Posts Tagged ‘SaaS’

Happy Birthday to the World Wide Web!

Lori Witzel

Product Marketing Manager, Spanning by EMC
Lori Witzel is a Salesforce MVP, has worked with and for SaaS companies since 2005, and has been sharing info with, listening to, and learning from tech users ever since. She is currently PMM for Spanning Backup for Salesforce, as well as PMM for Spanning Backup for Google Apps. Prior to Spanning Backup, Lori worked for various early-stage Cloud start-ups, mid-sized middleware providers, and ed tech firms, and she’s always eager to learn more. Lori's profile on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/loriwitzel

World map point, line, composition, representing the global.

As Dell EMC continues to innovate in SaaS, hybrid and public cloud technologies, here’s a hat-tip to another innovation that enables us to #GoBigWinBig – the World Wide Web, “born” on November 12, 1990.Some interesting facts about the World Wide Web:

  • The Internet and the World Wide Web are not the same thing. I’m sure some of you know that, but many don’t. Webopedia describes the Internet as “a massive network of networks, a networking infrastructure,” and the World Wide Web as an “information-sharing model that is built on top of the Internet.” In other words, the World Wide Web is a “portion of the Internet.”
  • The World Wide Web has two parents – Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau. They made a proposal to CERN on November 12, 1990 for a hypertext project to solve inefficiencies caused by “incompatibilities of the platforms and tools [that] make it impossible to access existing information through a common interface, leading to waste of time, frustration and obsolete answers to simple data lookup.”
  • Their original proposal provided early support for the concepts of open source and freeware. The proposal stipulated that information was open to additional enrichment by later contributors, and would “provide the software for the above free of charge to anyone.”

With the World Wide Web project, and the subsequent release of the Web browser Mosaic by Marc Andreessen in 1993, SaaS and Cloud as we know them today could be born.

The World Wide Web: Fundamental to the growth of SaaS and Cloud
With Web-enabled, browser-based applications, a global community of users was possible. And that possibility led to potential communities becoming growth markets for a new “computing paradigm where the boundaries of computing will be determined by economic rationale rather than technical limits alone.” The term “cloud computing,” to describe this change in boundary, was first used in 1997 by Ramnath Chellappa at that year’s Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) conference.

And as noted by Ana Cantu (formerly of Dell) in Forbes, “Within just a few years, companies began switching from hardware to cloud services because they were attracted to benefits like a reduction in capital costs as well as an easing in IT staffing issues.” (more…)

SaaS is Changing Everything – Including Data Loss Risk from Admin Error

Lori Witzel

Product Marketing Manager, Spanning by EMC
Lori Witzel is a Salesforce MVP, has worked with and for SaaS companies since 2005, and has been sharing info with, listening to, and learning from tech users ever since. She is currently PMM for Spanning Backup for Salesforce, as well as PMM for Spanning Backup for Google Apps. Prior to Spanning Backup, Lori worked for various early-stage Cloud start-ups, mid-sized middleware providers, and ed tech firms, and she’s always eager to learn more. Lori's profile on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/loriwitzel

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has a history unlike that of on-premises software, and the people who manage and administer SaaS applications reflect that difference. When it comes to data protection, that difference matters, as you’ll learn.

accidental admin

What is SaaS, and does it REALLY differ from on-premises or from hosted applications?
SaaS isn’t just some software sitting on a vendor-managed server in the cloud –  it’s significantly different from its predecessors, hosted and on-premises applications, in its delivery and its architecture.

  • A SaaS application is by definition cloud-based and multi-tenant, sharing IT resources securely in the cloud among multiple applications and tenants (businesses, organizations, schools). Multi-tenancy is the technical architecture that differentiates SaaS from hosted/ASP applications. The customer will access the application through a web browser, and is only responsible for managing the data and metadata (customizations) of their instance.
  • A hosted application is almost always a single-instance, single-tenant adaptation of an on-premises application. The customer may lease or own physical or virtualized servers upon which the application is installed, and will access it through a web browser or a thin client. The customer may be responsible for managing the servers, and is responsible for managing application upgrades and maintenance.
  • On-premises applications are installed on and operated from a customer’s in-house (on-premises) servers and computing infrastructure. The customer is responsible for application security, availability to the organization, and management.

How Did SaaS Come to PaaS?
In 1999, salesforce.com was founded, offering the first true multi-tenant architecture in a commercial software application. Its SaaS applications, such as Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, were developed on its Force.com Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). By foregoing conventional application development platforms and creating its own platform, salesforce.com freed itself from some of the performance limitations inherent in a standard relational database.

