Happy 4th Birthday, ParkMyCloud! Cloud Optimization Year in Review

Happy 4th Birthday, ParkMyCloud! Cloud Optimization Year in Review

It’s that time of year again at ParkMyCloud’s cloud optimization headquarters. Summer is in full swing, the 4th of July is on Thursday, and the USWNT is in World Cup semi-finals – let’s GO USA. And, of course, ParkMyCloud is four years old. 

Anniversaries in Review

We always like to take a moment of reflection on these anniversaries –– here are our previous ones, if you’re curious:

These snapshots really give perspective to both how the company and the market are changing!

Our 4th Year: Cloud Cost Optimization Meets Application Resource Management

This past year has been a big one for ParkMyCloud. As you may be aware we were acquired in May by Turbonomic, the leader in application resource management. In the short time since that acquisition, things have been nothing but positive for ParkMyCloud and our customers. ParkMyCloud remains a separate brand and we continue to invest in the product and add new features to the platform to help our customers automate cost control for AWS, Azure and Google clouds. We now have more than 1,100 organizations in more than 50 countries using ParkMyCloud, achieving an average ROI of 815%. Yes, you read that correctly – 815%!

A few interesting trends found in the cloud usage tracked in our platform over the last 12 months: 

  • There are now more Google Cloud projects being managed in the ParkMyCloud platform than Azure subscriptions, but conversely are more Azure resources than Google resources.
  • We now see ParkMyCloud customers using both Azure and Google Cloud together. This is new – in the past we have seen combinations of AWS and Azure as well as AWS and Google Cloud. 
  • Every large enterprise that was using AWS exclusively 2-3 years ago now also has some Azure resources in the platform. Combined with the last data point, you can see how multi-cloud is truly the current reality.
  • The resource count in the platform is up over 600% over the last year. Obviously organic growth and the acquisition of new customers drives this, but we have seen a big uptick in the use of scale groups and analytics workloads, an effect of greater needs for elasticity.

Looking Ahead: Bigger and Better Cloud Optimization and Automation Coming Soon

The big news for our customers this year has been the addition of rightsizing to the platform. We currently support automated rightsizing for AWS and Google Cloud, and will have Azure complete in a few weeks. Soon, we’ll also be offering scheduled resizing which will give you flexibility to align resizing with your internal maintenance windows and other specific times to minimize downtime. During the second half of this year, we plan to add support for containers, snapshot management and the ability to identify AWS Reserved Instances. This last addition will help users see how they are utilizing their Reserved Instances and whether their utilization needs to match their reservations. Users will also be able to plan Reserved Instance purchases based on their uptime needs, better matching reservations vs. on-demand resources with schedules. 

How do we develop this roadmap and stay on a path of constant improvement? We have a lot of customer conversations and get great input from our customers on our Slack channel. We hear about containers, serverless and other more advanced PaaS offerings that users would like to manage in addition to the main culprit of cloud waste, oversized and idle resources.

As always, we are open to feedback on what’s most important to you. What would help you optimize your cloud environment? Let us know in the comments below (or if you prefer, Slack or email.) 

If we don’t hear from you, we will make these ground-breaking decisions on a warm Tuesday evening at Crooked Run Brewery in Sterling, VA (that’s where some of our best ideas come from). If you are in the vicinity, swing by for a beer!

Trends in Cloud Jobs In 2019

Trends in Cloud Jobs In 2019

Trends in cloud jobs can be overall indicators into trends in the cloud computing space. With an ever-evolving and increasing use of cloud services, new and important changes are needed to the skillsets, roles, and responsibilities of cloud professionals. Here are some trends we’re seeing.

The Cloud Job Market is on the Rise

There is exponential growth in the cloud computing industry, so it’s no surprise that the demand for cloud computing intellect and skills is also increasing, with no slowing down in the foreseeable future. According to Gartner TalentNeuron, an online real-time labor market insight portal, “there are about 50,248 cloud computing positions available in the U.S. from 3,701 employers, and 101,913 open positions worldwide.”

As more and more enterprises drive value from container platforms, infrastructure-as-code solutions, software-defined networking, storage, continuous integration/delivery, and AI, they need people and skills on board with ever more niche expertise and deep technological understanding. Anecdotally, many organizations we talk to share that getting and keeping talent on board is a challenge as they seek to evolve their use of cloud services. The cloud jobs that are available in the market today are a result of employer demand to drive innovation and are paramount for new business applications and services to the end-user.

