The use of cloud applications has grown to a point where few, if any, businesses can operate without them. Apps enable people to connect, create, save money and time, and generally power key engines of the global economy.
A growing problem, however, is that cloud application optimization has moved beyond human scale. The size of cloud operations has expanded to a point where sitting in front of a console and managing millions of complex workflows has become impossible.
Accenture’s latest report on cloud trends for 2021 found that at least 93% of enterprises have embarked on a multicloud strategy, averaging 3.4 public and 3.9 private clouds being deployed or tested. That’s a lot of IT infrastructure for any organization to manage, especially when it comes to obtaining maximum value for the cost.
It is this scenario that has allowed companies such as Turbonomic Inc. to build a robust business, providing tools to assure a customer’s application performance and governance across hybrid and multicloud environments. In a validation of the need for this kind of service, Turbonomic made news in April when IBM Corp. announced it would acquire the firm for an amount estimated to be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion.
Turbonomic’s tool set correlates infrastructure dependencies, risks and actions back to enterprise applications and the developers who built them.
“Where are the application developers going?” asked Naveen Chhabra, senior analyst with Forrester Research, in an interview with SiliconANGLE Media. “You have to choose a tool that can support all of the app developers. You need an equal blend of operations management capability, and that’s where Turbonomic’s offerings fit in.”
From May 11 through May 13, Turbonomic will host “Apps ON Cloud Summit,” a free, three-day virtual event for IT leaders, cloud visionaries, network aficionados and DevOps pros. The summit will feature cutting-edge thought leadership and hands-on practical learning from some of the foremost thinkers and practitioners in cloud, containers and network. Opportunities for digital engagement will bring participants closer to the speaker community and allow them to interact with a wide variety of people across the technology spectrum.
The speaker list includes Ben Nye, chief executive officer of Turbonomic; Corey Quinn, chief cloud economist at the Duckbill Group; Jo Peterson, vice president of Clarify360; Tim Crawford, CIO strategic advisor at AVOA; Kelsey Hightower, staff developer advocate of Google Cloud Platform; Mor Cohen-Tal, CTO of cloud at Turbonomic; and Jerry Cuomo, IBM fellow, VP and CTO of IBM Automation at IBM Corp. (* Disclosure below.)
Improved app performance
IBM’s decision to acquire Turbonomic offers another chapter in the expanding need for cloud application optimization. Companies are seeking to improve application performance while reducing cloud cost, and IBM clearly views Turbonomic as providing that opportunity.
Turbonomic is the 11th AI and hybrid cloud purchase by IBM since Arvind Krishna became the company’s CEO in April 2020. However, Turbonomic is not new to IBM, having collaborated with the company to power its OEM Application Resource Management offering, providing automation solutions through AIOps.
“People talk about AIOps, and this is AIOps,” said Ben Nye, Turbonomic’s chief executive, during an earlier interview with theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. “I can see all the workloads I run and all of the performance issues, all of the compliance exposure, and all of the efficiency opportunities inherent in each workload. We show it to the customer, and they can run ‘what if’ scenarios, not with a synthetic, but with their actual workloads.”
Making observability actionable
Turbonomic leverages AI to analyze cloud platforms and determine if specific workloads may be underutilizing the hardware allocated to run them. If the model knows that website demand may spike on a particular day, it will recommend more network bandwidth.
The key element behind Turbonomic’s technology is to make observability actionable. The use of AI allows enterprises to not only see what’s taking place inside of IT operations, but also take appropriate action based on proactive recommendations. This was a key reason behind IBM’s acquisition of Turbonomic.
“Customers are asking for it, the industry is driving it, and then these companies are showing the value of what it can do,” said Dinesh Nirmal, general manager of IBM’s automation business, in a recent interview. “To give you an example, recently one of our customers who had a process that used to take three minutes using robotic process automation … our technology was able to run it below 30 seconds. That’s the kind of savings our customers are seeing.”
Compelling case for AI
Turbonomic’s solution focuses on several key factors that can have a significant influence on cloud application optimization. Taken together, these offer a compelling case for why AI is essential in optimizing complex app workloads.
Effective application performance requires complex analysis. Peaks can vary between non-production or development workloads and those tied directly into production. Complexity can also increase when moving workloads between different cloud instances. Quota limits and compute support for storage tiers are just a few of the many factors that can be found when operating on just one cloud platform.
IT organizations will often use plans for Reserved Instances to reduce application costs running on public clouds. But these take management to ensure genuine cost savings, especially when it involves multiple cloud accounts. There is also the issue of storage optimization, since cloud providers offer multiple tiers with separate and unique capabilities. Managing different levels of throughput, size and cost can be a tricky proposition to leverage using a manual process.
The challenge is to manage the trade-offs between performance, policy compliance and cost, which is why an AI-based solution that can track this level of complexity around-the-clock has enterprise appeal.
“Don’t let anyone fool you: Optimizing applications in the cloud is challenging and complex,” said Jacob Ben-David, director of technical marketing, Cloud Solutions at Turbonomic, in a recent post. “The sad reality is that we humans cannot optimize cloud-based applications, or their associated costs at scale. No matter how many people you assign to this endeavor, the results will not match those of an intelligent software platform.”
Livestream of Apps ON Cloud Summit
See the complete list of featured speakers for the Apps ON Cloud Summit here.
(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for Apps ON Cloud Summit. Neither Turbonomic Inc., the sponsor for the event, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)
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