The salesforce.com achievement in creating a PaaS to enable SaaS, enabling them to scale up to support hundreds of thousands of intra- and inter-enterprise tenants (different departments, different organizations) was, to quote Computerworld, “complex, commendable and quite revolutionary.” (more…)

Education IT and the Cloud: 5 Parachutes to Pack as You Jump Into the Cloud

Lori Witzel

Product Marketing Manager, Spanning by EMC
Lori Witzel is a Salesforce MVP, has worked with and for SaaS companies since 2005, and has been sharing info with, listening to, and learning from tech users ever since. She is currently PMM for Spanning Backup for Salesforce, as well as PMM for Spanning Backup for Google Apps. Prior to Spanning Backup, Lori worked for various early-stage Cloud start-ups, mid-sized middleware providers, and ed tech firms, and she’s always eager to learn more. Lori's profile on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/loriwitzel

A growing number of K-12 and Higher Ed IT teams are adopting cloud and SaaS applications like Google Apps for Education or Microsoft Office 365 Education. The reasons are as varied as the school, district, or university – but in every case, these adoptions represent significant change within the organization.
education-cloud

Some of the reasons that education IT is moving to the cloud are that the cloud:

  • Increases collaboration. Through cloud computing’s ease of cross-classroom, cross-department, and cross-institution collaboration, instructors, staff, and students can work together in new and creative ways. Since collaboration is a significant component of Common Core, there’s increased interest among K-12 districts in exploring ways to use SaaS and cloud.
  • Supports innovation. By using cloud-based applications and systems, it’s easier for Higher Ed to open their technology infrastructure to business and industry research partners, fostering collaboration towards innovation and research.
  • Helps resource management scale. Cloud computing can help K-12 and Higher Ed manage ever-growing resource demands. Cloud and SaaS vendors manage most aspects of the required infrastructure, an infrastructure that used to need management on-premises by the IT team. Those vendors’ infrastructure is at a scale that produces efficiencies for their customers, whose resources can be freed up for new IT projects.
  • Reduces on-premises infrastructure risk. Cloud vendors are multiply redundant, security-hardened, FERPA-ready, and provide robust security infrastructures that reduce the risk and the impact of hardware and infrastructure failure. On-premises systems can be similarly hardened, but require resources for infrastructure and risk management.

In short, the cloud offers education IT and the institutions they support powerful benefits. Whether your school is evaluating a move to the cloud, or has decided to move, there are five best practices every K-12 or Higher Ed IT team should be prepared to implement. (more…)

Road to Efficiency, Part 2

Vladimir Mandic

Chief Technology Officer & Distinguished Engineer Data Protection Cloud, Core Technologies Division, Dell EMC
Vladimir has been driving technical innovation and change within EMC for the past 10 years, first in the area of data protection software and, currently, in cloud technologies. Prior to that, he’s had rich industry experience as a solution integrator and in the service provider space. When not working on technology innovation, he may be difficult to locate due to his passion for world travel.

Latest posts by Vladimir Mandic (see all)

As business look at cloud adoption, the question is, “What is the cloud good for?” Yes, the cloud can be efficient and elastic, but what would be its real use in complex environments?

A different way of looking at the road to the cloud is by considering where your data—both primary and secondary copies—resides.
efficiency2-1Cloud as 3rd copy
In a typical data center your primary file and application data would reside in on-premises storage arrays such as XtremIO, VMAX, VNX or Isilon. Second-level protection is offered via data protection solutions using secondary storage such as EMC Data Domain. As a last step, select data can be tiered to the cloud via products such as CloudBoost or CloudArray, to either private clouds built using ECS or public clouds. That means that data in the cloud is a 3rd tier of data. This is a good way to achieve efficiencies for specific use cases such as long-term retention, offsite copy of data, and data archiving while maintaining all primary processing within the data center.

Cloud as 2nd copy
A more direct way of using the cloud is by having data copied directly from primary storage to the cloud (that is, storage tiering) or protecting data directly to the cloud. This results in even higher efficiencies; however, this creates a much larger dependency on the cloud for operational recovery purposes as there is no second copy of data on premises.

Ideally, at this point we would look at direct-to-cloud tiering and protection with ability to maintain on-premises copies of active data for quick access.

Cloud as 1st copy
The last step in cloud adoption is where your primary data resides directly in the cloud, either with SaaS applications (such as Office 365, Salesforce, and Google Apps) or hosted applications running on cloud-based PaaS (such as developed using Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry platform) or IaaS (such as Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure). In that case, the need for data protection still remains even if infrastructure resiliency responsibility has moved to the cloud solution provider. And to achieve efficiencies, data protection solution and resulting data copies also reside in the cloud itself. However, in that case you may need to export data back to on-premises either for safety, compliancy, or other reasons. (more…)

Road to Efficiency, Part 1

Vladimir Mandic

Chief Technology Officer & Distinguished Engineer Data Protection Cloud, Core Technologies Division, Dell EMC
Vladimir has been driving technical innovation and change within EMC for the past 10 years, first in the area of data protection software and, currently, in cloud technologies. Prior to that, he’s had rich industry experience as a solution integrator and in the service provider space. When not working on technology innovation, he may be difficult to locate due to his passion for world travel.

Latest posts by Vladimir Mandic (see all)

In the new IT, there are so many buzzwords, especially around cloud services. Where does the cloud actually fit?
Clouds can be private or public, and they can serve traditional “Platform 2” applications as well as new “Platform 3” applications. So let’s look at cloud services from that perspective.
Road to Efficiency 1Of course, some things don’t change regardless of the quadrant of the matrix. We always need to:

  • Protect the data wherever it is
  • Simplify management across environments
  • Get more value out of the data

(more…)

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