Cloud Talent Demand Trends

Here are a few roles and talent areas that will see increased demand this year.

Cloud Architect

Cloud Architects are experts responsible for the supervision of a company’s cloud computing system, overseeing the organization’s cloud computing strategy through deployment, management, and support of cloud applications. A Cloud Architect has a strong background in networking, programming, multiple operating systems, and security. In addition, they also have a strong knowledge of cloud services such as AWS, Google or Azure, with experience on ITSM, I&O, governance, automation, and vendor management. Here at ParkMyCloud, we talk to a lot of Cloud Architects!

Cloud Architects are also known as Cloud Developer or Cloud Systems Administrator. When it comes to getting hired, an AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert or Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect certification are currently the industry standard to help you emerge above the rest in this cloud job arena.  

Cloud Consultants

Cloud consultants are “the experts” who can help an organization conduct an overall technical analysis and assessment of the enterprise and recommend suitable cloud technology options to promote productivity and efficiency. A Cloud Consultant’s education background includes IT or business administration, IT consulting experience and highly effective communication skills. A Cloud Consultant’s expert knowledge of cloud service providers and cloud technologies available is key to provide maximum value to an enterprise.

You may find of interest, cloud computing careers relatable to Cloud Consultants include Cloud Security Engineers, Cloud Operations Engineers, and Cloud Infrastructure Engineers. An educational path to becoming a Cloud Consultant ranges from studying different programming languages to getting certified – although not necessarily required – in a single or multi-cloud computing systems.

Business Intelligence Analyst

A BI analyst has strong skills in database technology, analytics, and reporting tools and excellent knowledge and understanding of computer science, information systems or engineering. Skills necessary to understand a company’s cloud needs through data interpretation and be able to collate and cogently communicate cloud-based services and cloud strategy solutions to drive actionable results. An important role in the cloud management of businesses as demand for data and data analysts increases. BI analyst will collaborate with many individuals in the  IT department in an organization to maximize proficiency and productivity.

BI Analyst can also be described as BI Developers, BI Managers, and Big Data Engineer or Data Scientist. To work in BI, you do not need to be certified, but it may help you get an advantage when considered for a job, with certifications like Certified Business Intelligence Professional and Certified Application Associate: Business Intelligence.

IoT Engineer

An internet of things (IoT) engineer is an IT professional who is an expert in at least one or more of the core IoT disciplines: devices, connectivity, edge and cloud analytics, enterprise integration, platforms, and development and DevOps. Job titles for IoT engineers in the industry depend on the discipline they focus on, for example, the can be called IoT Architect, IoT Data Scientist or IoT Hardware Engineer, but all have in common an in-depth knowledge in specific subject matters of IoT in comparison to other engineers, making them the right person when it comes to decision making regarding the specific IoT subject matter. The main responsibility of IoT engineers is to help businesses keep up with IoT technology trends.

According to Gartner, “By 2022, 80% of leading I&O organizations will devise I&O strategies for digital business initiatives such as artificial intelligence and IoT.”  And, if you have any doubt that this is important in the cloud space, just see how many of AWS’s new services this year are IoT-focused.

The Future of Cloud Computing Jobs

In today’s trends in cloud computing jobs, if you’re looking to get involved in cloud for the first time, check out these 4 Cloud Computing Jobs to Check Out If You Want to Break Into the Space. Or, perhaps consider these interesting cloud job titles we came across for the future:  

  • Data Detective
  • Master of Edge Computing
  • Cyber City Analyst
  • Man-Machine Teaming Manager
  • Quantum Machine Learning Analyst

Cloud computing growth continues to accelerate at unprecedented rates as businesses continue to invest in cloud services like SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. The adoption of cloud technology  platforms, empowers businesses with unlimited possibilities for innovation, but in order to stay at pace with this innovation and the dizzying array of services being offered by Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM  all businesses will need skilled resources offering cloud computing professionals a very promising career in the cloud industry for years to come.

What trends are you seeing? Let us know in the comments below.

SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS – Where the Market is Going

SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS – Where the Market is Going

SaaS, PaaS, IaaS – these are the three essential models of cloud services to compare, otherwise known as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Each of these has its own benefits, and it’s good to understand why providers offer these different models and what implications they have for the market. While SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS are different, they are not competitive – most software-focused companies use some form of all three. Let’s take a look at these main categories, and because I like to understand things by company name, I’ll include a few of the more common SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS providers in market today.

SaaS: Software as a Service

Software as a Service, also known as cloud application services, represents the most commonly utilized option for businesses in the cloud market. SaaS utilizes the internet to deliver applications, which are managed by a third-party vendor, to its users. A majority of SaaS applications are run directly through the web browser, and do not require any downloads or installations on the client side.

Prominent providers: Salesforce, ServiceNow, Google Apps, Dropbox and Slack (and ParkMyCloud, of course).

PaaS: Platform as a Service

Cloud platform services, or Platform as a Service (PaaS), provide cloud components to certain software while being used mainly for applications. PaaS delivers a framework for developers that they can build upon and use to create customized applications. All servers, storage, and networking can be managed by the enterprise or a third-party provider while the developers can maintain management of the applications.

Prominent providers and offerings: AWS Elastic Beanstalk, RedHat Openshift, IBM Bluemix, Windows Azure, and VMware Pivotal CF.

IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service

Cloud infrastructure services, known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), are made of highly scalable and automated compute resources. IaaS is fully self-service for accessing and monitoring things like compute, storage, networking, and other infrastructure related services, and it allows businesses to purchase resources on-demand and as-needed instead of having to buy hardware outright.

Prominent Providers: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure (Azure), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and IBM Cloud.

SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS

SaaS, PaaS and IaaS are all under the umbrella of cloud computing (building, creating, and storing data over the cloud). Think about them in terms of out-of-the-box functionality and building from the bottom up.

IaaS helps build the infrastructure of a cloud-based technology. PaaS helps developers build custom apps via an API that can be delivered over the cloud. And SaaS is cloud-based software companies can sell and use.

Think of IaaS as the foundation of building a cloud-based service — whether that’s content, software, or the website to sell a physical product, PaaS as the platform on which developers can build apps without having to host them, and SaaS as the software you can buy or sell to help enterprises (or others) get stuff done.

SaaS, PaaS, IaaS Market Share Breakdown

The SaaS market is by far the largest market, according to a Gartner study that reported that enterprises spent $182B+ on cloud services, with SaaS services making up 43% of that spend.

While SaaS is currently the largest cloud service in terms of spend, IaaS is currently projected to be the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 20% plus over the next 3 to 4 years. This bodes very well for the “big three” providers, AWS, Azure and GCP.

Where the Market is Going

What’s interesting is that many pundits argue that PaaS is the future, along with FaaS, DaaS and every other X-as-a-service. However, the data shows otherwise. As evidenced by the reports from Gartner above, IaaS has a larger market share and is growing the fastest.

First of all, this is because IaaS offers all the important benefits of using the cloud such as scalability, flexibility, location independence and potentially lower costs. In comparison with PaaS and SaaS, the biggest strength of IaaS is the flexibility and customization it offers. The leading cloud computing vendors offer a wide range of different infrastructure options, allowing customers to pick the performance characteristics that most closely match their needs.

In addition, IaaS is the least likely of the three cloud delivery models to result in vendor lock-in. With SaaS and PaaS, it can be difficult to migrate to another option or simply stop using a service once it’s baked into your operations. IaaS also charges customers only for the resources they actually use, which can result in cost reductions if used strategically. While much of the growth is from existing customers, it’s also because more organizations are using IaaS across more functions than either of the other models of cloud services.

ParkMyCloud is Now Part of Turbonomic

ParkMyCloud is Now Part of Turbonomic

I am excited to announce that ParkMyCloud is now part of Turbonomic! This is great news for our customers, partners, and our team that I’ve been looking forward to sharing with you.

Why Turbonomic? Simply put, they are the experts in our space. Launched in 2009, Turbonomic is one of the fastest-growing technology companies in the virtualization and cloud management space. Thousands of high-profile, technology-forward enterprises – including PWC, Expedia, and J.P. Morgan – use the platform to maximize the value of their IT investments. If you want smart analytics for optimization, there’s nowhere better to go than Turbonomic (Just look at the PhD count on the team!) The Turbonomic platform provides customers with hybrid cloud elasticity through top-down application resource management, which is absolutely essential for the twin goals of hybrid cloud: performance and efficiency.

