Celebrating the 15th Annual Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit – Presenter Q&A with Aaron Sherrill

Interview with Aaron Sherrill, Senior Analyst

Any conversation about managed or hosted services wouldn’t be complete without talking about security. Resident managed security services expert Aaron Sherrill will present and moderate a panel during our “Building the Cloud Trust” session at the Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit (HCTS) on September 24 at 1:15pm PDT, in the Orovada Breakout Room 1 at the Aria in Las Vegas.

Q: What will you be discussing in this session?

A: Finding service providers that can be trusted has become a key concern for enterprises, particularly as cloud and service providers play a larger and increasingly critical role in enterprise strategies. My session, “Building the Cloud of Trust,” will dive into the challenging topic of trust. We will look at how trust in cloud and service providers has shifted over the last two decades, how that trust is continuing to transform, and how cloud service providers are fervently working on ways to prove they warrant trust from their customers. The session will be followed by a panel discussion focused on how cloud and service providers are building trust with their customers, and how enterprises are adapting to disruptive business models, with recommendations for both service providers and enterprises in an economy centered on trust.

Q: Why is this topic significant?

A: While contracts, SLAs and binding promises may provide an adequate standard of trust for some digital assets, most organizations are seeking a much higher standard of trust. Organizations need to know how their digital assets are protected, where those assets reside, how and why their assets are being accessed, and that services are functioning properly – in short, organizations want to verify, on demand, that service providers are doing what they said they would do. 

According to a recently commissioned study and 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise: Cloud, Hosting & Managed Services, Workloads and Key Projects 2019 survey, data privacy, security and loss of control are among the top barriers to enterprises leveraging cloud and service providers to a greater extent.

Q: We are celebrating 15 years of our Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit. What do you believe is the most valuable aspect of HCTS?

A: HCTS always delivers presentations on relevant and compelling subject matter, with top-notch speakers and panels for the sessions, but I think the most valuable part of the conference is the one-on-one meetings. The meetings are a highlight not just for attendees, but also for analysts like me. The face-to-face discussions highlight 451 Research’s breadth of knowledge and expertise, and provide us with great insight into the most pressing issues of the day.

Q: What was your biggest takeaway from last year’s HCTS?

A: The move to managed services and subscription-based services is expanding into most every industry and technology. However, the move to this new model is much more challenging than most vendors and providers initially believed. Many technology and service providers are trying to better understand where they best fit in a hybrid, subscription-based world.

Q: Many of our attendees return to this event annually. What do you think brings them back every year? 

A: The data and content focused on digital enterprises and the role and importance of service providers in a hybrid and multi-cloud world provide great insight into a rapidly changing market. I believe most attendees discover new opportunities or find key insight that helps shape their business strategies for the coming years.

Q: What are you excited to see/experience at this year’s Summit?

A: It is always great to reconnect and meet new people at HCTS. I am looking forward to hearing from service providers about how they are tackling challenges in security, scalability and building trust, and how emerging technologies are impacting their strategies.

Register today for HCTS and save 25% by using promo code BLOG25. Don't miss our other Q&As with speakers to learn about all the upcoming topics, including the previous Q&A with Craig Matsumoto.

Is your AI Infrastructure Prepared to Meet Future Demands?

Written by: Senior Research Associate Jeremy Korn and Research Vice President Nick Patience

Many organizations are underprepared for the demands AI and machine learning applications will place on their infrastructure, but they are prepared to spend money to change that situation.

Those are just a couple of conclusions we can draw from our new Voice of the Enterprise: AI and Machine Learning Infrastructure 2019 survey. Almost half (45%) of enterprises indicate that their current AI infrastructure will not be able to meet future demands (see Figure 1), which prompts a few questions:

• Why is that?
• What do they propose to do about it?
• Are they prepared to spend money to fix the problem?

Figure 1
figure 1 status of enterprise infrastructure for ai















Why is that?


Broadly speaking, data is the reason infrastructure needs to be overhauled to deliver AI at scale, with 89% of respondents in our survey saying they expect the volume of data in using the machine learning workloads to increase in the next year, and almost half projecting an increase of 25% or more. Much of that growth will come from unstructured data, since the most transformative use cases of AI and machine learning involve gaining insight from unstructured data, be it text, images, audio or video.

What do they propose to do about it?

Organizations understand that, for them to take advantage of AI at scale, it is not simply a case of scaling existing infrastructure. New infrastructure is needed to cope with the demands of machine learning workloads, including new scalable storage, dedicated accelerators and low-latency networks. These need to be deployed across a variety of execution venues.

