Hybrid and multicloud on the rise: An interview with George Karidis, Chief Strategy Officer at SoftLayer
There has been a lot of turmoil in the Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) market the past months, with companies slashing costs and heavily investing in infrastructure and marketplaces. In order to get a glimpse of what is in store for the feature, we have been interviewing some key people from the industry. We kicked off the series with John Edgar, DigitalOcean’s Chief Technology Evangelist, Telemachus Luu, the CTO of Nephoscale and Jonathan Siegel from Rackspace.
Today, we are posting an interview with George Karidis, Chief Strategy Officer in SoftLayer. Mr. Karidis oversees several programs at SoftLayer, including product management, labs, and the Catalyst start up incubator. Prior to joining SoftLayer, Mr. Karidis spent seven years with Devonshire Investors where he drove the strategic planning efforts of portfolio companies focused on the telecom, hosting, and software markets. His background and current position allows for a unique perspective on the future of cloud computing.
Businesses have been feverishly moving their infrasture to public clouds. What should they pay attention to?
What to move and when. Not all workloads have the same requirements or are currently built to run in public clouds. That’s why many of the early adopters of IaaS are internet-centric applications: mobile apps, gaming, SaaS properties, etc. They have been designed to be hosted on bare metal or virtual infrastructure and in a distributed architecture. Shifting legacy applications can at times be problematic.
There are several IaaS providers out there. What is unique in what SoftLayer offers?
We believe that delivering bare metal cloud (servers without a hypervisor) in an automated, scalable, consumption based model is a huge differentiator and advantage. This helps to maximize application performance while delivering all the benefits of a multi-tenant cloud. The network infrastructure is also a key value proposition. We focused on building a global network that is free for our customers to use. This combined with our private network (server to server communication) helps optimize performance for all customers across all of our data centre environments.
What setups are currently popular and what do you think will gain popularity in the future? (eg hybrid, multicloud, bare metal + cloud machines)
Bare metal cloud is hugely popular with our customers. Nothing beats the performance of bare metal infrastructure for production workloads at the application and database layers. This will be more true as applications evolve and make better use of GPU servers and big data applications, especially analytics. We do see growing demand for hybrid (public-private mixes) as well as multi-cloud for varying parts of the stack (e.g. production in one cloud and dev/test in a lower performance environment).
What do you think about the growing popularity of PaaS solutions? Do they constitute a threat or a boost to IaaS?
Everything that lives on a server will benefit IaaS in the future. That includes SaaS, PaaS, and the variety of other _aaS specialist platforms. The shift to cloud based infrastructure is still in early stages, but reversing the current course is not possible.
What are SoftLayer’s plans for the future? What features and enhancements should we expect to see?
Our roadmap for new products and capabilities is always overflowing with projects and ideas. We expect to continue our global expansion and add new network services. We will be making all of our services available by the hour. We see a lot of value in enhancing our current storage offerings, expanding our marketplace for applications/tools and driving innovation through our eco-system of partners as well.
What’s your favorite OS and text editor?
My favourite o/s? I guess that is whatever my ipad runs! I’ve learned that you can leverage a lot of tools (many are our customers…) and be very productive while on the road. Not sure I could survive without it anymore.
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