Why ParkMyCloud? Since day 1, we at ParkMyCloud have been optimizing costs for public cloud customers through automation. Like Turbonomic, we share a passion for analytics-driven automation, which our platform applies by helping cloud customers to reduce costs by 65%, improve governance, and save time by eliminating manual tasks — all while being easy to use and adopt. Our two organizations have these goals in common for cloud users, and by bringing ParkMyCloud onboard, Turbonomic has validated our mission and is enabling us to do even more for our customers.

What will change for our customers? Actually, not much! You’ll get to keep using the same ParkMyCloud platform you use today. The boon for you is that with Turbonomic backing our team, we’ll be able to innovate and iterate on the platform more quickly, to continually provide you with a better experience, a broader feature set, and of course, more savings.

An optimized future. Together with Turbonomic, we look forward to continuing to provide the best in multi-cloud optimization and analytics-driven automation for our customers, no matter where you are on your cloud journey.

One thing our Turbo colleagues have already taught us is that the correct answer to the question “what’s your favorite color?” is “green”. That seems fitting in a number of ways: applications running, everything working, money saved.

Most of all, green means “go” – let’s do it.

AWS New Services 2019 – What’s in Preview?

AWS New Services 2019 – What’s in Preview?

As the cloud giant, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is constantly innovating – it’s no surprise that at any given time, there’s a list of AWS new services that will soon be released. We’ve put together a list of AWS new services that are currently in “preview” and are expected to be released later this year. Many of these were announced at AWS re:Invent 2018.

Interested in a list of all the services AWS offers? We actually just put that together too. See all 176 services here: AWS Services List.

AWS New Services 2019

This list is broken down by category, including Analytics, Blockchain, Compute, Database, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, and Security. While all are in preview right now, their release dates may vary.

Analytics

AWS Lake Formation

    • AWS Lake Formation makes it easy to set up a secure data lake in days.
    • Lake Formation collects and catalogs data from databases and object storage, moves the data into your new Amazon S3 data lake, cleans and classifies data using machine learning algorithms, and secures access to your sensitive data.
    • Benefits: build data lakes quickly, simplify security management, and make self-service access to data both easy and secure
    • Announced: November 2018 (at re:Invent)

Blockchain

Amazon Managed Blockchain

    • Amazon Managed Blockchain makes it easy to create and manage scalable blockchain networks
    • Fully managed
    • Automatically scales to meet the demands of thousands of applications running millions of transactions. Manages your certificates, lets you easily invite new members to join the network, and tracks operational metrics such as usage of compute, memory, and storage resources.
    • Can replicate an immutable copy of your blockchain network activity into Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB), a fully managed ledger database so you can easily analyze the network activity outside the network and gain insights into trends.
    • Announced: November 2018 (at re:Invent)

Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB)

    • Amazon QLDB is a ledger database that provides a transparent, immutable, and cryptographically verifiable transaction log ‎owned by a central trusted authority
    • Tracks each and every application data change and maintains a complete and verifiable history of changes over time
    • Benefits: immutable and transparent, cryptographically verifiable, highly scalable, serverless, easy to use.
    • Announced: November 2018 (at re:Invent)

Compute

AWS Outposts

    • AWS Outposts brings native AWS services, infrastructure, and operating models to virtually any data center, co-location space, or on-premises facility.
    • Use the same APIs, same tools, same hardware, and same functionality across on-premises and the cloud to deliver a truly consistent hybrid experience.
    • Outposts can be used to support workloads that need to remain on-premises due to low latency or local data processing needs.
    • AWS Outposts come in two variants:
      • 1) VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts allows you to use the same VMware control plane and APIs you use to run your infrastructure
      • 2) AWS native variant of AWS Outposts allows you to use the same exact APIs and control plane you use to run in the AWS cloud, but on-premises.
    • Announced: November 2018 (at re:Invent)

Database

Amazon RDS on VMware

    • Amazon RDS on VMware lets you deploy managed databases in on-premises VMware environments
    • Provides cost-efficient and resizable capacity while automating time-consuming administration tasks including hardware provisioning, database setup, patching, and backups.
    • Allows you to utilize the same simple interface for managing databases in on-premises VMware environments as you would use in AWS. You can easily replicate RDS on VMware databases to RDS instances in AWS, enabling low-cost hybrid deployments for disaster recovery, read replica bursting, and optional long-term backup retention in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).
    • Announced: November 2018 (at re:Invent)