Enterprises also express a variety of concerns about their AI infrastructures, from the security of these systems to the opacity of data management capabilities. Overhauling AI infrastructure demands more than just buying better hardware; it will require new tools and updates to architectural paradigms.

Are they prepared to spend money to fix the problem?

Yes, they are. Our survey shows that 83% of responding enterprises say they will expand AI infrastructure budgets next year, with 39% of those projecting an increase of 25% or more. Spending on cloud-based AI platforms will lead the charge, with 89% of respondents planning to increase spending on them in the next year.

Our Voice of the Enterprise: AI and Machine Learning Infrastructure 2019 survey contains a lot more data on subjects such as spending decision-makers, the specific points in the machine learning process that put strain on infrastructure, the types of AI-specific infrastructure components organizations are looking to buy, the areas in which skill shortages are most acute, and how often and where machine learning models are trained and deployed.

For more insight, check out this free Market Insight report.

Celebrating the 15th Annual Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit – Presenter Q&A with Craig Matsumoto

Interview with Craig Matsumoto, Senior Analyst

Last year, we welcomed Senior Analyst Craig Matsumoto to the 451 family – and we are so excited to have him back on stage at the Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit (HCTS). Craig will lead the “Building the Datacenter Fabric – Networking Opportunities in the Datacenter World” session on September 24 at 1:15pm PDT, in the Orovada Breakout Room 2 at the Aria in Las Vegas.

Q: What will you be discussing in this session?
A: Something I've been calling 'the new enterprise network.' As enterprises have reached out to the cloud, they've often been content to use broadband internet or SD-WAN to connect there. Datacenters would like to present an alternative, aided by the agility of software-defined networking – we're calling it software-programmable interconnection.

Q: Why is this topic significant?
A: I think the element of cloud dependency is underappreciated. As more mission-critical work moves to remote places – clouds, SaaS providers, even edge computing – I would expect some enterprises to find internet connectivity insufficient. We're going to discuss colocation as an alternative, but many enterprises don't think of colocation that strategically. About 30% use colocation, and of those, 53% use it for disaster recovery. It suggests a slim, tactical view of colocation. Is there a richer role that third-party datacenters can play for enterprises? I want to start some discussion on that.
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Celebrating the 15th Annual Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit – Presenter Q&A with Carl Lehmann

Interview with Carl Lehmann, Principal Analyst

Automation remains one of the hottest topics in IT. Principal Analyst Carl Lehmann knows this all too well, and will bring his insight to the “Automation Effectiveness – Are you Prepared to Compete for the Future?” session at the Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit (HCTS), which will be on September 24 at 4:20pm PDT, in the Orovada Breakout Room 2 at the Aria in Las Vegas.

Q: What will you be discussing in this session?
A: Aggressive digital business strategies and the scarcity of IT expertise on the open market have made the automation of IT processes a high priority. There are several fundamental levels of automation available to enterprise IT organizations. In general, they include infrastructure and cloud services provisioning, continuous deployments as part of DevOps strategy, and IT services management automation. All require new approaches to enable IT toolchain interoperability across what is now a highly distributed and diverse hybrid IT architecture. New approaches to IT automation will be the topic of this moderated discussion panel.

Q: Why is this topic significant?
A: To compete effectively in the modern digital business era, enterprises must seek new competitive advantages. While there are many ways to achieve this, common to nearly all enterprises is the need to improve business and IT process efficiencies, and to automate these improvements so they execute reliably and consistently.

In a recent 451 Research survey, we asked business and IT decision-makers about their current and expected future automation efforts. Of the 881 respondents, 50% stated that automation in their IT environment is mostly manual, with some automated processes; 75% say they expect this to change, citing IT automation to increase in the next 12 months.
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Celebrating the 15th Annual Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit – Presenter Q&A with William Fellows

Interview with William Fellows, Research Vice President

Next up in our Presenter Q&A series: Research Vice President William 'Wif' Fellows, who will lead the “Making Infrastructure Invisible – Simplifying the Jumble of Clouds, Containers and Venues” session at the Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit (HCTS) on September 24 at 3:40 pm PT, in the Orovada Breakout Room 1 at the Aria in Las Vegas.

Q: What will you be discussing in this session?

A: The emergence of clouds, containers and microservices promises to dramatically simplify the deployment of applications and services in support of digital transformation, which enterprises tell us remains the organizing principle for their IT activity. However, this potential will only be realized if management and orchestration across these hybrid deployments is done effectively and with transparency to assure end users that services will meet their performance standards. We’ll discuss:
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