Software Appliances Will Make the Cloud Take Off
There’s a lot of talk about cloud computing in enterprises today, but not as much action as you might think. According to Forrester Research, only 1 percent of workloads will actually run in the cloud next year. So, what’s keeping VARs and their enterprise customers from jumping into the cloud? Here are some of the challenges plus a look at why I believe software appliances will propel the cloud forward.
What’s holding the cloud back? One oft-cited reason is security. Once you put a critical workload “out there” in a public cloud, who’s accountable? Who’s to say it’s safe from hackers and thieves?
Regulatory compliance is another cause for concern. And management. CIOs are looking to simplify their data centers, but there’s always the possibility that one more layer will just make matters worse.
Now, Some Solutions
Intelligent workload management (IWM) is one approach that is helping to minimize concerns about cloud computing. IWM integrates identity management capabilities into application workloads, thus enabling built-in security, manageability, regulatory compliance and portability.
But before intelligent workload management can become a reality, there must be intelligent workloads. And that’s where software appliances come in. Software appliances let you deliver simplified, highly portable solutions free of the maintenance headaches that have often plagued enterprise IT—solutions that you can test, deploy and scale to your customers’ specific needs. In effect, software appliances make it possible to “mass customize” application delivery.
The SUSE Appliance Program is a good place to get started building software appliances. This program lets you develop applications for intelligent workloads that operate securely and efficiently across physical, virtual and cloud environments.
Making Software Appliance Moves
IBM is taking advantage of the program to deliver a portfolio of software appliances powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. But you don’t have to be Big Blue to build and/or support software appliances. Thousands of ISVs and SIs have signed up for the program, and many are using SUSE Studio Online to build appliances.
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is the OS you may want to consider for your software appliances. It can be easily tailored to provide just enough operating system (JeOS). In other words, you only use what your application needs. And your customers get only what they want, and nothing more. The result is a more efficient, streamlined deployment for you, and a lower price for your customer.
Do you have an idea for a software appliance that will help cloud computing—and your business—take off?
Dan Dufault is global director of partner marketing at Novell. Guest blogs such as this one are part of The VAR Guy’s annual sponsorship program.