Internet of Things

AWS IoT Events

    • AWS IoT events is a fully managed IoT service that makes it easy to detect and respond to events from IoT sensors and applications
    • Continuously monitors data from multiple IoT sensors and applications, and it integrates with other services, to enable early detection and unique insights into events.
    • Benefits: easily ingest operations data, trigger a range of actions, easily build rules.
    • Announced: November 2018 (at re:Invent)

AWS IoT SiteWise

    • AWS IoT SiteWise is a managed service that makes it easy to collect and organize data from industrial equipment at scale.
    • Provides software running on a gateway that resides in your facilities and automates the process of collecting and organizing industrial equipment data.
    • Benefits: monitor operations across facilities, quickly compute common industrial performance metrics, and build applications to analyze industrial equipment data, prevent costly equipment issues, and reduce production inefficiencies.
    • Announced: November 2018 (at re:Invent)

AWS IoT Things Graph

    • AWS IoT Things Graph is a service that makes it easy to visually connect different devices and web services to build IoT applications.
    • Provides a visual drag-and-drop interface for connecting and coordinating devices and web services, so you can build IoT applications quickly.
    • You can get started with AWS IoT Things Graph using these pre-built models for popular device types, such as switches and programmable logic controllers (PLCs), or create your own custom model using a GraphQL-based schema modeling language, and deploy your IoT application to AWS IoT Greengrass-enabled devices such as cameras, cable set-top boxes, or robotic arms in just a few clicks
    • Announced: November 2018 (at re:Invent)

Machine Learning

Amazon Personalize

    • Amazon Personalize is a machine learning service that makes it easy for developers to create individualized recommendations for customers using their applications.
    • Allows developers with no prior machine learning experience to easily build sophisticated personalization capabilities into their applications, using machine learning technology perfected from years of use on Amazon.com.
    • Amazon Personalize will process and examine the data, identify what is meaningful, select the right algorithms, and train and optimize a personalization model that is customized for your data. You provide an activity stream from your application – page views, signups, purchases, and so forth – as well as an inventory of the items you want to recommend, such as articles, products, videos, or music.
    • Announced: November 2018 (at re:Invent)

Amazon Forecast

    • Amazon Forecast is a fully managed service that uses machine learning to deliver highly accurate forecasts, based on the same technology used at Amazon.com.
    • Uses machine learning to combine time series data with additional variables to build forecasts.
    • Requires no machine learning experience to get started.
    • Announced: November 2018 (at re:Invent)

Amazon Textract

    • Amazon Textract is a service that automatically extracts text and data from scanned documents. It goes beyond simple optical character recognition (OCR) to also identify the contents of fields in forms and information stored in tables.
    • Using machine learning to instantly “read” virtually any type of document to accurately extract text and data without the need for any manual effort or custom code.
    • Benefits: extract data quickly and accurately, no code or templates to maintain, lower document processing costs.
    • Announced: November 2018 (at re:Invent)

AWS DeepRacer

    • AWS DeepRacer is the first autonomous scale car specifically developed to help developers get hands-on with reinforcement learning.
    • Gives developers a simple way to learn RL, experiment with new RL algorithms and simulation-to-real domain transfer methods, and experience RL in the real world.
    • Participate in the AWS DeepRacer League at in-person events throughout the globe.
    • Announced: November 2018 (at re:Invent)

Security, Identity & Compliance

AWS Security Hub

    • AWS Security Hub gives you a comprehensive view of your high-priority security alerts and compliance status across AWS accounts.
    • Offers a single place that aggregates, organizes, and prioritizes your security alerts, or findings, from multiple AWS services, such as Amazon GuardDuty, Amazon Inspector, and Amazon Macie, as well as from AWS Partner solutions.
    • Announced: November 2018 (at re:Invent)

Trends in AWS New Services

Looking at these new services as a sample group, there are a few trends in the emerging technology. To no one’s surprise, there are a few blockchain and IoT announcements, both of which continue to be trending topics. Machine learning products also make up much of the list above – interestingly, with several releases of technology used to power Amazon.com.

Have you tried any of these new services? Let us know what you think of them!