporting in
metrics that it can measure, meaning the IBM Jazz,
along with the WebLayers technology, is that I can get a very
detailed view of what’s going on in my software factory at every turn
of the crank and where things are coming off the rails a little bit.
There's an age-old expression that you're so close to the forest you
can't see the trees. Well, I think in the IT business we’re sometime
so deeply embedded in the bark we can't see anything.
been developing, expanding, deploying, and reinventing on a massive
scale so rapidly for the last 30 years that we've reached a breaking
point where, as I said earlier, between the complexity curves, between
the lack of elasticity and human capital, between the explosion and
the amount of mobile computing devices and their propensity for
accessing all of this back-end infrastructure and applications, where
something fundamentally has to change. It's a problem on a scale that
can't be overwhelmed by simply throwing more bodies at it.
in the current economy, very few CIOs have elastic budgets. We have
to do as an industry what we've done from the very beginning, which is
to automate, innovate, and find creative solutions to combat the
convergence of all of those digital elements to what would otherwise be a perfect storm.
SaaS, cloud computing, automated governance, forms of artificial
intelligence, Rational tooling, consistent workbench methodologies, all
of these things are the instruments of getting ourselves out of the corner that we have otherwise painted ourselves in.
don't want to seem like an alarmist or try to paint too big a storm
cloud on the horizon, but this is simply not something that's going to
happen or be resolved in a business-as-usual usual fashion.
in fact, is where companies like CloudOne are able to expand and leap
productivity equations for companies in certain segments of the
market. That's where automation, whether it's Rational, WebLayers, or
another piece of technology, has got to be part of the recipe of
getting off this limb before we saw it off behind us.
McDonald: If you have any inclination at all to see what it is that Jeff and I are telling you, give it a whirl, because it's very simple.
one of the coolest things of all about this whole model, in my mind.
There there is simply no barrier for anyone to give this a try. In the
old model, if you wanted to give the technology a try, you had better
start with your calculator. And you had better get the names and
addresses of your board of directors, because you're going there
eventually to get the capital approval and so on to even get a pilot
project started in many cases with some of these very sophisticated
This is just not the case anymore. With the CloudOne environment
you can sign on this afternoon with a web-based form to get a
instance of let's say, Team Concert set up for you with WebLayers
technology embedded in it, in about 20 minutes from when you push
"submit," and it's absolutely free for the first model. From there, you
grow only as you need them, user-by-user. It's really quite simple to
give this concept a try and it's really very easy.
Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Read a transcript or download a copy.